We have the evidence

showing the benefits

of expanded organic

food production

audience. All of the claims made in

the report are backed by rigorous

scientific study, she noted.

Instead of asking if organic

producers can feed the world’s

population, Benador said it is

important to look beyond yield

and focus on sustaining natural

resources with better land


Nutritional Benefits

As for the nutritional benefits to

consuming organically grown food,

Benador cited meta- analyses that

use statistical methods to aggregate

and detect underlying trends in the

data from hundreds of studies on

nutrients that impact human health.

She said that six out of eight peerreviewed

meta analyses concluded

that organically grown foods

contained higher levels of certain

nutrients than conventionally grown

foods and two studies found no

consistent nutritional differences.

Overall, the meta analyses and

individual crop comparison studies

show that organically grown

fruits and vegetables can provide

consumers with higher levels of a

range of nutrients, she said.

Environmental Benefits

Environmental benefits of organic

production were included. Practices

in organic crop production improve

soil quality and structure and

reduce soil erosion. These soil

improvements in turn hold water

and prevent fertilizer and pesticide

leaching. The biodiversity in the

soils helps them to be more resilient

to extreme weather conditions.

The report states that yields are

comparable to conventional

yields when organic farmers build

long term soil fertility and use

diversification practices including


crop rotation and multi-cropping

strategies. Yields typically improve when

growers learn better weed management


Pederson, who farms vegetables and

strawberries two miles from the

California coast said the environmental

benefits of organic production are

important in helping comply with

regulations. He is mitigating climate

change effects by increasing the carbon

sequestration on his farm ground,

using less energy and reducing nutrient

Continued on Page 32

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leaching to preserve groundwater


Joe Morris, who has operated Morris

Grassfed Beef since 1991, said the ‘big

picture’ report is a resource for the

entire farming community as farmers

and ranchers seek to improve their

land management.

What Consumers Want

Conference speaker and one of the




April/May 2019


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