Super-Sized Agriculture

On the topic of “we are what we eat”, here’s a fascinating photographic essay:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/09/magazine/big-food-photo-essay.html^

Regardless of what you think about “in balance with nature”, the images are quite staggering. This is one of those situations when a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Industrialized agriculture has definitely reached some impressive heights (or lows, depending on who you ask).

There are a lot of humans to feed on this Earth, that’s a given. However, my personal opinion is that such pictures speak at length about the way we’re abusing the ecosystem. I don’t think our agriculture is particularly impressive on the engineering side. My amazement stems from the sheer size of it all and the way it’s been optimized through the centuries. The problem is that we’re still being cruel towards creatures of all kinds.

I choose to remain optimistic though. I put my trust in the fact that ecosystems are self-balancing things. There are many signs that we’ve started on our way to find a healthier relationship with nature. In many regions, people are having fewer children than they had hundreds of years ago when there were all sorts of risks waiting to decimate a community. Hopefully, in time, these horrendous industrial farms will disappear and we’ll see something like permaculture^ becoming widespread. Until then, at least we can try to buy organic foods^.

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