An Introduction to Organic Farming (And Why We Should Support It)

image

Organic farming is a method of farming that rejects the aggressive machinery and chemicals used by conventional farming in favor of gentle techniques that are in accord with nature. Whereas conventional farmers use mechanical plows to till the soil, for instance, organic farmers prefer to use natural tillers – earthworms and microorganisms – to till the soil for them. And whereas conventional farmers use chemicals to spray the crops, organic farmers prefer to deal with pests using natural repellents.

Though organic farming cannot compare to conventional farming in terms of crop production per area, it surpasses it in all other avenues.

Reasons to Support Organic Farming

Environmentally-friendly – Organic farming methods observe the laws of Nature, are sustainable, and respect the rights of livestock and crops. Using natural farming methods, soil that has been degraded by chemicals, fertilizers, and machinery is healed. Soil ecology becomes balanced once again, and water returns to its natural purity.

Tastier and more nutritious crops – Organically-farmed crops are considerably more nutritious than crops that were modified and sprayed. In some specimens, crude fat, amino acids, protein, and trace minerals were identified to be 300 percent higher than in their non-organic equivalents. This is understandable, since a crop can only provide as many nutrients as the soil in which it grows allows. If the soil has suffered from erosion and its earthworms have been killed by machinery, then it will produce inferior crops.

Respect for life – Organic farmers do not feed their livestock growth hormones, antibiotics, or other poisons that damage the animals’ immune systems and make them more susceptible to disease. Organic farmers also tend to provide their animals with large spaces in which to walk and forage, whereas conventional farmers favor cages or cramped indoor environments.

No chemical fertilizers – Organic farmers do not use chemical fertilizers. Instead, they stick to natural alternatives. For example, fish amino acids provide nitrogen, eggshells provide calcium, and animal bones provide phosphorous. These alternatives are inexpensive as well as effective.

No pesticides or herbicides – Pesticides are used to kill insects that threaten crops. Unfortunately, many sprayed insects find their way into the crops anyway, meaning that the toxic pesticides are passed onto us as well! Therefore, instead of using chemical pesticides, organic farmers use alternatives such as alcohol, light, aromas, and poisonous plants, which do the job just as well. And when it comes to herbicides, most natural farmers don’t use an equivalent at all. Instead, they use the weeds as compost to create ideal growing situations for their crops.

Conclusion

As you can see, the benefits of organic farming are considerable. Conventional farming is not a wise practice; it favors the profits of today over the planet of tomorrow. Eventually, land that was repeatedly farmed using aggressive machinery and toxic chemicals will turn to desert, forcing the farmers to move outwards and degrade other locations like a virus. Organic farming, however, is embraced by farmers who love the land that sustains them and ourselves. Their gentle, natural methods of farming ensure that the soil remains rich, that the insects within it are happy, and that the crops produced are robust and nutritious. Therefore, if you care about your health and the environment, then it is a good idea to support your local organic farms whenever possible!

 

About the Author

Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world’s healthiest foods.

Michael Ravensthorpe

Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world’s healthiest foods.



  • Brian

    Guess it depends on what organic you are talking about. Industrial Organic or Locally grown (Non-USDA certified).

    Industrial we aren't really changing the mindset just the inputs, but it is good for the health of the land no longer subject to harsh chemicals. Until we buy locally grown getting rid of the long line of petroleum leading back to our food we aren't fixing the big problem imo.

    • Duke

      Your right the roundup ready sweet corn at my local market is awesome!!

  • Nicolas Giroux

    "Though organic farming cannot compare to conventional farming in terms of crop production per area, it surpasses it in all other avenues."

    Not quite true: if we talk about a monoculture of organic farming, then yes.
    But with the practice of intercropping or permaculture for example (along with other agroecological techniques), crops are much higher than conventional agriculture.

    Conventional (chemical) agriculture produces more per farmer on a monoculture basis.
    Certain forms of organic agriculture produce much more than its chemical counterpart, yet it requires more people to take care of. It also gets rid of this outrageous oversimplification of agriculture with the monoculture.

    Is it a good or bad thing? I believe if more people can get back to contact with source of food and nature, I guess it can only be good.