Is organic farming an outdated model, the wave of the future, or something in between?
In the eyes of companies like Bayer and the former Monsanto, genetically engineered, lab created seeds that utilize huge amounts of toxic pesticides are the supposed answer to world hunger, despite the fact that even the United Nations has said that small-scale natural farming is the way to “feed the world,” not GMOs, and recently released a report on the dangers and unnecessary nature of synthetic pesticides.
While this form of toxic agriculture reigns supreme in the United States, it’s clear that there’s a shift happening throughout Europe and other parts of the world back toward more natural farming.
And in the case of one Scandinavian nation, it’s being given unprecedented support on a governmental level, in stark contrast to what’s happening here.
Denmark to Spend Over 1 Billion Kroner on Organic Farming
According to this report from the website The Local out of Denmark, the country will spend 1.1 billion kroner (which equates to 147 million euros and $182 million in U.S. dollars) to help its farmers convert to organic production and expand organic agriculture in the country.
“There is a sense of higher demand from Danish consumers for organic products. In fact, we have the largest domestic market in the world, with over ten percent of our domestic [food] market being organic,” said Minister for Food and the Environment Esben Lunde Larsen.
Danish agriculture is enjoying a renaissance in large part because of its commitment to natural farming, and now its produce is said to be in high demand, especially because the country has been producing a surplus of food.
Today the country produces enough food products for over 30 million people, even though the population is in the 5 million range, according to the government’s website.
Unfortunately here in the U.S., we have chosen to go in a different direction as estimates place the amount of food products on grocery store shelves containing GMOs at as high as 70-80% in some stores.
And support for organic is missing in the new farm bill, even though consumers are voting with their wallets for change.
New U.S. Farm Bill Not Good News for Organic Food
While Denmark celebrates and promotes organic by putting its money where its mouth is, the United States looks set to push more toxic GMOs and pesticide-drenched crops, according to the new Farm Bill.
A recent post from the organization GMO Free USA implored readers to contact their reps in support of the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), which assists young farmers in getting certified.
Unfortunately, the House-proposed 2018 Farm Bill would have discontinued the program while eliminating other local and organic programs, according to GMO Free USA, although it did not pass and changes are being debated currently.
To find and contact your local representative and pledge your support for the certification program or organic food in general, you can click on this link.
You can also learn more about Denmark’s program by clicking here.
And be sure to spread the word, because while consumers are becoming more empowered and spending tons of money on organic food, the vast majority of organic food eaten in the U.S. still comes from other countries, including faraway places with lax standards like China, believe it or not, in some cases.
Photo via Mads Nissen/Ritzau Scanpix