The only people who think organic farming can feed the world are delusional hippies, hysterical moms, and self-righteous organic farmers. Right?
Actually, no. A fair number of agribusiness executives, agricultural and ecological scientists, and international agriculture experts believe that a large-scale shift to organic farming would not only increase the world's food supply, but might be the only way to eradicate hunger.
This probably comes as a surprise. After all, organic farmers scorn the pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other tools that have become synonymous with high-yield agriculture. Instead, organic farmers depend on raising animals for manure, growing beans, clover, or other nitrogen-fixing legumes, or making compost and other sources of fertilizer that cannot be manufactured in a chemical plant but are instead grown-which consumes land, water, and other resources. (In contrast, producing synthetic fertilizers consumes massive amounts of petroleum.) Since organic farmers can't use synthetic pesticides, one can imagine that their fields suffer from a scourge of crop-munching bugs, fruit-rotting blights, and plant-choking weeds. And because organic farmers depend on rotating crops to help control pest problems, the same field won't grow corn or wheat or some other staple as often.
大家可能对这个结论很吃惊。毕竟，有机农民不使用农药，化肥，和其他所谓“有效工具”提高产量。相反，有机农民使用于动物粪便，种植豆类，三叶草 等固固氮堆肥，这些肥料不能在化学工厂大量生产，会消耗土地，水和其他资源。 （相比之下，生产合成肥料消耗大量的石油）。由于有机农民不能使用化学合成的农药，可以想想，他们的田地里，长满各种害虫，植物被各种真菌感染，根部腐烂；由于有机农民依靠轮作作物，以帮助控制虫害问题，不能长期种植玉米或小麦或其他一些主食。
As a result, the argument goes, a world dependent on organic farming would have to farm more land than it does today-even if it meant less pollution, fewer abused farm animals, and fewer carcinogenic residues on our vegetables. "We aren't going to feed 6 billion people with organic fertilizer," said Nobel Prize-winning plant breeder Norman Borlaug at a 2002 conference. "If we tried to do it, we would level most of our forest and many of those lands would be productive only for a short period of time." Cambridge chemist John Emsley put it more bluntly: "The greatest catastrophe that the human race could face this century is not global warming but a global conversion to ‘organic farming'-an estimated 2 billion people would perish."
由于上述原因，有人得出如果推广有机种植，我们将需要开辟更多的森林，持这种论调的人包括诺贝尔奖得主Norman Borlaug和剑桥化学家John Emsley.
In recent years, organic farming has attracted new scrutiny, not just from critics who fear that a large-scale shift in its direction would cause billions to starve, but also from farmers and development agencies who actually suspect that such a shift could better satisfy hungry populations. Unfortunately, no one had ever systematically analyzed whether in fact a widespread shift to organic farming would run up against a shortage of nutrients and a lack of yields-until recently. The results are striking.