Food Production - Research Paper Example

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One of the most pressing issues of our times is the sustainability of our food producing system. With a population hovering just below 6 billion, growing enough food for everyone on the plant is become a difficult task. …
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Food Production
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Download file to see previous pages The problem with these technological approaches to increasing harvests is they have created a system of food production that looks to productivity as the only measure of success. Our current system of “factory farms” is highly productive but we are ignoring the environmental damage, the loss of nutrition and quality of our foodstuffs and the ethical concerns raised by the current feedlot method of raising animals for food. The true cost of our current industrialized method of food production can only be realized when we factor in all of these variables.
The “Green Revolution” of the 1960’s was truly a historic turning point for global agriculture. For the first time, populous nations such as India and China could feed themselves with the use of new farming techniques such as no-till planting and the administering of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers to the land. More food was being produced than ever, but at what cost? Globally, farmers needed to raise more crops than ever because they needed to use fertilizer to compete with corporate farms. The abundance created by the “Green Revolution” suppressed commodity prices. ...
We have learned much about how to limit the damage caused by these powerful chemicals over the decades, but that does not change the fact that entire ecosystems, such as the Chesapeake Bay estuary, are constantly under stress as a result of out current agricultural practices. A final negative consequence that our current mechanized method of farming creates is an over-dependence on fossil fuels. Massive tractors and harvesters are employed to such an extent that a rise in gasoline prices now equates a rise in food prices. We have found ourselves in a precarious situation once again. Before the “Green Revolution” we had hunger due to a lack of productivity. Now our factory farming system is creating a situation where the costs of production are putting the cost of food out of reach of many people. We have hunger because of a lack of money, not a lack of productive capacity. Another problem that our current method of industrialized food production is causing is a drop in the nutrition found in the foods we eat. Many diseases and ailments have been linked to eating highly processed food that contain dyes and large amounts of refined sugar. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is less common than in the past for several reasons. Processed foods are often more convenient to eat. They are packaged and often require a minimum of effort (or no effort at all) to prepare them for consumption. Fewer families sit down to eat meals together than they did in the past as well. Society has changed and the pace of life has increased for many people. As a result, processed foods of convenience such as fast food, has replaced more healthy foods such as vegetables and whole grains. But the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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