Why less is definitely more in the organic garden?

October 11th, 2012 | Posted by Gregoire Michaud in Daily life...

This morning I chocked on my croissant when I came across that article from the South China Morning Post.

Organic salads in New Territories

Without even starting to debate on local and organic food, which is what the article is all about, I found way too easy to stigmatize Hong Kong new-born organic scene with the stereotype “urbanites in search of a better life”. This is totally out of context and not relevant to the actual farming… at all!

Obviously, the researches behind the article were probably limited as far the the nearby market the journalist went. With a little more information, such as this article from Scientific American magazine, where the analysis conducted by the McGill University in Montreal and the University of Minnesota will paint us a much broader view of the global situation in regards to organics and sustainability. Earth happens to produce more food than it needs, but the balance between organic and conventional is way off – this is what needs to change. And honestly, trashing the local organic farmers doesn’t help.

China happens to be the largest food producer in the world just behind India, but as studies found, most of the expansion in food production is based mostly on increased crop yield, which means a more intensive agriculture is applied with GMO’s and chemicals, and so our soil dies a little more. On the opposite of what the SCMP article relates, and according to that study from Catherine Badgley of the University of Michigan, if organic agriculture is properly run, the yield can be the same as intensive farming.

If you happen to read French, check out this study and this article on organic food. A few points worth noting in these is the organic crop yield ranging from 80% to 98% compared to conventional methods. The studies are always made on the same piece of land to see how the Earth is healing. It takes many years to have a proper soil after all the chemicals spoiled it.

The agrochemical industries spend billions in developing their products, while the organic industry has peanuts to spend in comparison. Perhaps if the same amount of development and efforts were put into organic solutions, it would move a little faster!

At the end of the day, we may argue with studies against studies, it just depends on which side you’re on and what is everyone belief. If you ask me, I am on the “let’s try” side. The food industry has been gangrened since the 50’s with the more-and-faster disease and it needs to change.

When I look in my son’s eyes and I can’t hold myself thinking how can we be so selfish and not think about the next generation. We take everything for granted and while our world consume its very own resources needed to sustain life without impunity, there may not be many generation after ours…

You know what? Let’s try to change things!

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