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

| | May 30, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[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.

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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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