Organic vs. Conventional: Can We Feed the World?

Growth of organic farmland since the year 2000...

Growth of organic farmland since the year 2000 Development of organically managed land by world regions since 2000 Data: www.organic-world.net Deutsch: Entwicklung der Öko-Anbaufläche nach Weltregionen seit 2000 Daten: www.organic-world.net (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Population growth is a huge strain on the environment. Reducing family size is vital to saving the Earth, no matter how much the notion upsets some folks. Feeding the world‘s 7,013,987,392 people is a challenge and often cited as to why organic food is not as green as consumers believe.  In my opinion, this is just a myth.

Yes, we can feed the world organically!

Marc Gunther writes for GreenBiz.com:

New scientific research points to a key drawback of organic agriculture, unfortunately: It is typically less efficient and productive than conventional growing methods. That’s a problem for fans of organic because the world has a limited supply of farmland, a billion or so undernourished people, a growing population, an expanding middle class and therefore a vast appetite for affordable and nourishing food.

If, in fact, organic methods are less productive, scaling up the production of organic food at will require more land, contribute to deforestation and cost more than growing our food using conventional methods. That suggests that organic methods alone can’t feed the world in a sustainable way.

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Fluoride-Free, Eco-Cert Melvita Toothpaste for Children with Xylitol and Echinacea

It is not often you see a company disclose exactly the percentages of natural and organic ingredients, and when they do, it makes my job as a review much easier.  Melvita is such a company that adheres to EcoCert’s strict standards for cosmetics:

The basic principles of the Ecocert standard

To ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product, the Ecocert standard lays down:

1. The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. Ecocert therefore checks:

  • The absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.).
  • The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.

Organic vs. Conventional: Is the Proof in the Nutrition?

Many families chose to spend the extra money on organically grown foods because they are concerned about pesticide and herbicide residue, as well as environmental consequences.

According to the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT) at Rutgers University:

Surveys indicate that many consumers purchase organic foods because of the perceived health and nutrition benefits of organic products. In one survey, the main reasons consumers purchased organic foods were for the avoidance of pesticides (70%), for freshness (68%), for health and nutrition (67%), and to avoid genetically modified foods (55%) (Whole Foods Market 2005). Such consumers appear to be willing to pay the typical 10% to 40% price premium that organic products command.

There are even more benefits to consuming organic food than avoidance to toxic chemicals:  organic food is actually more nutritious the conventionally grown food.

The classic symptom of the standard American diet (SAD) is being overfed but undernourished.  How does this happen?  Not only our processed foods devoid of essential vitamins and minerals due to their lack of freshness and chemical process, but even the conventionally grown fruits and vegetables lack the same mineral content as their organic counterparts.

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Could the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 be the End to Farmers' Markets and Organic Farms?

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As spring is in the air (when the north wind does not blow), I have begun longing for the good times my children and I have at the local farmers’ market and contemplating our participation as vendors this year.  I can’t tell you how much we look forward to our weekly adventures at the farmers’ market, and how excited we are if we happen to visit a neighboring town on the day of their market; however, that could all change.

H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 could end farmers’ markets as we know it by requiring growers to register, be subject to inspections of their gardens by federal agents, and maintain safety records related to food production or face large fines.

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Growing Up Green: How To Raise an Eco-Aware Child

For parents committed to green living and environmental concsiousness, the greatest gift we can bestow upon our children — and to the world in which we live — is the spirit, passion and commitment to keeping our planet flourishing. 

We all want to ensure that our children are safe, happy and protected, and what better way to do that than by helping them preserve the earth, freeing the air from harmful contaminents and pollution, decreasing our dependence on — and wastefulness of – fuel and finding eco-friendly alternative energy sources.

Between in-home teaching and associations and resources committed to educating children about environmental protection and conservation, it’s easy get your kids out of diapers and off the grid!

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Green Role Models: Finally, an Organic Princess I Want my Daughter to Adore

The Organic Princess Maha Chakri SirindhornLittle girls love princess, but eco, feminist parents lament the adoration of helpless females who need rescued by princes.  My daughter has thankfully moved away from the princess phase, no matter how much I tried to shield her from its influence from the start, but she often still asks about real princesses.  I tell her that yes they exist, but that royal families aren’t necessarily role models.  Now, I have found a princess that is inspiring her subjects to grow organic vegetables.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand is calling on residents of Nan to plant organic gardens. Her own Thong Noi palace, which she visits once or twice a year, is a model of organic farming.  Somsak Yasang, the princess’ gardener, explains:

Sometimes the princess cuts vegetables in the backyard herself. The vegetables grown in the palace are served on her table.  The princess also sells home-grown vegetables at reasonable prices. Some of the surplus produce is processed and sold. Fruit including jackfruit, tamarind and papaya were donated to the nearby Nan Panyanugul school for mentally challenged children. [Read more...]