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Organic Produce Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Conventional Produce

September 27, 2008 | 38,515 views
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conventional farming, organic farming, organic, food, fuel, oil, fossil fuel, alternative fuel, alternative energy, corn, ethanol, economy, produce, prices, fertilizersA study suggests that the rising price of oil could soon make cereal crops grown with chemical fertilizers more expensive than those produced more naturally.

Industrial farming relies on fertilizers made from fossil fuels. These fertilizes are used to replace nutrients in the soil. Organic farming, however, improves soil fertility through crop rotations, and is therefore less affected by oil prices.

With oil predicted to reach $200 a barrel within five to 10 years, the profit margin on organic wheat, barley and oil seed rape could soon be significantly higher than for the same crops produced by non-organic methods.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

If there ever was a silver lining to an otherwise unfortunate financial situation, this might be it.  

This study, created for the British Soil Association, suggests that as oil will inevitably become scarcer and prices rise, local and international economic forces will increasingly begin to favor organic farming over conventional farming.   

How the Economic Forces of Energy, Fertilizers and Food Converge, Opening the Door for Local, Organic Farming 

The price of chemical fertilizers –which are made from fossil fuels – increased by more than 200 percent, worldwide, in 2007. Average prices paid by U.S. farmers reached record levels last month at 113 percent higher than the average price in August 2007, according to another brand new report by The Fertilizer Institute

However, rising oil prices may not be the only factor that could fuel a return to more local, sustainable and organic farming practices.  

According to both the Fertilizer Institute, and the International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC), the increased demand for alternative energy – ethanol -- is a major contributing factor to the rapid rise in fertilizer prices as well.   

So the cost of energy sources, period, appears to be a potent force in driving fertilizer prices skyward, which in turn increases cost of conventionally-grown food. 

2007 saw industrial farmers applying higher levels of fertilizers in an effort to maximize their corn production for ethanol, as grain for biofuel were at the highest prices ever. From January 2007 to January 2008 the price of one metric ton of corn rose from $3.05 to $4.28 per bushel. “Those forces drive fertilizer prices higher,” said Dr. Balu Bumb, leader of the Policy, Trade, and Markets Program of IFDC.

The rising price of fertilizers contributes to a positive feedback loop for grain prices, creating an upward-spiraling effect of ever rising fertilizer- and food prices. Add to that skyrocketing oil prices and the increasing demand for biofuels and you have a financial-agricultural loop that can only be described as unsustainable

As it turns out, our current “green” worldview has created brand new financial ramifications.  

"There was once a food economy and an energy economy—but the boom in biofuels is now merging the two," said Phil Humphres, IFDC Senior Specialist-Engineering.  

While 70 percent of corn production has traditionally been used as animal feed, the U.S. used 18 to 20 percent of the 2007 corn crop for ethanol, which increased corn prices by 70 percent. And the situation will likely get worse this year as 25 percent of corn production is earmarked for ethanol.  

It’s this convergence of food prices and energy prices that is boosting fertilizer prices, which effectively creates a never-ending circle. The smartest way out would be to return to an agricultural system that does not depend on chemical fertilizers, nor requires expensive transportation from farm to consumer. 

Enter the local, organic farm.

Demand for Organic Food is Increasing Across the World 

I’ve reported about the increased demand for organics in the U.S. on multiple occasions, but health conscious Americans are certainly not alone in beginning to favor locally-grown organic foods. For example, sale of organic food in Ireland has increased by 82 percent just in the last two years, and Turkey saw a stunning 500 percent increase in accredited organic producers in just one four-year period.  

Many European countries are also trying to expand public awareness of “food miles,” i.e. the number of miles your food has traveled from producer to your table.  

The benefits of eating organic foods, and sticking with local sources whenever possible, are numerous. From better taste, to more nutrition, to a cleaner environment, to… MORE money left in your pocket?  

The way things are going, that could soon be the case.


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