by Indiana Lee
there is no doubt. Our environment is under more stress than ever before. Recent projections predicts world population To exceed 8 billion by 2025. However, the amount of land used for sustainable agriculture will remain at current levels.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, food insecurity is also at an all-time high. In 2019, the World Food Program estimated that More than 135 million people faced life-threatening food insecurity. These stark numbers may have doubled in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
The food crisis does not affect developing countries alone. It is right on our doorstep. Unfortunately, hunger in the United States is not new. However, following more than a year of nationwide lockdowns, unprecedented Americans faced food insecurity. They now find themselves stealing food For their survival and for the survival of their families.
As bleak as the current situation may seem, there is hope. Progress in agriculture is promising to meet the challenge of food insecurity, both abroad and at home.
The origins of food insecurity
To combat food insecurity, we must understand the root causes. Global population growth is only a small part of the story. Even more important is the fact of a history of mismanagement of the land.
Studies indicate this The nutritional content of crops today It is, on average, much lower in nutritional value than it was a century ago. Not to mention the fact that large producers, in particular, tend to prefer high-yield, low-nutrient crops.
This has resulted in a general deterioration in the quality of the food supply. Global markets are overflowing with inexpensive foods rich in carbohydrates, while the costs of healthy alternatives are rising. Thus, the global epidemic is related to food insecurity Widespread malnutritionAs low-income families have become dependent on inexpensive, accessible, energy-rich but nutrient-poor food to get them.
The role of sustainable agriculture
Sustainable agricultureIt is, by definition, a method of cultivation designed to protect, regenerate and conserve the environment. This includes methods designed to prevent or reduce soil depletion, such as crop rotation and the use of safe and natural pest control methods to avoid exposing the land to dangerous chemical pesticides.
Protecting the Earth in this way is not only important for sustainable production, but it also has a direct impact on it The nutritional value of the crops themselves.
In addition, sustainable agriculture seeks to increase efficiency and reduce waste, with a special focus on reducing food waste. According to recent estimates from the USDA, 30-40% of the food produced in the United States is wasted. However, a sustainable approach to farming often includes local production on a smaller scale, which eliminates the need for long-distance transportation to food distributors, which is a major cause of food waste.
Water and water are everywhere
However, sustainable agriculture is more than just preserving the land. These methods also yield The benefits of the water supply are enormous. According to recent estimates, approx 800 million people around the world Lacking access to safe drinking water. And the The health effects of polluted water can be devastating.
Municipal water networks may aging Exposing children to bullets In water used for drinking, cooking and bathing, it leads to lifelong developmental delays and other physical and behavioral challenges, from anemia to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Likewise, contamination of well water or river and lake systems through unsafe farming practices may expose humans and animals to life-threatening bacteria, such as he is. Coli.
However, permaculture practices are designed not only to protect but also to preserve water supplies, as agriculture is to a large extent The largest consumer of drinking water in the world. Gray water use, Or recycled water from rainwater, domestic and commercial sources, for example, is a sustainable strategy of particular relevance to maintaining water supplies which, in turn, can be used for more expansive agriculture – resulting in larger and safer crops to support a global food system. This is especially important like The western United States is facing a massive drought.
If grocery racks are empty and Panic buying at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic Were not sufficient to illustrate the risks of relying on the global supply chain for the necessities of life, today’s fuel and commodity prices must be rapidly increasing.
Veterans have long recognized the importance of self-reliance. However, there are strong indications of this Food shortageAnd with them Skyrocketing food prices, They pose a clear and imminent threat. For this reason, perhaps one of the most important agricultural innovations to combat food insecurity is the emergence Farm house and garden. It is important to Learn all you can about small housingNo matter where you live. The more one produces at home, the less dependent on others.
What are your thoughts on sustainable agriculture? Food insecurity is one of the most serious challenges facing our world today. However, new and improved farming methods promise not only to increase the global food supply but also to make them healthier, more affordable and available to all. Are these new and improved agricultural methods helping or hindering small farmers?
Source: Organic Prepper