Somewhat; organic farming does show results in having lower ecological impacts than conventional methods using fertilizers and pesticides, but can still produce more carbon dioxide than conventional methods depending on the item being produced. This is the case with organic milk: organic milk produced 1.23 kg. per liter of carbon dioxide, while conventional means of making milk only produces 1.06 kg. per liter.
Generally speaking, organic food is more environmentally friendly because it involves less chemicals that become intorduced into the environment. Pesticides and other chemicals used on farms are notorious for becoming runoff that gets into streams and rivers. What is not always considered, however, is the environmental cost of transporting organic food, which often has to come from a great deal further away than other food. Studies have shown that the fuel consumption used in transportation often offsets any benefits from the organic farming process.
Organic food relies on plant vigor, close monitoring, and targeted, focused application of minimally toxic or non-toxic natural garden pest control measures when pests do become a problem. It relies on intact, diverse ecosystems. Biodiversity above ground controls pests, while biodiversity below ground (the soil food web) provides the nutrients needed for crops.
Chemicals simplify ecosystems. Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are “dirty bombs” that do a lot of collateral damage to non-target species.
Take the conventional approach to growing strawberries. where the soil is fumigated with methyl bromide under huge plastic sheets to sterilize the soil before planting. The first soil organisms to recover are the pathogens that attack the strawberries, because they’ve evolved some resistance to methyl bromide after decades of application. In normal soil, these pathogens would be weak competitors in a field of thousands of species; they’d be competing with beneficial fungi, bacteria, and nematodes that either attack them, or crowd them out. Methyl bromide eliminates their competition, and monoculture provides a huge field of their food source, so they surge back within a year or two, and the whole process has to be repeated–but with higher doses of methyl bromide.
Even the “inert” carrier oils in pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are lethal to parasitic wasps–tiny, gnat-sized wasps which are key species for controlling pests before they get out of hand. Nitrate fertilizers inhibit beneficial fungi, which are critical for normal nutrient cycling in soil.
Organic farming discourages the use of harmful pesticides/herbicides/insecticides, which can kill plants and animals other than the intended “pests” and can pollute both the air and groundwater, not to mention the soil.
Organic farming practices were designed to encourage soil and water conservation and to reduce pollution.
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC