How Eating Organic Could Save the Environment
Going organic, meaning eating foods that are not genetically modified or grown with synthetic pesticides, has many benefits on both our health and the health of the natural world around us. It’s easy to see how eating these foods would benefit human health, but what about the environment? How does our intake of these foods benefit the world around us? According to this source, there are exactly five ways in which choosing organic foods instead of processed foods helps the environment.
1. Decreases soil and water contamination
When using pesticides on crops there is a very strong possibility that not only will some of those pesticides transfer to our bodies after consuming the crops, but they may ultimately make their way into the water and soil plants and other wildlife depend on. Runoff contamination allows these chemicals to drift from one area to the next by means of water flow, meaning that those up-stream or down-stream from the contamination site can be negatively affected without even knowing it. Those same harsh chemicals may also penetrate into the soil and create soil pollution.
2. Preserves wildlife instead of destroying it
When farmers forego cruel chemicals and instead use different types of wildlife to help combat pests that may be bothersome to their crops, they are both using natural pesticides and protecting the surrounding wildlife. When farms use normal pesticides to rid of pests, they are not just destroying bugs and other insects-they are destroying the wildlife that surrounds them. There are many safe and natural ways to fight off pests; something as simple as salt spray can do the trick. Farmers do not need to use chemicals to kill, and they would be doing the entire world a favor if they refrained from doing so.
3. Conserves Biodiversity
When there is an imbalance in the biodiversity of living organisms and one species overwhelms all others, it causes drastic issues, such as plant loss and potential extinction for certain types of wildlife. With organic farming, the absence of chemicals promotes the natural cycle of the ecosystem and diminishes any chance of a powerful substance coming in and disturbing the system. Global diversity loss is increasing around the world due to average farming techniques, at 1000 times the rate from which these losses would occur naturally. If farms adopted more natural practices, this number could go down drastically, and we could save wildlife from unnatural predators. By reducing the number of chemicals admitted into the air by farmers, it attracts different types of species (http://www.fao.org/organicag/oa-faq/oa-faq6/en/) that create a better, more structurally sound ecosystem within that area. It does this by allowing each species to flourish through its’ own natural growth, without introducing any superpower species that may be genetically altered and too strong for the natural environment to handle.
4. Helps reduce climate change
Because organic food is often sold locally, it diminishes a great amount of transportation and air pollution, which is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. Today, 5.3 billion tonnes of global emissions are released by agriculture. So, by using natural methods, organic farms reduce the number of chemicals they emit into the air, which in return helps to combat the issue of climate change by limiting the amount of greenhouse gasses their particular farm admits on a daily basis.
5. Reduces erosion
Organic farming practices continue to use soil and other vegetation after the removal of crops, which allows for more protection of the soil closest to the surface. This particular soil takes up to 100 years to form, making it quite valuable. Farming is harsh on soil and can cause degradation and erosion by constantly tilling the soil deeper and deeper. Organic farming focuses on shallow tilling, which is gentler on the soil and causes less damage. Which means that by choosing to buy produce from organic farms, we will indirectly be reducing soil erosion and creating a healthier barrier for our food to grow.
It is extremely important for each of us to do our part in creating a more sustainable future for the Earth. Each of our decisions, big or small, plays a role in determining that future. Everything we use, from plastic straws to vehicles, to pesticides, negatively impacts the world around us. If we continue to ignore the cries for help our environment is giving us, it is only going to continue suffering in silence. By just considering the sources of where we buy our food, we can do our part in helping to sustain the natural resources we have left, by creating less pollution and lessening our part in climate change. Also, by supporting our local farmers we can help to promote the organic lifestyle in hopes that others will follow our footsteps and make this positive change.
There are many positive effects that eating organic and organic farming can have on sustaining the natural environment. You can find organic products at most local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. It’s an easy step toward doing our part in sustaining the environment and a small step in helping to better the Earth as a whole. We only have one Earth, and if we can each take small steps to reduce air pollution, pesticide runoff, and wildlife destruction, we’ll be that much closer to creating a change. Plus, organic food is fresher than GMOs and other foods from regular farms; and you get the satisfaction of knowing it came from a safe and natural source. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to try these products, so visit your local farmers’ markets- you will not be disappointed with the fresh produce you find. Why not fuel your body with produce that is both healthier for you, and in return, healthier for the environment?