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Therefore, it is often stated that organic farming is a system-oriented form of agriculture (see e.g., Høgh-Jensen ).This assumption is underlined by the IFOAM Principles, which also refer to systemic concepts like wholeness, cycles, and systems.Organic farmers exclude certain external inputs, focus on the farm internal relations (e.g., between crop rotation and pest management or herd size and on-farm forage production), and try to close nutrient and energy cycles, and the farm is understood as an organism (Raupp ).
From this orientation researchers deducted certain requirements for OAFR. () stated that there are five requirements that shall ensure a system-orientated research approach within OAFR: (1) a holistic approach, (2) long-term research, (3) consideration of local characteristics, (4) praxis orientation, and (5) regionality.
The implementation of these requirements—which of course can also be discussed critically, but can serve as a guide for the discourse—asks for an inter- and transdisciplinary research design.
For each myth, we present how prevalent it is in OAFR, why it is a myth, and further discuss different related consequences and suggest measures for improvement. OF is still far from a mainstream food and farming practice.
To unpack the potential of organic farming, it is necessary to develop research methodologies and practices that can help to better understand and develop OF’s specific qualities, including its potentials and limitations.
The understanding of the organic regulations is that they have to be in line with the IFOAM Principles and consequently the organic farming practices are guided by this ethical framework (see Padel et al.
), representing a broad range of actors with rather different worldviews.As organic regulations continue to be modified, largely by economic (often corporate) interests, they increasingly appear to have almost forgotten the principles (e.g., through the increased application of all kinds of industrial fertilizers).As a result, organic practices risk losing their singular position as ethically framed (see also the conventionalization debate) (De Wit and Verhoog ).For that, systems theory has been identified as a necessary theoretical foundation (Fiala and Freyer ).The notion that OAFR follows a systemic approach seems to be widespread in the organic research community.Organic agriculture and food research (OAFR) is well established and there is an ongoing and vibrant discussion about the future research needs of organic farming.However, reviews of the research features of OAFR have been less common.The list is not complete, nor without flaws, and we invite readers to reflect on our suggestions and to help extend and refine it.In addition, we reviewed additional literature that is related to the myths.Therefore, it should be of interest for scientists to critically analyze current state of the art of OAFR features in order to optimize their scientific quality.At least the diffuse nature of OAFR reviews and critical assessments beg for a book-length discussion to provide an overview of the current state of the art and the future of OAFR, which of course we cannot provide here.