concept of "Organic" is not something novel or brand-newly discovered. It has been closely intertwined with human beings since the beginning of times. Organic farming methods and organic food items have always given a prominent place in the world. According to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture (IFOAM), organic cultivation is a production system which depends on natural ecological processes, biodiversity, and cycles adapted to local conditions, refraining from any adverse inputs, with the purpose of sustaining the health of the soil, ecosystems, and the people. It is a way of combining traditional methods and modern science to form innovative ways of agriculture for the benefit of both the environment and the lives involved.
On the other hand, with the unprecedented growth of the human population and increased demand for foods across the world, inorganic farming methods have become prominent as well. Large corporate industries have been established specifically for inorganic farming and production of inorganic food items, and in some countries, those have become the pillar stones of their economies.
Organic vs. inorganic farming
Organic farming systems are based on preserving the biological diversity and improving, maintaining or replenishing the productivity of the soil. It involves practices which are extremely favorable for the environment. Organic farming systems can be distinguished from the inorganic farming systems by several factors. For example, inorganic farming employs a full range of pre and post-plant tillage practices, advanced machinery, and most significantly synthetic fertilizers and pesticides whereas organic farming practices include simple, yet effective natural techniques of cultivation with the help of natural, environmentally friendly fertilizers and pesticides.
Furthermore, despite the common beliefs, scientific studies demonstrate that organic farming is actually more profitable than inorganic farming. There are remarkable variations in the yields and production costs between these two methods. However, with low production costs and higher prices for organic products in the market, organic farmers earn a higher profit than others. Besides, since organic farming is conducted in accordance with the local conditions and resources, crops are more resistant and actually produce higher yields during biological and physical stressful conditions.
According to a comparative study conducted on organic paddy and inorganic paddy cultivations in Tungabhadra Command Area (TCA) in India, organic farming turned out to be the more cost-effective alternative for the rural farmers. In the organic farms less quantity of seeds was utilized than in the inorganic ones. Hence there was a low cost associated with seeds in the organic farms. Moreover, the farmers proclaimed that the germination percentage of organic seeds was comparatively higher than that of inorganic seeds, and as a result, a lesser plant population can be maintained in the organic farms. In addition, organic farmers used less machine labor and more human and bullock labor resulting in a great reduction of cost.
However, inorganic farming still beats organic farming by having higher production and income in the short-run. Yet, it significantly fails and manifests low sustainability over a long period of time.
Organic food vs. Inorganic food
Consuming organic food is becoming an extremely popular trend in the modern world and it is definitely not without pretty good reasons. Organic foods are richer in taste, flavor, and nutritional value whereas the inorganic foods are comparatively tasteless, less nutritious, and sometimes even can be toxic.
Inorganic farming and chemical products like pesticides, weedicides, fertilizers, and plant growth factors are indispensable from one another. Overuse or misuse of these chemical products results in various health hazards and environmental problems. According to a study based on data collected by the US Government, pesticide residues can be found on about 23% of organic fruits and vegetables that we consume. These toxic residues slowly poison the vital organs of the body including the brain, heart, kidney, liver, lungs, and especially the reproductive organs causing stillbirths, miscarriages, and birth malformations.
As far as inorganic and organic techniques or products are concerned, organic always wins. Organic farming is truly cost-effective for farmers, whereas organic foods ensure our health and well-being.