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Author

Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Health

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

Is Organic Really Better? Healthy Food or Trendy Scam?

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Synopsis
  • This video from Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell compares the nutrition and environmental impact of organic farming to conventional farming. 
  • It answers common questions about organic produce and concludes that the viewer should eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables from local sources, regardless of the organic status. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • It presents the material with engaging and entertaining animation. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms sewage sludge, synthetic, pesticides, and fertilizers. 
  • There are commercials and pop-up ads before and during the video.
  • For more information about the organic label and the number of acres used for organic farming, visit the USDA's website.
  • The video does not compare the government subsidies given to conventional farms vs. organic farms, which impacts the retail prices.

Differentiation

  • Science classes could research the prevalence of air and water pollution from conventional and herbicide-tolerant or pesticide-producing GMO farming activities and the lack of seed diversity in conventional farming that could impact global food supplies.
  • Civics and ethics classes could research the patenting of seeds and how this may affect small-scale farmers around the world. 
  • Economics classes can use this video to discuss the demand for organic produce and the influence it has on agricultural land use and the global food system. 
  • Other similar resources include Can Food Save the World? and The Diet that Helps Fight Climate Change.
Scientist Notes
The resource gives detailed analysis on the dichotomy between organic and conventional food productions and the impact on human health and the environment, including the pros and cons using both methods. Additional sources and data are valid. Hence, this resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 9-10.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's perspective, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Social Sciences
    • Economics: National Economy (9-12)
      • HS.21 Analyze the ways in which incentives and competition influence production and distribution in a market system.
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