Ecology

What is organic agriculture

With increasing frequency, you hear about organic farming and its benefits for health and for the planet. In fact, little by little it is more common to find products such as fruits, vegetables and legumes from organic or organic production in markets and supermarkets. It is a sector that has been slowly entering the food sector and that, according to what everything seems to indicate, will increase its production in the coming years due to the greater demand for this type of products by consumers compared to conventional agriculture.

What is organic agriculture

Organic agriculture, also known as organic farming or simply organic farming , is a type of agriculture that is characterized by not using any type of artificial element in its processes . In other words, the use of synthetic chemical products (artificially produced in the laboratory by humans) is avoided in all the elements of their products, both in terms of pesticides and fertilizers. Likewise, organic agriculture is also characterized by using only natural seeds. That is, seeds that have not been genetically modified in the laboratory. In this way, it is an agriculture that develops in the same way as traditional agriculture did and in a completely natural way.

What are the advantages of organic agriculture

Organic agriculture has several advantages over conventional agriculture. On the one hand, being an agriculture that dispenses with both the use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified seeds, it is much more respectful with the environment . This can be seen in two fundamental aspects. On the one hand, by not using synthetic chemicals, contamination of the soil and the ecosystem is avoided . By using synthetic chemicals in the form of pesticides, the entire ecosystem where they are used is damaged.

In fact, one of the main problems that these types of synthetic pesticides have is that they kill both bad insects for crops and good ones, for example pollinating insects such as bees. On the other hand, by dispensing with the use of genetically modified seeds, the environment and the ecosystem are not put at risk by introducing species that, even ignoring their long-term effects, are completely alien to the indigenous biodiversity of the region where the plants are located. crops.

Likewise, beyond the advantages that organic agriculture has for the environment, it is also worth mentioning the advantages it has for human health . As they are natural products, they do not contain the aforementioned synthetic chemicals. These products are harmful to human health. In fact, even if they are used in small doses, considered “safe” by official bodies, that does not mean that they are harmless substances to the human body. An example of how these substances affect when they are ingested can be found in the damage they can cause to the microbiota of the intestine, which is especially sensitive to this type of substances such as pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Organic farming: disadvantages

However, although organic agriculture presents a series of fundamental advantages for the environment and health, it must also be recognized that it implies a series of disadvantages that partially limits its popularization and that it is a type of food that can reach all layers of the population.

On the one hand, it must be taken into account that organic agriculture, by dispensing with synthetic chemicals, generates much smaller harvests than those that conventional agriculture can offer. By dispensing with synthetic products such as pesticides or fertilizers, these have to be replaced by pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. These types of products are effective, however, they tend to be more expensive compared to synthetics.

Consequently, this also implies that the prices of organic agriculture products are higher than those of conventional agriculture, since it is a cultivation process that requires much more work and that, in addition, produces a more limited amount of the product in question. In this way, it is a type of agriculture that, on many occasions, ends up being consumed only by the wealthiest sectors of the population, since there is a cost difference with the products of conventional agriculture that ends up producing the rejection of people with less economic resources at the time of purchase.

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