Environmental Benefits of Organic Food Production

Sprout

Conventional food producers claim that there are not enough scientific evidence for organic food production being better for the environment. This may be true but the facts speak for themselves.

Fact number 1 - organic food production eliminates soil and water contamination. Since organic food production strictly avoids the use of all synthetic chemicals, it does not pose any risk of soil and underground water contamination like conventional farming which uses tons of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

Fact number 2 - organic food production helps preserve local wildlife. By avoiding toxic chemicals, using of mixed planting as a natural pest control measure, and maintaining field margins and hedges, organic farming provides a retreat to local wildlife rather than taking it away its natural habitat like conventional agriculture.

Fact number 3 - organic food production helps conserve biodiversity. Avoidance of chemicals and use of alternative, all natural farming methods has been shown to help conserve biodiversity as it encourages a natural balance within the ecosystem and helps prevent domination of particular species over the others.

Fact number 4 - organic food production helps the fight against global warming. Most organically produced food is distributed locally. As a result, less energy is used for transportation which automatically reduces carbon dioxide emissions which are believed to be the main cause of global warming.

Fact number 5 - organic food production reduces erosion. Organic crop production methods do not foresee elimination of all vegetation except for crops. As a result, more soil is covered with vegetation preventing the wind to carry away the topmost fertile soil layers.

Environment

Despite the lack of scientific studies and existence of a few which even deny the environmental benefits of organic food production, there is no doubt about which food production methods cause the greatest harm to the environment. The fact alone that organic farming methods strictly forbid the use of all synthetic chemicals is enough to reject allegations about organic food production not being any more environmentally friendly than the conventional farming practices. The effects of pesticides and artificial fertilizers have been scientifically proven seriously damaging to both the environment and human health. Pesticides do not only kill pests but many beneficial insects too including honey bees, while some are even lethal for small mammals and birds. But their effect on the environment does not end here. Pesticides and fertilizers penetrate deep into the soil reaching the underwater which is the main source of drinking water in many parts of the world including a large part of the UK.

Organic food production is by some accused to use more land to produce equal amounts of food. This may be true but unlike conventional agriculture, organic farming is significantly less disturbing for the environment because it often supports the local wildlife rather than striping it of its natural habitat. In fact, many organic farmers encourage wildlife species such as birds, bats and other predatory animals to live on their farmland and assist them in pest control.