Three recent reports paint a picture of, and make the case for, an organic revolution.
• Organic is climate-resilient. According to a study published this month (February 2016) in Nature Plants, farmers who adopt organic practices fare better during droughts. Climate change resilience isn’t the only benefit to organic farming, the study’s authors point out. Organic crops are more profitable, and deliver foods that are safer because they aren’t grown with pesticides, and are higher in nutrition.
One fact Reganold’s study doesn’t address: Healthy soil also draws down, and sequesters carbon. All the better.
• Organic is healthier. A new study (the largest of its kind), published in the British Journal of Nutrition, shows that both organic milk and meat contain around 50 percent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than their conventionally produced counterparts. The study’s authors analyzed analyzed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found “clear differences” between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.
The findings are significant, given that Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function, the authors said.
• Organic is growing, thanks to consumers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Organic food sales in the U.S. have shown double-digit growth during most years since the 1990s, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.
Citing the Nutrition Business Journal, the USDA said organic food sales approached an estimated $37 billion in 2015, up 12 percent from the previous year.
Who’s driving that demand? You.
We have a long way to go, especially in the U.S., before we completely dismantle a food and farming system that is toxic to everything—our health, our environment, our climate and the animals we rely on for meat and dairy products. But we are making progress. We should celebrate the progress. And ratchet up the revolution!