New Research Supports Many Benefits of Local Farming

Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Farming, Health with 1 Comment

Jeffrey Green| NaturalBlaze | Feb 18th 2014

farmers_market_usda_jacksonPolicy makers should value environmental, health benefits of small-scale local farming, researcher argues.


While the biotech industry continues to assert that modern-day farming must be driven by genetic modification in order to provide more consistent crop production in ever greater numbers, an increasing number of independent studies argue just the opposite.

When it comes to food production, it is one of the many myths of GMO; GMOs do not provide more food, but do offer Big Ag companies increased profits on the need for more pesticides, herbicides, and patented seeds.

Natural agriculture practices are the real answer, and another new study backs it up.

We are often shown images of starving people in Third World countries who presumably need saving by corporate conglomerates. However, in just one example, poverty-stricken rice and potato farmers in India confirmed record-breaking yields after switching to truly organic food production. (Source)

This is a similar story as others reported in Africa, with incredible additional benefits to the economy and human rights (read the full report here).

Another study showed that biodiversity from polyculture outperforms industrial farming by reducing the chemicals required.

 A study by the University of California, Berkeley, presented exhaustive alternatives to current practices. One section of the paper cited research pointing to the positive effects of biodiversity on the numbers of herbivore pests, finding that polycultural planting led to reduction of pest populations by up to 64%. Later, combined results of hundreds of comparisons also favored biologically diverse farms with a 54% increase in pest mortality and damage to crops dropping by almost 25%. The introduction of more diverse insects also promoted increased pollination and healthier crops.(source ecology and society)

And yet another:


 A 9-year study conducted by researchers from the USDA, University of Minnesota and Iowa State University proved that in more complex systems, yield AND profits were both enhanced. When paired against the conventional corn/soy rotation, less fertilizer was used. This difference actually increased over the course of the study, indicating the quality of the soil was improving over time, instead of experiencing the depletion of common practices. (source Union of Concerned Scientists)

The switch to local farming methods protects and enhances this essential biodiversity that is now increasingly lacking around the world according to Timothy Johns, Professor of Human Nutrition at McGill University in Montreal.

[read full post here]

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