organic food.jpgThe Independent hadde nylig en interessant artikkel som tar for seg syv myter omkring økologisk mat og jordbruk og avkrefter disse. Her er noen korte utdrag, men les for all del hele:

Myth one: Organic farming is good for the environment

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…milk and dairy production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). A litre of organic milk requires 80 per cent more land than conventional milk to produce, has 20 per cent greater global warming potential, releases 60 per cent more nutrients to water sources, and contributes 70 per cent more to acid rain.

Myth two: Organic farming is more sustainable

Organic potatoes use less energy in terms of fertiliser production, but need more fossil fuel for ploughing. A hectare of conventionally farmed land produces 2.5 times more potatoes than an organic one.

Heated greenhouse tomatoes in Britain use up to 100 times more energy than those grown in fields in Africa. Organic yield is 75 per cent of conventional tomato crops but takes twice the energy – so the climate consequences of home-grown organic tomatoes exceed those of Kenyan imports.

Myth four: Pesticide levels in conventional food are dangerous

The proponents of organic food – particularly celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who have jumped on the organic bandwagon – say there is a «cocktail effect» of pesticides. Some point to an «epidemic of cancer». In fact, there is no epidemic of cancer. When age-standardised, cancer rates are falling dramatically and have been doing so for 50 years.

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Sixty years ago, all Britain’s food was organic; we lived only until our early sixties, malnutrition and food poisoning were rife. Now, modern agriculture (including the careful use of well-tested chemicals) makes food cheap and safe and we live into our eighties.

Myth five: Organic food is healthier

To quote Hohenheim University: «No clear conclusions about the quality of organic food can be reached using the results of present literature and research results.» What research there is does not support the claims made for organic food.

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Disease is the major reason why organic animals are only half the weight of conventionally reared animals – so organic farming is not necessarily a boon to animal welfare.