All around the world, the push to globalize the food supply by consolidating food production into large-scale, corporatized agricultural systems controlled by a select few is causing massive environmental destruction and immense poverty. And the only way to truly turn things around is to return to small-scale, independent, organic farming models in which people, not corporations, control the food supply, and grow quality food for their families and communities without government interference.
It may sound overly simplistic or even unrealistic in modern world terms, but small-scale farming methods that include growing a variety of crops on smaller plots, also known as biodiversity; rotating crops to maintain soil quality; and avoiding the overuse of harmful chemicals are still among the best ways to conserve land and ensure an abundant, nutrient-dense food supply. Apart from these methods, agriculture as we know it is doomed, as mankind will eventually greed itself into extinction.
“Report after report — the kind governments and big organizations choose to override — tells us that the best way to ensure that everyone is well fed, sustainably and securely, is through farms that are mixed, complex and low-input (quasi-organic),” writes Colin Tudge in a recent editorial in the U.K.’s Guardian. “These must be labor-intensive (or there can be no complexity), so there is no advantage in them being large scale.”
Tudge warns about the dangers of greed-based agricultural consolidation and the elimination of people-driven agricultural models, noting how the ongoing separation of people from the land all around the world is destroying cultures, societies, and the planet at large. In the not too distant future, if current trends continue, the whole of humanity will have essentially been ultimately banished from its agricultural heritage into pauperism and starvation.
“Although industrial farming doesn’t feed everybody, has led to mass unemployment and the poverty and despair that go with it, and is wrecking the fabric of the world, it must prevail because it produces piles of short-term cash for the people who are calling the shots,” adds Tudge about the inevitable endgame of this centralized, top-down-control approach to agriculture.
Small-scale farming is humanity’s only chance at survival, prosperity
There are a number of reasons why small-scale farming methods are the only way to save agriculture from the greed-driven profit systems that are destroying it both in America and abroad. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, reason is that 1) small-scale farming methods promote individual rather than corporate ownership of food. When people control their own food supplies, corporations and the fascist governments they end up controlling are unable to transform agriculture into a centralized system driven by the maximization of profits through whatever means possible.
Another reason is that small-scale, bio-diverse farming methods ultimately 2) require fewer pesticides and herbicides to produce quality food, which means less reliance on multinational chemical companies to grow food. Small-scale farming systems, when utilized in balance with nature, end up producing 3) much more nutritious food with higher vitamin and mineral content as a result, which means a decreased human reliance on pharmaceutical drugs, hospital services, and other high-cost healthcare resources that are almost now universally controlled by greed-driven, corporate-controlled governments.
When common people are free to grow their own food on their own land for themselves, their families, and their local and regional communities, another beneficial consequence is a significant upswing in both the 4) availability of clean food and prosperity for all. Local economies thrive when individuals are free and able to reap the benefits of the fruits of their own labor, not when corporations are given free reign to seize control over all aspects of agricultural production, which they are only able to do by first stamping out all small-scale producers.
A decentralized farming model in which average families with land grow at least some crops on the family parcel has always been the most effective way for societies as a whole to avoid some of the devastating consequences of famine, blight, economic upheaval, and other disaster scenarios that would otherwise wipe out a centralized food supply in an instant. Backyard farms, after all, are what saved many American families from starvation during the Dust Bowl and after the Civil War, and they are precisely what will save families around the world today.
What both developing and developed countries need most in light of today’s global economic turmoil is a widespread reawakening about the importance of small-scale farming. 5) Small-scale farming is really the only viable, long-term solution to the problems of malnutrition and starvation, as both self-reliance and diversified food production remain the two most effective ways to maintain societal stability and survival, particularly in times of crisis.
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