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Sustainable food systems prevent pollution
Organic farming systems are beneficial to the environment and people.
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we
use our power the greater it will be. Thomas Jefferson, third US
president, architect and author (1743-1826)
SUSTAINABLE FOOD FOR HEALTH
We Southern Californians are very aware and concerned about the quality of our food! Organic food has captured attention for several reasons: organically grown food has less chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers and are thus, seen as more healthful and less contaminated.
Beyond the food value, many people support organic farming because they believe organic farming systems are beneficial to the environment because the ground water is not contaminated with pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and other farm techniques such as mulch, compost, and heritage plants contribute to watershed wide water, air and soil conservation.
Cleaner air and water
Spraying synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides leaves residues in the air for all creatures to breathe and drink. Many chemicals take years to break down in the soil, and can be absorbed by plants that are the food for wildlife.
Healthy, stabilized soil is another reason to support organic gardening and farming. Through the use of composting, mulching and rotated cover crops, the soil is built up and nutrients replaced systematically with organic farming methods.
Conservation of water
Healthy, nutrient rich soils created through organic farming practices also retain moisture and require less water, including irrigation from our increasingly scarce fresh water supplies.
Balanced ecosystem and biodiversity
Biodiversity is a strong component of organic farming strategy. By encouraging the use of heritage plants and reducing chemicals that cause pest plants and insects to develop resistant strains, organic production supports an environment in which wildlife and native plants can thrive alongside agricultural crops.
Organic methods are frequently employed on smaller family farms that rely more on human labor than petroleum driven equipment for maintenance of growing fields. Conservation of energy can be a significant result of the use of mulched and composted soil conditioners, as well as weed control and harvesting and long distance shipping.
Matching plants to the environment
Organic growers tend to plant crops that are well suited for their environment and disease resistant varieties, thus reducing environmental stresses that call for extra fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Plants that are compatible with growing conditions also require less water.
Humane treatment of animals
Animals raised organically are not given hormones or growth stimulants and will not be given antibiotics routinely. Organic meats are not allowed to pass any chemicals on to consumers. Animal treatment in organic farms focuses on low-stress environment without crowding, and with access to organically grown foods and out-of-doors environments.
Safer worker conditions
Risks involved with applying various pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are reduced because those chemicals are not involved in organic farming working environments. Supporting organic food production also helps support safer working environments for field workers.
Support local, small business
Many organic farms market their crops in their local community or region. This supports open space, and maintains biodiversity, and community natural resources stewardship.
The health of our regional environment has a direct impact on each resident’s health and wellbeing. Cleaner water, air and soil means improved public health.
Healthier soil means it has more nutrients to pass on to the plants grown in it. This passes extra nutrients on in the harvested food.
Edited by Carolyn Allen