'Organic plants are worse for the environment than conventionally farmed foods, new research from Sweden suggests.
A lack of chemical fertilisers means more land is used to grow crops and as a result 70 per cent more carbon is emitted, the study found.
The authors claim that even organic meat and dairy products are – from a climate point of view – worse than their conventionally produced equivalents.
The study, which was published in Nature, was led by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
'Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas', said lead researcher Stefan Wirsenius, an associate professor from Chalmers.
'For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference – for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 per cent,' he said.
Their research found the reason why organic food is so much worse for the climate is that the yields per hectare are much lower, primarily because fertilisers are not used.
To produce the same amount of organic food, you therefore need a much bigger area of land.
'The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation,' said Dr Wirsenius.
'The world's food production is governed by international trade, so how we farm in Sweden influences deforestation in the tropics.
'If we use more land for the same amount of food, we contribute indirectly to bigger deforestation elsewhere in the world', he said.
Because organic meat and milk production uses organic feeds, it also requires more land than conventional production, he found.'
Read more: Organic food could be WORSE for the environment! More land is used to grow crops which emits up to 70% more carbon, study claims
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