• It is an agricultural method that promotes the useof natural fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides andanimal feed.• In addition, it is the practice of crop rotationand the introduction of “beneficial pests” tomaintain soil productivity.• Farmers also add natural materials like compostand minerals to increase soil health and ensure agood yield. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lexXYzLQwDo
To be classified as “Certified Organic” a farmermust ensure his crops meet the standards of theCOABC or the Certified Organic Associations ofBritish Columbia in BC. This can include: • Treating animals in a humane way • Using quality composts • Producing food with no synthetic colours or flavours
A lot of research has been done about the effects oforganic Farming. So what are some of the positives? • Organically grown food may be healthier. A study done by researchers at California of University, Davis, has found that food produce by organic methods contain up to 58% more polyphenolics (an antioxidant) than conventionally produced food. The researchers concluded that the higher levels of polyphenolics, which plants use as a natural defense system, could be attributed to the greater amount of pests they must fight. This is another way of saying that pesticides and herbicides could be lower a plants rate of phenolic production.
• It’s Good for the environment too!One of the main reasons for farming organically is to protect andmaintain the health of the soil. To do this farmers use nutrient-richcomposts that contain only organic materials, they add minerals likerock phosphate and greensand and they practice crop rotation.The use of GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms is a controversialtopic. Organic farmers do not use them, but they are a trend in manylarge argicultural sectors. Not only are GMOs unnatural, but they havebeen linked to excess leeching of soil nutrients which may cause soildegradation and ultimate desertification.Water is another has become a big issuelately. Because no chemicals are used inorganic farming, the possible groundwatercontamination is nonexistent.
• It’s good for the economyAgriculture is a major industry in Canada. Organic farming, though muchmore specialized holds plenty of financial benefits. • large opportunity for rural jobs. • less external costs for unnecessary pesticides, fertilizers, etc. • It removes the need for reversing the effects of soil degradation. • The damaging effect of chemicals from agricultural practices on people’s health may be expensive in the long run. Organic farming alleviates that possibility.
There has been a lot of talk about the benefits oforganic farming, but what are some negatives? • It might not be sustainable/profitable Many studies conducted on organic farming have concluded that the yields provided are not productive enough to be profitable. One such study was done in Switzerland over a 21 year period. The researchers found that organic yields were 20% lower than those of conventional farming. With projections of a massive population increase over the next few decades, food production is going to be a hot-button issue. If organic farming cannot meet the demand, is there any point?
• Is organic worth the steep price?The cost of a conventionally grown 5lb bagof red grapefruits is $3.00 at Save-On. Atthe same store you can purchase only 3organic red grapefruits for $2.00. Thisprice seems ridiculous when many studieshave shown that regular fruit is just asnutritious as organic. • Organic food has become a status symbol • In our current economic crisis, is it really worth it?
• Organic agricultural practices are a promising methodthat will hopefully be expanded in the near future.•The benefits of buying, eating, and producing organicallywell out weighs the negatives• The price may be a factor in deciding to buy organic butthe health of our soil should be more important.• In our environmentally conscious world, people need tobe more informed about how their food is produced andwhat effects that is having on the earth and our futures.