- A global conversion to organic farming can contribute to a profoundly sustainable food system, provided that it is combined with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed and less food waste.
- Organic farming has extremely positive ecological effects, i.e. considerable reduction of fertilizers and pesticides, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions — and does not lead to increased land use, despite lower agricultural yields.
November 15, 2017 Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien Read full ScienceDaily article here
…The results reveal that, combined with abstaining from the use of concentrated feed in livestock production, a corresponding reduction in the consumption of animal products and a drop in food waste, organic agriculture has the potential to play a significant role in a sustainable nutrition system.
“In this way, it would be possible to secure the provision of food for the global population even in the event of a population size above 9 billion in the year 2050; land use would not increase, and the negative effects of today’s intensive nutrition system such as high nitrogen surplus levels or elevated pesticide loads would be reduced considerably. Furthermore, such a system would reduce considerably the greenhouse gas emissions from land use and the livestock systems, important drivers of climate change.”
However, as long as changes in consumption patterns as accompanying measures are not implemented, the critics will be right: Organic agricultural methods concomitant with unchanged consumption patterns would entail an increased demand for land. This would offset the advantages of organic farming and would thus significantly reduce or even call into question its contribution towards a sustainable development.
Adrian Muller, Christian Schader, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, Judith Brüggemann, Anne Isensee, Karl-Heinz Erb, Pete Smith, Peter Klocke, Florian Leiber, Matthias Stolze, Urs Niggli. Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture. Nature Communications, 2017; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01410-w