organic vs conventional farming environmental impact


An overall assessment of organic crops in comparison to integrated crop production (conventional) led to the conclusion that environmental impacts of organic farming are in general equal or lower than impacts of conventional farming. N content of farmyard manure) should be generated and compiled so as to be available for use within LCA inventories. The world cannot eat a US diet. Homing in on the differences between organic food production and conventional food production, the study concludes that due to organic farming's inefficient yields, it generally results in a greater environmental impact than conventional farming methods. “Eat Monsanto products.. or die! Improvements are needed regarding a more precise differentiation between farming systems and regarding the development of N emission models that better represent actual N-fluxes within different systems. This isn't the first study to raise questions over the greater environmental cost of organic farming recently. Since joining New Atlas Rich’s interests have broadened to encompass the era-defining effects of new technology on culture and life in the 21st century. Source: Chalmers University of Technology, Update (Dec. 18, 2018): After receiving numerous comments questioning the funding of the research, we reached out to Stefan Wirsenius, one of the researchers responsible for the study, for clarification. Who paid for this study? The crop yields and economics of organic systems, compared with conventional systems, appear to vary based on the crops, regions, and technologies employed in the studies. The studies show that impacts per area farmed land are usually less in organic systems, but related to the quantity produced impacts are often higher. "Our results suggest that high-yield farming could be harnessed to meet the growing demand for food without destroying more of the natural world," says Andrew Balmford, lead author on this earlier study. What the scientific paper does say is that meat from ruminants have 100 times the carbon impacts compared to plant based foods. We would need another Earth to sustain that. However, LCA studies comparing agricultural products from conventional and organic farming systems report a wide variation in the resource efficiency of products from these systems. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. Environmental impacts of organic and conventional agricultural products – Are the differences captured by life cycle assessment? Of course trying to calculate the environmental impact of a person's individual diet is a little more complicated than simply suggesting they don't eat organic food. Reasons for this may be that N-models are not well adapted to the mode of action of organic fertilizers and that N-emission models often are built on assumptions from conventional agriculture leading to even greater deviances for organic systems between the amount of N calculated by emission models and the actual amount of N available for emissions. I totally agree with matthew4506! We think we have no limits but this planet doesn't belong to us, we belong to it! A new international study into the impact of agricultural land use on climate change has found organic food production is worse for the climate than conventional farming, due to the fact that it needs greater areas of land to grow produce. The paper also assumed that organic farming would require the destruction of habitats that are already store high amounts of carbon. So you can both save carbon and save the environment from the impacts of agri-chemicals by eating less - or no - meat. “If we use more land for food, we have less land for carbon sequestration. Or the cost to the general population caused by health problems linked to pesticides entering the food chain? Duh! I really hope that more and more smart people step into organic farming because fintech and law are the most IT affected sectors to be replaced by more and more AI algorithms. Conventional and organic farming methods have different consequences on the environment and people. With appropriate use of pesticides, less resources (such as fertilizers, land, irrigation) are wasted on pests and weeds – thus limiting the general effects of farming. Conventional Farms Beat Organic Farms When it comes to crop yields, organic farms are about 20% less efficient than conventional farms. "Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. A more precise differentiation of farming systems is needed within LCA. The paper also says "Organic systems might offer health and environmental benefits we could not investigate with our data set" so really looking at what farming system is better needs a broader perspective. We reviewed 34 comparative LCA studies of organic and conventional agricultural products to analyze whether this result is solely due to the usually lower yields in organic systems or also due to inaccurate modeling within LCA. A large study published earlier this year called for more efficient "high-yield" farming to better make use of land already cleared for the purpose. Called a "carbon benefits index," this calculation measures the agricultural output of a given hectare of land in terms of volume of product and carbon dioxide emissions. This greed is destroying everything around us and ourselves. Organic farming has a smaller carbon footprint, conserves and builds soil health, replenishes natural ecosystems for cleaner water and air, all without toxic pesticide … "The type of food is often much more important. What about looking at the conversion of intensive farmland, which has low soil carbon (and more importantly erodes the soil resource), to organic farming with greater soil carbon and stable soils. I would also question who funds such narrow minded research. good boy...!”. Who benefits from the study? ", New research suggests organic farming has a greater impact on carbon emissions and the climate than conventional farming methods, The climate impact from Swedish wheat and peas produced organically, compared with conventional farming methods, Stefan Wirsenius/Chalmers University of Technology, Although direct emissions from organic agriculture are often lower – due to less use of fossil energy, among other things – the overall climate footprint is definitely greater than for conventional farmed foods, Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology. Does anyone really think you can concoct any bullshit, attach the words "research" or "new study" and it becomes reality??? For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference – for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent," says Wirsenius. The total greenhouse gas impact from organic farming is higher than conventional farming.”. This article does a bit of cherry picking of the paper to increase the click-bait factor and wind up anyone who actually thinks that it is important to consider just the carbon storage implications of farming. We revealed considerable bias in comparative LCA studies on agricultural products. This is totally unbelievable! The classic retort is that is the cost of having an environmentally friendly farm. The new research developed a novel metric for calculating the carbon footprint of specific land use. But when it comes to the climate impact, our study shows that organic food is a much worse alternative, in general.". The most critical points we identified relate to the nitrogen (N) fluxes influencing acidification, eutrophication, and global warming potential, and biodiversity. With interests in film, new media, and the new wave of psychedelic science, Rich has written for a number of online and print publications over the last decade and was Chair of the Australian Film Critics Association from 2013-2015. We recommend adjusting N- and C-emissions during farmyard manure management and farmyard manure fertilization in plant production to the feed ration provided in the animal production of the respective farming system leading to different N- and C-compositions within the excrement. This comparison measures the relative impact ratio of organic to conventional agriculture, whereby a value of 1.0 means the impact of both systems are the same; values greater than 1.0 mean the impacts of organic systems are higher (worse) (for example, a value of 2.0 would mean organic impacts were twice as high as conventional); and values less than 1.0 mean conventional systems are worse … Finally, we recommend conducting consequential LCA – if possible – when using LCA for policy-making or strategic environmental planning to account for different functions of the analyzed farming systems. He reiterated that the research "had no financial support or links to industries and economic interests linked to conventional farming. 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