Organic Food Could Feed the World–And Pesticides Hurt Yields!
An amazing juxtaposition of two stories in the Organic Consumers Association’s latest newsletter:
A Reuters report, “Organic Farming Can Feed the World“:
“Model estimates indicate that organic methods could produce enough food on a global per capita basis to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base,” they wrote in their report, published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.
Wow! We can have the much higher food quality, eliminate a major pollution source, and increase yields. Sounds good to me!
The other story examines research that examines specific effects pesticides have, interfering with plants’ natural ability to fix nitrogen. It’s rather technical but I found a paragraph in ordinary English:
Drawing on their recent work and other published studies, the team projected that pesticides and other contaminants are reducing plant yield by one-third as a result of impaired SNF. This remarkable conclusion suggests one mechanism, or explanation of the yield-enhancing benefits of well-managed, long-term organic farming systems.
In fact, yields can be as much as three times higher than conventional agriculture.
Isn’t it time to reclaim our organic heritage and stop farming the old, destructive ways?