Thirty-year research demonstrates that organic agriculture CAN feed the world


Skeptics claim the world would starve if farmers were to depend on organic practices. Not so says a new report from Rodale Institute, a name and force in organic agriculture and gardening for over 60 years. You may be familiar with a couple of its publications, Organic Gardening and Prevention Magazine.

The Institute recently released the findings of a 30-year trial that compared the yields, fuel requirements, emissions and profitability of organic vs. conventionally-farmed fields of corn and soybeans. Why these crops? Because 49% of America’s cropland is devoted to these commodities. The results are nothing if not astounding:

  • Organic yields match conventional yields
  • Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought
  • Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system
  • Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient
  • Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases
  • Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional

In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Rodale Institute Executive Director Mark Smallwood explains the findings in greater detail and describes the Institute’s research now and going forward. He invites farmers to consider these results and to contact Rodale with questions and for information about transitioning to organic farming practices.

Food lovers can consider this encouragement to ask for organically-produced and processed foods wherever you shop. Do you keep an organic garden in St. Paul or Minneapolis, Madison, WI, San Diego, Colorado, New Jersey, Staten Island or in the northern reaches of Alaska? I think this interview will strike familiar chords. I’d love to get your reactions.

Enjoy. [Audio below]