Nowadays, people are more concerned about the food we eat and the water we drink. Agriculture as we may know it has changed drastically over the years, adapting to serve the quantity for the demand instead of the quality. Not so long ago, some of our grandparents implemented organic agriculture as a means of survival. However, today we view organic as a luxury, that’s why some of the organic products on the market are so expensive and rare.
As the human population grew over the years, it’s natural that the demand for food has increased as well. This has led agriculture to neglect the organic approach and instead mass produce crops and meet the society’s demands. As our climate is now changing and slowly starting to threaten to destroy us, unless we stop pushing nature in wrong direction – the question of, is organic farming the future business arose once more -it is and it has always been, only somewhere along the way, humanity has completely forgotten about it and are only now starting to remember.
Organic vs. Intensive Farming
Mass producing or intensive farming basically means doing everything to increase the yields. This involves using more agricultural machinery, use of synthesized chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers as well as genetic technology. This method however has potential side effects such as soil erosion, soil compaction and the overall decline in soil fertility. Organic farming on the other hand, is concerned about the soil integrity and the pollution and contamination to earth and water caused by synthesized chemicals and intensive farming.
Organic farming propagates low-till agriculture in order to preserve the natural consistency of soil. Although, the use of herbicides and pesticides is still a necessity, chemicals that are harmful for both people and the environment should be excluded from such products in organic farming. Another issue is that of fertilizers, unlike intensive farming that uses synthesized fertilizers, organic farming is for the use of natural recourses such as manure, compost and plant residue that will not only be beneficial to soil itself but also exclude the harmful effects of chemicals for both human and animal food consumption .
Genetically modified organisms, in this case crops and vegetables, are humanity’s solution to harsh environments, bugs and harmful weeds that pollute the cultures, allowing the corps to survive and produce food even in devastating conditions. Objectively, this was a noble intent and a good idea as a contingency plan if we ever face the full wrath of climate change.
However, according to some sources, GMO crops could actually prove to do more harm to soil, decreasing its fertility and creating a lot of soil erosion – making the job for geotechnical engineering research of finding ways for soil remediation even more troublesome. Furthermore, GMO seeds can spread through pollen and infest neighboring crop fields and contaminating cultures. But since these claims are based on theories alone and without actual testing, GMO products were released to fulfill the ever increasing market demand and of course, turn a great profit.
Benefits of Organic Farming
Organic farming is immensely beneficial to everyone and everything. By using cover crops, crop rotation, and minimal tillage, among other things, organic practices ensure the soil integrity remains intact as well as reducing soil erosion and compaction. Encouraging the natural consistency of soil provides necessary fertility for future crops to prosper.
Organic farming prohibits using of harmful chemical based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides while relying on natural means and thus greatly reducing the possibility of ground water pollution. Furthermore, switching to organic agriculture is recommended in the areas with high water pollution as a restorative measure.
By reducing the agrochemical needs which require large quantities of fossil fuel to be produced, organic agriculture reduces the need for non-renewable energy consumption. Organic farming contributes to reducing of greenhouse effect and global warming because its practices help carbon monoxide to return to the soil favoring carbon shortage. Furthermore, organic agriculture enables greater biodiversity and ecological services, being valuable to humans, animals and the environment.
This brings us back to the question, is organic farming the business of tomorrow? Organic farming is beneficial to earth, water, air, humans and animals. It will help us save the environment and improve the quality, safety and healthiness of the food we consume. The answer is quite obvious, organic farming is in fact the business of tomorrow.