Growing up, we have often been taught that organic food is more sustainable, although most of us have no idea how conventional organic agriculture works and what it entails. To understand whether or not organic food is genuinely better for the environment, we need first to compare organic versus conventional farming methods and define what sustainability is, which is precisely what today’s article will be focusing on! What is sustainable farming, and is organic farming more sustainable than the industrial farming methods society has used for years?
What Is Sustainable Farming?
Sustainable farming is to farm the way mother nature intended. According to the UN, the goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet the needs of our society’s food and textile demands without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by lessening our environmental impact. Sustainable farming entails farming methods that not only grow food but also nurture the environment and support the local economy. Sustainable farming is the only solution to the problems created by industrial farming methods. The list of issues industrial farming has caused is endless, as you can imagine. The depletion of our natural resources, overuse of pesticides and chemicals and unequal access to food in poorer areas are just a few. Sustainable farming methods include incorporating natural pest control methods, better water management and avoiding deforestation and soil erosion. All in all, the only way to farm for our future is to farm sustainably.
The Difference Between Conventional and Organic Agriculture
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.Masanobu Fukuoka
Conventional farming is a method of farming that stems from the green revolution in the 1950s; it aims to grow as much food as physically possible through artificial pesticides and fertilisers. This farming method causes toxins to seep into the soil and crop quality to be negatively affected. Increased greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, water pollution, and human disease rates are just some issues that have become a stark reality in our world.
On the other hand, organic farming, or modern farming, incorporates sustainable ways of growing crops that increase soil fertility and produce quality. Organic agriculture has a lesser carbon footprint, replenishes natural ecosystems for cleaner water and air, conserves and improves soil health, and doesn’t leave toxic pesticide residues as industrial farming does. A few methods commonly used in organic agriculture are using natural fertilisers such as bone meal, crop rotation and the fostering of natural insect predators.
So… Is Organic Food More Sustainable?
The planet’s resources are not all renewable, and organic farming ensures the protection of the ecosystem to a much higher degree than conventional farming, which, to be frank, does the complete opposite. The lack of pesticides used in organic agriculture and the wider variety of crops grown enhances biodiversity and nurtures the earth. For this reason, organic farming methods are definitely more sustainable than industrial farming methods because our future generations will have much more to work with than they would if we continue to use conventional farming methods.
You can make a difference in which systems you support by choosing to buy organic foods over industrially farmed foods. Look out for “organic” labels on the food you purchase, or try our online delivery service that brings a wide variety of locally-produced organic goods straight to your door. Click here to learn more.