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Agriculture

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Default.png    See also the Agriculture category.
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Sustainability of current agriculture

Our current food system is not sustainable. Development, especially Urban sprawl, is shrinking the agricultural land base. We use large amounts of energy, chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, water. Deep ploughing in large-scale farming is causing the soil to loose much of its nutrients, carbon and is a source of dehydration, soil-erosion and eutrophication.

Food is produced far from the point of consumption, which is a factor in the ecological impact of the food; it also makes truly fresh produce a rare luxury. Local food is a response to these concerns

Global food production

While the Green Revolution massively increased food production after World War II and helped prevent the widespread famine that was predicted, it also increased the use of monocultures, fertilizers and pesticides.

While population growth rates are slowing,[verification needed] there is still a need for increased food production. Improved knowledge about natural processes in food production, especially soil science, about the benefits of

Biofuels

Biofuels from crops have begun to compete with food crops, resulting in increased food prices and thus hunger.

Alternatives

Community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture offer alternatives, with benefits in improved food quality, freshness and variety, richness of experience, education and building of social connections. These are potentially more sustainable through waste management (composting and possibly greywater reuse), reduced goods transport and possible economic benefit.

Important as these measures are, there is little prospect of this becoming the major source of food in the foreseeable future. For this reason, it is essential to improve the sustainability of commercial agriculture, from Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) to very large-scale farms.



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