Why Use Organic Cotton?

One of the most important crops in human history is cotton. Cotton is the most widely used natural fiber found in clothing products today, more than wool or any other non-synthetic cloth.

Unfortunately, cotton crops also use more chemicals than any other human grown plant. Perhaps due to the lengthy history of the cotton crop, there are many different species of animals which prey on the crops all over the world. In addition, cotton is known to take a large amount of nutritional elements out of the soil on which it is grown, leading mass producers to require the use of industrial fertilizers to grow it. In many areas of the world, cotton is now grown using genetically modified seeds, which cause the plants to grow faster and yield more cotton than natural plants.

All of these unnatural practices in growing cotton have their consequences. The use of pesticides has always meant that not only target species, but beneficial ones, are killed off during the spread of the chemicals. In addition, these poisons have been known to cause human deaths, as well as build up in the bodies of animals and humans up and down the food chain.

The use of fertilizers often renders the soil useless after three or four crops, due to “burn”. The soil not only ceases to be of use for cotton farming, but for any kind of agriculture whatsoever, and this contributes to the problem of desertification.

Finally, the problems of genetic engineering are so plentiful they can hardly be listed. They put the means of production entirely in the hands of unscrupulous organizations, limit the biodiversity of the planet, and may even result in the extinction of natural species.

The way to solve all of these issues is by using organic cotton, or only products made from organic cotton.

Organic cotton is different from large scale cotton production in many different ways. First of all, crops are grown using 100% natural cotton seeds. The individual farmer can still make a living, and there is no worry about limiting the resources of the Earth.

Organic cotton is also grown using only natural fertilizers, or fertilizers made from natural material. Once the year’s crop has been harvested, the field will be used for another agricultural purpose the following year. This means that nutrients are re-supplied, and that the soil has a chance to regain its growing capacity.

Finally, no pesticides are used in the growth of organic cotton. Instead, populations of the natural enemies of the cotton crop are encouraged; perhaps even through introduction and cultivation.

The end results of organic cotton use are myriad. There is less chance of poisonous materials being leached into the ecosystem and even absorbed into our bodies when we wear clothing made from cotton. The Earth retains its biodiversity, and there is no collateral damage to populations of non-harmful animals and insects.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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