Organic agriculture and food security: Saving the environment, feeding the world?

Patricia Allen, Hilary Melcarek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Food security is humanity’s most basic and universal need after air and water. This chapter sets the context of the contemporary food situation, focusing on environment and hunger. It discusses ways in which organic agriculture contributes to food security, looking at the ways in which organic agriculture is currently unable to contribute to food security and explore mechanisms for improving access to organic food. Industrial agricultural practices have long ignored “nature’s economy, " attempting to maximize agricultural production through the intensive use of resources and agrichemicals. The possibility of an increase in worldwide hunger is frightening, given the already unconscionable numbers of people who go hungry day after day. Organic agriculture may well be essential for ameliorating the environmental degradation that threatens the ability to produce food in the future. In a market economy in which plenty of food is produced, the primary obstacle to food security is poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganic Farming
Subtitle of host publicationThe Ecological System
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780891181897
ISBN (Print)9780891180760
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Agrichemicals environmental degradation
  • Agrifood system
  • Food security
  • Market economy
  • Organic agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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