The Benefits of Organic Farming
In today’s world, there are growing concerns over the food we eat in terms of how it is grown or raised. These concerns do not only stop at our own individual health and the health of our families, it follows on to the health of our environment, our wildlife and the welfare of the animals used within these farming practices.
Many crops we eat are sprayed with fertilizers to help them grow, and contaminated with pesticides including; insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, to kill unwanted pests damaging the crops. Although, in some localities many dangerous toxic chemicals are banned for use on edible productions, we are still using chemicals which are damaging to the environment and our health. There are over 300 pesticides used in non-organic farming. The use of these chemicals can have a knock on effect by polluting our water courses, damaging delicate ecosystems, and killing non-target wildlife, and is the one main cause of the decline in our crucial Bee species.
Animals raised for human consumption, or for their by-products, will have various drugs administered overtime including; antibiotics, vaccinations, parasitic controls, and in some cases hormonal growth promoters. The drugs provided to these animals which are raised to eat do have withdrawal periods, i.e. time between last administration of drugs and slaughter, however it is still of concern that these will end up in the human food chain.
Alternative farming techniques is on the increase due to the demand for safer food consumptions and protection of our environment.
So what is organic farming? Organic farming is a practice which uses safer methods and integrates the use of the agro-ecosystem and pays important attention to plants, livestock, and the soil quality and water contamination. Organic farming works in harmony with existing ecosystems whilst being sustainable and productive. Of course, the set legal standards of ‘organic farming’ will vary in different countries. In the UK, for example, the use of pesticides must follow regulations set out which includes the use of more natural or safe synthetic pesticides, use of crop rotations, good soil and encouraging natural predators.
So, what are all the benefits of organic farming?
- Reduction of pesticide use on the environment. Only certain pesticides can be used.
- Chemical fertilizers are prohibited, therefore use of organic matter is encouraged.
- Healthier ecosystems and environment.
- Better animal welfare and more free range farming is encouraged.
- Increase in wild species of flora and fauna which had declined.
- Encourages diverse farming.
- Less worry of chemicals and drugs entering the human food chain.
- Farmers are encouraged to use preventatives rather as antibiotics and anthelmintic drugs, which are banned in organic farming. Hormone growth promoters are also banned.
- Cleaner water courses.
- Better soil quality.
- Helps battle some effects of climate change.
- Less intensive farming systems.
- No GM products can be used, or GM ingredients.
These are only some of the benefits generated from organic farming, and with concerns today over climate change, animal welfare, environmental health and our own health, we must encourage more farms to turn organic and where we can buy organic produce. The organic regulations to change within different countries so it is worth researching your local area to see the benefits of organic farming.
If you enjoyed reading this article, then you may enjoy learning about organic farming.
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