Presently, there is a visible and massive organic movement that encourages customers to purchase and eat organic foods. What must be taken into account is the fact that there needs to be as much organic food available as there are organic consumers in order for the movement to be successful. This project investigates the problem of mass producing organic food. I took a look at the barriers that deter conventional farmers and producers from switching over to organic methods, and tried to find avenues that would make the transition easier. Research showed that a number of large production organic companies utilize a conglomeration of smaller organic farms as opposed to one large farm. I explored this option of cooperation and compared it to efforts that have already been made toward reaching a state of organic mass production. There also needs to be an expansion of the market for organic foods that will compensate the mass production. Identifying the means and the motive for growing organic foods on a larger scale is a worthy mission because we need the push for organic to push on both sides—consumer and producer—for there to be a considerate amount of movement.
Archive for the '04-19-1600' Category
Soil erosion is a hidden epidemic in the United States. We have already lost more than 20% of our arable land since 1960 (Pimentel 1995), and are currently losing soil 10 times faster than it can be replaced naturally (Wilkinson 2004). It is estimated that every year this steady loss of cropland causes more than $45 billion dollars in direct productivity costs (Pimentel 2005). Through research scientists and farmers alike have discovered a distinctive relationship between soil degradation and the current standard of conventional farming methods. I assert that organic farming techniques such as planting a cover crop in between cycles of cash crops and using no harmful pesticides, combined with conservation tillage methods such as terracing, and leaving significant levels of crop residue after tilling will combat soil erosion effectively. Not only will these practices help prevent further soil erosion, but I prove there is an economic advantage as well because of significantly lower costs, premium’s on selling organically-certified food, and the government subsidies that come from using a cover crop in between growing seasons. Through my research, I have come to see the true benefit of organic farming, especially the effects of conservation tillage on preventing soil erosion.