Dallas Morning News - May 29, 2019
Benefits of the Organic Program – Even Taste?
There are many reasons to go organic rather than use the synthetic, high nitrogen fertilizers and toxic chemical pesticides – especially when growing food crops and herbs, but for landscaping as well. Among the most obvious is avoidance of toxic stuff. Unhealthy chemicals that may lead to serious problems are not part of the organic program. The natural organic approach avoids hormones, antibiotics, drugs and other toxic chemistry that comes from products such as Roundup, 2,4-D, GMOs, Manage, Chlopyrifos, etc.
The organic approach also helps the environment by using products that don't wash away after rains and don't leach easily through the soil to contaminate the ground water. The toxic chemistry products do wash and leach.
Another reason is that organic gardening and landscaping is just more enjoyable. One of the most common reports from gardeners is that the enjoyment of working in the yard and garden is greatly increased. It's just more fun to realize that you working within Nature's laws and systems rather than trying to control and override the natural processes.
Fewer pest problems – definitely a benefit. My lectures on natural pest control always start by explaining the most import step in successful pest control – stopping the use of the destructive products and procedures. The high salt synthetic fertilizers and toxic pest control products do more harm than good. When the soil is healthy and the beneficial insects and microbes are protected, the number of insect and disease problems drop sharply. Having to treat less often for pests saves time and money.
Water bills drop from 40-50% when the organic program is used. How? Healthy, biologically active soil and plants with lots of mycorrhizal fungus on the roots simply hold water at the right level for a longer period of time.
And finally – taste is better on food crops. Taste is harder to prove but here’s a story that explains it well. Several years ago a research project on a pecan orchard in Hamilton, Texas was done to study what worked better on pecan production – organic or conventional, and which organic program, if any, worked best. Dr. Joe Bradford of the USDA/ARC came up with the idea and was in charge of the project. Different organic approaches were used on certain trees and the university recommended control on others. Everyone involved was surprised that the organic pecan production was considerably heavier and everyone was also surprised that the flavor of the organic pecans was superior.
I – on the other hand – was not surprised. Healthy soil makes trace minerals more bio-available to plants, trace minerals help create complex carbohydrates (sugars) and that's where the improved taste comes from – as well as fewer pest problems.