You may have heard the fuss around the way most animal farms treat their animals (and how free-range isn’t as free as we think it is). And the way it impact us and our healthy. But farming plants can be just as harmful as well, to both us and the environment. Sustainable and organic agriculture is a term that you might have heard, but wonder what it entails. The most basic explanation is that farmers that use sustainable practices focus on the health of animals, the environment, and the community. The method involves balancing the needs of the farmer with the needs of the environment. Here are four benefits of good farming practices.

Protects the environment

Sustainable agricultural practices help sustain the land for future use and preserve air and water quality. It ensures that later generations can continue to farm the ground, which is a significant need since around forty percent of the world’s population works in some area of agriculture. Sustainable farmers don’t use pesticides to protect crops but instead focus on using natural predators to leave the original ecosystem in place and promote the natural biodiversity of the region without disturbing other plant and animal species. Soil preservation practices such as crop rotation, minimal tilling, and intercropping ensure that nutrients are plentiful and capability to store water increases, minimizing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Aids in public health and safety

Because good farming practices don’t involve dangerous chemicals, consumers aren’t exposed to them and can ensure the quality of crops are safe for consumption. Sustainable agriculture also involves staying away from genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Companies offer quality products by using companies such as the model doTERRA uses for its sourcing to ensure customer satisfaction, and to ensure that their workers are being properly compensated.

Water preservation

Farms that don’t use good practices often contaminate area ground water, which can be a significant issue in areas where safe drinking water is scarce. Runoff containing harmful fertilizers and chemicals sinks into the ground. Sustainable practices include using natural fertilizers such as compost or animal manure. These practices are especially important in areas with high rates of pollution. Sustainable farming can help revitalize and restore the natural balance of the environment.

Protects air quality

Organic and sustainable farming reduces the greenhouse effects and global warming by retaining carbon in the soil through practices such as returning crop residue to the soil, minimal tilling, and using cover crops and rotation. It also significantly reduces the need for agrochemicals, which require large quantities of fossil fuel.

Current estimates assume that by 2050, the world will need to make 70 percent more food than they do now to sustain the population. Good agricultural practices will ensure sustainability for future generations and protect the environment from damages due to human activities.