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New Study Suggests Organic Farming Can Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By Aimee Lutkin

People who eat organic know that vegetables and fruits from the farmer's market are often fresher, tastier, and more compelling than the conventional grown items found in grocery stores. But does eating organic actually have any benefit for the planet? One study is saying absolutely.

Published in the journal Natural Communications, the study found that conventional farming could be converted to organic without losing crop yield or requiring more land, and it would have an overall beneficial effect on greenhouse gas emissions. The Guardian reports that the study recommended increasing a vegetarian diet in combination with organic food production would work for most regions, and suggested ways of cutting food waste while fixing nitrogen to the soil without the use of chemical fertilizers.

A concern around organic farming has been that it requires more land to produce just as much food as conventional growing, which could lead to deforestation and other land use shifts that would increase greenhouse gas emissions. But, according to the model in this study, that sort of expansion wouldn't be as necessary as people think.