Diet and land: Why organic farming is ‘less sustainable’ than conventional


[Editor’s note: Steven Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine.]

Perhaps the biggest problem with organic farming is that it uses more land than conventional farming. Most of the negative impact of farming is due to land use. … There is nothing you can do to make a farm better for the environment than a natural ecosystem.

In other words – if you really care about the environment, then you should support any practice which minimizes land use in food production. These practices also have to be sustainable with a growing world population. This means embracing GMO technology, and using evidence-based rather than ideology based farming practices.

The latest study to support the conclusion that organic farming is inefficient comes from Germany. They compare what they consider to be a typical organic diet with a typical standard diet on two measures, carbon footprint and overall land use.

The carbon footprint of the organic and conventional diets were the same – no significant difference.

[T]he organic diet uses 40% more land than the conventional diet. That is a huge difference. That is in line with other studies which show organic farming uses 20-40% more land than conventional farming. That difference is likely to grow as we make progress with GMOs, which are banned by organic farming rules.

Screen Shot at PM

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Organic Farming is Bad for the Environment

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