Thanks to an increased reliance on pesticides and machinery, farms have been able to grow in size while cutting back on labor. And though that sounds like a winning formula for increasing profits for farmers, it doesn’t. The Rodale Institute has found that organic systems are nearly three times as profitable as chemical agriculture systems. Organic systems see an average of $558 in net returns per acre per year, versus just $190 per acre per year for chemical systems. Research from the United Nations and others has also shown that organic farms provide 30 percent more jobs per hectare than nonorganic farms, and that organic farmers net $45,697 in profit, compared with just $25,448 for nonorganic farmers.
What to do about it: Find a local, organic farm to support, and keep your food investments in your own community.
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Photo: Rodale Institute