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Traditional farming (of many particular kinds in different eras and places) was the original type of agriculture, and has been practiced for thousands of years. All traditional farming is now considered to be “organic farming” although at the time there were no known inorganic methods. For example, forest gardening, a fully organic food production system which dates from prehistoric times, is thought to be the world’s oldest and most resilient agroecosystem. After the industrial revolution had introduced inorganic methods, most of which were not well developed and had serious side effects. An organic movement began in the 1940s as a reaction to agriculture’s growing reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The history of this modern revival of organic farming dates back to the first half of the 20th century at a time when there was a growing reliance on these new synthetic, non-organic methods.

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    To make matters worse, the affluence of the world is increasing, meaning that more of the future’s consumers will demand higher—quality resources. The intensified harvesting of resources from the environment affects biodiversity negatively, as it contributes to climate change (through the burning of fossil fuels) and habitat fragmentation, degradation, and reduction (as natural terrestrial environments are converted into farmlands).