Save the World! Go Organic!

That’s right. You get to enjoy all of the health and flavors of your favorite cuisines, while saving the planet at the same time.

The organic food industry has seen demand for its products surge in the last few years., a trend that is expected to continue in the near future. This has been a result not only of people becoming more health and environmental conscious but the industry also making a concerted effort to promote a more sustainable future for the planet.

People, by and large, now understand the dangers of global warming and crises this will lead to if steps are not taken to mitigate its effects. They are now aware of the cost of inaction and are taking proactive steps to counter effects of environment degradation. And the food industry has stepped to the plate, no pun intended, to play its part by switching to practices that would lead to a better and greener future.

But how exactly does switching to an organic lifestyle benefit the planet or even address something as immense as climate change? To answer this question, we have to go to the source of our food and understand what it goes through before it ends up in local stores and supermarkets.

In the last decade, there has been an eight percent (8%) increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agricultural sector. About thirteen percent (13%) of all total global GHG emissions or six billion tonnes of GHGs come from the industry, in the US for example nine percent (9%) of their total greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 come from the agricultural sector which has the smallest GHG by economic sector in 2015. I comes right after Commercial and Residential (12%), Industries (21%), Transportation (27%), and Electricity (29%)[4]. Majority of the emissions are methane (CH4) and Nitrous oxide (N2O) which comes from cattle belching and the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers which makes up sixty five percent (65%) of the agriculture industry’s total contribution. In addition to this, aggressive agricultural conversion of forest areas also reduce carbon sinks that play a crucial role in carbon absorption. If current practices persists, we are looking at a projection of fifteen percent (15%) increase by 2030.

Additionally, years of unsustainable and chemical dependent agricultural practices are also continuously taking their toll on the environment.Chemical pesticides poison the land and waterways when they seep into the soil. Indiscriminate use of pesticides have also caused the loss of biodiversity in many agricultural areas. According to a study by David Pimentel, a Cornell etomologist, it is estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach target pests. Other unsustainable practices in agriculture include slash and burn practices, field burning of crop residues, and mono-cropping among others.

The combined damages of both climate change and ecosystem degradation provide a very alarming situation for the future of the planet. Fortunately, the rise of organic agriculture holds enormous potential to provide healthy and nutritious food while ensuring that it does not jeopardize the environment and exacerbate the effects of climate change. Organic production of food as opposed to the conventional mass production ensures that food growth is in sync with the natural processes of the ecosystem. The whole framework focuses on food production using the natural processes of nature to sustain the growth of plants and animals.

Certified organic standards do not permit the use of toxic chemicals in farming practices and require food producers to employ proper management of soils and ensure a healthy biodiversity. Proper management of ecosystem services instead of chemical-induced growth ensures that both the produce and the environment stays healthy. Waterways do not need to be contaminated, and air quality does not need to be compromised to satisfy the demand for food. Not only does the quality of the product increase, it also makes agriculture sustainable ensuring food security for the coming generations.

It’s certainly greener on the other side. With organic food production continuously growing, we may just be able to play a part in overcoming the enormous threat to our planet. By making informed choices and opting for cleaner and greener products, we set in motion a change in lifestyle that will also save our lives. And what a better way of saving the planet than eating through the problem.


[1] Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change. Rodell institute. 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530. 2014

[2] Amounts of pesticides reaching Target pests: environmental impacts and ethics. Journal of agricultural and environmental ethics. David pimentel. March 1995

[3] Smith, P., D. Martino, Z. Cai, D. Gwary, H. Janzen, P. Kumar, B. McCarl, S. Ogle, F. O’Mara, C. Rice, B. Scholes, O. Sirotenko, 2007: Agriculture. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

[4] Sourcs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Go Organic!

Make the big switch from conventional to organic and encourage others to choose healthy products.