Organic Needed More than Ever

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“Given that current production systems leave nearly one billion people undernourished, the onus should be on the agribusiness industry to prove its model, not the other way around.”

This is the main point Barry Estabrook, former contributing editor of Gourmet magazine and author of Tomatoland, seeks to drive home in his article “Organic Can Feed the World,” in today’s Life section of The Atlantic.

In the article he addresses naysayers like Steve Kopperud (a Washington, DC lobbyist for agribusiness), who publicly professes that organic farming methods simply “can’t” feed the world’s current population of 7 billion, much less our future population of billions more. Estabrook counters this point by asserting that if we have one billion hungry people on the planet right now, the current system isn’t adequate either…

The issue’s a hot one, and getting hotter as the world’s population continues to grow and as we learn more about the benefits of eating organically and the health risks associated with “conventional” growing methods. As with every issue, the answer’s complicated. While Kopperud asserts that only mass-production-oriented agribusiness can feed the world, Estabrook says this of those who share Kopperud’s viewpoint: “they persist in repeating this as an irrefutable fact, even as one scientific study after another concludes the exact opposite: not only that organic can indeed feed nine billion human beings but that it is the only hope we have of doing so.”

Check out the article to visit a number of scientific studies from different organizations concluding that organic farming practices can dramatically improve yield, and are more ecologically sustainable than conventional practices.

(image: Life in Retro(bel)grade)

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