Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Orwellian Agriculture

What's the objective of agriculture? Most people would say to produce food. In our Orwellian times we have distorted agriculture to such an absurd degree that today
  • agriculture is worldwide the biggest consumer of water (13,000 liters of water are needed to produce one kilogram of meat)
  • agriculture is worldwide the biggest polluter of water (insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers seeping into rivers and ground water)
  • agriculture is worldwide the biggest cause for soil degradation and soil loss (removal of nutrients, erosion, salination of soil, deforestation for new agricultural plots)
  • agriculture is a massive energy consumer (for every 1 calorie of food produced 9 calories of energy are put into the agricultural system, most products (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides) come from the petrochemical industry, i.e. are derived from oil)
  • agriculture reduces food diversity (75% of plant food seed species have been driven to extinction in the last 60 years, more than half of all food plants grown today are from only 4 species: rice, wheat, soy and corn)
So, what do you think now of today's agriculture? Agriculture which is supposed to give us food, is in reality destroying our water and reducing our capability to produce food in the future.

Bill Mollison once said: our current agriculture is not a system to produce food, it is a system to produce profits. Let me add to that: "... it is a system to produce profits at any cost, including sick people, sick water and a sick land."

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