Soil Association ‘bemused’ by organic farming criticism

What do you make of this?

Article from Farmers Weekly.

World Organic News

The Soil Association has hit back at suggestions that organic farming could be worse for the environment than conventional farming methods.

Climate expert Lord John Krebs told the Oxford Farming Conference on Wednesday (7 January) that organic farming might do more damage to the environment due to increased land required and carbon released from the soil.

“The fact is organic farming is, in general, less productive per hectare than conventional farming and if we want to produce more organic food we need more land to do it, which releases more carbon into the atmosphere,” he said.

See also: Only 100 harvests left in UK farm soils, scientists warn

Lord Krebs, who advises the government on climate change policy, argued that agricultural methods, such as minimum or no tillage, could help to protect and manage soils and store carbon to prevent the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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6 Responses to Soil Association ‘bemused’ by organic farming criticism

  1. There are negatives with any sort of farming I guess to a certain extent. Dairy farming is a huge issue in NZ, nitrogen and phosphorous in waterways, erosion and carbon emissions from beasts (although grass will also use CO2 in photosynthesis). Organic farming may be less productive but it is so much kinder to the environment. What are your thoughts Helen?

    • Helen says:

      Well, I think it is always useful to get perspectives, otherwise you could end up in a blind alley.

      I understand that everything we do has an impact on the environment, made worse by the size of our population, which doesn’t stop growing. At the same time, environment is not the only consideration. Health is vital, too, and there I think there is a clear argument for organic methods of food production.

      It was interesting to learn from you that grass absorbs carbon – so, it has a use after all! That has actually got me wondering about how valid the anti-organic argument in the argument is, considering the planet was once covered in vegetation……

  2. We love eating our home produce .. Organic all the way! Tastes great and is loaded with nutrients.

  3. We grew organically for thousands of years. It seems our health problems worsened when we added pesticides, GMOs and processed foods. Increasing education, globally, will also reduce the birth rate. Further, eating lower on the food chain (vegetarian) can also make a huge difference. It takes close to 8 pounds of soy to make one pound of beef. Overgrazing is killing our top soil, but factory farming is even worse, not to mention horribly inhumane.

    Lots to think about. Thanks for sharing the post.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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