An oil dependent economy has created a trend toward a new way of living within the United States. As we see the prices of oil and gas rise steadily; we also see a trend toward a new way of living that will have a dominant impact on world food security. …
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Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute states, “The prospect of peaking oil production has direct consequences for world food security, as modern agriculture depends heavily on the use of fossil fuels.” Modern agriculture depends heavily on fossil fuels to operate the heavy machinery necessary to take the worlds supply of food from a beginning, on the farm, to its end, in the hands of the consumer. Brown points out many aspects in his article to support the fact that the rising cost of fossil energy is driving the American economy back into its local communities. Every product produced that ends up in the hands of the consumer is directly effected by the use of fossil fuels. Past decades of inexpensive oil has created this dependency which in turn has given rise to the way our society lives. There is virtually no limit to the distance that food can travel to the consumer. Many of the products that we consume daily travel from China, an emerging country, also, have seen a growing dependency on fossil fuels. In their effort to become more capitalistic, backward agricultural methods have been replaced with modern machinery dependent on oil. Dependency on oil not only creates higher cost in food; it also creates a constant flow of filthy air back into the environment. Therefore, with these notable factors, should the government make policies that drive the consumer back toward the local economy? It’s a question of individual initiative in most instances, but most of us look to the government for guidance just as a child looks to its parents. Should the government be involved at all in the daily lives of the consumer? Policy is not treated in the same fashion, as are laws. Policies put forth to a society as a whole give suggestions and positive influences that are more readily accepted by the majority. A policy is a more tactful way of achieving an end result without the rigors of law. Consider our food safety! Where do our foods originate? What are the safety factors involved in transporting foods from such long distances? What are the positive factors of focusing more on local grown foods? The Food and Water Watch states, “Our current food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident.” The Fair Farm Bill works to bring positive aspects, changes, and upgrades when needed. It also promotes the local food movement, pointing out that locally grown foods are more accessible, healthful, tasty, and help local communities prosper. As local communities prosper, it brings the economic living standards back to an acceptable quality of life. The current food system consists of large monopolies formed primarily to sustain themselves economically due to rising cost of fuels and other expenses. Farmers have been forced to merge with others into large conglomerates, which have not been a positive factor for the consumer in producing quality, healthy, and fresh foods. Foods that are produced in other countries do not have the same health standards supported by the policies of the United States. The merger era also destabilized pricing. Pricing in any industry normally fluctuates by supply and demand. Large conglomerates monopolize the market creating their own pricing structures, but questionable inferior quality foods. Smaller local food entities focus more on quality vs. quantity. Competition is what drives any capitalistic society to improve on what now exists. In order for local small business to exist, there must be a breakdown of the large conglomerates. A competitive atmosphere fuels more business, better quality, and lower pricing; which will be passed to the local communities giving easy access
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