To all of the organic-only yuppies who subsist on $5 organic apples, just know that the simple farm-to-table lifestyle is only healthy for you, not for the environment. A team of researchers out of Sweden and Germany have noticed that the carbon footprint associated with both conventional and organic diets is pretty much the same, the only difference is that an organic diet requires 40 percent more land.
These results may seem disappointing to those extolling virtues of free-roaming, “happy” chickens and the freshness of pesticide free strawberries. Sure, an organic lifestyle is significantly healthier than a conventional diet. Organic adherers tend to eat significantly more fruits and vegetables and 45 percent less meat. But, it turns out, that the meat produced at organic farms has a significantly larger carbon footprint that those normal “farms.” Also, these organic farms not only require more land but they also yield 20 percent less crops.
From a carbon emissions perspective, organic farming is worse for the environment because, perhaps obviously, using more land to produce fewer crops is inefficient and unsustainable. Then again, so is much of the diet of conventional “eaters.” A hamburger a day ain’t keeping global warming away.