in comment to a Nature News article on “Organic not being enough”

The comment is to a Time article

It’s interesting that the same mainstream that considered organic futile a few decades ago, now acknowledges that organic produce is more nutritious. It’s been a scientific fact, for a while, that NPK fertilizer promote structural carbohydrates in plants and creates plants deficient in micronutrients and protein (and flavor). The effect of organic fertilizer on nutrient content is described in http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J512v13n02_02 . As to the efficiency of organic farming, it’s not just a matter of land surface area. What’s relevant is how fertile that land is a few decades later. Synthetic fertilizer deplete biological activity and therefore fertilizty of the soil. Synthetic fertilizers are salts that kill soil microbes through osmotic drought. In an organic farm soil fertility is sustained over time, hence the world “sustainable”. Organic farms also use water more efficiently, because organic matter retains water more efficiently than sand, clay and loam (soil). Mader published a science paper in 2001 demonstrating the higher resource-efficiency of organic farming: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/296/5573/1694.abstract . As to what’s next, new technologies for organic farming are continuously emerging, and I tried summarizing them in this review: https://www.bioeng.ca/publications/meetings-papers?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=21&sobi2Id=377

More on why only organic famring can feed the world: it does not degrade land while conventional agriculture does. According to a FAO report, 25% of agricultural land is degraded. More urgently, GMO’s (which are illegal in organic practices) were scientifically proven to cause cancer and other healthy issues related to endocrine disruption, in rats.

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