Mary Sears Taylor
Sustainable Agriculture: The Switch from Industrial to Organic P1:
Agriculture is the most important user of environmental resources and plays a crucial role in the economy, human health, and production of food and fiber. Currently the debate over agriculture is how to feed the world’s growing population, but in a non-damaging process. Agriculture needs a change resulting in sustainability, but the debate begins with how to achieve sustainability in agriculture. One side insists on expanding the current system of industrial agriculture, which depends on monoculture and mechanization. This modern approach to agriculture, which developed during the 20th century, has successfully fed the growing population, but has resulted in devastating effects on the environment and human health. Organic farming techniques, on the other hand, have recently been introduced as another possible solution to sustainable agriculture. Organic methods, including of crop rotation, pest management, and cover crops, have proven to be less damaging to the environment. Despite the proven benefits, some believe that organic farming methods will not produce enough food to feed the world’s growing population. Therefore, this side of the agricultural debate insists on merging organic farming and industrial agriculture together. Even though feeding the world’s growing population is essential, human health should never be at cost. Organic farming needs to completely replace industrial agriculture. According to Gracelinks.org, “Sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.” This definition proves that industrial agriculture does not meet the requirements of sustainability due to its cause of land degradation, loss of biodiversity, and pollution. Industrial agriculture has successfully produced an abundant amount of food, but the harmful effects it causes on the environment and public health are unacceptable and unsustainable. P2:
Sustainable agriculture techniques aim to embrace farming practices that mimic natural ecological practices. Methods that are sustainable will benefit the farmer, the land, and the community as a whole. Brodt Sonja from The Nature Education Knowledge Project states, “Agricultural sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition only begins to prove that organic farming is more sustainable than industrial agriculture. Industrial techniques compromise future generations’ ability to meet their needs. Even though industrial methods produce an abundant amount of food, the impacts are overwhelming on the environment and human health, resulting in an unsustainable world. Despite those who support industrial agriculture or a combination of industrial and organic methods, I found research which proves that organic farming is solely the answer. The results I found confirm that the key to sustainable agriculture involves a complete shift of methods. After researching the debate, I am confident that a change from industrial to organic is vital to improve our environment and attain a sustainable agriculture. The organic farming approach to agriculture has proven to be more beneficial to the environment and public health, along with producing high yields. Agriculture will be made sustainable and ecologically sound by adopting organic farming techniques such as crop rotation, crop diversity, cover crops and pest management. These organic farming methods will continue to feed the world’s growing population without damaging consequences. P3:
Sustainable agriculture strives to provide an abundance of food while using methods that do not harm the environment and improve human health. The Union of Concerned Scientists states,...
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