Organic Vs. Conventional Agriculture Essay
“Organic Vs. Conventional Agriculture”
“The major aim of agriculture is not only the art of growing cash and food crops, but the simple cultivation or the flawlessness of human beings” (Fukuoka, 119). Presently, agriculture is the major determinant of the eminence of life for people living all over the world, and one that can create an identity in cultural terms of the area. This paper dwells on affirming the thesis statement that sustainable food production and consumption is possible in today’s world, through the use of various methods of agriculture. In this case, the processes that are involved in producing food are divided among two different ideas: Organic and conventional agriculture. Despite their differences, both of them are viable methods of food production (AP, 17).
The main and biggest problem with the debate that usually takes place over “organic” and “conventional” crops is the fact that it suggests there are only two methods that can be used to grow food: a “good” way or a “bad” way. The reality in this argument is far different. In most places across the globe, some vegetables labeled “organic” are usually grown on big farms, thousands of miles away from the normal grocery stores (Fukuoka, 120). If an individual care about eating local, the question that has to be asked is this, "which is more viable: an “organic” lettuce bred in a local farm or a non-“organic” head of lettuce that has been grown 50 miles from the local farm?" Additionally, the other most important question is: What should be the best way to increase the production of food, while simultaneously ensuring that there is a reduction of the amount of land, energy and water required? To answer these questions, there should be proper understanding and differentiating between organic and conventional farming.
Organic farming can be referred to as the process through which agriculturists cultivate and make vegetables, grains, dairy products, meat as well as fruits. This process has been applied in farming in order to preserve water and soil as well as to reduce the pollution that can be brought about by farming activities (Steve, 13). Organic farming never involves any of the conventional farming methods that are used to keep away the diseases that affect livestock or to control pests in the vegetables or fruit farming. Fertilizers are also in this class. Organic farming utilizes the natural methods that harm the art of farming.
Conventional farming, on the other hand, means any form of agriculture that has not been dedicated to any substitute techniques. Essentially, conventional agriculture can be seen as the farming that ruled the 20th century and a form of agriculture accounting for a wider variety of agriculture at present. In conventional agriculture, chemical fertilizers as well as thorough animal farming are always common (AP, 17). The expression “conventional agriculture/farming” thus draws its basic connotation from the difference of substitute farming techniques like organic farming. One fact that is known is that organic and conventional agriculture are two different undertakings. In conventional farming, many synthetic chemicals are used to increase the yield in a farm.
According to researchers, conventional farming methods can be traced from the earlier years of Industrial Revolution, whereby recently discovered machines were introduced. The new machines started fabricating food products with immense effectiveness, as well as output. It is evident that these things were missing earlier because they were usually hand-made. Additionally, it marked the onset of the revolution of the general society, though never undertook agriculture as rapidly as it did in numerous other quarters of manufacturing goods. For instance, sectors such as such as printing were overtaken. No doubt, the reason was that agriculture was warmly attached with ecology’s nature for production (Fukuoka, 117). Ecology’s nature was not so effortlessly converted and controlled to a plant process.
Modifications in the field of farming came steadily in the starting 200 years of Industrial Revolution. To start with, wooden farming tools got substituted with those made of iron which were more durable and efficient, and seed drills were invented. Shortly after, John Deere manufactured steel ploughs that came into use in the 1900’s (Mark 21). All of the mentioned innovations assisted in easing the work of farming, but they never radically transformed agriculture.
Despite the many scientific facts about soils, and other issues that either farming method may observe, a major item that should be considered is the ability to provide food in today’s world. Producing foods organically creates more food than conventional agricultural methods produce. This, according to a new economic study that was released at the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) Policy Conference. The report titled, "2010 Impacts of Organic Foods Industry towards the U.S. Economy," shows that the organic food industry more food to the citizens than other farming methods, especially the conventional method (Bravata et al 22).
The world that we live in today consumes more food than ever before. Thus, there is the need to produce more food from all possible means. Thus, it would only be advisable to combine organic and conventional methods of agriculture, despite their differences. Sustainable production and consumption of food can thus be seen as a consumer-driven concept that should be fed through different methods (Steve, 13). The argument can be strongly supported by the reality that in the situation where one method fails to yield, the other can be employed in order to feed the world. Food production requires consideration of all the phases and aspects in consumption and production.
In order to manage feeding the growing population of the world, farmers must strive to yield more food in the coming fifty years, more than they succeeded in producing in the last 10,000 years combined. Thus, this can only be achieved through a combination of improved methods of agriculture. Ideally, organic and conventional farming have to be embraced as they will assist a lot in this cause. It seems that it is going to take the best out of organic as well as conventional farming to provide food to the world. Given the need for some crops and to keep in pace with the always-growing need or demand for food, the gap between yields of organic and conventional farming should be bridged (AP 17). The methods need to be carried out in a parallel manner to ensure that none of them is left behind. In this case, the preference of people will be divided between the two methods thus ensuring that none of the individuals across the world lacks food.
Food systems usually develop within a finite as well as a shrinking resource base. Therefore, they need to make use of all natural resources in ways that appear to be environmentally, economically, culturally and socially sustainable, in order to conserve the ecosystem (Steve 13). Growth of the food systems must be all-inclusive, and must target viable objectives that are beyond production. The objectives must be including efficiencies along all the food chains and must, therefore, promote sustainable practices, as well as diets.
All things considered, conventional and organic farming methods are essentially two of the same in the sense that they both provide methods of how to produce food. However, through taking a deeper and closer look at the finer details of each method, they are complete opposites, yet coexist in the world today. Conventional agriculture or farming is the method that is most commonly used today. However, the major question is will its practices continue in the future? Its method has provided for the “now”, but future generations will be prompted to deal with many problems conventional agriculture has created (Mark, 21).
For the sake of the future and sustainability of our ecosystems, farming practices ought to convert organically not only for the sake of each individual’s health, but to enhance the provision of something for future generations to thrive on. However, in the long run, the importance lies within the thought, “Food is the foundation, but it is really about life (Fukuoka 122).The key will be to keep off the ideology of a uniquely organic vs. conventional debate. Alternatively, there should be an examination of what features of all agricultural systems can be utilized in a multi-faceted approach, through the use of complementary ideas from each camp.