We have all heard the argument that we cannot feed the world on organic food. Well, thats wrong and the biggest study ever done on this subject proves. The difference between organic and “conventional” is only 19.2%.
For many of the most important crops such as corn or soybeans that difference is even smaller, only 8–9%. These numbers apply for the average of all organic farms. If we now dare to take a step further and really practice farming holistically we can reach yields that are even much higher than any conventional cultivation method. The example of the Three Sisters Agriculture exemplifies how plants can be cultivated in symbiosis. The Three Sisters Agriculture is a traditional cultivation method of Native America.
“The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a “living mulch”, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all 8 essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet.”
So why don’t we practice this kind of agriculture more? Because machines are standardised and engineered to work for monoculture cultivation. This is a lot more manual labor and takes a lot more knowledge. But I believe we as a society need to get back to our roots and not continue to de-humanise agriculture but instead all get our hands dirty again and plant some seeds, weed some fields and harvest those beautiful crops.
And I believe that if more people ate sustainably grown, organic food which is more nutritious, we people would eat less and be healthier for it.
The myth, the lie, that we cannot feed the world organically is quickly becoming a relic of the past.