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I was disappointed that the Sept. 3 article "Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce" left out environmental impact as a reason many consumers choose organic food.
One way of measuring a food item's environmental impact is with its carbon footprint, which is the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in an item's production and use. The majority of a food item's carbon footprint comes from its agricultural production. Organic farming practices emit less carbon into the atmosphere than conventional farming methods partially because organic farms avoid or strictly limit the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The production and application of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides account for a large portion of every conventionally farmed food item's carbon footprint.
When we purchase that item, its carbon footprint becomes part of our personal carbon footprint. In an age of increasing atmospheric carbon levels and accompanying climate change, we should all be aware of our carbon footprint and taking steps to reduce it.
Eating organic foods is one of many important steps people can take to lead a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle.
First Published September 18, 2012 12:00 am