Why we need more Organic Farming Practices
Organic farming relies on fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. In general, organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. (Wikipedia)
Organic food and other goods (as fibres for fabrics) appeal as both a healthy and ethical choice; beyond money and ethics, organic farming practices result in numerous benefits, in an environmental and health (public health, occupational health, etc) perspectives.
- 1. Reduced exposure to Pesticides and Better Health
The Organic Trade Association notes that if every farmer in the U.S. converted to organic production, we could eliminate 500 million pounds of persistent and harmful pesticides from entering the environment annually. Pesticide and chemical use results in many negative environmental issues:
- Pesticides allow disease resistance to build up in plants, weeds, plant-eating-insects, fungi, and bacteria. WE WILL BE EATING THESE and WE ALL LIVE IN THE SAME PLANET (some very close to massive areas of food production and sage of pesticides) and research shows that extensive use of chemicals are known for their ability to cause negative health effects in humans and wildlife, for contaminate the soil, water supply, and air.
- Organic Farming Supports Water Health Conservation and Healthy Soil
Dwindling water supplies and poor water and soil health are very real threats.
According to the International Water Management Institute , agriculture accounts for about 70% of global water withdrawals: methods of cultivation translate in water waste in the big scale production that does not follow the organic standards. Take the example of cotton farming: Cotton is mostly grown in monoculture and is a very pesticide-intensive crop. These pesticides are washed out of soils, and pollute rivers and groundwater. If cotton is cultivated intensively, it requires large amounts of water for irrigation. This causes soil salinization, particularly in dry areas and hence a degradation of soil fertility. Organic farmers, in general, tend to spend time amending soil correctly and using mulch – both of which help conserve water.
As simple as this: to grow healthy food & fibres (for textiles), you must start with healthy soil. If you treat the soil with harmful pesticides and chemicals, you may end up with soil that cannot thrive on its own. Natural cultivation practices are far better than chemical soil management. Think when you are eating your veggies – how healthy and nutrient dense can they be if grown in unhealthy soils?
- Fighting the Effects of Global Warming
Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial is America’s longest running, side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic agriculture. The trial, running since 1981, has shown that a healthy organic agriculture system can actually reduce carbon dioxide and help slow climate change. In fact, the Rodale research shows that:
“If only 10,000 medium sized farms in the U.S. converted to organic production, they would store so much carbon in the soil that it would be equivalent to taking 1,174,400 cars off the road, or reducing car miles driven by 14.62 billion miles.
- Encouraging Biodiversity, Animal Health and Welfare
Insects, birds, fish and all sorts of other species experience problems when humans decide to destroy their natural habitat in change for money and greed.
Organic farming not only helps preserve more natural habitat areas but also encourages birds and other natural predators, which assists in natural pest control. Additionally, animals who live on organic farms are exposed to clean, chemical-free grazing that helps keep them naturally healthy and resistant to illness. As a perk for organic farmers, happy and healthy organic animals are productive organic animals.
In general, the more biodiversity there is on a farm, the more resilient it will be to issues like bad weather, disease, and pests.
Watch this about regenerative farming:
To learn more about biodiversity, check out this Green Fact.