Organic farming as carbon capture method gets a boost

Date Published: 19/10/2012

It’s always good to see some positive news on the sustainability front as far as organic methods of food production are concerned.

A great big carbon sink (and it produces food, too!)

This week we learned of a piece of research that demonstrates the potential of organic farming in carbon sequestration, basically saying that organic land has the potential to deliver a much greater benefit in locking up carbon than non-organic methods. As you would expect, there are caveats, with not all organic methods delivering the same results, but it’s another positive for a system that aims as far as possible to work with the planet and not against it.

The scientists in this case suggest that organic farming has a role to play as “climate friendly” agriculture. As long as the science stands up, that’s good news.

From a slightly oblique angle, however, you could say it’s yet another message that the organic sector has to get across to its audience. We already struggle, even with expert minds turned to the task, to convey the myriad benefits of the methods, from animal welfare to being wildlife friendly, avoiding GMOs and everything in between. Now we’ve got another aspect of organics to wrestle with getting into that messaging mix.

How does one weigh the strength of each of the arguments in favour of organics in order to convey it to an increasingly time-poor, attention deficit population?

You could say it’s a nice problem to have; an embarrassment of riches, perhaps. But there is a serious question in there that was hard enough to handle even before the “climate friendly” tag came along.

Still, it’s another thumbs-up for the organic brigade and more evidence, were it needed, that we’re all doing the right thing!