Agriculture has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair. Yet today, we're faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity. For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. We now see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem. Fortunately, we already know what needs to be done. It's just a matter of implementing the answers on a wider scale. We need farmers to shift over to regenerative practices that stops depleting our soil and fresh water supplies. Frustratingly, farmers are often held back from making much needed changes by government subsidy programs that favor monocropping and crop insurance rules that dissuade regenerative farming practices.
In the US, animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are also continuously given low-dose antibiotics in their feed because it makes the animals get bigger faster. In other parts of the world, such as the European Union, the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed has been banned for years. Routine antibiotic use in animal food production is likely worsening the epidemic of antibiotic-resistant disease. A recent study showed industrial pig workers were found to be carrying pig MRSA, a type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria -- and that farmers at pig farms that use antibiotics are more likely to contract MRSA from the pigs than workers at antibiotic-free farms.
Proponents of factory farms and genetically engineered crops argue that monocropping, or crop specialization, is the only way to feed the masses and that it's far more profitable than having small independent farms in every township. But is this really true? A number of studies show just the opposite! In fact, studies are showing that medium-sized organic farms are far more profitable than ANY sized industrial agricultural operation. Not only that, but organic farming practices use natural, time-tested techniques that naturally prevents soil depletion and destruction, and doesn’t use chemical fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals that pollute our soil, air, and waterways.
The biggest players in the food industry—from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers—spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver […]