What impact does ever increasing organic food demand has on the environment?



What impact does ever increasing organic food demand has on the environment?

In: Earth Science

Less pesticide going in to the air, soil, and water means more insects which help pollinate plants and feed small animals which feed larger animals.

Basically pesticides are bad for the environment in many ways. Using less of it means happier environment.

Depends on what you’re measuring.

More organic generally means less petrochemical product usage (i.e. less herbicide, fungicide, pesticide, and fertilizer). However, more organic also means more land, water, and energy usage, as organic crops are considerably less efficient, meaning you need to grow more plant material to feed the same amount of people. The energy usage issue is the big one, though; you’re essentially trading lessened petrochemical products for increased carbon emissions into the atmosphere, unless you can provide entirely renewably-powered energy for the input products for your crops, as well as the energy needed to tend them (e.g. fuel for your tractor). In the overwhelming majority of the world, that energy is oil and coal.

Thus, whether or not organic is “better” broadly depends on where you’re growing it. In North America, where the soil is naturally extremely fertile and you have the benefit of winter (i.e. free pesticide and forced rest cycle), it *might* be a slight net benefit. In places like Brazil where you basically have to nuke the soil with chemicals in order to get anything to grow at all, it’d be an immense net loss from an environmental perspective, and that’s *before* you account for all the additional deforestation in order to open up the additional land needed for the less efficient organic crops.

Not to mention there’s no solid definition as to what “organic” actually means; it’s essentially a marketing gimmick, not an actual scientific or agricultural definition.

Organic farming is inefficient compared to indistrial techniques so there is much more loss to rot, disease and pests, which means you have to plant more crops, which require more land, water, nutrients, workers, higher prices, etc….The end product is good for the consumer, but it’s very inefficient and nit practical fir a large population.