What are the differences Between Organic and Conventional
The main difference between organic and conventional food products are of course the chemicals involved during production and processing. The conventional food production practices involve the use of a number of chemicals which have a devastating effect on the environment, while the residues of these chemicals in food products have dubious effects on human health. All food products on the market including those that contain residues of pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and other types of chemicals that are used during production and processing are said to be safe. There are no reports about people getting ill from eating conventionally grown food. Therefore, Organic food is more expensive than those are conventionally produced. Since production costs of conventional farming are low, farmers will be able to produce more crops and as a result, meet the growing demand for food supply. With the effects of global warming which include natural calamities, drought and the like, food production becomes low.
The paper, published on June 2019 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, was written by Michael Clark, a University of Minnesota graduate student who researches the environmental and health impacts of dietary changes, and David Tilman, an ecology professor at the university.
The researchers compared the impact of conventional versus organic farming in five areas: land use; greenhouse gas emissions; energy use; acidification potential (the increase of acidity in the ecosystem, which can impede plant growth); and eutrophication potential (increases here can impact the environment by increasing algal blooms and aquatic dead zones).
And organic farming came up short, according to the study: Per unit of food produced, organic systems had higher land use and eutrophication potential, tended to have higher acidification potential, did not offer benefits in GHGs, but had lower energy use.
One of the more significant problems facing organic farms is a pronounced yield gap – particularly when it comes to row crops – compared to conventional farming. Organic farms required 25 to 110 percent more land to make up for that gap, according to the study. And while organic farms tend to use less energy (15 percent lower), that doesn’t translate into significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions (4 percent lower).
Energy use is lower in organic systems because of organic’s reduced reliance on energy-intensive synthetic fertilizer and pesticide inputs. GHG emissions are similar in organic and conventional systems because of the trade-off between the application of synthetic fertilizer in conventional systems and the use of manure in organic systems.