Study Finds Organic Food is Worse for Earth’s Climate Than Non-Organic Food

Organically farmed food has a bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed food, due to the greater areas of land required, a new study finds.

A recently published study has shown that organic food may not help our planet.

If you are one of the many people who is convinced that by eating organic food you are helping fight climate change, a new study suggests otherwise.

Scientists from the Chalmers University of Technology analyzed the impact of organic and conventional food production and the impact both have on the climate of our planet.

Their study has been published in the journal Nature.

Organically farmed food has a bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed food, due to the greater areas of land required, a new study finds. Image Credit:  cocoparisienne / Pixabay

Researchers discovered that organic corps produce much lower yields mostly because, in the production, chemical fertilizers are not used.

As noted in the new study, the reason for such a drastic impact organic food has on the environment is that the yields per hectare are much lower. Therefore, in order to produce more food, larger areas of land are needed.

As more land is needed, the terrain must be cleared, this involves in cutting down more trees and vegetation.

“Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference — for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent,” explains Stefan Wirsenius, an associate professor from Chalmers, and one of those responsible for the study.

The difference in land use results in organic food causing more damage to the environment.

“The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation,” said Wirsenius.

The crops per hectare are significantly lower in organic farming, which, according to the study, leads to much greater indirect carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. Image Credit: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology.
The crops per hectare are significantly lower in organic farming, which, according to the study, leads to much greater indirect carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. Image Credit: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology.

“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.”

However, even organic meat, as well as dairy products are, from a scientific point of view, worse than their congenially produced equivalents, claim experts.

“Because organic meat and milk production uses organic feed-stock, it also requires more land than conventional production. This means that the findings on organic wheat and peas in principle also apply to meat and milk products. We have not done any specific calculations on meat and milk, however, and have no concrete examples of this in the article,” he explains.

Via
Chalmers
Source
Nature
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