Why don’t more farmers adopt organic methods? Ethics.

November 13, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Organic food has quietly become a Big Ag juggernaut. Everyone talks aboutvideo games and the film industry, for example, but Big Organic dwarfs them and by next year it will be a $100 billion juggernaut.

The increase is partly because more farmers are taking advantage of the healthier margins and partly because organic marketing groups sell a healthfood mythology where cost is not a factor, so costs can rise along with more product. It is a miracle of capitalism.

But given a consumer-base that is wealthy and that is educated by advertising so completely, why don’t all farmers switch? It just takes paying for a sticker and promising to use an organic toxic chemical rather than a synthetic one, there is no testing of organic food.

The reason, according to a paper in the Journal of Marketing, is because conventional farmers know in their hearts and minds they are deceiving the public if they switch – making that change is like switching belief systems.

An organic farmer, by contrast, stressed the joy of bringing the earth back to life: “I had thousands of seagulls, but my chemical neighbor did not have one. Why was this? Earthworms. My soil is getting healthier because I’m not putting all the herbicides and pesticides out there.”

Real full, original article: “Chemical Farmers”: Profits Are So High, Why Don’t More Farmers Switch To Organic?

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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