Many consumers, including myself, lean toward buying organic foods today because they’re supposedly a healthier alternative due to a lack of pesticides. The other day I was reading an article covering ways to prevent climate change. I saw an article that caught my eye, describing ways to help the environment, and said “organic food is not good for the climate”. That immediately piqued my interest, and I decided to look into it. The debate over whether organic farming is good for the climate has been a polarized issue due to the lack of concrete evidence. While it is hard to give a definite answer as to whether organic food is beneficial for the environment, scientists are continuing to conduct research on this. Let’s take a look at what we have know.
I’ll start with the benefits of organic farming. It is considered a sustainable alternative to conventional farming because of the lack of pesticides. Therefore, it leaves better soil quality, reduces water pollution from pesticide run-off, etc. In addition, organic food supports pollinators because of their lack of chemicals leading to a greater biodiversity. Biodiversity is extremely important to maintain a balanced environment. Organic farming also forms healthy soil and stores carbon in the soil. Clearly, there are many benefits of it.
Based on this information going organic seems like the best thing to ever exist. However, you might be wondering why there is still skepticism on whether organic food is considered bad for the environment. Well for starters, organic farming has a lower yield, and this means that it needs more space to meet the demand of its consumers. With the demand of food projected to increase by 59 to 98 percent by 2050, organic food seems neither feasible nor sustainable. In fact, a study from the journal Nature Communications found that the use of organic farming in England and Wales leads to increases in greenhouse gas emissions. On the contrary, if they used conventional practices carbon emissions can be reduced by 20%, a significant amount. As you can see, organic farming isn’t all “rainbow and sparkles”.
Now, based on this you can see why there is a blurred line between good and bad when it comes to organic food and its effect on the environment. There is no doubt that organic is better than conventional farming in terms of health, however we’re just going to have to wait and see what future research shows us about its relation to earth.