What CEOs Say: Gary Hirshberg on Feeding the World Organically


GARY HIRSHBERG: You know we
have proven a lot of things during our trajectory. One of the things
we’ve proven is that farmers can have equivalent
yields with a completely chemical-free environment. In fact, the yields over
time as you put soil– more carbon into the
soil, which is exactly the point of organic, right? Composting and so forth– you actually enhance fertility. You enhance biological
soil health. And you actually
get higher yields with lower labor inputs and
better water consumption, better water retention. And in fact, in drought
periods as we’re now experiencing particularly in
California and other parts, organic systems hold
up much, much better. We’ve had side-by-side
trials for 30 years showing that organic fields
are more resilient, and you do get higher yield. So this whole idea that
organic can’t feed the world is just a myth perpetrated
by people who want to sell you chemicals instead. But while that– I just explained
that in 45 seconds, that’s a lot to
put on a package, to explain to consumers. And average
consumers really just think of organic as
being no pesticides. But soil health is the key
that I just shared with you, because the only way we’re going
to ultimately reverse climate change– because now it’s
no longer about stopping or slowing it, we actually
have to take carbon out of the atmosphere
and put it back in– is going to be with
organic systems.

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