This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Organic Farming Essay

1811 words - 8 pages

Natalie Cannon
Dr. Jana Davis
English 1127, 029
18 November 2013
Organic Farming as a Solution to Climate Change
Climate change threatens the sustainability of food production. At the same time, conventional food production threatens the sustainability of the climate. In Canada, the agricultural sector is responsible for eight percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These emissions translate to 56.6 million metric tonnes of carbon equivalents. An extra three percent can be added to that number for “Agricultural fossil fuel and energy use” (Environmental p 111, figure 16-2). Canada needs to take responsibility and remedy emissions. Wonderfully, organic farming has the potential to ...view middle of the document...

With a rising global population and an influx of new citizens every year, Canadian farms need to maintain food production rates. If topsoil is disappearing, or if the land can no longer hold the elements of life, then new land must be acquired. Wooded areas and grasslands have excellent soil fertility. Tear down the trees and great humus will be found. Of course, cutting down trees in itself releases mass amounts carbon dioxide. Land use change is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. (Agriculture 27). Exacerbating the sustainability food by the loss of farmland is a threat to the livelihoods of farmers too. In 2006, 22 percent of Canadian farms reported making less than $10,000; 30 percent reported making between $10,000 and $49,000. (Environmental 11). The current farming model is not economically viable for everyone. People are being pushed out of their farms by land and pocket. Children of farmers know this. In the past, farms were passed down through generations; however, the 2011 Canadian census revealed that the largest proportion of farmers are now “55-and-over,” a first in Canadian history (Statistics Canada). Since the number of farms is decreasing too (Statistics Canada), we can expect to import more food. Importing food, of course, requires transportation by trucks, ships, or planes. All of these methods burn excess fossil fuels that deepen our carbon footprint.
These days, conventional agriculture uses monoculture to increase yields and profitability. Monoculture is industrialized farming. The practice involves using a “single variety of plant” in a given field (Oxford). Unfortunately, monoculture does not work in the long term because it taxes agricultural soil beyond its means: “If a whole field consists of one species, or even one variety, of crop, all of them are competing for the same nutrients in the same soil level” (Rice 223). Roots systems of plants vary in depth depending on the plant. If all these roots can only eat what is in its proximity, then these “competing” roots will quickly eat up all that is available. Fertile land is suddenly not fertile anymore. Since nutrients in soil are key to productivity, conventional agriculture must resort to artificial means. Monoculture is reliant on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As soil continues to erode from the nature of “intensive monocropping,” more and more chemicals are needed (Food Safety p 6, para 2). As well, the use of strong pesticides can harm the essential microorganisms that live in the soil creating a vulnerability to disease and devastating pests. Botanist Stanley Rice indicates that for the pest who has a taste for one kind of plant, monoculture is akin to an all-you-can-eat buffet. The result is swift crop destruction, as was the case with the Canvendish banana in Southeast Asia. Banana crops were destroyed by Panama disease (Rice 223). When soil fertility goes down, and problems with pests occur, the practice of monoculture is to add...

Other Essays Like Organic Farming

Challenges Facing World Agriculture Essay

2591 words - 11 pages farmers in the developing countries should be given the possibility to farm. In other words, farmland must be made available. Given space to farm poor farmers need a cheap farming method. Such a method is organic agriculture, relying solely on local resources. Organic farming is the realistic option in that it provides high yields, is environmentally accountable and is sustainable. Organic Agriculture as a Solution The general view in

Organic vs. Industrial Food Essay

1593 words - 7 pages exposure to harmful pesticides, but that is only one small aspect. A larger part of organic agriculture is the health of the soil and the ecosystem in which crops are raised. Organic farmers know that healthy, live soils significantly benefit crops. Synthetic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and/or fast acting inorganic fertilizers applied to or around crops interrupt or destroy the micro biotic activity in the soil. Organic farming reduces

Certification

667 words - 3 pages our survival. Ever walked into a grocery store and gotten a headache from the bombardment of food certifications. USDA Organic, Certified Humane Raised & Handled, Natural, Fair Trade Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Food Alliance are just a few of the dizzying array of food certifications circling around. The simple truth only two of the multitudes of certifications around should warrant your attention. Some will contend that

Social And Environmental Ramifications Of Modern Farming Practices And Changing Trends Towards Sustainable Farming Practices

2964 words - 12 pages practices have greatly increased global food supply but have detrimental impacts on the environment highlighting the need for more sustainable agricultural methods. Today agriculture scientists around the globe are recognizing the fact that the old farming systems like organic farming that existed for millenniums present the best agriculture practices for saving the environment. The means and ways by which human species nourish itself need to be

Why How We Eat Affects Our World

725 words - 3 pages greenhouse gases. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that chemical farming uses considerably more energy per unit of production than organic farms, which do not use these chemical inputs. In addition, the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in soils produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is approximately 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Organic farms, on the other hand, which rely on natural

sustainable food

903 words - 4 pages 1. Based on this chapter, what are some of the key differences between the priorities of large industrial agribusiness and the priorities of traditional farming? How would you describe Chef Palladin’s reaction to this? The key differences between the priorities of large industrial agribusiness and traditional farming are: By growing a lot of one thing, large industrial agribusiness makes the modern American diet possible. With

Green House

1963 words - 8 pages Due to many forms of intensive farming being unsustainable long term, several new intensive farming practises have been and are continuing to be developed to either slow the deterioration of agricultural land, or in some cases regenerate soil health and ecosystem services, while still maintaining high yields. Most of these developments are either directly related to organic farming, or the integration of organic methods with conventional intensive

Ceres Gardening

1664 words - 7 pages founder, Jonathan Wydown, to promote sustainable organic gardens and landscapes to environmentally conscious consumers. Mr. Wydown has been a proponent of soil preservation, biodiversity, and natural fertilizers and pest control. Mr. Wydown was confident that the same principles behind organic farming would eventually apply to home gardens and lawns. Mr. Wydown’ s vision evolved into the creation and development of a market niche of selected

P1 Unit 21 Health and Social

1735 words - 7 pages are produced using natural fertilizers; manure and farming systems which help to conserve soil and water. Disadvantages of organic foods Although organic foods have many advantages they have disadvantages which are given below: 1. Organic foods are very expensive compared to non-organic foods. This is because majority of farmers only produce conventional foods. Also most farmers and food producers want to maximise their profits by using

Whole Food

1524 words - 7 pages January 16, 2012 BUS 599 Firstly will be the discussion of the trends in retailing of organic foods and the impact of these trends on Whole Foods Market. There are a lot of trends that are impacting whole foods. Some of the trends that are impacting Whole foods are the canning come back. The popularity of the canning come back, is the storage of foods for both economy and health. Also having more and more men in aprons is having an impact

No Mandatory Labeling of Gmos

998 words - 4 pages label that says they contain natural occurring cyanide. The list of demands for “right to know” is potentially endless. Finally, the push for mandatory labeling leaves open the question of exactly what is genetic modification. Shouldn’t grafting be considered a form of genetic modification? Shouldn’t there be a call for mandatory labelling of fruits formed in this way? What about mutagenesis which is used in organic farming. This is a process in

Related Papers

Conventional And Organic Farming Essay

685 words - 3 pages THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF FARMING METHODS: ORGANIC AND CONVENTIONAL FARMING IN UGANDA. Organic and conventional farming are both farming methods used today by different farmers in Uganda. The farmer would either decide to use the organic way of farming which requires the use of natural farming practices or use conventional which is GMO enhanced. In this case

Organic Farming In Kerala Essay

2034 words - 9 pages EED PROJECT: ORGANIC FARMING IN KERALA: INTRODUCTION: India has a glorious history of farming, starting probably from the 6th millennium BC in the Indus Valley, harnessing the annual floods and the subsequent alluvial deposits. The Indus Valley Civilization was founded on sustainable farming practices. Subsequently, our culture and ethos became reflections of the agricultural practices and it became mutually inseparable till recently

Origins Of The Organic Movement Essay

3598 words - 15 pages throwback to an earlier time, organic agriculture is proving to be a serious contender in modern farming and a more environmentally sustainable system over the long term. -David Suzuki The organic movement has been in swing since the early 1900’s. Many different companies, consumers and governances have all joined the bandwagon and work to further the goals of an organic world. The organic movement is no where near complete and many dedicated

Eco The Organic Food Industry Essay

1988 words - 8 pages organic farming, cost will become less and the availability will become more. (Faber, n.d.) Positive and Negative Externalities There are positive and negative externalities associated with organic farming. The transaction of a buyer and seller directly affects a third party in a positive way by making the environment a better place for everyone and everything. Fertilizer used in conventional farming ends up in our water supplies where dead