Organic vs. Sustainable Farming
Many people confuse “organic farming” with “sustainable farming”. While both methods aim to use more ecologically sensible practices; they are judged differently by a distinct set of standards. When food is labeled organic, this simply means the food was grown or raised without the use of synthetic chemicals. Organic farming refers to agricultural production systems that do not use genetically modified seed, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Many organic farmers view organic production as a way to work with the environment and maintain the balance of their ecosystem. However; large-scale industrial organic farming can still threaten public health in a variety of ways and damage the environment. Failure to adhere to the appropriate standards of organic farming can lead to widespread monoculture, which may ruin the ecosystem. Soils can still be depleted of organic matter, nutrients pollution can still be created, and exorbitant amounts of fossil fuels can still be spent, all under an organic label. It is therefore imperative to incorporate sustainable practices in order to promote ecological balance in the eco-system.
The aim of sustainable farming is to farm a single area so that it produces food indefinitely. Sustainable farming must avoid irreversible changes to the land such as soil erosion and must refrain from withdrawing resources from the environment that cannot be replenished. Successful sustainable agriculture must incorporate economic profitability, environmental health, and social and economic equity. Sustainability is based on the principle that “we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This means that stewardship of both human and natural resources are of primary importance. Farmers who practice sustainable farming have a responsibility to land and natural resource stewardship and must therefore maintain or enhance this vital resource base for the long term. In so doing, sustainable farmers must consider their sources: they must determine where your resources come from, the source of their resources and inputs, and keep in mind that “no farm is an island”.
The main concept of sustainable farming is long-term stability and productivity. The more renewable and varied the resources, the longer the farm will last. This is the only way to ensure that future generations will reap the benefits.
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