Study: Organic farming is worse for climate change

Study: Organic farming is worse for climate change

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According to a study recently published by Nature Communications, organic farming can reduce pollution produced from farming however it takes a considerably more land, which means considerably more greenhouse gases would be released in order to clear that land. 

The MIT Technology Review also highlighted other recent research which has concluded that organic farming produces more climate pollution than conventional practices because of land-use changes. 

"Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference -- for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent," says Stefan Wirsenius, who was responsible for a similar study in Science Daily. ""The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation."

A 2017 Nature Communications study revealed that in the United States, it would require a 16-33 percent increase in land use to switch to all organic farming. However, that number skyrockets in parts of Europe because of particularly high yields. 

“Looking at the farm scale doesn’t really tell you what a large-scale transition to organic would look like,” Dan Blaustein-Rejto, associate director of food and agriculture at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank that promotes technology solutions to environmental challenges, told the MIT Technology Review. “Only a study like this, that takes a system-wide perspective, really does.”

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