So far, the global demand for food has be supplemented at the expense of two sins: chemicals that increase productivity and ecosystem devastation. It is estimated that the fields have replaced 70% of pasture, 50% of the savannas and 45% of temperate forests around the world.
Seeking to minimize the impacts on the environment, organic agriculture began to dawn on the awareness of producers and consumers. Many of the former, who have seen the impacts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, they looked back to basics for not following bleeding land. The second, concerned about the health effects of the food in their mouths every day, have begun to demand clean food.
The problem is that according to research conducted by researchers from McGill University in Montreal and the University of Minnesota, which analyzed 66 studies that compared traditional crops against the organic, the latter are much less productive and therefore hardly represent the solution for a world with 9,000 billion people.
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Verena Seufert, leader of the study published in the journal Nature, said that the difference between cultures "varies depending on conditions. When growers apply the best practices of organ systems achieve better performance. " The differences referred to Seufert comprise a range up to 25%. For example, in crops such as lettuce, beans and alfalfa, the productivity gap between organic and traditional with around 5% advantage for the latter. In the case of cereals crucial to the world as corn, organic farming produces 25% less.
But the equation is not so simple. While traditional crops using chemical fertilizers are more productive, they have a higher price in terms of land degradation. What sets the scale at another point.
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To Seuserf, it is clear that conventional agriculture is one of the greatest threats to the environment "should definitely change the way we produce food," he said. In his opinion, one way would be advisable to hybrid systems that combine the best of each trend depending on location, product and other variables.
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