Pollution problem solving

Overthelastcentury food production has played a large role in the increased production of excess reactive nitrogen (all nitrogen forms other than N2). This overabundance of nitrogen accumulates in the environment, leading to nitrogen pollution. Nitrogen pollution is a problem, because it can cause eutrophication of aquatic environments and “Dead Zones” in the coastal ocean. It also contributes to climate change, acid rain, smog, biodiversity loss, and more.

In reaction to the many environmental and human health consequences associated with conventional farming, some growers have turned to organic methods, with the hopes that avoiding synthetic pesticide and fertilizer application will decrease the negative impacts of food production. Organic farming may have a beneficial effect on nitrogen pollution, because organic farms recycle their plant material through composting, and are prohibited from using synthetically produced nitrogen fertilizer. They also commonly use crop rotations, which can prevent high nitrogen runoff rates as a result of soil stripping and erosion.