Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.

The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.

The key characteristics of organic farming are:

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
  • The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.

COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER

Knowone knows what is causing this problem in Europe and USA. Some of the possible causes are GMO crops, climate change, virus, mobile phone towers and many more. Albert Einstein once said if bees were to disappear mankind could only survive 4 years on earth. This is because 1/3 of the food we consume is reliant on bees. Until we are clear on the root cause/s of this problem the best solution is to support organic farmers and plant bee friendly flowers and trees.

Straus Family Creamery Organic Philosopy

Straus Family Creamery has been focused on sustainable business practices since its early beginnings in 1994. With a family history dating back to 1941, the family has always been a strong advocate of farmland preservation. Family farms are the backbone of the food supply, and organic farming is the most productive and least damaging of all techniques.

Sustainable Agriculture: Curing America’s Eating Disorder

The alternative to the longstanding American food policy of “cheap and lots” is to eat locally, eat seasonally and eat organic. Filmmaker Bonnie Bucqueroux and her dog Schmoopsie look at the sustainable agriculture movement, including a visit to Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm, where Dr. John Biernbaum discusses the options people have to grow their own food or to buy from local growers.