This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.
- The researchers used a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyze the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems.
- Here they show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces N-surplus and pesticide use.
- However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario.
- Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve, but adequate nitrogen supply is challenging.
- Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to address waste, crop–grass–livestock interdependencies and human consumption.
- None of the corresponding strategies needs full implementation and their combined partial implementation delivers a more sustainable food future.