Why should you care about sustainable agriculture?

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As you begin to change where you shop for healthier food, you may notice some packaging claims that its food was grow using “sustainable agriculture.” This doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthier or better, though it can be. The main benefit as far as consumption is that the process strives for the most natural methods of farming, meaning very little use of chemicals. .

There are other reasons why you might pay extra for food made with sustainable crops. The food you consume will likely be better for you, due to the methods used to produce it, true. But it also definitely has a better impact on the world around us.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture is a type of agricultural practice which seeks to sustain resources, farmers, and the environment by encouraging methods of farming that are

  • profitable,

  • eco-friendly,

  • and environmentally sound.

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to satisfy the food and fiber needs of human, while improving both the quality of the environment, and the natural resources that are often used by the agricultural economy.

Sustainable agriculture also aims to use non-renewable resources and on-farm resources efficiently to help sustain the economic viability of farms.

Theoretically, this optimizes quality of life of both the farmer and society.

Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture has a lot of benefits to offer to both human and the environment.

Human Benefits

Crops grown through sustainable agriculture do not contain any form of fertilizers or pesticides. Synthetic materials are not consumed by the people. Thus, the risk of getting ill due to exposure to chemical and fertilizers are limited.

Furthermore, plants and animal products produced through sustainable agriculture are also more nutritious. This is due to the fact that the overall crops are more natural and thus healthier.

Environmental Benefits

Sustainable agriculture also affects the environment in positive ways.

These methods use 30% less energy for every unit of crop yield when compared with mechanized or industrialized agriculture.

Unlike industrialized agriculture where it is common to use fossil fuels as a major form of energy. Fewer chemicals minimize environmental pollution, benefitting us all.

Quality of the soil as well as the nutrients it contains are also higher, reducing soil erosion and degradation. The reduced chemical processes affect the local ecosystem too, providing all organisms within it with a healthier and more natural habitat, improving the biodiversity of the environment.

Sustainable agriculture does have its problems. it requires more human labor, which can increase the costs of a farm’s output. The quality of crops may be better, but aren’t always produced at the same size as those that use industrialized agriculture. To the layperson, a larger banana might be seen as a better one.

Still, sustainable agriculture has multiple benefits that make it worth the extra few cents, including a higher nutritional value, a better environment and tastier food. The next time you’re faced with the decision about whether to try a product made by a company that uses sustainable agriculture, you might find that these benefits are worth the occasional extra cost.



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