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09.19.18

What You Need to Know About Sustainable Food Production

Sustainability is a hot topic in agriculture. But what does it mean and why should you care? Heres the inside scoop on sustainable food production.

Global agriculture has almost tripled over the last 50 years thanks to advances in science and technology. However, universal advocation for sustainable agriculture has grown as well. More and more parties continue to join the effort and to practice sustainability in food production.

So, what is sustainable food production and why is it so important? Keep reading for everything you need to know about sustainability in agriculture.


WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY?

The concept of sustainability is a complex one, as there are different definitions and meanings to the term. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, sustainability is simply based around the basic principle that everything we need for our survival depends on our natural environment.   

As the EPA explains, “sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”

 

WHY IS SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION IMPORTANT?

Sustainable food production enables healthy foods production that does not compromise future generations. Key benefits of sustainable agriculture, according to the Grace Communications Foundation, include the following:

  • Environmental preservation: Sustainable farms do not use toxic chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, or other procedures that are detrimental to the environment and our natural resources.
  • Protection of public health: By avoiding hazardous pesticides and practices, sustainable crop farms produce safer fruits and vegetables in ways that won’t harm workers or surrounding communities. Like sustainable crop farms, sustainable livestock farms and ranchers also use safe, responsible practices.
  • Sustaining vibrant communities: Sustainability in farming strengthens economies, creates jobs, and builds strong communities on local and regional levels.  
  • Upholding animal welfare: Animals are treated with care and respect on sustainable farms and ranches to protect the animals’ wellbeing.

 

WHAT ARE OTHER FARMING OPTIONS?

Farms have become larger and more specialized with industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture produces greater quantities of food at lower prices, however, it comes at a cost to the environment. Industrial agriculture is only able to succeed by employing practices that threaten the environment, human health, rural communities, and animal welfare, Grace Communications Foundation says.

In general, conventional farming systems vary from farm to farm and the country they are in. However, most of these systems are comprised of the same characteristics. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the following are features of conventional farming around the world: rapid technological innovation, large-scale farms, hybrid crops, extensive use of pesticides, fertilizers, and external energy inputs, just to name a few.


THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a large portion of the agricultural community is open to the concept of sustainable agriculture and has been moving toward the practice of sustainable food production. Sustainability has also become an integral component of agriculture research efforts as it is being worked into agricultural policy.

“Critical discussion of the sustainable agriculture concept will and should continue,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. “Understanding will deepen; answers will continue to come.”

Continuous dialog around sustainability and sustainable food production is imperative. Want to keep the conversation going? Follow Germinal Organic for more industry insights! Then, leave a comment and let us know what sustainability means to you.

 

SOURCES

Science and Development Network
United States Environmental Protection Agency
GRACE Communications Foundation
The National Agricultural Library


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10.10.18

How the U.S Healthy Food Market is Growing

Healthy foods are conquering our groceries stores but are you aware of the nature and the origins of this phenomenon?

American are improving their food choices and diet quality. We investigated this trend to find the key areas of improvement and the information that you need to know to leverage this growth opportunity.

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