Is organic farming and food a sustainable choice?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Producers of organic food claim that the way they grow food is more sustainable than any other. But these claims cannot stand close scientific scrutiny.

A 2014 report in the Journal of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences found that intensive organic agriculture, relying on solid organic matter, resulted in significant down-leaching of nitrates, a strict no-no in the eyes of anyone claiming to do sustainable farming.

Organic farming is good for kitchen gardens, but produces far less food. Organic agriculture typically yields an average of 20% to 50% less and imposes various stresses, especially on water. A meta-analysis in the Journal of Environmental Management showed that organic agriculture has more ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions per unit area.

The greatest myth about organic agriculture is it does not use pesticides, with the exception of more than 20 chemicals containing copper and sulphur as suits their convenience, and they have got these included in the US Department of Agriculture’s arbitrary organic rule.

Stanford University Medical School, in a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, has dismissed the claims of health and nutritional benefits of organic produce.

In a September 2014 article in the Scientific American, titled “Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not”, evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox writes, “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

In an article titled “The Organic Fable”, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote: “Organic has long since become an… obsession of the upper middle class that is able to afford it and oblivious, in their affluent narcissism, to the challenge of feeding a planet whose population will surge to 9 billion… and whose poor will get a lot more nutrients from two regular carrots they can buy for the price of one organic carrot.”

Read full, original post: The organic narcissists

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