Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Organic vs. conventional farming: Which has lower environmental impact?

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The Swedish Food Agency (Svenska Livsmedelsverket SLV) recently published a report on a many-faceted breakdown of environmental effects in farming per one kilogram of farming product. This report was also discussed in an opinion piece in the Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter (under the title “Organic farming has never been better for the environment”).

In this SLV’s report the researchers looked at environmental impacts separated into the subtopics of climate, over-fertilization, acidification, eco-toxicity, energy use, and land use. They determined there to be a difference between the two when a study would find more than 10 % variation in the two farming systems’ respective impacts, and when two thirds of the studies considered would be in agreement over the effect. The number inside each cell signifies the number of studies considered. They compared these effects per one kilogram product for nine categories of food product: milk, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, fish and seafood, vegetables, and fruits and berries. (Note, category fish and seafood shortened to ‘fish’ and category fruit and berries to ‘fruit’ for space reasons in the version I translated and created into the infographic you see below. The table with its numbers and colours was provided as is in the report).....To Read More....

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