I have a Google Alert set up for a number of phrases: Micro-Farming, Vegetable Garden, Farmers Market, Emergent Church, Missional, and Organic Farming.  Throughout each day Google sends me an email for each Alert with links to news articles and blogs that were written in the past day about each of these topics.  Most of the info I stumble upon because of this service is helpful, however there is quite a bit of information that is poorly thought out and trite.  This is the internet after all.  For the past month or so I’ve become a bit annoyed with some of the “news articles” that come across the wire.  Most of them have this title:

Organic Farming Can’t Feed the World

I’m not really arguing whether or not this is true.  I don’t know whether or not organic farming can feed the world.  What bothers me is that conventional farming (farming using chemical pesticides and herbicides) isn’t feeding the world either.  When this news articles is written is comes across as though conventional farming is doing well to feed the current global population, but it isn’t.  People are still dying because of lack of food.

The truth is that an organic farming does need more land to cultivate the same amount of food as a conventional farm, but there are so many factors that go into that statement that sit below the surface.  Primarily, organic farming believes in building up the soil so that the next season the soil will be healthier than the previous.  This is not a concern with conventional farming.  Aslo, and perhaps the biggest factor, the Western Diet is not sustainable because of the waste associated with it.  Westerner’s throw away an incredible amount of food to support our way of eating.  Rare is it to find someone who saves food from the night before to actually eat in the future.  It is more likely to put some left-overs into a Tupperware only to throw them out in the future.  This is just one example.  If we learned to cook only what we were going to eat.  And buy only what we will eat.  And be conscious of what we are buying.  Not only would our grocery bills go down, but so would are trash piles.  There is another factor in this, too.  We Westerner’s eat more than we need to. Which seems to beg the question:  If we didn’t live on a diet larger than we needed, could organic farming feed the world?

Any thoughts out there?

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