Organic Vegetable Gardening Builds Soil Nutrients and Human Nutrition

Organic vegetable gardening is all about using natural methods to produce crops. So far , so good. I blogged recently about a Stanford study that showed organic produce to be no better, in terms of nutrient content and pesticide residue, than conventionally grown crops. The soil influences the crops that grow in it. Here, Jim McLain writes a detailed piece for the YakimaHerald.Com describing the ins and outs of just how organic farming methods impact the environment compared with their more conventional petroleum-based brethren.

Organic Vegetable Gardening Builds Soil Nutrients and Human Nutrition

You can bet your back forty that organic farmers and backyard organic gardeners have been quick to challenge the Stanford findings. One challenge was that it did not look at environmental effects of how farming is done. Environmental impacts of farming methods were not within the parameters of the study.

Why bother to garden organically?

Organic vegetable gardening

Organic vegetable gardening avoids pesticides and is far less energy and natural resource dependent than conventional methods. Photo by George Doyle c/o Photos.Com.

Although many pesticides have been banned after having been found to be dangerous to the environment, there are still pesticides in use that organic growers are challenging the EPA to take a closer look at. There is also an ongoing debate about the safety limits of pesticide residue set by the EPA. And misused chemical pesticides and fertilizers continue to contaminate our lakes, rivers and groundwater, although less so than in the past.

Safety measures for farm workers who do the spraying and harvesting have been greatly improved in recent years, but there are still concerns over how current use is affecting farm workers’ health over years of exposure. And there is the same concern about the consumer’s health.

Organic farmers contend that their practices are sustainable, while conventional farms are far from it as they depend heavily on synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Both are made largely from petroleum and natural gas, which are not renewable. Conventional farms produce up to 40 percent more greenhouse gases per acre than organic farms, plus organic farms use 45 percent less energy in producing their crops.

Please read the entire article here at yakimaherald.com:

Organic vegetable gardening encompasses more than just growing your vegetables using manure instead of petroleum-based fertilizers. Every aspect of how the soil is managed and how the crops are nurtured in accordance with how nature already does it is part of the big picture. The differences between conventional and organic are probably not (yet) measurable, but they nonetheless exert a significant influence over one’s health during a lifetime of eating. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know that will do you in, it’s what you don’t know that will get you.

Why not weigh in on the debate and leave a comment below. This is one that is just getting started. Share the discussion with a friend by clicking one of the like buttons below.

 

 

 

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About Mike Eis

Physician, Author, Marketer, Scientist, Problem Solver, Carpenter and Armchair Philosopher