How Can our Food System be More Sustainable?
flaws of our global food system
Our food system isn’t perfect, but what’s worse, is it isn’t sustainable. Yes, it was designed to feed a growing population. And yes, more people than ever have access to food from around the world. But there are some major consequences to the system we’ve developed.
I recently gave a presentation to a high school environmental group, and made a video to share. It talks about our global food system, food miles, links between Big Ag, synthetic chemicals, and GMOs. It also covers some consequences of this ‘efficient’ system to human health and the health of the planet.
Our food system is fascinating. It’s amazing that in some cases, it is cheaper to ship food 5000 miles than to grow it locally; that we pick fruits and vegetables that aren’t ripe and then gas them on their journey to ripen them artificially. It’s crazy that we smother produce in synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that have been shown to cause cancer, then promote them as health food. And it’s wild that we depend on GMOs which have been banned or regulated in many countries.
There’s got to be a better way, right?
There is. Find out what you can do to make our food system more sustainable and get more health out of your health food by watching the video.
Just looking for a quick summary?
Monocropping is a style of agriculture that plants one crop on the same field, year after year. It’s efficient because it requires limited farmer interaction with the land, does not require numerous machines to plant, harvest, and water, and the farmers don’t need to tend to and manage a variety of crops.
Monocropping was intended to be more efficient so that we could feed a growing global population. However, the consequences of monocropping are outweighing the benefits, as we suffer ecological damage, and impacts to human health from synthetic fertilizers and GMOs that are an important part of the Big Ag monocropping equation.
how can our food system be more sustainable?
There are better ways. Organic farming is better for human and ecological health, while local food decentralizes the system, supports small farmers, and brings back crop biodiversity.
Our current food system, built to feed billions of people, is now unsustainable. We are finding our ‘solutions’ are contributing to ecological collapse, poor human health, and even climate change.
But our choices can make a difference. We can choose to support a growing number of small, local farms, and organic growers, and create a healthier, more resilient food system in our own communities and beyond.