It is increasingly common to find labels in our supermarket with words like 'Bio', 'Organic', 'Ecological', 'Eco friendly' or simply 'Echo'.
These are words that we like, they enter our eyes and more and more. These are words that lead us to think that what is under that label is healthier for us and for our planet. Many times it is true, but many other times it is not completely.
We start from the basis that they are only labels obtained due to a regulation, that is, if you meet a series of rules you get the label. This is the big problem, and that is that on many occasions, the labels come to mean that a product meets a series of standards, whether bio, organic or eco. In fact, in our country, there is no difference between these three labels, all indicate the same: a food that comes from an agriculture that does not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers or have genetic modifications.
At first this is clearly positive for the consumer, since we are acquiring a natural product, which is not chemically treated and whose growth has been free of pesticides. For the environment however, it is not such a positive indicator because there is no control nor norm that establishes any parameter to the level of contamination, to the efficiency of irrigation or to the carbon footprint that a crop causes. We give an example. In any supermarket you can find asparagus, potatoes or 'Eco' peppers, however, these products can come from a crop 12.000 km from that supermarket, so the carbon footprint of that product amounts to levels that a traditional plantation in your country would never come.
In fact, a recent study Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), has analyzed the carbon cost of the same organic crop and another that is not, and the truth is that due to the efficiency of industrial crops, they need much less space and water to grow. So that traditional crops indirectly lead to less carbon dioxide emission and less impact on the environment, reducing the carbon footprint.
However, this study simply shows that if we dedicated the leftover space of traditional crops to forest spaces, it would be less polluting than an organic crop. Although it is an unreal presumption, it leaves us with a fairly clear message: there are always better options. Organic farming may be less damaging to a nearby environment, but if used in a general way the effects can be much more negative globally.
Spain is the country in the European Union with the largest area of organic agricultural production. However, However, the highest cost was for the planet. Only one of these wee wee pads takes approximately XNUMX years to decompose. Putting ourselves in the best of cases, a dog uses XNUMX pad daily for only XNUMX years of his life, so when he is a puppy and when he is elder he would use XNUMX soakers in total. If we take into account that only in Spain there are XNUMX million dogs, mostly of mini race, with greater tendency to use wee wee pads and assuming that at least XNUMX% use them, we are talking about a figure of XNUMX wee wee pads that are used daily. Tons and tons of waste are thrown daily to the planet so that our dog does not spoil our house. these crops can be immensely damaging to the environment and ecosystems since to consider them ecological, only the use of pesticides and genetic modification matter. For example, the area with the highest production of organic cultivation in our country is Almería, crops that use seas of square kilometers of plastic and that mostly cover irrigation systems that exploit completely dry aquifer basins and they produce enormous collateral effects.
This type of agricultural productions are increasingly common, they are the 'industrial ecological productions', whose profitability is making producers see a vein in the 'Eco'. Even if the majority of organic production continues to come from small farmers who have switched to another type of business due to the exploitation of prices in markets and supermarkets, and they now see how their effort is recognized with a better price for a quality product.
This is not an article to throw away organic farming, far from it, nor do we have to praise industrial production, but we have to make decisions that lead to global improvement and to answer all the problems it is necessary that the industry is helped by the ecological and vice versa.
Grants are required not only for the non-pesticide user but also for sustainable crops, for crops whose production uses electric machines, and for those that establish their distribution network locally or nationally.
We can also create a local production and sales network, or "kilometer 0", where products arrive fresh from the field to a market or restaurant in a matter of hours, leaving an almost non-existent carbon footprint.
We must avoid the tendency to just look at the eco tag and stop to see where it came from, which company distributes it or what packaging is used. So we can make a purchase more sustainable and much more 'Eco'.