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Unformatted text preview: Organic Agriculture: Farming for Our Future By: Christie Lynn Moore, S#995148095 L#1W102, TA Rob Colautti, March 2008 Our worlds population is rapidly growing. Today, there are over 6 billion people living on planet Earth. With our worlds current growth rate at 1.3%, there are now twice as many people then there were 40 years ago. In response to our growing population and technological advancements, agriculture has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Particularly since the end of World War II, food and fiber productivity has increased due to new technologies, mechanization, specialization, and increased chemical use. These changes have allowed for fewer farmers with a lower labor demand. Although these changes have had many positive effects and have reduced some of the risks in farming, there have also been significant costs. Some costs include topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination, the decline of family farms, the degeneration of social and economic conditions in rural communities, and an irreversible decline in biodiversity. A growing movement has emerged during the past two decades to challenge the role of the conventional agricultural establishment. The organic agricultural movement is gaining increasing support and acceptance as a more ethical alternative. This form of sustainable agriculture addresses many environmental concerns, social- consumer concerns, and offers some innovative and economic opportunities for those involved in the food system. Organic agriculture has been defined by the USDA National Organic Standards Board as: an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on management practices that restore, maintain, and enhance ecological...
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This note was uploaded on 06/24/2008 for the course BIO 150 taught by Professor Rowe during the Winter '08 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.
- Winter '08