You may eat organic food for health benefits or because you love the taste of whole food in its purest natural form. But did you ever consider that by supporting organic farming practices you are also helping the environment? Think about these benefits your whole foods consumption provides the environment while you enjoy that arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes, sweet onions and red peppers tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.
Protects the Soil
Organic farmers shun synthetic products whenever possible and opt for those found in nature instead. Manure and composted food are used as fertilizer which enriches the soil with nutrients and makes it more naturally fertile and able to thrive on its own. Crop rotation and cover crops protect the soil health as well.
Weeds are eliminated by tilling the soil, which keeps chemical herbicides out of the ground and off the crops. If this process doesn't work, pesticides made of natural sources are used.
Genetically modified organisms are never used on organic farms who prefer to raise crops in the way nature intended with traditional seeds known for their disease resistance.
Promotes Healthy Water
Non-organic farms produce runoff into our water supply and rivers that are full of pesticide and fertilizer residue. The absence of these synthetic chemicals in organic farming maintains a balance between the soil and water and protects our water systems from this pollution. Natural fertilizers combined with annual crop rotation keep nutrients in the soil and increases its structure to help retain moisture and prevent runoff and erosion. This also means less water is needed to irrigate organic crops, which is especially helpful in times of drought.
Creates Wildlife Habitats
Organic farms create natural habitats that encourage birds and other helpful predators to live and thrive on the property. Wildlife is kept healthy by grazing on chemical-free plants and soil and drinking pure water. They, in turn, provide pest control to the farmer. This means nesting owls take care of any rats and mice on the property and birds feast on flying or burrowing insects that could damage the crops.
Fights Global Warming
The technique of organic farming helps the soil store carbon instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. This reduction of carbon emissions in the air fights global warming and slows climate change. Environmental studies have shown that if 10,000 medium-sized U.S. farms changed to organic farming, the amount of carbon kept out of the atmosphere would be the equivalent of removing 1,174,400 vehicles off the road.
The use of natural fertilizers instead of synthetic ones made of a petroleum base also helps combat climate change and lessens our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Organic farming takes a proactive approach to protect the environment and maintain the biodiversity of our planet. Helping the environment gives you one more beneficial reason to love organic products.
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