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Life cycle analysis shows multiple environmental benefits of organic

May 30, 2017
Photo credit: Local Food Initiative

Photo credit: Local Food Initiative

A new study shows multiple environmental benefits of organic production, even when that production takes place in a greenhouse. The researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Cleaner Production, conducted a life cycle assessment of greenhouse vegetable production in Northern China, looking at the environmental impacts of organic versus conventional systems. They found that organic showed significant environmental advantages, including a 54.87 percent lower environmental impact index, which measured the negative effects of production. Additionally, the organic system showed 56.39 percent eutrophication rates and 37.87 percent lower soil eco-toxicity levels than conventional systems. Conventional systems were most impacted by aquatic eco-toxicity, with a level of 59.45 percent. Researchers concluded that “the results of the LCA analysis suggest a positive environmental evaluation of current trends towards organic production and consumption in urban China.”

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