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Organic Food No More Nutritious (4th September, 2012)


 

Scientists have revealed that organic and non-organic food contain pretty much the same amounts and kinds of vitamins and other nutrients. This might be surprising news for those of us who choose to buy organic believing it to be healthier. Researchers from America's Stanford University concluded that there might not be any extra health benefits to buying organic, thus people might be better off saving their money and buying non-organic produce. Lead researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle said there was no difference in the vitamin content in fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products in organically- and conventionally-produced food. She said the only difference was slightly more phosphorus in the organic products.

Dr Smith-Spangle's review of over 200 different reports on organic food suggests people should perhaps revise their shopping choices, based on the levels of pesticides. Smith Spangler said both organic and conventional foods rarely exceeded the allowable limits for pesticides in the USA. She said the evidence wasn't too clear on whether the difference in pesticides would have an effect on health. She concluded by saying consumers should know there is overwhelming evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your health, so people should eat more fresh produce, whether it is organic or conventional. Organic foods accounted for $31 billion in sales in the USA last year, up from $3.6 billion in 1997.

WARM-UPS

1. ORGANIC FOOD: Walk around the class and talk to other students about organic food. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

scientists / organic food / vitamin / health benefits / fruit / vegetables / dairy products / revise / shopping choices / pesticides / conventional foods / evidence / health

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. FOOD: How good or bad are these? Complete the table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Why good?

Why bad?

Organic

 

 

Fast

 

 

Spicy

 

 

British

 

 

Dairy

 

 

Raw

 

 

4. HEALTHY: Students A strongly believe all food will be super-healthy in the future; Students B strongly believe not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. CUISINE: What are your faves? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Indian
  • French
  • Thai
  • Lebanese
  • Japanese
  • Italian
  • Mexican
  • American

6. VITAMINS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'vitamins'. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Scientists have found that non-organic food is no longer nutritious.

T / F

b.

The article suggests people shouldn't waste money on organic food.

T / F

c.

Research says vitamin content in organic/non-organic food is the same.

T / F

d.

The researcher said there was more phosphorus in non-organic food.

T / F

e.

The researcher said people should think more about pesticides.

T / F

f.

Non-organic food in the U.S. contains pesticides over acceptable limits.

T / F

g.

The researcher advised people to buy more fruit and vegetables.

T / F

h.

Spending on organic food in the USA has doubled since 1997.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

revealed

a.

made up

2

contain

b.

opt

3.

choose

c.

a little

4.

produce

d.

change

5.

slightly

e.

food

6.

review

f.

permissible

7.

revise

g.

announced

8.

allowable

h.

evaluation

9.

overwhelming

i.

have

10.

accounted for

j.

compelling

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

pretty

a.

off saving their money

2

surprising news for those of us who

b.

200 different reports

3.

people might be better

c.

much the same

4.

dairy

d.

too clear

5.

slightly more phosphorus

e.

choose to buy organic

6.

review of over

f.

$3.6 billion in 1997

7.

exceeded the allowable

g.

evidence

8.

the evidence wasn't

h.

in the organic products

9.

overwhelming

i.

limits

10.

up from

j.

products


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Scientists have (1) ____________ that organic and non-organic food contain pretty much the same amounts and                      (2) ____________ of vitamins and other nutrients. This might be surprising (3) ____________ for those of us who choose to buy organic believing it to be healthier. Researchers from America's Stanford University (4) ____________ that there might not be any extra health benefits to buying organic, thus people might be (5) ____________ off saving their money and buying non-organic produce. Lead researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle said there was no difference in the vitamin (6) ____________ in fruit, vegetables, meat and (7) ____________ products in organically- and conventionally-produced food. She said the only difference was (8) ____________ more phosphorus in the organic products.

 

 

 

concluded
content
news
slightly
revealed
better
kinds
dairy

Dr Smith-Spangle's (9) ____________ of over 200 different reports on organic food suggests people should perhaps          (10) ____________ their shopping choices, based on the        (11) ____________ of pesticides. Smith Spangler said both organic and conventional foods rarely exceeded the allowable  (12) ____________ for pesticides in the USA. She said the evidence wasn't too clear on whether the difference in pesticides would have an (13) ____________ on health. She concluded by saying consumers should know there is overwhelming evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your health, so people should eat more fresh (14) ____________, whether it is organic or conventional. Organic foods (15) ____________ for $31 billion in sales in the USA last year, (16) ____________ from $3.6 billion in 1997.

 

 

up
limits
revise
produce
review
accounted
levels
effect

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists (1) ___________________ organic and non-organic food contain pretty much the same amounts and kinds of vitamins                                (2) ___________________. This might be surprising news for those of us who choose to buy organic (3) ___________________ healthier. Researchers from America's Stanford University concluded that there might not (4) ___________________ benefits to buying organic, thus people might (5) ___________________ their money and buying non-organic produce. Lead researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle said there was no difference in (6) ___________________ fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products in organically- and conventionally-produced food. She said the only difference was slightly more phosphorus in the organic products.

Dr Smith-Spangle's (7) ___________________ different reports on organic food suggests people (8) ___________________ their shopping choices, based on the levels of pesticides. Smith Spangler said both organic and conventional foods rarely exceeded (9) ___________________ pesticides in the USA. She said the evidence wasn't too clear on whether the difference in pesticides would (10) ___________________ health. She concluded by saying consumers should know there is (11) ___________________ that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your health, so people should eat more fresh produce, whether it is (12) ___________________. Organic foods accounted for $31 billion in sales in the USA last year, up from $3.6 billion in 1997.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'organic' and 'food'.

organic

food

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • revealed
  • surprising
  • concluded
  • better
  • difference
  • slightly
  • 200
  • rarely
  • clear
  • consumers
  • fresh
  • up

ORGANIC FOOD SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about organic food in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

ORGANIC FOOD DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'organic food'?

c)

Are you a fan of organic food?

d)

Do you worry about how healthy the food you eat is?

e)

Are you a healthy eater?

f)

Do you think you should eat more organic food?

g)

Do you think organic food could be a marketing trick?

h)

Are you surprised by this news?

i)

Why did (does) everyone believe organic food is healthier?

j)

Do you think organic food tastes any different to "conventional" food?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you ever think about what pesticides or other chemicals are in your food?

c)

Are you happy with food controls and regulations in your country?

d)

Should the government encourage healthy eating more often?

e)

Do you eat lots of fruit and vegetables?

f)

Could you change to eating a raw diet?

g)

Do you always believe the claims of companies who push their "healthy" food on us?

h)

Which country's cuisine do you think is healthiest?

i)

Do you think more of us should grow our own food?

j)

What questions would you like to ask researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists have revealed that organic and non-organic food contain (1) ____ much the same amounts and kinds of vitamins and other (2) ____. This might be surprising news for those of us who choose to buy organic (3) ____ it to be healthier. Researchers from America's Stanford University concluded that there might not be any extra health benefits to buying organic, thus people might be better (4) ____ saving their money and buying non-organic produce. Lead researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle said there was no difference in the vitamin  (5) ____ in fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products in organically- and conventionally-produced food. She said the only difference was (6) ____ more phosphorus in the organic products.

Dr Smith-Spangle's review of over 200 different reports on organic food suggests people should perhaps (7) ____ their shopping choices, based (8) ____ the levels of pesticides. Smith Spangler said both organic and conventional foods rarely exceeded the (9) ____ limits for pesticides in the USA. She said the evidence wasn't too clear on whether the difference in pesticides would have an effect on health. She concluded (10) ____ saying consumers should know there is overwhelming evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your health, so people should eat more fresh produce, (11) ____ it is organic or conventional. Organic foods accounted (12) ____ $31 billion in sales in the USA last year, up from $3.6 billion in 1997.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

cute

(b)

lovely

(c)

fair

(d)

pretty

2.

(a)

nutrients

(b)

nutrition

(c)

nourish

(d)

nourishing

3.

(a)

belief

(b)

believe

(c)

believing

(d)

believes

4.

(a)

up

(b)

off

(c)

around

(d)

of

5.

(a)

current

(b)

content

(c)

contain

(d)

curtain

6.

(a)

flighty

(b)

unsightly

(c)

slightly

(d)

unwittingly

7.

(a)

revise

(b)

reviews

(c)

ruse

(d)

reuse

8.

(a)

up

(b)

in

(c)

of

(d)

on

9.

(a)

disable

(b)

unstable

(c)

perishable

(d)

allowable

10.

(a)

as

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

of

11.

(a)

whether

(b)

depending

(c)

if

(d)

although

12.

(a)

as

(b)

on

(c)

for

(d)

by

WRITING

Write about organic food for 10 minutes. Correct your partner's paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about organic food. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. ORGANIC FOOD: Make a poster about organic food. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. HEALTHY: Write a magazine article about healthy food. Include imaginary interviews with some experts.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an organic food expert. Ask him/her three questions about organic food. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

revealed

a.

announced

2

contain

b.

have

3.

choose

c.

opt

4.

produce

d.

food

5.

slightly

e.

a little

6.

review

f.

evaluation

7.

revise

g.

change

8.

allowable

h.

permissible

9.

overwhelming

i.

compelling

10.

accounted for

j.

made up

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

pretty

a.

much the same

2

surprising news for those of us who

b.

choose to buy organic

3.

people might be better

c.

off saving their money

4.

dairy

d.

products

5.

slightly more phosphorus

e.

in the organic products

6.

review of over

f.

200 different reports

7.

exceeded the allowable

g.

limits

8.

the evidence wasn't

h.

too clear

9.

overwhelming

i.

evidence

10.

up from

j.

$3.6 billion in 1997

GAP FILL:

Organic food no more nutritious

Scientists have (1) revealed that organic and non-organic food contain pretty much the same amounts and (2) kinds of vitamins and other nutrients. This might be surprising (3) news for those of us who choose to buy organic believing it to be healthier. Researchers from America's Stanford University (4) concluded that there might not be any extra health benefits to buying organic, thus people might be (5) better off saving their money and buying non-organic produce. Lead researcher Dr Crystal Smith-Spangle said there was no difference in the vitamin (6) content in fruit, vegetables, meat and (7) dairy products in organically- and conventionally-produced food. She said the only difference was (8) slightly more phosphorus in the organic products.

Dr Smith-Spangle's (9) review of over 200 different reports on organic food suggests people should perhaps (10) revise their shopping choices, based on the (11) levels of pesticides. Smith Spangler said both organic and conventional foods rarely exceeded the allowable (12) limits for pesticides in the USA. She said the evidence wasn't too clear on whether the difference in pesticides would have an (13) effect on health. She concluded by saying consumers should know there is overwhelming evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your health, so people should eat more fresh (14) produce, whether it is organic or conventional. Organic foods (15) accounted for $31 billion in sales in the USA last year, (16) up from $3.6 billion in 1997.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - b

6 - c

7 - a

8 - d

9 -d

10 - b

11 - a

12 - c

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