by Ethan A. Huff
March 05, 2012
One of the arguments often used to defend
crops purports that biotechnology is necessary to feed the world, as
non-GM and organic farming methods by themselves are incapable of
producing enough food for everyone.
But the truth of the matter is that
organic farming by itself is fully capable of feeding the world - we
just need to make a few changes to the way we grow and raise our
food, which includes putting an end to the factory farming methods
that are destroying our health and the planet.
In a report entitled Feeding the Future, the Soil Association, a
U.K.-based organic farming advocacy group, makes the case that
organic and other agro-ecological farming systems are not only the
solution to the world's hunger problems, but when implemented, these
holistic methods of growing food actually facilitate bringing the
world's poorest out of poverty.
On the flip side, GM farming systems perpetuate and even create
poverty because they lock farmers into an endless cycle of
dependence on corporations for both the next season's batch of
self-destructing seeds, and the toxic chemical cocktails required to
grow them. GM agriculture, in other words, is toxic to the world's
economies, toxic to human health, and toxic to the environment.
As was shown in a
recent Rodale Institute study, which was the
culmination of more than 30 years worth of research, organic farming
systems actually produce higher yields than GM and non-GM
conventional farming systems.
Organic farming is also fully
self-renewing and sustainable, as composting, manure, and other
organic fertilizing methods naturally enrich soil and eliminate the
need for toxic pesticides and herbicides.
A much as 40
percent of the world's grains are fed to factory farm animals
Besides the GMO issue, factory farming systems in general, including
confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are needlessly
depleting much of the world's supply of grains.
According to the Soil Association, as
much as 40 percent of all the world's cereals are fed to livestock,
and this could rise to 50 percent by 2050 if current trends
Ruminating animals like cows and sheep were meant to eat grasses on
pasture, not GM soy, corn, and the many other grains that are
routinely fed to them on factory farms. Besides making the animals
sick, as they were not designed to eat them, these grain mixtures
require an intense amount of resources to grow and produce.
By letting animals graze naturally on pasture grasses, which humans
cannot eat anyway, these grains could instead be used to feed
grass-fed animals produce far
healthier meat than grain-fed animals anyway, which means that human
health across the globe would improve dramatically just from making
One third of
the world's food ends up in the trash heap as waste
Particularly in the developed world, humans waste an incredible
amount of food.
The Soil Association says that roughly
one third of
all food produced for human consumption ends up getting wasted. So
if more people simply made a conscious effort to conserve food, or
at least come up with simple ways to
share unused food with those in
need, hunger in many areas of the world would subside dramatically.
The group also mentions a type of food rationing system as another
option, but such a tyrannical approach would be wholly unnecessary
if the other methods were implemented, and if more people began
growing their own organic food at home.
To read the full report, visit: