Conventional farming is much different than organic farming. Conventional farming uses unnatural methods (although they’re legal) to produce food. Conventional farming also does not produce significantly higher yields than organic methods, but conventional farming continues to be the most common method for food production in America.
To see the differences between the two methods, here’s a chart.
| To Accomplish
|Conventional Farmers Use||Organic Farmers Use|
|Plant Growth||Chemical and synthetic fertilizers||Natural fertilizers, such as compost or manure|
|Pests and Disease||Chemical and synthetic insecticides and fungicides||Birds, insects, traps, and mating disruption|
|Weeds||Chemical herbicides||Crop rotation, tilling, mulching, and hand weeding|
|Animal Husbandry||Antibiotics, growth hormones, and other medications||Organic feed, as well as preventative measures, such as rotation grazing, balanced diets, space to move, and clean housing. Antibiotics might also be used on a sick animal, but it is rare.|
In addition, conventional farming uses Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to increase harvest yields or serve particular purposes. For instance, GMOs enable farmers to raise pest-resistant plants, grow crops in infertile soil, and harvest fruit more easily by altering the plant in some way. Supporters of GMOs also claim GMOs can solve world hunger, but the international organizations are in consensus—GMO foods are harmful. In fact, Bread for the World, Greenpeace, Food First: Institute for Food and Development Policy, and the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization, all agree GMO foods are not the answer.
If you want to learn about the nutrients available in organics, read Organic Versus Non-organic Foods.