Win a copy of The Biotime Log this week in the Permaculture forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

Help with my 'advantages and disadvantages of organic farming' essay  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello permies community. My name is Maria and I am writing an essay for school called "Advantages and disadvantages of organic farming" and I was wondering if anyone here can contribute with few points. You don't have to write anything in detail.  Bullet points, few words are enough because I will do the deep research and write it up. I would appreciate any opinion. Thank you very much.

P.S. I apologize if I posted in the wrong section, It's my first post on this forum...
 
gardener
Posts: 1224
Location: Middle Tennessee
195
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Maria! Welcome to permies. Here’s a few of my thoughts on permaculture:

Advantages:
No poison sprayed on food
No chemical fertilizers needed
Healthy soil
Crop biodiversity (no monoculture)
Provides food for pollinators
Provides habitat for beneficial insects
Minimize soil erosion
Sequester carbon
Improved water retention in soil
Costs less (no money spent on chemical fertilizers and poisons)

Disadvantages:
Those who don’t understand may scoff at and belittle permaculture practices, which may affect sensitive people.

Edit: I edited this post to define my list as more permaculture rather than a broad umbrella term of organic after considering Nick's great post noting how big-ag has their hands in organics. I do think that that permaculture embodies "organics" but  certainly qualifies as beyond organic.
 
Posts: 627
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
30
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is not such an easy black and white subject in my opinion. The term "organic" has been co-opted by big ag for some time now, and many of the organically certified chemicals used in industrial organic farming are just as icky as the synthetic stuff.

If I were you, I would make a clear distinction in my intro with regards to which "organic" my essay is actually talking about.
 
James Freyr
gardener
Posts: 1224
Location: Middle Tennessee
195
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great point Nick. Industrial organics really hardly much better. Some of the "approved organic chemicals" are non selective and kill bees just as bad as synthetics.

I guess I was thinking about my "organic" garden when making my list and didn't take into consideration big-ag's industrial organics. I don't use any sprays or chemicals, not even the OMRI listed ones.
 
James Freyr
gardener
Posts: 1224
Location: Middle Tennessee
195
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I spent some time thinking about this thread over breakfast and the great highlight that Nick mentioned in his post, so I thought I would try again, with this post being specific to industrial organics- the “organic” food available at grocery store chains. This list is specific to fresh produce, and I’m not considering the organic processed packaged food in boxes like crackers.

Advantages:
It’s a way for people who want to eat cleanly and are trying to reduce their toxic chemical intake load. For example, an organic potato should not have any methyl bromide residue on it compared to conventional potatoes.

Disadvantages:
Commercial organics are run by large agricultural corporations. For the most part, consumers dollars go to industry no diffrerent than buying conventional food, instead of going to support small regional farmers in the community.

Industrial organics are often grown in monocultures, requiring “organic approved” sprays to combat pest and disease problems.

Industrial monoculture organics don’t nurture the soil, often resulting in plants that aren’t healthy so they are susceptible to disease and pest infestations, requiring sprays.

Commercial organics doesn’t necessarily mean more nutritious. Organic crops can still be grown in depleted soils, resulting in food lacking mineral and nutrient density.

Industrial organics are grown with the same mindset and principle as conventional farming with ever increasing yields and profits the primary goal, with little or no regard to what the land and soil is capable of, and how that may affect the local environment.
 
Posts: 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are few benefits I get from my organic garden (but as others said, it's important to mention which kind of 'organic' you refer to):

- food has better taste, and it's chemical-free (GMO-free as well)
- healthy soil
- healthy environment for farming
- harmless pesticides

As for disadvantages:

- requires some more knowledge compared to traditional farming to do it at max efficiency
- some organic fertilizers are still harmful for the soil

Here's a more detailed list that you can filter to get what you need: https://greentumble.com/pros-and-cons-of-organic-farming/

Good luck with your essay!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1622
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
36
bike forest garden solar tiny house purity wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Disavantages are more difficult to find.... I will go personal without looking at other opinions.

- Organic farming still use some external intrants, aka you need to destroy some places to feed others. Example, using dolomite or diatomaceous earth, or removing some organic matter from one place to feed fields. I read once that going all at once world wide organic would be the worse catastrophe...

Most of ALL, organic farming increase would point at major social and cultural problems, and I think this is what stops the growth of organic farming. I see this as a sort of disadvantage... For example farmers have to submit to be paying for their organic label, and be controlled, because of chemical agriculture. Actually, there can be a nice "fighting for the good" when you are a farmer, be also some pressure... You can become more aware and feel helpless and fighting against to big.

What are the social issue that I see made visible by organic agriculture?

- If we want as I said produce our own fertilizer etc, we need to keep some organic matter and produce it. This makes visible the stupidity of cities: organic left-overs do not come back to where they came from, and people poo it in another place, in water that has to be cleaned after! Orange trees do not get back the peel with the chemicals they produce for their own health.

- It makes visible the stupidity of monoculture. It is not possible to grow potatoes all the time, that put all the carbone in what is sold and eaten, leaving nothing for the soil. Monculture advantage is that you can grow what suits best the type of soil but brings more depende ce on transport. What is not local can be organically produced, but will not be ecological when transported far way.

- 1/3 of the ground used to be for producing food for animals, which brought also the local manure... If we do not use petrol, and if we produce agro-fuel, then it will also need 1/3 of the land, and still to throw carbon in the air instead of putting it in the soil.

- It will put the light on the increase of population, which is still a taboo topic. Increase of population is what lead to vegetarianism but at the same time vegetarianism allows still more increase of the population, postponing the problem that will stem from even more population. Human population has always been reduced by wars, hunger and epidemies. The longer we control this thanks to chemicals and easy fossile power, the worse can the result be about those 3 factors.

- The use of animal power and animal for producing manure, and for using lands that would suffer from agriculture, shows how we need to rethink and refeel our relationship to animals, as one part of the population puts no attention on them and do not mind CAFO, and one part want to go vegan as a reaction.

- We are like ostrich concerning the wealth we have from hidden slavery, and all this come from having modern agriculture that can cultivate more land with less persons, allowing hands for making the rest of the stuff, both that we need and not need that much.

So we can do organic farming or gardening, all this at reduced levels, and these levels do not increase that much nor that quick. Increasing organic farming cannot happen without creating waves into some points I pointed to, and for sure others I do not think right now, or that I am yet not conscious about...
 
Well behaved women rarely make history - Eleanor Roosevelt. tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!