Did you know organic fields are more likely than conventional ones to leach fertilizers into waterways? It pains me to admit I didn’t. I had to learn it from a friggin’ podcast. The new podcast Science Vs has an episode on organic food that is exasperatingly good. Exasperating, because I’ve spent years writing about this stuff and laboring through all the science. And then this Aussie, Wendy Zukerman, comes along and talks to all the people whose papers I’d been reading and makes it look easy. She didn’t even do me the courtesy of getting anything wrong.
The science, of course, is much more complicated than either side of the grocery aisle makes it out to be. Which is why getting into the nitty, gritty details is so important. I especially endorse the conclusion:
There is, however, just a little more to say. Science Vs’ conclusions about land use do reflect the state of the science, but we’d need way more land if we stopped using synthetic fertilizer entirely — read up on that nuance here. And if you are interested in the belief systems behind organic and conventional, and the rules about animal welfare and labor — you can read more here.