Systems Theory and Sustainable Farming

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In lesson two we looked at living and mechanical systems and learned what the differences were. The living systems are biological and mechanical systems are machine based, created by humans. They are both a way of creating energy or outputs that help to keep the environment(s) going. Systems theory helps to put in perspective of how important it is to input quality because within systems theory, the input defines the output. For example, eating highly processed foods provides some nutritional value, but the food tends to leave people feeling drained and run down. When wholesome foods, like vegetables and meats that are unprocessed, are eaten people tend to feel less weighed down by the foods they ate. Applying this to systems theory leads to the conclusion that the quality of the input effects the quality of what comes out of it.

Still thinking in terms of systems theory, we look at farming and where food comes from. It comes from the earth and produced on farms, but we must put the seeds into the soil and water it. More than just that, we need nutrient rich soil to grow harvestable crops. Over time, the nutrients are drained from the soil, which can lead to an inability to grow on that land, which is why sustainable farming is so important. If we plant crops that add nutrition to the soil after we have harvested a crop that takes that nutrient out, then we can keep the soil rich for much longer. These rotating crops helps to sustain the soil while thinking in systems theory. If we put in A then we can get B because we have added the right tools to make that possible.

1 thought on “Systems Theory and Sustainable Farming

  1. leahk4

    Looking at systems theory with regards to food production and diet is incredibly important and I’m glad you outlined it here. This reminds me of Michael Pollans perspective in his book In Defense of Food, when he states that the nutrients cannot simply be added to the highly processed foods for them to provide the nutrient values our body needs. He explains that our food needs to have the synergy of all the nutrients together in a food that is fresh and unadulterated by being processed or preserved. Although we don’t know what exactly the quiet real foods have that the processed nutrient added foods shouting for our attention don’t we do know that we do not get the same value eating them and as your rightly state, that leaves us feeling drained and run down. The input is incredibly important.
    Works Cited
    Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food. London: Penguin Books LTD, 2008.

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