Organic vs. Conventional Farming

The Conventional farming: Conventional farming uses chemical based fertilizers to increase plant, vegetable and fruit growth. Farms use chemical herbicides for weed management and control. Also for diseases and pests control they use spray insecticides for prevention.

The Organic farming: The word “organic” means food that is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Organic farming practices are aimed at reducing pollution and soil moisture preservation. Farmers who grow organic produce do not use conventional methods to control weeds, fertilize or prevent livestock pests and diseases.

The debate about which between organic food and conventional food is better has been going on for several years. The core question has always been, “Is the additional cost worth the benefits.”

To further discuss the issue we must first tackle the differences between organic food and traditional food. Organic farms fertilize their crops using only non-synthetic fertilizers such as animal manure or compost while industrial farms utilize chemical fertilizers to hasten the growth of their crops. The former also use biodiversity such as raising the natural predators of pests to fight pests and plant diseases while the latter use chemical pesticides. Organic farmers use crop rotation and manual weeding to get rid of parasitic weeds while conventional farmers use chemical herbicides to kill weeds. The former also feed natural provisions on their animals while the latter feed their livestock industrial feeds and also inject them with growth hormones and antibiotics.

Where’s the Argument in Organic vs Conventional?

Proponents of organic farming would state that they prefer their foods are not contaminated with chemicals that cannot be used by the body and then stored as toxins which will eventually do them harm. They may also point out that organic food is higher in nutrients due to a richer soil content (conventional methods strip the soil of these nutrients), and for the same reason, are a lot tastier. The lack of industrialization also has less impact on the environment.

Supporters of conventional farming will argue that fertilizers, GMO seeds, and weed/insect destroying chemicals are required in order to feed the world’s population. The industrialization of agriculture has allowed fewer farmers to do more for food output. They would also point out that their practices do not make the food any less tasty, less nutritious, and it is a lot cheaper.

The comparison clearly shows that organic food is produced using only ecological means without any industrial intervention. This is why it is more expensive. Organic farming needs a longer time to harvest, takes significantly more effort, and also has greater risks of suffering losses due to pests and diseases. There are several reasons why someone would choose to purchase or grow organic food over conventional. These include, but are not limited to: the taste preference, the fact that they are pesticide and food additive free, and for reasons related to the environment.

The resulting produce is of very high quality in regards to its nutritional value, safety, and even taste. It contains more vitamins and nutrients because the natural environment in organic farms aids the plants in producing excessive amounts of phytochemicals and antioxidants. High levels of these substances also provide the produce with richer and fresher flavor. Being chemical free also ensures that they do not come with any chemical residues that are harmful to the consumer’s health.

Conventional farming and food production methods make ready use of synthetic chemicals. These chemicals include but are not limited to antibiotics, hormones, and medications. These substances are used to grow food faster, bigger, and heartier. Plant strains are genetically engineered for favorable traits such as size or pest resistance. Genetically modified cold weather varieties are popular, even among hobby gardener these days.

However, there are some drawbacks of purchasing and growing food grown in this method: first off it costs more due to the way that it is grown, they may spoil faster because they are preservative free, they may be odd shaped, and are usually smaller than their conventional counterparts. Conventional farming methods may cause far reaching problems that are not fully understood for generations yet. In light of those issues, perhaps individuals concerned for the welfare of their families will take the “better safe than sorry” route and stick with organic.

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