Day 37 100words100days Can organic food support a world population of 9 billion?

Does writing 410 words make up for two days of not writing at all?

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Organic food is food that is produced without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other artificial (read: not naturally occurring) chemicals. Is it healthier, safer, more environmentally acceptable? That depends on whom you are talking to. There is no consensus.

The contention is that this kind of food, the kind our not-too-distant forebears ate, will not be sufficient to feed a population that shows no signs of slowed growth. It will not be sufficient because it will not be able to resist pests, bear an adequate quantity of fruit/grain/etc. It will not be sufficient because we don’t currently have enough land to grow low-yielding crops on, and we would need to turn over more soil to meet demands.

How true is this?

Apparently, the difference between “conventional” yields and organic yields isn’t quite as bad as we have been led to believe.

We would still need to grow more food. Urban farming is one way to do that. Cities are the largest consumers of food. Of course they would be, with the number of people who are city-dwellers, including me. Why not have more farms within city limits, on rooftops, in courtyards, and plants in pots on verandahs?

In rural, suburban or exurban areas, practices like kitchen gardening, multicropping, crop rotation and community farming need to become more prevalent.

As for the fish and meat we eat- free range as far as possible. I know the industrial poultry farms and mega moo-houses won’t send their animals out into the world. Maybe if we ate less meat there wouldn’t be a need for quite so many methane-producing, resource-intensive farms. (It’s just a thought. Don’t throw steak at me.)

I’m not just being an idealist here. Nor am I saying that feeding 9 billion is possible with the land the world currently has under the plow. We need to look at new methods, and grow accustomed, once again, to smaller farms and more humane production processes. We also need to address food waste, over-fishing, and land use, because the discussion would be incomplete without them.

We have a little time: the 9 billionth is expected to be born around 2050. Within my lifetime, I will have seen the arrival of 4 billion people (the 5 billionth is estimated to have arrived the same year as me, the 6 billionth was born in 1999, the 7 billionth about 3 years ago). That is a whole lot of mouths to feed. But I think it can be done; yes, even with organic food.

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Day 38: Pick a hymn and write a secular story that could have it as a theme song/soundtrack element

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