Tag Archives: farming

Beefy Industry

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In his book Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Richard Robbins weighs the environmental costs of a staple of the US diet: beef. In mathematical number of calories, beef is an inefficient food that requires huge food input. Cattle feed accounts for 80% of US grain production and about half of US water consumption. This inefficiency is magnified as… Read more »

Farming Life

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  Food is life. Nonetheless, 25% of global food production is traded internationally like any other commodity. This huge movement of food comes with consequences. Trade liberalization can disrupt the economy of a developing country in many ways, but especially by disadvantaging domestic farming by importing cheap food from more developed nations where agriculture is more industrialized. Consider peasant farmers… Read more »

A Living System at Each Level

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Each component of the global food system depends on a healthy planet. What is a healthy planet? It is not just the absence of air pollution, global warming, landfills, deforestation, oil spills, etc. A healthy planet, and therefore a healthy global food ecology (socially, politically, environmentally) also boils down to healthy dirt, nutrient-rich soil and water, microbial symbiosis… all sorts… Read more »

Urban Farming: a Viable Solution

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One of the most promising possible solutions to an increasingly at-risk world food system is the concept of urban farming. Already a popular initiative and social movement in many cities, urban farming brings people closer to their food and vice versa. We already have heard compelling arguments from Authors like Pollan, and seen undeniable evidence via ethnographic studies of non-Western… Read more »

Holy Hemp!

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The political ecology of today’s world food system is continuously being shaped by countless influential factors. The world food system is in an utter state of imbalance in terms of waste and environmental degradation. The foundation from which these issues arise can be traced back to governmental and social dimensions and or decisions that took place in the recent past…. Read more »

Should You Go Vegan?

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Whenever I heard of someone going vegan, I always thought their reasoning was to combat animal cruelty or to simply be healthier. Naively, I never considered the environmental and ecological impact going vegan could have. While going vegan certainly is a way to ethically respond to the horrendous treatment of livestock and other farm animals used for food, there are… Read more »

Innovation vs. Rural Wisdom

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The industrial revolution brought with it numerous benefits for the modern age. Perhaps most significant is the technology that has made it possible to feed 7 billion people worldwide. The improvements in industrialized farming equipment made farming more efficient, producing higher yields while expending less energy for the farmers. However, less energy spent by people, cattle and horses to operate… Read more »

Not Just a Pretty Flower

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While some may think of the poppy flower as a nice addition to a bouquet or just a pretty flower, it is not only that. The poppy is a flower, a crop, a drug, and a socio environmental factor that connects climate change and conflict in Afghanistan. The rise of opium and the associated epidemic is all too familiar in… Read more »

A Better Way?

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The enormous ecological footprint of large scale food production, particularly as a direct result of petroleum energy inputs stands out as the biggest deterrent to a sustainable food system. In order to generate the highest yields, factory farms are intrinsically dependent on oil, from the equipment required to cultivate and harvest, to the necessity for soil amendments that promote the… Read more »

Not Eating Your Veggies Isn’t Exactly The Cause of Food Waste

Tristram Stuart’s TedTalk The Global Food Waste Scandal reveals the global scale of food wasted and addresses the different ways to tackle food waste in the midst of growing world hunger. Stuart presents the unfortunate reality we live in and the responsibility we play in further perpetuating world hunger with the statistics indicating that with the surplus of food in… Read more »