Week 3 Prompt 3: Mechanization of Agriculture

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The best way we can adopt sustainable agriculture is to educate ourselves on where our food comes from and also to vote with our dollar. Because large agricultural companies have huge influence over our government, for the time being we cannot rely on our government to make any changes. What we have seen in recent years is organic and local foods becoming more and more popular and major retailers like Walmart cater to our demands.

What we must start with is education, to know where our food comes from. There are a number of good documentaries on Netflix that deal with how food is produced and what effects it has on your health and the environment. Corn is by far the most popular crop grown in the US and is the biggest user of modern farming techniques. The majority of corn is fed to livestock and a significant portion of the rest is processed beyond recognition. By doing things as simple as cutting out junk food and eating less meat in our diets, we are lowering demand for food based on mechanized agriculture.

Just as we’ve seen with organic foods becoming more popular, buying local at farmers markets is becoming more popular as well. Doing so puts our dollars towards the sustainable farming and away from unsustainable farming. If there is enough of a demand for it, the big agriculture companies will have to adopt sustainable farming techniques to win our dollars.

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One response »

  1. I agree completely with your starting statement! Learning where our food comes from and supporting those farms using our purchasing power is the first step to achieving wholesome agriculture. Education is a doubled edged sword when it comes to agriculture. On one hand, we learn about where our food comes from and that for example, that integrated pest management can be a better tool then pesticide application. On the other hand, institutions such as the University of Florida, educates farmers and students on more efficient watering or harvesting methods using various equipment and technology to save farmers money and resources. In this case, I think that the spread of knowledge between many fields of agriculture and environmental ethics should better be communicated among citizens in order to realize sustainable agriculture. Not only organic farms but also home or community gardens should be encouraged.

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