Organic Farming May Protects the Environment Better Than Traditional Farming
There are two major benefits of growing your own vegetables with no pesticides: your health and the environment. Many people make the mistake of believing that organic gardening is all about being self-sufficient and having no pesticides or chemicals to worry about. In fact, growing your own vegetables is just as healthy as eating “in the city”. Just ask anyone who farms their own chickens and you’ll soon realize that they are just as much in control of their lives and the health of their chickens as you are.
Organic farmers use natural substances like manure, compost and worm castings to feed their crops. Manures are not the only things used either. Insecticides and other chemicals have been replaced by natural alternatives for decades. These substances still kill pests but do not affect healthy fruit or vegetable crops. Also, many organic farmers grow their crops without using synthetic pesticides or other man made substances.
The practice of organic farming has become more popular over the past few years due to increasing concerns about food safety. In particular, many people are concerned about genetically modified foods and pesticides. With increased awareness of environmental issues and the need to make farms more “green”, organic farming is booming. With this increase in demand, more people are now able to engage in organic farming.
The National Organic Program was established by the U.S. National Organic Standards Board. The goal of the National Organic Program is to assist U.S. farmers in achieving organic certification. By participating in the National Organic Program, certified organic farmers can get a “National Organic Seal”. The National Organic Standards Board offers certifications at every level (from the highest to the lowest). The seal guarantees that the farmer had followed all requirements necessary to receive the certification.
One of the first goals of the organic agriculture industry is to become carbon neutral. To do this, farmers must be careful about the pesticides they use. Biomass is a very efficient source for making fertilizer, so farmers can use as much as they want without having to worry about the consequences. Some studies have shown that switching to organic farming can cut the use of pesticides by up to 90%. Unfortunately, not all crops can be organically farmed, including those such as wheat, corn, cotton, alfalfa, soybeans, potatoes, rice, and sugar beets.
Another concern of organic farmers is that of soil contamination. Some studies have shown that farmers who used manure to feed their animals contained more toxins in their soil than did those who didn’t. In addition, farmers found that the number of pathogenic organisms (bacteria and viruses) that were present in the soil was higher on organic farms. The presence of “pathogens” can lead to the growth of “super bugs”, aphids, and even worms.
On an organic level, natural means of pest control are sought after because they have fewer negative side effects. Instead of using chemicals, natural methods of control include the use of beneficial insects, chemical barriers, rotational cropping, and plant diseases. Beneficial insects such as ladybirds and lacewings are known to prey on pests. Other beneficial insects include natural predators, such as lacewings and spiders.
When organic standards are used on a commercial scale, the benefits to the environment can’t be overstated. Biodiesel fuel and biofuels are made from biomass, and these practices wouldn’t be possible without the use of pesticides. If the goal of organic farming is to prevent as many pesticides as possible from being used on our food, the methods employed would certainly be less harsh than those of conventional farming. If organic standards were to hold true for small family farms, many families could make do with fewer pesticides. This would benefit the environment as well as those farmers who choose to grow food without pesticides.