Sustainable farming will require change. Changes to the factory farming system will not be easy and could be dangerous. However the road to sustainable farming will be driven by two forces; one from the government and the other from the activist consumer.
Undoubtly, the government will have the greatest effect on the future of food. By Government, we are not referring to the USDA, FDA, NIH, CDC or any such regulators that are supposed to protect the consumer. Unfortunately they have been taking captive by companies they are supposed to regulate and the inmates are running the asylum.
Government in this context means Congress. If enough people express outrage to their congressional representatives and the voting patterns of those representatives are exposed and the source of campaign money to those representatives are made public, perhaps they will decide to do the right thing.
It may take voting a few of them out of office but then the career politician needs to be put out to pasture anyway.
In addition, sustainable farming, greatly depends on a growing number of consumer activists. Consumer activists vote with their spending and turns away from fast food, processed food, genetically modified food and factory farmed meat and dairy products, including fish.
Activist consumers speak to their supermarket managers and politely demand healthier, organic, non-GMO selections. They write their congressional representatives regularly, criticizing wrong actions and complimenting when they do what is right. They support ballot initiatives such as is now going on in California to mandate the labeling of all GMO food products.
They write "letters to the editor" of their local newspapers. They support animal advocate organizations such as the Humane Society, PETA, ASPCA and factory farm animal rescue shelters such as Gene Baur's Farm Sanctuary, the Maple Farms Sanctuary, the Pigs Peace Sanctuary and many others. There is probably one near you.
The stakes are high and no effort is too small. Having a backyard or patio garden and patronizing local farmers markets can also be a political statement.
In the book, Food Not Lawns, shown on the left, author Heather Flores shares her nine-step approach to building fertile soil, promoting biodiversity, and increasing natural habitat in a home garden.
Her steps to becoming a garden activist include Planting "guerilla gardens" in barren intersections and medians; organizing community meals; and working with children to create garden play spaces. Food Not Lawns, she shows us how to reclaim the earth one garden at a time. Click on the book's image to buy it or read the review.
Sustainable farming covers the gamut from meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish and all produce and fruit. The humane treatment of all animals is a worthy goal and is a major main focus of this website.
However, the highest stakes of all concern the very future of food and it depends on some very important changes being made in how the human race manages its planet. We have a choice between a coming global famine or a a world of plenty where no one goes hungry.
The template for sustainable farming can be seen very clearly at Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Dr. Joseph Mercola, who publishes the world's #1 natural health website, visited Polyface Farms and posted the You Tube video below on his daily blog. It is well worth the 29 minutes or so to view it and see that there really is a better way than the factory animal farms or mono-cultured crops.
PBS premiered a video on August 29, 2014 titled "The Meat of the Matter" which is another example of how our food animals should be raised, cared for and slaughtered in order to further promote sustainable farming. This video gives an excellent view of how animals were raised prior to the advent of factory farms and how getting back to real animal husbandry can feed our communities in a more healthful, humane way.
This is a very uplifting video and tends to give one hope that the shortcomings of the factory farm could actually become a thing of the past. Take time to watch it.
Note that about 20 minutes in there is an interruption by PBS...just click on continue watching and be sure to watch it to the end. It makes me smile, hope it does the same for you.
If after watching the two videos above, and your mouth is watering for some of that grass-fed beef and pastured pork, then Fossil Farms is the place to go. It is almost a certainty that you have never seen anything like Fossil Farms especially when it comes to the variety of natural, free range, healthy and humane meat selections offered.
Click on their link or banner below and see what meat from sustainable farming is like and then place your order.
Among the priorities are reducing our carbon output, protecting soil and water resources, conserving habitat especially the forest and tropical areas that consume much of our carbon emissions, and expanding and protecting the genetic pool of our food crops and animal species that supply our food.
Sustainable farming is the key to a food supply capable of feeding the planet.
Sustainability of the fishing grounds based on the economists model detailed in a prior page is critical. The reduction of factory farms and the modification of how animals are raised in such facilities so as to avoid the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics, injection of growth hormones and genetic modification of animals beyond their ability to live a sustainable, normal life is a priority.
Reduction of the monoculture is critical to the future of food and a good starting place is to abolish the use of corn as fuel. Finally we must find a way to get back to smaller scale farming which allows for traditional methods crop rotation, replenishment of soil nutrients and a wider geographic dispersion of farms.
The hope is that we will wake up and take positive action to heal our ecosystem before Mother Nature does it for us.
A feature length documentary appropriately title, "The Future of Food", produced, directed and written by Deborah Koons Garcia lays out downside for food sustainability as well as hope for the future; much of what has been briefly discussed in the above paragraphs.
The DVD is available from Amazon.com; just click on the DVD image above to take a look.
Viewing and sharing this film is an absolute must.
For more food for thought on a personal sustainable farming action plan
visit the website of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and see their vision for sustainable farming. They are on to something.
Or go back to the home page and choose another aspect of factory farming to explore...
Or go back to the CAFO lead-in pages.
Or go to the environmental problem pages.
Or go to the factory farming and health pages.
Or go back to the future of food pages.