Going Organic: Is It Worth the Cost?
Sounds great! So what's the downside of organic farming? Well, one of the major reasons that farmers use fertilizers is to put nitrogen back into the soil for plants to feed on. Since organic farms don't use synthetic fertilizers, they have to rely on natural methods instead, like manure and cover crops, such as legumes. Unfortunately, manure can't put enough nitrogen back into the soil to grow the huge amount of crops that it takes to feed the world's livestock. Cover crops are promising, but many farmers can't afford to grow crops they can't sell. Though some legumes are edible, the ones that are best for nitrogen production are not. This means that organic farmland has to occasionally be given over to producing crops that no one will buy. Even die-hard organic food lovers agree that if the world wants to continue consuming huge amounts of meat, organic farming just won't cut it.
The solution to this problem, of course, is for people to eat less meat and more grains, fruits, and vegetables. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AIRC) most Americans eat too much meat and should cut back for health reasons, as well as environmental ones. So, if you're concerned about your family's health and the environment, eating less meat and buying organic produce is a great option. Meat generally costs more than vegetables, so buying less of it should help to offset the higher cost of organic products. Just make sure that your family gets enough protein and nutrients from other sources to ensure a balanced diet.