If you are looking to grow organic food in the UK, you have to think about it again. An agricultural experts claimed that soil here is so polluted with petrol fumes that it is impossible to grow organic
This claim was made by Jules Pretty who is a professor of environment and Society at the University of Essex, England. Although growing organic food is impossible, Jules Pretty encourages growing crops closer to roads. The nitrous oxide released from cars is actually a pretty good fertiliser.
It is a fact that majority of people find it difficult to think about consuming food growing next to busy roads, Mr Pretty thinks it can do wonders for crop yield. Continuing talking about how petrol fuels can be good for yields, he also suggested moving farms closer to QE2 bridge in his native country. He claimed that farmers can see huge rise in crop yields by taking this simple step.
He said if electrically-powered cars and other vehicles become standard, farmers could be left forking out for huge amounts of fertiliser to compensate for the loss of pollution from the greener forms of transport.
Giving a lecture on the further of farming at the British Science Festival held in Bradford University, he said: “Agriculture carried out near roads benefits growth because of the pollution produced by traffic – nitrous oxides.
“The average level of nitrous oxides in UK soil from traffic is 30kg per hectare, but when it is close to a road, you are looking at double – 60kg per hectare. This is effectively free fertiliser.”
He cited the example of the QE2 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing, which takes 150,000 vehicles a day between Essex and Kent, as being one of the most abundant producers of this “free fertiliser.”
Mr Pretty, who is also an author and deputy vice-chancellor of the university, added: “I won’t have the debate now that there is no such thing as organic farming in the UK, because all the farms get free fertiliser from traffic pollution, but if electric cars do come in we will have to add fertiliser to the land to make up for the loss in pollution.”
His comments are likely to anger advocates of organically grown crops and produce who have long argued it is worth the British public parting with the significant extra cost for organically-farmed goods, because of the “improved quality, health benefits and environmental benefits.”
According to the website of Organic Food Federation, which certifies organic producers as genuine, “Organic production is fully sustainable and environmentally sound.”
It added: “There is an increased awareness of the importance of sustainable methods of food production which reduce the detrimental impact on the environment.
Read the full article at www.express.co.uk.