Organic Farming vs Conventional Farming
Organic Farming vs Conventional Farming is a major topic today. Organic food was once only found in health and specialty stores, but it is now quickly becoming a staple in most supermarkets. Today, we have a choice between buying something organically grown or something grown in a conventional manner. What’s the difference between the two? Read on to learn more.
What’s the difference between organic farming and conventional farming?
Organic farming pertains to the way farmers grow and process their agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and meat. Organic farmers do not use conventional methods to control their weeds or to fertilize the soil of their crops. Instead, they use natural fertilizers to feed their soil and crop rotation to avoid infestation.
When it comes to livestock, a conventional method would involve pumping the animal full of antibiotics and growth hormones to prevent disease and to increase animal growth and production. Organic approach avoids these as much as possible.
Organic farming has its environmental benefits and these are the following:
- Long-term sustainability: The environment faces many long-term changes occurring slowly over in time. Organic farming considers both medium and long-term effects of the modifications in the agroecosystem. The main goal of organic farming is to produce food while maintaining an ecological balance to avoid problems with soil fertility or pests.
- Soil: Organic soil building practices include crop rotations, intercropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers, and minimum tillage. These practices encourage the growth of fauna and flora in the soil to improve soil formation and create more stable ecosystems. As a result, nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the soil retains more nutrients and water. This is also essential in controlling soil erosion. With organic farming, soil biodiversity is increased, nutrient losses are reduced, and soil productivity is maintained and enhanced. Therefore, the need for chemical fertilizers is reduced and/or eliminated.
- Water: The use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides have greatly contributed to the pollution of groundwater. Countries such as France and Germany have implemented restorative measures by switching to organic agriculture. Alternatives to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides include the use of compost, animal manure, and green manure.
- Air and Climate Change: With organic farming, the use of non-renewable energy is reduced because agrochemical needs are decreased. Because organic carbon is retained in the soil with organic farming practices, the greenhouse effect is mitigated and the effects of global warming are reduced. Make sure to recycle organics when you can
How does organic food differ from non-organic food?
Size and shape: The difference in appearance between organic and non-organic food is almost instantly noticeable. Organically produced food comes in a variety of shapes and sizes that often look imperfect. In contrast, non-organic food products look relatively the same — all because non-organic food is treated with growth-enhancing substances and is commonly subjected to standards inspection by the US Department of Agriculture. The same goes out to organically-grown meat, which is typically smaller because organic meat products are not treated with any growth-enhancing substances commonly used in non-organic meat production.
Additives, pesticides, and other chemicals: Organically-grown produce were grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, additives, fortifiers, and antibiotics. In other words, organic products contain if any, far fewer artificial components than their non-organic counterparts.
Do you prefer organic food over non-organic food? What are your reasons? Tell us why in the comments section below.