It isn’t just important for you and your family to eat organic. Organic farming benefits the world at large.
Take the pesticides. Please! (Only half kidding here.) No pesticides on the plant means no pesticide residue gets washed into the environment. That means other plants and animals in the wild won’t be affected. The scarcity of the bald eagle population, for example, was linked to DDT. The DDT and insects poisoned by DDT would get into the water. Fish swam in this water and ate the insects. Eagles would eat the fish and be poisoned by DDT, resulting in sick eagles and eggs with weak shells. Banning DDT resulted in a rise in the population of bald eagles in the U.S.
It’s not only the fish that need that water! Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can result in polluted groundwater and that can affect all local flora and fauna…including humans. Due to the use of mulch and correctly amended soil, many organic crops need less irrigation, meaning a conservation of water as well as not polluting what water there is.
Responsible management techniques such as crop rotation, organic fertilizer, minimum tilling, cover crops, inter-cropping and symbiotic associations are all important to the control of soil erosion. This not only increases soil biodiversity but reduces nutrient loss. Erosion due to over tillage can result in a low yield and an inferior development in crops. Smart soil conservation leads to healthy crops that will yield for many years.
Are you concerned about global warming? You should be! For one thing, the manufacture of synthetic fertilizer takes a lot more energy than simply waiting for Bessie to do her business. Organic farming can actually reduce global warming due to storing more carbon in the soil rather than having it rot above ground. According to a 23 year study at the Rodale Institute, if all croplands in the United States went organic the soil would absorb 580 billion pounds of excess carbon dioxide. That is approximately four times the amount of emissions that would be saved even if the fuel efficiency of all the country’s cars and trucks were doubled.
If you are seriously considering vegetarianism due to concern for animal welfare but just can’t live without milk and eggs, you may consider going organic. The cows and chickens on organic farms are not constantly penned up, but allowed to move about and act naturally. They are not fed animal byproducts but only the most wholesome of silage. Neither are they injected with hormones or antibiotics. A healthy animal results in a healthier product.
If environmental issues such as biodiversity, global warming, nitrogen run-off and soil erosion are important to you, you may want to consider eating organic. This results not only food that is better for you, but a world that is better for future generations.