When shopping for vegetables at the local farmers’ market I am struck by the abundance of choice. Local produce from local farmers on offer in all colors of the rainbow. The natural taste and beauty of the fruits and vegetables tells me about the culture of the land and of the ways of ecological farming. The fruits and vegetables are seasonal, meaning they do not grow all year around and you buy what is on offer right now.
Organic Maize in Hungary
© Greenpeace / Emma Stoner
Ecological farming is so much more though than the farming method that puts locally produced food on your table. The science of ecological farming aims at producing food for all using mainstream production methods that can be adapted to all parts of the world, while minimizing damage to the environment.
Why ecological farming
By producing food in cooperation with nature we make sure that there are provisions in the form of healthy soil and water for the next harvest and for the next generation. The current model of industrial agriculture is destructive, and pollutes nature with synthetic fertilizers and toxic chemicals. Groundwater contamination, loss of natural pest control mechanisms and increases in pesticide resistance are only a few of the problems related to industrial agriculture.
By decreasing the pollutants, we increase nature’s capacity to keep pests and disease under control, reduce the negative impact on biodiversity and make sure that crops can be harvested year after year.
Feeding the hungry, in the future and today
Food is what brings people and Earth together, and Greenpeace believes that ecological farming is the solution to feeding the hungry. Over a billion people on our earth go hungry right now. They need to be able to produce food and feed themselves without relying on multinational corporations providing them with seed or chemicals. Ecological farming methods can provide food for all.
Ecological farming ensures healthy farming and healthy food today and tomorrow, by protecting soil, water and climate. It promotes biodiversity, that is to say the richness of flora and fauna on farmland - which provides for a healthy living for humans and for sustainable food production. It also does not contaminate the environment with harmful chemical inputs.
Genetic engineering vs ecological farming
While scientific progress has great potential to increase our understanding of nature and the environment, it should not be used as justification to turn our Earth into a giant experiment driven by commercial interests. Agricultural systems driven by genetic engineering technology is discredited, threaten crop biodiversity, and pose potential risks to human health and the environment. In comparison, ecological agricultural has a proven track record of being able to ensure food security and high yields under multiple and diverse stresses (like diseases, pests and droughts), while genetically engineered crops have failed.
The ability to feed ourselves and our children is too important to gamble with. Greenpeace chooses ecological farming as a safe and viable option for everyone right now. The integrity of the world's food supply is too important to our survival to be put at risk.
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