That’s What Our Experts Said!

4/27/2012 11:48 AM


This week, the media reported on a new study conducted by McGill University and University of Minnesota and published in Nature comparing organic and conventional farming practices.  Not surprisingly, the study found that the most sustainable production system may be a “hybrid” which uses the best practices from organic and conventional farming.

Our reaction?  Isn’t that exactly what our farmers said in the new “Ask the Experts” videos?  Viewers of these videos have seen that fruit and vegetable farmers already use very similar pest and disease strategies on their conventional and organic farms based upon this “hybrid” philosophy of best practices.  They also learned that organic and conventional farmers only use pesticides as a last resort in their battle to control pests and diseases and, when they do, they often choose to use the same ones.  Viewers can also gain further knowledge about why synthetic fertilizers are often more efficient than organic nitrogen sources – a key finding in the McGill/Minnesota study. 

The study authors suggest that this “hybrid” of organic and conventional farming systems be further explored as an environmentally sustainable option that may allow us to feed an ever-growing world population.  The authors also stated that “heated” discussions adamantly in favor of either conventional or organic farming systems should be set aside.  We agree.  Which is why we call on groups, like the Environmental Working Group, to stop calling safe and healthy produce items “dirty” simply because they are farmed conventionally.  In fact, it would be interesting to get EWG’s take on this new study and the authors’ suggestions.  We’ll invite them to post a comment to this blog. 

We hope that visitors to our website find that they are learning valuable information about how their organic and conventional fruits and vegetables are grown.  And, it is gratifying when our farming experts’ knowledge is substantiated by studies like those conducted by McGill University and University of Minnesota.

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