Food Inc. Project

By: Anna T.

Main Question

Is organic or conventional farming the best option for our future?

Organic or Conventional Farming

Before reading the articles I was mostly for organic farming, because I thought that it could make the world healthier. But after reading the articles having strictly organic farming could cause a major problem for people. One problem is that if there is a major shift to organic production methods it would result in decreased yields, which could cause catastrophic food shortages (Research shows organic corn, soybean yields can exceed conventional). Having food shortages could lead to people going back to conventional farming, which would just but the world right back to where it already is.

While there are multiple problems from strictly organic farming, there are also problems with strictly conventional farming. One problem is that more foods wouldn't be healthy anymore and more people would be obese, which could cause a lot of problems in the future. Another problem is that more of the animals like cows, chickens, pigs, etc. could start to go extinct because the demand for them is so high. Another problem that could arise with the animals is that in the future they might not even be able to grow and develop properly because they are being injected with growth hormones, so they can have more meat on their bones.

While both conventional and organic farming have bad effects, they both have good effects as well. Conventional farming gets more food out to the population, and they can get animals to get bigger to produce more meat. Organic farming can prevent chemical runoff into our water supply, it can help with soil health, and it can lower greenhouse gas emissions (Health & Science The environmental footprint of organic vs. conventional food). Organic farming also has a smaller amount of space required to produce it. So, the plots of land that aren't required to produce corn and other things, could be used for environmentally helpful purposes (Health & ScienceThe environmental footprint of organic vs. conventional food). By some estimates croplands now occupy 40% of the Earth's land surface. Producing more organic food with less land could be a major win for the environment. One final good thing about organic farming is that it is nearly as productive as conventional farming.

So, after reading all of the articles I have come to the conclusion that strictly having organic farming is not going to be very good for the world, because it could cause food shortages and a variety of other problems. But I think that if organic farming was used a little more than conventional farming the world and the people in it could be a little healthier. I think that by using organic farming a little more than conventional farming, soil would be healthier, runoffs into our water systems would be less of a problem, less animals would be injected with growth hormones, and organic food would be cheaper. So I think that have a little more organic farming would be better for the environment than strictly organic or strictly conventional farming.