Mon Jul 16th, 2007 at 02:32:07 AM EST
I -- OK, I and a small army of people far better informed than I, with hands-on experience -- have been saying this for YEARS. Nay, DECADES. Excuse the all-caps. This is one of those pet peeves of mine, it makes me want to shout and throw things. It is time we stopped allowing the boughten mouthpieces of the poison industry to go on reciting in public their reflex lie that "switching to organic agriculture would mean starvation for millions." Every time I hear, "yeah, organic ag is warm-n-fuzzy but it won't feed the world," I want to slap somebody upside the head with a bunch of organic rainbow chard.
Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming in developing countries, and holds its own against standard methods in rich countries, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
Front-paged by afew
They said their findings contradict arguments that organic farming -- which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides -- is not as efficient as conventional techniques.
"My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you can't produce enough food through organic agriculture," Ivette Perfecto, a professor at the University of Michigan's school of Natural Resources and Environment, said in a statement.
She and colleagues analyzed published studies on yields from organic farming. They looked at 293 different examples.
"Model estimates indicate that organic methods could produce enough food on a global per capita basis to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base," they wrote in their report, published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.
"We were struck by how much food the organic farmers would produce," Perfecto said.
"Corporate interest in agriculture and the way agriculture research has been conducted in land grant institutions, with a lot of influence by the chemical companies and pesticide companies as well as fertilizer companies, all have been playing an important role in convincing the public that you need to have these inputs to produce food," she added.
Well surprise, surprise, it took Reuters only about 40 years to catch up with that "breaking news."
Cambridge University study results
My own University is a land-grant insitution and its ag research is about 95 percent devoted to "improving" the futile arms race of fossil/chemical ag. Sometimes it's enough not merely to try the patience of a saint, but to make a stone weep.
I'm having a little quiet fun imagining new Reuters headlines: Recent Research Casts Doubts on AntiPhlogistone Theory? Breaking News: Eminent Scientists Announce Possibility of Generating Electricity from Sunlight via Silicon-Based Cells? Wonder-Bread May Not Actually Build Stronger Bodies 12 Ways? or perhaps just World Not Flat After All?