Biological Farming is Nature’s Way
Advanced English Composition
December 16, 2012
Biological Farming is Nature’s Way
“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt- Letter to all State Governors on a Uniform Soil Conservation Law (26 February 1937).
It is a shame that industrial farming has taken over the world and that small farmers no longer stand a chance of being truly profitable or significant. It is impossible for a small farmer to be competitive in today’s market. Industrial farms with their monoculture can pack thousands of animals onto a relatively small piece of land, but at what cost. The animals are injected with antibiotics to prevent infection, and hormones to help them grow bigger. They never once get to see a pasture or graze freely. Pharmaceuticals and pesticides are needed to maintain a single species animal farm on an industrial scale. (Pollan, 2006) That is why these chemicals were invented in the first place, to keep these shaky monocultures from collapsing. A biological farm does not need to rely on all these agrochemicals. When the animals are able to behave and eat in the way they were meant to, the farmer will find he does not have any of the sanitation problems or diseases that result from raising animals in a crowded monoculture. When biological farming is done correctly the result is health, for the land, the animals, and the people who eat the yield of these crops. Industrial farming is destroying our land and poisoning the people who eat the food produced by this method, biological farming is a safer and healthier alternative that is environmentally friendly.
First, industrial farming is destroying our land by over processing the soil and robbing it of vital nutrients. Monocropping causes a number of negative environmental impacts. Soil deterioration results from the common practice of not rotating crops in monoculture farming. Crop rotation, the practice of changing what is planted in a particular location on a farm from year to year, improves soil health and quality, and generally increases yields. Monocropping has been implicated in declines in crop yield and loss of nutrients from the soil. Unfortunately, industrial agriculture practices continue to damage and deplete this valuable natural resource. While intensive plowing and monocrop agriculture systems have caused nutrient depletion and wide-scale soil erosion, over-application of fertilizers and pesticides has contaminated our soils and polluted our waterways. (Grace Communications Foundations, 2012)
Carozza et al. (2008) discusses how children born in agricultural rich areas have a much higher risk for developing cancers, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, neuroblastomas, and leukemia, than kids that live in other areas of the country. Agricultural pesticides routinely spread beyond the intended agricultural target area, with drift possible for miles depending on wind conditions and particle size. The data collected by the Center for disease Control CDC, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), showed a relationship between the crops grown and the type of prevalent cancers for that area. The finding that patterns of risk for individual cancers varied by crop type suggests that the development of different childhood cancers is likely to be related to specific pesticides. (Carozza et al. 2008)
Secondly, industrial farming is poisoning the people who eat the food produced by this method due to the abuse of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides used. According to Grace Communications Foundation, hormone residues in the meat of growth enhanced animals can disrupt human hormone balance, causing developmental problems, interfering with the reproductive system, and even leading to the development of breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Children, pregnant women, and developing embryos are thought to be most susceptible to...
References: Carozza, S., Li, B., Elgethun, K., & Whitworth, R. (2008). Risk of childhood cancers associated with residence in agriculturally intense areas in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(4), 559-565.
Grace Communications Foundation. (2012). Industrial vs sustainable agriculture. Retrieved from www.sustainabletable.org/issues/environment/
Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore’s dilemma: A natural history of four meals. New York, NY: Penguin.
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