Do you think that you are doing a favor by consuming organic food? However, it is time for you to eliminate that thought from your mind because this study suggests you might be doing more harm than good.
Researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology has observed the impact of organic and conventional food production on the climate.
As per the researchers’ findings, it was evident that organic crops produce less amount of yields because chemical fertilizers are not used to boost the crops. Therefore, lower crop yields require bigger swaths of land for the same output as conventional farms.
According to this study, it has found that organic food has a greater influence on the climate than conventional food, due to the additional carbon dioxide emissions produced through the deforestation required as a result of less-efficient organic production.
“The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation,” explains Stefan Wirsenius. “The world’s food production is governed by international trade, so how we farm in Sweden influences deforestation in the tropics. If we use more land for the same amount of food, we contribute indirectly to bigger deforestation elsewhere in the world.
As stated by the study in Nature, the researchers have found that organic peas farmed has a major impact. As an example, Sweden has about a 50 percent higher impact on the climate than peas farmed using conventional techniques. For other foodstuffs, there was an even bigger difference, with Swedish winter wheat being close to 70 percent.
Furthermore, researchers have analyzed that the higher use of lands would take place the carbon dioxide emissions, therefore they call it “Carbon Opportunity Cost”.
They have taken into consideration that how much carbon dioxide is stored in the forests and how much it will be released as a result of deforestation. They have not considered such research before as they were not aware of the impact of organic food on the environment.
“This is a big oversight, because, as our study shows, this effect can be many times bigger than the greenhouse gas effects, which are normally included.”
As stated by the team, this issue would not only relatable to organic plants but for organic meat production as well. As an obvious example, dairy cows are given organic grains which would automatically impact the environment again.
“The type of food is often much more important,” Wirsenius says. “Eating organic beans or organic chicken is much better for the climate than to eat conventionally produced beef.”
“But when it comes to the climate impact, our study shows that organic food is a much worse alternative.” Added Wirsenius.
Organic food certainly has certain advantages as a consumer, but it’s not all that perfect when it is harming the environment.
I am a Business Management graduate from the University Of Staffordshire (UK) and a qualified personnel officer who completed the National Diploma of Training and Human Resource development at Institute of Personnel Management (Sri-Lanka).
Apart from my professional career in the field of HRM, I am also a freelance writer of web and business contents.