Organic gardening and farming have a number of advantages for both people’s health and the environment. Here are three major aspects making organic gardening and farming so beneficial for us.
Organic gardening and farming keep toxic pesticides out of the water supply and food chain. Pesticides are notorious for being harmful to humans; it includes birth defects, cancer, allergies and other health problems. Pesticides now are so widespread that they contaminate nearly every square inch of the ocean and land mass of the world. Pesticides are not excreted by plants or animals, so they become concentrated as they move up the food chain. People are at the top of most food chains, so we bear the brunt of the damage.
Organic gardening and farming are based on non-toxic ways to control pests. Pesticides are rarely used, and when they are, the pesticides are made from naturally occurring plant oils and minerals. Organic gardening and farming always use the least toxic method possible to control pests.
Organic gardening and farming maintain the soil biomass. Biomass is the total amount of living material present in an area; this includes microorganisms, insects, small animals and plants. Good living soil is rich in biomass, as all this helps maintain soil productivity and fertility. We also need this biomass for good nutrition. For instance, no plant or animal on earth can manufacture vitamin B12. All vitamin B12 is originally produced by bacteria that live in the soil.
Industrial agriculture relies on chemical fertilizers to add specific nutrients to the soil to increase productivity of monocultural plantings. If you are growing only soybeans on a particular piece of land, you don’t need to add the nutrients necessary to grow corn. Chemical fertilizers are known to sterilize the soil. Much of the commercially farmed land will not grow anything without adding fertilizer because the soil cannot support growth on its own. Plants don’t even decompose into the soil because there are no bacteria or insects to help break them down. Organic gardening and farming practice maintaining the biological content of the soil.
Organic gardening and farming provide us with healthier food. If we suffer when the soil and water are contaminated with pesticides, but we suffer even more when those pesticides are in our food. You can’t wash all pesticides off; many plants take the chemicals in and they become part of the food we eat. Apples are a prime example; commercially grown apples nearly always contain traces of pesticides in them.
Besides, organically grown food is more nutritious. Scientists are now studying phytonutrients – previously unidentified substances in plants that are necessary for their health – and for ours. Organic gardening and farming restore the soil to its natural, living state to preserve all the essential nutrients, whether we can identify them yet or not.