The Truth about Organic Food
Part II: Which Type of Agriculture Is Better for the Environment - Conventional or Organic Agriculture?
|Organic cultivation of mixed vegetables on an organic farm in Capay, California.|
Since 1978, the soil scientist Paul Mäder has been comparing conventional wheat cultivation with organic wheat cultivation in a unique long-term experiment. The land where wheat is conventionally grown is cultivated with artificial fertilizer and pesticides while the organic land is cultivated with stable manure.
The soil scientist discovered that the wheat yields stemming from organic cultivation were 20% less over the long period compared to the wheat from conventional cultivation. However, the expenditure in organic cultivation was 40% less due to an excellent nutrient efficiency of organic agricultural systems.
Although yields are lower in organic agriculture, the yields could be kept sable during the given period thanks to the healthy soil and the absence of artificial fertilizer. The soil is enlivened due to the activity of earthworms and microorganisms which results in a higher nutrient efficiency. This can be proven through the presence of an enzyme which provides the plant with phosphor that is bound in the ground. The soil samples showed that the enzyme concentration in organically cultivated soils was twice as high as in conventional soils. Organically cultivated soil also leads to a greater biodiversity as well as protection against soil erosion. As chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen are not used in organic farming, the energy consumption is about 53% lower. This is due to the fact that in order to produce one kilogram of pure nitrogen, three liters of oil are necessary.
We can see the great advantage of organic farming: it is more environmentally friendly than conventional farming methods.