For people who eat, the benefits are obvious: food raised without pesticides and herbicides is safer and more nutritious.
Organic food is safer because choosing organics lessens exposure to harmful chemicals, including those which mimic estrogenic hormones, those which upset the human microbiome and thus the human brain, and those which are known carcinogens.
Organic food is more nutritious because plants raised organically compete in a complex environment for their nutrition, and in turn are more nutritious themselves when eaten, reversing a decades-long decline in fruit and vegetable vitamins and minerals.
Organics are better for the planet as well. Even with mechanical tillage, organic use of compost, manure and cover crops stabilizes soil carbon at greater depths than chemical no-till. Also, importantly, the soil is alive, with billions of microbes respirating, competing for nutrients, cooperating to feed plant and tree roots, maintaining a complex living system. This is in contrast to a human-induced dead system, with plant and animal nutrition a byproduct of fossil fuel production through the Haber Bosch process and chemical manufacturing. At Mt. Folly, we are conscious of keeping a closed system as we farm. Rather than mirroring industrial agriculture, and trucking in “organic” inputs, we are intent on raising our own fertility with cattle, cover crops, wood chips and manure. While we do “truck in” liquid kelp and organic molasses, we keep purchased organic fertilizer and soil amendments to a minimum.