Have you ever wondered how the earth can possibly provide for the 7 billion people who currently inhabit it? Have you really thought about where the various components of that sandwich you had for lunch today came from?
As the human population grows, the agricultural industry has learned to utilize changes in technology, science, and governmental policies in order to maximize output through mass-production techniques. Agriculture takes up a lot of resources, and this increased production has not come without costs, including topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination, deforestation, and the decline of family farms. Furthermore, non-organic agriculture uses chemical pesticides and fertilizers that can be dangerous to humans and to the environment.
However, not all farming practices are so detrimental. Sustainable agriculture, for example, is a more environmentally friendly and efficient form of agriculture. It has gained momentum in the past few years in its rejection of the industrial approach to food production.
What exactly is sustainable agriculture?
This form of agriculture is based on working efficiently to use non-renewable resources and integrating biological cycles to create more sustainable farm practices. Sustainable agriculture embraces a wide range of techniques, including:
- Low-input (of harmful chemicals)
How can you support sustainable agriculture?
- Go local!
- Choose locally grown and made products. This reduces energy spent on food transport and supports local economies.
- Eat organically grown products.
- Organic production is better for the environment, as it does not pollute water and soil. It is also much healthier for you!
- Start a garden and grow your own food
- Support green education and community gardens
- Buy from your local farmer’s markets
- Look for alternative sources for buying meat.
- It is healthier and more environmentally friendly to buy from producers who use free-range, organic strategies.
- Look into how your food is grown
Sustainable, local agriculture produces better quality, organic food using processes that are much more environmentally friendly than mass-production agricultural practices. Plus, sustainable agriculture practices are great for local communities. What’s not to love?