Climate change, smog, water pollution, and plastic waste are some of the most pressing environmental issues we face today. But beyond that, many people also question the process in which their food undergoes before consumption. How safe is the food being grown in conventional farms now? Are they free of traces of chemicals and pesticides that could harm human and animal health? Organic farming seems to be a viable solution to these matters.
But first, let us define what sustainability means. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway in 1987, first defined what sustainable development is. She said it is “a mode of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.” Authors of subsequent journals, studies, and researches agreed with this definition. They also agreed that sustainable development is anchored to three pillars: ecological, economic, and social.
The reason why organic farming is mostly linked to sustainable development is because of its ability to grow healthy and chemical-free food without sacrificing the environment and depleting its natural resources.
Less soil and water pollution
Non-organic food production causes major problems to soil and water pollution because of its use of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO), one-third of the world’s soil has already been degraded because of chemical-heavy farming techniques and deforestation. These increase the chance of soil erosion and global warming.
Organic farmers are prohibited from using chemical fertilizers. They instead aim to rebuild soil health in the most natural of ways—mainly, by using compost and mulch.
Not reliant on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
In the near future, we are going to have problems accessing oil-based fertilizers and pesticides. Many agree that oil will not last for generations and we will eventually see the end of the “oil era.”
This is why many people are now looking for ways to grow their food without using oil-based fertilizers and pesticides. Since we are moving away from oil, gas, and coal, we can focus on using natural fertilizers that will protect and sustain the environment rather than harm it.
Organic farming is beneficial to wildlife. Organic farms have greater biodiversity of plants, animals, and insects. In fact, an analysis of 66 scientific studies showed that organic farms have 30% more species on average than conventional farms. Chemical agricultural practices have resulted in a decline in the number of insects—including bees—in farms.
The transition to organic farming and the consumption of organically grown food will not only help protect the environment in the long run, but it is also beneficial to our health and the future of generations to come.