If you like to eat, then you should be concerned about how your food is grown and processed. Most people realize that eating a poor diet can lead to poor health or an early death. Yet, sadly, too few in our overfed (and undernourished) society seem to care about what they consume.
On the production side of the coin, since the late 1940s, there has been an increasing trend toward larger, super-efficient, high-tech “food factories,” replacing small family farms. Giant multinational corporations now control the great majority of food production, processing and marketing in the developed world.
The overuse of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, animal growth hormones, and more recently, the introduction of genetically-engineered crops, have raised concern among many who care about environmental problems. Some scientists worry that such agriculture-related effects as soil degradation and erosion, deforestation, pesticide pollution and food-borne diseases have not only caused serious ecological problems already, but along with climate change, overfishing the oceans and overpopulation, they may be building up to a catastrophic worldwide disaster.
The term “sustainable agriculture” implies a system of food production that can continue indefinitely — a system that builds up soil rather than depleting it, that grows truly healthful crops and animals, and at costs that even the world’s poor can afford.
Even if you are not a farmer, you can do much to promote a sustainable earth. You can (1) grow a garden, (2) purchase food grown by sustainable producers (including organic), (3) buy products grown locally, (4) recycle and reduce waste, and (5) educate yourself and your family about health-producing nutrition and the ecologically-sound methods which give rise to good food. Be aware and be concerned. Put into practice what you learn.
The links on this website should get you started. The principles of sustainable agriculture also apply to gardening.
|Is “sustainable” really better?|
|The agricultural ecosystem|
|Soil parts and functions|
|Crop growth and nutrition|
|Composting and other approaches|
You can also download a PDF with all of the above pages combined by clicking here.