Photo Credit: José Cruz/ABr
The debate between organic and conventional modes of farming are vast. While many people understand the higher quality of organic food, the way it is farmed is said to be less beneficial than conventional farming methods. However, according to a new 30-Year study conducted by the Rodale Institute, organic farming methods outperform conventional ones in areas such as soil and human health, yields, economic vitality, and energy use.
The study began in 1981 as a way to determine the effects of transitioning from chemical to organic agriculture. After an initial drop in yields, the organic system soon matched or surpassed those of chemical methods. What came out of this transitional stage was a long term comparison between the two modes of farming.
Among the study’s finding are:
- Organic yields match conventional yields
- Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought
- Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter
- Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient
- Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases
- Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional
In a time where our climate is unstable, we need a farming system that is more resilient and can adapt to change. Organic can achieve this while also being highly beneficial to both humans and the natural environment.