(Natural News) It’s hard to find fault with consuming organic food, but those who are against it for whatever reason – like synthetic pesticide manufacturers – often claim it is not sustainable and would require too much land to pull off. Now, new research shows just how flawed that particular argument is. Indeed, a worldwide conversion to organic farming could be remarkably sustainable as long as some changes to current food production and consumption habits are made at the same time.
There are a lot of ways that industrial agriculture has increased the availability of food, but this has come at a significant cost to our environment. For example, it has led to an oversupply of reactive nitrogen that pollutes our water and soil, losses in biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. This is in addition to the effects that pesticides and herbicides have on human and animal health.
Organic agriculture, on the other hand, eschews the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. With its focus on crop rotations, closed nutrient cycles, and soil fertility, it is certainly a better choice for the environment, but it tends to have lower yields, thereby requiring more land in order to produce the same amount of food.
Now, researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Alpen-Adria University in Austria, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture have written an open-access article in Nature Communications that shows just how organic agriculture could feasibly feed the world after all.
They say that accomplishing this worthwhile endeavor requires just a few complementary changes in our global food system. For example, reducing the amount of arable land that is used to grow animal feed and the drop in livestock and animal-based products that goes along with it could help quite a bit as people consume less meat – something that would also have positive effects on human health.Reducing food waste could also help make this transition a reality. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, as much as 40 percent of the food that is produced is wasted around the planet. Taking measures to try to stem this problem could go a long way toward a more efficient use of resources.