With an ever expanding world population and the impending threat of another world energy crisis, food production is in a precarious situation. Food production has been able to keep up with the population due to nitrogen based fertilizers and other technological innovations upping the yield of staple crops. Unfortunately, these innovations are incredibly dependent on fossil fuels and can cause nitrogen run off, both of which cause great environmental harm. The alternative to fossil fuel dependent farming is sustainable farming which is largely organic and utilizes mixed-use farms that regenerate soil naturally instead of using chemicals or blasting nitrogen into the soil. The transportation of food is just as damaging as the production of food, if not more so, due to its heavy use of fossil fuel. The solution is to have farms that are close to cities which would not only cut down on fossil fuel but help the environment by reducing pollutants. This way of life has saved Cuba, who due to a lack of fossil fuel was forced to make the move toward sustainable farming. This led to greater food security, created more jobs in farming, and reduced pollutants due the placement of farms in urban centers.
Can the United States also make a move toward sustainable farming? Cuba found ingenuity in crisis after being cut off from sources of petroleum, pesticide and imports, rendering them unable to feed their population. It is unlikely the United States will be put in a similar situation, forcing them to turn to sustainable farming. Without imminent threat, I do not believe the United States would make the drastic changes that have so greatly benefitted Cuba. Fossil fuel dependence is hurting the environment and people’s health, the future of farming is implementing sustainable practices and gradually cutting fossil fuel dependence.
Burley, Ray, et al. Cuba : the Accidental Revolution. Part 1. [Distributed by Bullfrog Films], 2015.
“Urban Farm in Cuba.” City Farmer News, 20 Apr. 2017, www.cityfarmer.info/category/cuba/.