In order to increase profits and feed a growing population, agriculture has increasingly turned to factory farming methods. For a while, it looked like the traditional family farm was going extinct as major farming corporations began to take over the agricultural business. There is nothing wrong with farms that work efficiently, but there may be many things wrong with current farming practices.
However, many critics say that typical factory farms are dangerous to people and cruel to animals. Chemicals and pesticides leak into ground water and the air, and they hurt the environment. Vaccinations make it into the food supply. Animals live short and awful lives. In response, a growing movement has emerged to eliminate the problems with factory farms and provide food for a crowded planet.
What Will Farming in the Future Be Like?
Hopefully, farmers will put the brakes of certain dangerous and cruel methods that they rely upon today. Some of the critical issues are overcrowded and mistreated livestock, routine administration of antibiotics that end up in the food supply, and untested genetic modifications. Also, leaking chemicals and organic chemicals cannot get ignored any longer.
Increasingly, consumers are demanding organic food that gets raised without the use of chemicals, unnecessary vaccinations, and cruel farming and slaughter methods. At the present time, organic food is considerably more expensive that the non-organic food that you might find on the shelves at the grocery store. Does this mean that only wealthy people can afford to stay healthy?
Technology Offsets Increased Costs
While making these changes is bound to cost money, some of these expenses can get offset by technological innovations that help both small and large farmers work more efficiently. These changes are meant to reduce farming waste, improve productivity, and reduce farming’s impact upon the natural environment.
Some examples are robots and drones that may perform manual tasks that used to require human labour. Better refrigeration and storage techniques means that food lasts longer and less gets wasted. Care needs to be taken that pesticides don’t have unintended impact on the overall environment too.
For example, the population of honey bees is believed to be half of what it was a few decades ago. This is a huge problem because many crops still need bees for pollination. Scientists believe that pesticides, intended to kill other pests, have also reduced the population of valuable honey bees all over the world.
The Future of Farming Should Benefit Farmers, Grocers, and Consumers
Also, consumers can vote with their grocery budgets. It is true that organic food does end up costing more to produce and purchase. But as consumers begin to select food that has been produced without dangerous factor farming methods, more agricultural producers will get motivated to reduce the costs of conducting their business in a safe and natural way.
What could be more important than the safety of our food supply? This is the produce, dairy, and meat that we use to feed our families. Beyond the consumption of chemicals and antibiotics, consumers should also concern themselves with the impact of agriculture on the natural environment.