Organic: Leading the way to a Green Planet

Response to the New York Times opinion article "Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet"

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dear Editor,

Opinion article “Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet” (Sunday, Dec. 3) does a commendable job highlighting agriculture’s potential to restore soil health and help mitigate climate change by building soil carbon. Unfortunately, one glaring omission is the contribution of organic agriculture – a system founded on the principals of soil health and resource conservation.

The regenerative techniques described – use of cover crops, crop rotations in place of mono-cropping, utilizing compost and manure in place of synthetic fertilizers and omitting most synthetic pesticides – are practices that have been employed by organic farmers long before the term “regenerative agriculture” was coined.

Furthermore, research supports organic farming as a means to promote soil biodiversity, improve fertility and increase carbon in the soil.  Most recently, a groundbreaking study by Northeastern University and The Organic Center compared over 1,000 soil samples nationwide and found that soils from organic farms sequester significantly more carbon than soils from conventional farms.

While the article deserves praise for highlighting agriculture’s ability to help mitigate the causes of climate change, the author does a disservice to the soil health movement by failing to recognize the long proven contributions of organic farming.



climate change, soil health, organic agriculture, soil carbon, regenerative, environmental health