We’ve all heard the debate before around “conventional” farming versus “organic,” and the multitude of arguments supporting each side. Proponents of industrial farming insist that organic farming is too expensive and can’t produce enough food to sustain our planet, but now conventional wisdom is being turned upside down. Earlier this month, our friends at Real Food Real Stories shared findings from a study conducted by Trucost for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations measuring the environmental and economic cost of factory farming against the actual costs of organic farming. The results of the study show that shifting from large-scale industrialized farming to smaller-scale, organic practices utilizing crop rotation, cover crops and manure produce larger profit margins while the environmental costs are significantly lower.
“The high environmental cost of industrialized farming practices is not reflected in food prices, leaving us vulnerable to supply disruption and price shocks as the effects of climate change worsen,” said Richard Mattison, chief executive officer of Trucost. “Our research for the FAO shows how alternative approaches to agriculture can benefit farmers and the environment, ensuring sustainable and affordable food supplies for all.”
At ROOT, we strive to connect our community to a sustainable food system through accessible, affordable small-scale home gardens. By creating agricultural spaces in urban places, we hope to contribute to a movement away from the detrimental techniques of large-scale industrial farming, empowering our community with tools and knowledge to be effective cultivators and advocates of sustainable farming techniques.