LETTER: Plenty of research to support benefits of organically grown food

Dear editor,

In the Dec. 12 issue of The Record a statement in a letter from Len Paulovich says that “Science does not support assertions that food grown organically is healthier and more nutritious nor that ‘GMO’d’ foods are unsafe.”

This statement suggests that he is not familiar with over 100 years of soil health scientific research. One of the pioneers of this research was Sir Albert Howard (1873-1947) who for a period of time was an imperial agriculturist in a province in India before returning to England. Howard realized that studying soil health in the laboratory would be deficient in necessary data so he moved his research out onto the land. He published the results of his scientific research in at least two books – The Soil and Health and An Agricultural Testament.

In the U.S. – influenced by Howard’s work – J.I. Rodale established the Rodale Institute in 1947 which now has 60 years accumulated research building on Howard’s work. In England, the Soil Association was established in 1946 following publication of the book, The Living Soil, written by Lady Balfour (1898-1990).

These are but a couple of examples of this order of research that is occurring in many places in the world and has been for a long time. An important finding of this research is the pollution of water by chemical agribusiness practices. It has been known for quite some time that rivers flowing through large areas of chemical agribusiness farms have been polluted, causing dead zones in the ocean where the rivers flow into the ocean. One of the strategies of agribusiness corporations has been to question the ability of organic agriculture to grow enough food. The research shows that organic production not only grows enough food but that the produce grown organically is not only higher quality but that it maintains its quality longer in storage. We have the science of the laboratory that serves agribusiness corporate profit, and we have the science of soil health which serves not only soil health but in doing so serves the health of plants, humans and other life.

David Spirit Eagle Somerville


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