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When Too Much Isn’t Enough: Does Current Food Production Meet Global Nutritional Needs?

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

One of the main reasons world leaders defend factory farming and mega-sized agricultural operations is that they claim these massive operations are necessary if we are to meet the food needs of the future. The problem with this, however, is that this type of farming has resulted in what a study in PLOS ONE calls an overproduction of grains, fats and sugars, and a deficiency in fruits, vegetables and proteins.

The study’s authors, who calculated the additional amounts of land mass that would be needed to meet this type of food demand, say the only way to address this is to transition to diets higher in plant-based protein. They also noted that “nutritional food guidelines may be vulnerable to political and industry interference.”

Just the mention of political and industry interference proves that these scientists are very much aware that industrial farming is threatening food security around the world. It is indisputable that we are negatively affecting our air, soil and water with this type of agriculture in a way that is drastically impacting the earth itself.

The exposed and nutrient-deficient soils created by industrial farming are a tragic sign of an unsustainable practice that leads to erosion and runoff pollution while also decreasing soil organic matter and impacting our air quality.

What’s worse, according to simulations, if the U.S. were to experience the same kind of drought as that of 1936, we’d lose 40 percent of our corn and soy, and 30 percent of our wheat — the very products we depend on for manufacturing most of our grain-based, flour-based and sugar-filled foods. And all this would be because of the way industrial farming rapes the soil of its needed nutrients.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this, and it doesn’t involve mowing down and stripping the world of more forests and grasslands. It’s called regenerative agriculture, and what it does is return farming to what organic originally was all about — in other words, the protection of biodiversity and rebuilding of topsoil in a way that we not only can sustain nutritious food crops, but return the earth to what it was before Big Ag farming took over.

It's well worth noting that top notch "gold standard" certification for regenerative farming already exists. Biodynamic farming is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture initially developed by Austrian scholar Rudolf Steiner.

It's an approach that can provide far superior harvests compared to conventional chemical-based agriculture, while simultaneously healing the Earth. Biodynamic standards are both organic and regenerative, and then some. Not only does biodynamic farming provide superior crops both in volume and increased density of nutrients, but biodynamic farms are also completely self-sustaining — something that cannot be said even for most organic farms. For example, biodynamic standards do not simply require farmers to use organic animal feed. Most of the feed must actually originate from the farm itself.

Biodiversity is another feature of biodynamic farming, as having animals integrated on the farm, with a focus on animal welfare. In short, the farm is viewed as a living organism — a living, self-sustainable whole — and biodiversity of both plants and animals are viewed as integral. In my view, this is really as good as it gets.

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