The Impact of Sustainable Farming
“Today, we want food that’s fast, cheap, and delicious and we don’t think about the cost to our health or to the environment.” – Devon Dionne
When it comes to the fate of the world we live in, we play a huge role. Depending on how we treat our environment today, that will determine how we will live in the future.
Something that we do have control over is how we grow and distribute food via different farming techniques. Unlike industrial farming, sustainable farming gives us food that comes from farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.
In this week’s episode, Devon and I share how industrial farming is harming the earth and how sustainable agriculture can help us reverse those effects and beyond to help us grow and flourish as a society.
SUSTAINABLE TIP! Be mindful of what you eat; think about where it’s coming from and how was it transported to you.
Family Farming vs Factory Farming
Family farms tend to respect the land more than the major corporations that want a profit and money for their shareholders.
After the world wars and the Great Depression, we had to feed lots of people so we swiftly developed specific farming machinery or added pesticides to grow tons of food at a fast pace. Because of this, we needed less and less farmers to produce the food and industrial farming took the lead in production.
Industrial farming also led to other adverse affects on the environment and our own health.
The Downsides to Industrial Farming
Looking at environmental health, economic profitability, social and economic equity impact – how are major corporations dealing with the workers and the community? Are they harming more than helping them to survive?
The industrial farming big brands and corporations have caused a ton of problems for ourselves and the environment:
- Topsoil depletion
- Groundwater contamination
- Fewer family farms and those that exist are barely surviving
- Increase of labor issues
- Decrease of health in the communities
“Statistically, only 1 in 10 farmers can support their families. Otherwise they can support their farm, but not necessarily their family.” – Devon Dionne
How Much Are We Wasting Food?
Because of how food is grown, shipped, purchased, and eaten by consumers, we end up wasting anywhere from 20-50% of food:
- 38% of the harvested grains are lost through the process of shipping, being purchased by customer, and then later thrown out in the garbage when it has spoiled.
- 50% of seafood as well as fruits and vegetables end up being lost or rotted.
- 25% of cattle that is killed for meat ends up being wasted.
- 20% of milk and dairy products like yogurt go bad before we can consume them.
We need to figure out how to get the food from the farms to the dinner table without wasting it.
Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices
There are many ways that we can turn to sustainable farming practices in order to improve our environment:
- Rotate out crops for long amounts of time for nutritious soil.
- Reduce the amount of tilling to prevent erosion and polluting the air.
- Lower the use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Introduce insects like lady bugs to eat the mites and other pests.
- Grow cover crops like clovers for an extra layer of protection.
- Add prairie strips or perennial plants throughout just 10% of the farmland.
- Implement cattle rotation so that the animals are closer to their food and the manure is closer to the farm for fertilization.
- Plant trees in the fields for agroforestry which brings extra shade and shelter which also leads to less watering and helps to reduce soil erosion.
A Sustainable Future
We cannot allow climate change, over-population, and sustainable living to be such taboo topics. They’re real and we have to deal with them by openly discussing them. It’s just reality that we’re not going to have enough room to live or food to feed us all.
So, what changes can we make today? Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Create an urban farm like a vegetable garden, a tomato plant, or have a beehive.
- Buy from local farms and visit them to see how they practice agriculture and grow our food.
- Cook at home and eat out less because then you know where your food is coming from.
- Notice how much food you’re throwing away on a regular basis.
- Get educated about farming and know what’s going on in your local community or in the government.
- Start educating other people about sustainable eating via articles, blogs, or even this podcast episode!
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What You’ll Hear on This Episode
00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction
1:15 Opening comments with Rob and Devon
1:30 Check out last week’s episode – Episode 173 with Dr. Jane Guyn: Great Sex Makes You Healthy – Discover the Bedroom Blueprint
1:50 Today’s topic: The Difference Between Sustainable Agriculture and Industrial Farming: How Our Choices Impact the World
2:30 Check out our new sponsor – ButcherBox
4:00 What is sustainable farming?
5:40 How can we improve the environment?
7:00 The origins of factory farming
8:30 The differences between family farming and industrial farming.
11:00 What problems does industrial farming create for the environment?
12:00 How we can change the impact of industrial farming through sustainability
12:50 Food consumption vs. food loss
15:45 How can we have more sustainable farming practices
40:50 Sustainable farming with cattle
52:50 What can we do to help sustainable farms and make the world more sustainable for the future?
1:06:20 Is organic food sustainable?
1:07:30 Closing comments with Rob and Devon
1:07:50 Join The Open Sky Fitness Podcast Group on Facebook
1:08:30 Eat more sustainable meats with our sponsor, ButcherBox
1:09:40 Check out our Sky Fit Challenge! and sign up for January!
1:11:00 Open Sky Fitness Closing
RESOURCES MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW:
- Leave us an iTunes review
- Join the The Open Sky Fitness Podcast Group on Facebook
- Sign up for our Sky Fit Challenge!
- Contact Rob and Devon to apply for One-On-One Coaching Sessions
- Learn more about our new sponsor – ButcherBox
- Check out last week’s episode – Episode 173 with Dr. Jane Guyn: Great Sex Makes You Healthy – Discover the Bedroom Blueprint
- Learn about about Sustainable Cattle Farming with Nicolette Hahn Niman in Ep. 86
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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 174 – Sustainable Agriculture vs. Industrial Farming: How Our Choices Impact the World! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you.