Organic Farms Emit More Greenhouse Gases
People are getting more cautious about what they eat nowadays. In the age of internet they also have access to information about how food is being processed before it ends up in their plate. Organic farming lobby always tells consumers about low-carbon foot print of their products but latest research is busting that point. Agriculture and Human Values study published a research paper showing the other side of truth in its June edition. The figures show that organic farming, if implemented on large-scale produces more greenhouse gases than traditional farming practices. Julius McGee, a researcher from University of Oregon obtained state level data to compare emissions from both farming methods.
United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency compiled all data about agricultural greenhouse gases emission across 49 states during 2000 and 2008. The report also takes care of influencing factors like population growth, socioeconomic indicators and expansion of agricultural land. After a proper analysis, McGee concludes his paper by saying organic farms are emitting more GHGs. Few decades ago, organic farming was started by activists turned farmers to create a counter-culture to capitalism but now the farming has become one industry itself.
Huge corporations are now producing organic food to serve to the massive demand in the market and this scaling up has resulted in lower standards. Lower production rates at organic farms increases work by the machines which indirectly lead to more emissions. The researcher still maintained that organic farming is not entirely bad for the planet.