Diet-NutritionOrganic foods

Are Canadian academics opposed to organic farming?

Earlier this year a report from the University of Alberta concluded that the environmental impact of food-miles racked up by organic produce when making the trip from farm to grocery store cancels out the benefits of growing it according to organic principals.

Now, there’s this from a technician at Malaspina University College in British Columbia, Canada.

Here are the highlights.

  • Soil “tillage practices can have a major [negative] effect on the levels of soil CO2 emissions.”
  • “Manure fertilizer increases soil respiration rates and therefore CO2 emissions by 2-3 fold.”
  • Because organic agriculture produces 30% less than conventional farms, converting entirely to organic agriculture, would require 30% more farmland — significantly reducing the remaining wilderness.
  • Converting to organic farming would require a tremendous increase in animals to generate manure fertilizer, with the accompanying increase in green house gas because of — you know.

The bottom line?
According to the author, “The public is calling for “greener” options in every industry. But when it comes to agricultural CO2 emissions, the “greener” option may not be what people think.”

This information doesn’t seem to be that difficult to collect. Where were these data at the start of the “organic revolution?”

Would somebody please do a similar calculation for ethanol?

Wait! They have!

8/8/07 15:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.