Sunday, 6 November 2011

Organic versus Non-Organic

Organically grown food:
- Farmers use natural fertilizers such as manure, cover crops, and compost to build up a healthy, nutritious soil.
- Control weeds by hand-weeding, crop rotation and mulching.
- Use birds and insects to help manage pests.
- Prohibit irridation.
- Genetically modified crops are not allowed.

Non-organic grown food:
- Synthetic or chemical fertilizers and sewage sludge bolster soil fertility.
- Control weeds by chemical herbicides.
- Pest, fungal and disease is controlled by chemical pesticides.
- Irradiation is permitted to kill pathogens in various foods.
- Genetically modified seeds are allowed.

Anna Lappé, 2010 

Here we have two different directions to choose, either a method that takes into account the environment and which also may help to reverse the climate crisis, or a method that requires more energy from the earth, and which is dependent on fossil fuels to keep things going. Why do we even have a choice to choose non-organic?

The most common argument is that organic production can´t feed the entire world's population, and that it is the poorest who would suffer the most. Is it then so that organic production would suppress food security in the world and be a threat to those who allready are poor? The truth is quite to the contrary if we look at recent research that shows organic production to be more resistant to chlimate changes and produce as much food over a longer timespan as non-organic.  As for the poorest and most hungry of us, they are actually farmers, who produce most of the food in the world but still go hungry. The richest of us are the ones that control the processing of raw materials and have the power to underpay the true value of what food actually costs to produce. 
Organic production will, in that sense shift the distribution of power in the world, and acknowledge the farmers and their essential wisdom that have been passed down from generation to generation.

As consumers who want to buy organic, we just have to do our best, and select it as far as we can. It is nevertheless good to see that the demand for organic food is increasing, and that the offer is actually a tiny bit better. We have to pay a little more, but in the long run it will pay off!


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