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Study: organic food is worse for the climate

the Results are reported in the article “Assessing the efficiency of changes in land use for mitigating climate change” published in the journal Nature.

the Article is written by Timothy Searchinger, Princeton University, Stefan Wirsenius, Chalmers, Tim Beringer, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and Patrice Dumas, the cired.

Stefan Wirsenius is an associate professor in the department of physical resource theory at the department of environmental science at Chalmers university of technology. The researchers have first gone through how large areas like crops, peas and wheat need, depending on whether they are organically or conventionally grown. For organic wheat needed twice as much land for the same amount of harvest.

the Scientists then counted with a hitherto untried method that measures the ”koldioxidkostnad” on the basis that the larger arealanvändning indirectly contributes to higher carbon emissions when the forest, that absorbs carbon dioxide, it must are being devastated to make room for the food.

– Mark as to be constructed to produce food is a very limited resource and we will need more food to nourish a growing population in the coming decades, " says Stefan Wirsenius.

the study, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, has come to the conclusion that the organic peas cultivated in Sweden, approximately 50% larger carbon footprint than conventionally grown. For the Swedish organic wheat, the impact is even greater, close to 70 per cent, if you then assume that the forest has to be removed.

– this is of course hypothetical reasoning, and I do not mean that it would happen in practice. Our count shows more of the principled differences, but how it falls out in reality is up to the politicians, " says Stefan Wirsenius.

the Reason that organic crops account for more emissions is that the yield is much less, primarily because synthetic fertilizers not permitted in organic farming. Forests that are being converted replanted not at the same pace.

chalmers researcher is careful to point out that organic food has very many advantages, when it comes to pesticides, antibiotics and other environmental toxins that could affect the nature negatively in the long run. But the organic food is nevertheless worse for the climate, according to their methods. Although researchers haven't done the calculations, this applies also for organic meat and dairy because it makes use of organically grown feed, according to Wirsenius.

– The information that we have found to make an assessment of the more ecologically complex than previously thought. Previously, it was thought, perhaps, that organic is the solution to agriculture, but I think it's more complicated than that.

linked via trade affected deforestation in, for example, the tropics also of how the Swedish agricultural land used, according to the researchers.

– What we should do in terms of agricultural policy, I have no idea, but I think it is good a this information will come to light. And in addition, eating organic peas is much better than eating pork and beef. I don't think you should interpret this study as that organic is worthless, but this adds a further dimension.

" I like to think that if I'm vegan so I make a huge effort for the climate and can eat organic peas and still make a great contribution for the climate. To eat organic products of the chicken or pig is still much better than eating beef and lamb, " says Stefan Wirsenius.

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