Originally posted by purplemer
I often here that we need modern farming and chemicals in order to maintain the level of food we have on the planet and without such practised people would starve. Evidence is coming out that this is not the case. Last week I read about a farmer in India that out performed modern farming and grew the most rice per square metre anywhere in the world. He used old farming practises. Not new.
A study by the University of California, Berkeley, presented exhaustive alternatives to current practices. One section of the paper cited research pointing to the positive effects of biodiversity on the numbers of herbivore pests, finding that polycultural planting led to reduction of pest populations by up to 64%. Later, combined results of hundreds of comparisons also favored biologically diverse farms with a 54% increase in pest mortality and damage to crops dropping by almost 25%. The introduction of more diverse insects also promoted increased pollination and healthier crops.
A 9-year study conducted by researchers from the USDA, University of Minnesota and Iowa State University proved that in more complex systems, yield AND profits were both enhanced. When paired against the conventional corn/soy rotation, less fertilizer was used. This difference actually increased over the course of the study, indicating the quality of the soil was improving over time, instead of experiencing the depletion of common practices.
It looks like the FDA knows about such methods and their results. However that does not stop the funding of agro chemical farming.