A is for Apple, O is for Organic

According to a 30-year study by the Rodale Institute organic farms rule. The findings from this study debunk conventional wisdom on farming.

Does conventionally grown food have the same nutrients as organic? While the jury may still be out on that one, organic produce comes without the pesticides.

Conventionally grown food is said to produce more. This claim is used to excuse the amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers used. I’ve heard that so often that I actually began to believe it.

Gabriella enjoys a big juicy apple.

The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution.

Here are some key differences between conventional farming and organic farming: Conventionally grown food uses chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. Organic produce uses natural fertilizers, beneficial insects to reduce pests and disease. They rotate crops, till and hand weed.

Apples top the “Dirty Dozen” list. An apple may be sprayed up to 16 times with as many as 30 different pesticides (there are 42 in the USDA Pesticide Data Program).

The Study’s Findings:

Organic yields match conventional yields.

Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.

Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.

Organic farming uses 45 percent less energy and is more efficient.

Conventional systems produce 40 percent more greenhouse gases.

Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.

The key to sustainable agriculture is healthy soil. This is the foundation for present and future growth. Organic farming is far superior to conventional systems when it comes to building, maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil. For soil health alone, organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional. When one considers yields, economic viability, energy usage, and the all-important human health component, it’s clear organic farming is superior.


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