In 2013 the United Nations released a report indicating that the world’s food needs could be met through organic, local farms. The United Nations report stated that food security, poverty, gender inequality, and climate change can be addressed with a significant shift towards organic, localized farming. In contrast with industrialized farming, organic and local farms cut down on the energy and pollution that transporting food requires. Another study revealed that organic farming utilized less water than industrialized farming, as well as a general reduction in pollution related to production.
As Maryam Henein reports, the Rodale Institute conducted a 30-year study on farming and the data showed that organic farming yielded 33% more output than industrial farming. Currently 80% of organic farming worldwide is being done outside of the United States.
What is standing in our way from local, organic farming? Unfortunately global trade agreements prevent much change from occurring. Trade agreements, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is currently under negotiation, benefit large corporations such as Monsanto and further encourage corporate growth and greed.
Source: Maryam Henein, “United Nations Calls for an End to Industrialized Farming.” Truth-Out. November 26, 2014, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/27636-united-nations-calls-for-an-end-to-industrialized-farming.
Student Researcher: Michael Brannon (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)