(Mother Nature Network) - The phrase "organic farming" was coined in 1940 by Lord Northbourne, a British author and Olympic athlete who helped launch the organic movement.
Joined by fellow organic pioneers like J.I. Rodale, Lady Eve Balfour and Albert Howard, he championed farms as natural ecosystems, and railed against chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
"The farm itself must have a biological completeness," he wrote. "It must be a living entity ... which has within itself a balanced organic life."
Those words still resonate with many farmers and shoppers today, however, they were drowned out for decades by famine. Earth's human population grew 293 percent in the 20th century - compared with an average of 22 percent each of the previous nine centuries - and farmers couldn't keep up.
Read the FULL STORY - "Is organic food worth the cost?"
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