The following is an excerpt of an article by Iida Ruishalme at the Genetic Literacy Project comparing the environmental impact of organic and conventional agriculture.
The Swedish Food Agency (Svenska Livsmedelsverket SLV) recently published a report on a many-faceted breakdown of environmental effects in farming per one kilogram of farming product. This report was also discussed in an opinion piece in the Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter (under the title “Organic farming has never been better for the environment”).
In SLV’s report, researchers looked at environmental impacts separated into the subtopics of climate, over-fertilization, acidification, eco-toxicity, energy use, and land use. They determined there to be a difference between the organic and conventional farming when a study would find more than 10 percent variation in the two farming systems’ respective impacts, and when two thirds of the studies considered would be in agreement over the effect. The number inside each cell signifies the number of studies considered. They compared these effects per one kilogram product for nine categories of food product: milk, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, fish and seafood, vegetables, and fruits and berries.
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