By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 5.
Organic food has long been considered a niche market, a luxury for wealthy consumers. But researchers said at a UN conference in April that a large-scale shift to organic agriculture could help fight world hunger while improving the environment.
Crop yields initially can drop as much as 50 percent when growers trade the chemical fertilizers and pesticides of industrialized agriculture for organic methods. While such decreases may even out over time, the figures have kept the organic movement largely on the sidelines of discussions about feeding the hungry.
Researchers in Denmark found, however, that food security for sub-Saharan Africa would not be seriously harmed if 50 percent of agricultural land in the food exporting regions of Europe and North America were converted to organic by 2020.