NO: Foods From Large-Scale Farms Are Just As Safe, Less Costly

US - Public interest in the environment is increasing, and the news is full of stories about food safety. Those developments have led many to push for a return to small organic farms.
calendar icon 15 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Such farms do have advantages, but there is no guarantee that organic farms are better for the environment or food safety.

Organic farms ban the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms, minimizing inadvertent effects on other organisms. However, whether such avoidance makes organic production "better" for the environment is largely a matter of personal priorities. For the most part, these chemicals, used properly, don't pose any net threat to the environment. Many objections to their use are philosophical rather than scientific.

Further, the required soil conservation practices are not unique to organic production. Many traditional growers use the same practices, even though not required, because of the associated soil fertility and erosion mitigation benefits.

Some types of organic food, such as poultry, require more energy to produce than their conventional counterparts. Production of organic milk requires more land input and generates more CO{-2} emissions.

Some may argue that organic production means more local food, thus cutting down the environmental impacts of the associated "food miles."


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