When most people hear the term “organic”, they think of decreased chemical use. In reality, organic agricultural production involves so much more than that.
Organic agriculture is a fairly strict form of sustainable agriculture; a way of producing food products without harming the land.
Its main goal is to work the land without preventing future generations from being able to use it as well.
By buying organic products, you’re not only feeding your family safer food and preventing hazardous chemicals from entering the environment; you’re also protecting future generations.
Whats the goal of sustainable agriculture?
One goal of sustainable agriculture is to conserve natural resources such as water. Water is conserved by growing plants that are suitable to the local environment.
Instead of irrigating dry areas, sustainable farmers simply grow crops more suited to a dry environment. Many traditional farmers choose to irrigate because crops that require more water tend to sell for a higher value.
Sustainable producers also conserve water by taking measures to prevent runoff. This keeps the water where it falls and where gets the most use.
Organic producers conserve soil?
Along with water, organic producers also take measures to conserve soil. This may seem silly because dirt is everywhere, but when crops are taken care of properly, the soil is their means of life.
It contains beneficial organisms and nutrients, and has the correct conditions for good growth. When the ground is overworked or overgrazed by cattle, the soil washes away, and chemicals must be used to make it right again.
The soil that washes away also ends up in lakes, rivers, water supplies, and other areas where it can be more of a problem than a benefit.
Organic farmers also conserve energy by using less fossil fuels. This also cuts down on environmental pollution. As I already said, these producers work the land less.
Most organic producers sell their products locally?
Since traditional farm equipment requires gasoline, using this equipment less means cutting back on fossil fuel usage. Most organic producers also choose to sell their products locally.
This means that the products don’t have to ship as far and even less fuel is consumed. If more farmers took these steps, it could drastically cut down on the amount of carbon pollution there is in the atmosphere.
When you see an organic farm, it is probably not a large sprawling acreage. By buying organic products, you are supporting small family farms instead of large faceless corporations.
And while organic products may cost more, they don’t include hidden and sometimes immeasurable costs like cleaning up chemical pollutants. This promotes an honest economy.
Is Conventional farming sustainable?
Conventional farming is non-sustainable. By definition this means we can’t keep doing it forever. Eventually we will destroy the soil quality, use up all the water supplies, or do something else to halt traditional farming.
With the growing world population, more and more food products will be needed in the near future. By using organic agriculture, we are encouraging less advanced cultures to do so as well, preventing further degradation of the environment.
While it may not seem like a lot, each person helps. By buying organic products, and encouraging others to do so as well, you are taking a small dent out of the problems traditional agriculture is causing.
You are also helping to send a message to traditional producers that some of their methods are unethical and unacceptable.