Although it’s not quite headline news as of right now, the world is actually going through a huge agricultural crises that might completely alter the way we get our food. Modernised agriculture, which involves the heavy usage of chemicals, tillage, and monoculture, is causing a multitude of extremely hazardous problems to the natural environment and destabilising the biosphere that we as a species rely on to survive.
One of the most important movement sin the world right now is organic farming, as in agriculture that’s designed to work with nature rather than against it. It’s not a new concept, but it is one that more and more farmers around the world are starting to embrace. Here we will look at the fundamental principles of organic farming and why they’re important.
As a species, we’ve come to believe that having insects on our crops is a bad thing and can only lead to a loss of production. The truth, however, is that insects are very much part of the natural cycle, and almost all plants in the world rely on insects to propagate and thrive. Honey bees are an excellent example of this, and the current decline in global populations of honey bees can be directly attributed to our wide scale use of pesticides. Organic farming means that no pesticide is used at all, and that nature is able to restore the balance in terms of the organisms that are part of the planet’s cycle.
Along with insects, another “problem” that has been dealt with in the monoculture industry is weeds, which many very incorrectly think cause crops to fail. In fact, many weeds are extremely beneficial to the health of the soil, fixing specific nutrients, fighting soil erosion, and adding oxygenation to the microbes living near the roots. On top of that, many weeds can be used as a natural ground cover, reducing the amount of water being pulled up by the sun, and allowing the farmer to cut down on how much water is needed to keep their crops alive. Many crops are becoming resistant to the herbicides, forcing farmers to use more of them, many of which build up in the surrounding ecosystem and cause untold damage.
No GMO Crops
Genetic modification is something that has undergone a lot of scrutiny over the years, but prevailing research shows that genetically modified foods are ultimately bad for a person’s health. Many maize-based foods, such as those found in countries like South Africa which are eaten at night when watching TV or entertainment online, have been shown to cause long term kidney and liver damage when eaten on a daily basis. Anyone that wants to farm organically will need to ensure that all of their seeds are GMO-free; being crops that have not been genetically modified in a laboratory. These kinds of seeds are relatively easy to get a hold of, but care does need to be taken to make sure that they don’t become pollinated by GMO crops that may be in the surrounding area.