American Agriculture in the Cross-Hairs — Is the Farm Bill Helping or Hindering Food Security, Health and Democracy?

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Food security. Health. Environmental sustainability. Democracy. All of these things are interconnected like spokes around the hub of agriculture. Agriculture, in turn, has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair.

Yet today, we’re faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity.

The Price of Divorcing Ourselves From Nature

You don’t have to go very far back in history to get to a point where “What should I eat?” was a nonexistent question. Everyone knew what “food” was. They harvested food off trees, bushes and out of the ground, and they ate it, either raw or cooked in some fashion.

Our current confusion about what is healthy and what is not is basically rooted in having divorced ourselves from the actual growing of food. What’s worse, this separation has led to an even greater forgetfulness about our place in the ecosystem, and our role as shepherds of the natural world.

Soil health, for example, is a crucial component of human health that many are clueless about these days. And because people don’t understand this connection, they fail to realize the importance of regenerative agriculture, and the dangers of industrial farming.

For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. Today, we see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem.

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