pol note

published 2023-10-08 16:44

updated 2023-11-05 12:56

I'll admit I don't know much about this post. This is merely my understanding. If you think something is wrong here, please reach out! I'd love to learn more.

Most people aren't upset about Monoculture farming, the dominant form of Agro-Business today. How could they be? We produce enough food to feed everybody on the planet (Don't mention that 10 million still starve annually)! In Beliefs, I outline that this is also why we continue to have population growth. As of recently, in some nations, we seem to have been able to overcome this intense evolutionary pressure, much to everybody's confusion and terror regarding an aging population. Think of the productivity!

I've digressed...

Mono-cropping farms, and really farmers at large are in the commodity business. Regardless of the farmers desires, the Economic Incentive Structures for professional farmers are aligned for commodity farming, which is best achieved through mono-cropping. We could "just as easily" pick different incentives, but this is a big part of why mono cropping has become the dominant agro-business in the last ~50 years.

Mono-cropping leaves soil depleted. This is well understood "unintended" (but not unforeseen) consequence of mono cropping. There are some mitigation strategies, including crop rotations or intercropping, but unless you create a polyculture, your soil will not be ecologically viable for insect life that makes it healthy. Now crops require fertilizer. Fertilizer is produced from byproducts of oil (yay!).

Mono cropping invites pests and diseases. Because they do this, farms now require pesticide. Modern civilization shall provide solutions to all the problems you've created! Pesticide is produced from byproducts of oil (yay!).

All of these chemicals eventually get run off into places they shouldn't be further destroying surrounding ecosystems. Death is a continuous outcome of industrial endeavours, and Industrial Farming is no different.

After years of murdering all the insects that would eat valuable crops, destroying the soil and then pumping it full of artificial fertilizer, it becomes inhospitable to life altogether. No longer does the cash crop grow on this plot. Farms get bigger, they account for this as part of doing business. Less people want to get into commercial farming. Current farmers are getting old, they aren't able to work as hard as they used to. Oil companies start buying up farms as a form of green-washing the by products of their main hustle. These farms are already dependent on fertilizer. We're left with Mega Corps that no longer have to compete, that own staggering large amounts of arable land, which they are exterminating life from in order to produce one or two crops.

This method of producing food, all it's efficiencies of scale, modern chemical processes, and large petro-chemical harvesters, doesn't even go towards feeding humans. The two main crops that are grown in North America are Corn and Soybeans. They go to feeding our cattle or into, strangely basically everything? Seriously, corn is a magic product that we use in basically every food product. Everything has corn in it. I'm not joking. Humans just don't consume the amount of soy beans and corn that we produce. These are the most profitable crops to grow at industrial scales, and so that's what we've ended up with.

We have alternatives. We could choose a different structure. We don't need a new breakthrough in the science of Genetically Engineered Proprietary plants to ensure We can continue to grow crops. We don't need slightly less harmful toxic chemicals that keep ending up in our bodies and water systems.

Permaculture is a far more laid back approach to growing crops. It's much less efficient and producing commodities that are easily harvested and sold, and generally cannot be scaled to the demands of industrial producers. But in a world where we're trying to feed everyone instead of produce a profit through farming, it could be a solution. We could see how well it works, by subsidizing these farms alongside industrial ones. If it works, We could slowly move towards such a system. But we're not doing any of that. We continue to choose the outcome that leaves us dependent on Oil and it's byproducts, depletes local resources to such a degree that they cannot be used in the future, and normalizing the outrageous, ridiculous idea of licensing plant genes, and collecting rent whenever they are grown. Over-yielding is possible through growing different crops in close proximity to another: Growing Wheat and Walnuts in a single hectare produces as much wheat would be grown in 1.4 hectares[#]_.

The problems all remain social

  • That's a 40% increase! I saw this on Twitter by a reputable agriculturist, I hope it's true :3