Organic Connections: Eliot Coleman
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Forget the mommy wars, the real battle; for many stay at homes is just getting by.
BOB BEYFUSS: What you need to know about organic fertilizers – Kingston Daily Freeman
BOB BEYFUSS: What you need to know about organic fertilizersKingston Daily FreemanBefore I forget to mention it again, I must caution those of you who are using Permethrin tick repellents on your clothes that this chemical is highly toxic to cats. If you spray all your outdoor clothes as I do, you might not want to have your kitty …
Questions and Answers
Is it really necessary/worth it to buy all produce organic?
Organic food is not more healthy than non-organic. CNN and Wikipedia both site studies proving that.
Organic does not mean there are no pesticides applied to crops, it only means no man-made pesticides are used. There was an outcry a couple of years ago when a natural pesticide was being applied to organic food that caused quite a few reactions in people.
As an example, rattlesnake venom could be used to keep rabbits from eating lettuce. It is 100% organic since it comes from nature.
Overall, the cost is much higher and the environmental impact is still debated due to the higher use of petroleum leading to global warming. Although chemicals in your system are bad and is a big plus for organic, normal produce is actually pretty low in chemicals especially if you wash them.
What is organic farming? And what are the benefits and drawbacks to the environment and people?
Organic Farming, system of agriculture that uses environmentally sound techniques for raising crops and livestock that are free from most synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. Organic farmers typically rely on pesticides and fertilizers derived from plants, animal wastes, and minerals. They incorporate biological methods, such as the use of one organism to suppress another, to help control pests. The methods used in organic farming seek to increase soil fertility, balance insect populations, and reduce air, soil, and water pollution.
Organic farming is a small but rapidly growing sector of agriculture in the United States. Sales of organic foods increased from $1 billion in 1990 to more than $7 billion in 2001. Organic food sales are projected to increase to more than $20 billion by the year 2005. Exports of organic food products are also growing, particularly to Japan and Europe.
For consumers, the most obvious benefit of organic farming is health-related—the food produced has little or no pesticide residue. Some advocates of organic farming believe that organic food is more nutritious than food produced by conventional farming, although no valid studies support this claim.
Organic farming, however, has less obvious, longer-term benefits. Because it preserves and enhances topsoil, it increases the chances that future generations can continue growing food. It helps preserve aquatic life by minimizing the flow of toxic pesticides into streams, rivers, and lakes. And it encourages healthy populations of beneficial insects that keep destructive insects under control.
Opponents of organic farming argue that organic farming is less profitable, requiring more labor and management skill than a conventional farm. Savings on pesticides, fertilizers, and fuels, however, usually offset the cost of the extra labor. And the environmental benefits of organic farming represent long-term savings, not just for the organic farmer, but also for future generations.
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides applied to crops often leach into the soil and are carried by rain to rivers, contributing to water pollution, one of the most critical environmental problems of the 20th century. Organic farmers minimize water pollution by using non-toxic fertilizers and pesticides.
What are the benifits of organic farming as apposed to using fertilisers.
Organic vs Inorganic.
Organic farming supports healthy soils by avoiding synthetic fertilizers and using natural fertilizers such as rock powders, green manures, composts, raw manures (which are heavily restricted on organic farms but not at all restricted on conventional farms-that's right all farms be they conventional or organic do use manure).
Soils on a well managed organic farm are teeming with life that has a symbiotic relationship with the plant roots. Farms whose soil is treated with chemicals are basically dead so the farmer is forced to use more and more chemicals to keep the crops alive as the soil is not a player on these farms
Organic farms do not have the chemical run-off that conventional farms have that end up causing dead zones in the great river deltas of the planet such as the Mississippi River Delta.
A well managed organic farm will yield as much or more as a conventional farm but it does take about 10 to 15 years to rehab soils so they can produce well with no drugs/synthetic fertilizers. So an organic farm that is still healing the soils will not produce as much as a farm using synthetic fertilizers but once the healing is done and the soils healthy, the organic farm will produce more than the conventional farm.
Organic foods are more nutritious according to an ever growing body of peer reviewed work (see Http://www.ofrf.org, Http://www.organicconsumers.org, Http://www.rodaleinstitute.org for more information about this). This is especially true of organic meat, eggs and dairy. The animals raised on organic farms are simply put a lot healthier, less stress and not full of drugs, feed much higher quality grains and are allowed out on pasture. All that makes better tasting and far more nutrient dense meat, milk and eggs
Roscullion you are wrong that there is no definition of organic farming. See Http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop or Http://www.ifoam.org or Http://www.soilasscociation.org these are 3 of the biggest organic certifies on the planet and they have a lot of strict regulation and have well defined what makes an organic farm organic. You also seem to be totally unaware of all the research going on looking into various topics such as "is organic food more nutritious" (so far about 100 peer reviewed papers say yes), "can organic farming feed the world?" (again a strong yes based on good research), can organic out produce conventional farming techniques?" (again, a strong yes based on several of 25+ year long research projects).
I have noticed most the organic bashers never look up the pertinent research. They always just assume that there is no research going on at all and the discussion is all based on theory.