There’s a Link – Here’s the Research, Managing Diabetes and Ketones With Plant Paradox, Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet: The Complete Guide. Before Shortform, he co-founded PrepScholar, an online education company. The challenges and issues of industrial agriculture for global and local society, for the industrial agriculture industry, for the individual industrial agriculture farm, and for animal rights include the costs and benefits of both current practices and proposed changes to those practices. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and attended medical training at the MD/PhD program at Harvard and MIT. It has a stronger root system, stands up straight, and is amenable to mechanized harvesting. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. What’s industrial farming? By the 1980s, diversified farms had basically disappeared in Iowa and a single crop or monoculture — corn —  dominated. This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Here's what you'll find in our full Omnivore's Dilemma summary: Allen Cheng is the founder of Shortform. Factory Farming, How to Eat More to Lose Weight, the Right Way, Calcium for Bones: You Shouldn’t Get it From Dairy, Why Are Americans So Fat? Here’s how farming works today. The higher yields stem from the fact that the hybrid corn can be planted close together. Shortform summary of "The Omnivore's Dilemma", What is the Environmental Impact of Agriculture? One in four Americans lived on a farm. Beginning in the early 1900s and coinciding with the Industrial Revolution, industrial agriculture is the practice of intensive farming of animals and crops. 4 Reasons You Haven’t Considered, Does Milk Cause Cancer? It is characterized by large-scale monoculture, high levels of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. Today most of our food comes from corn-based industrial farms. How does it produce food, and how is it different from normal farming? How did corn and its byproducts (like corn syrup) end up in tens of thousands of foods? (Soybeans have become the second crop supporting the industrial food system; like corn, they’re fed to livestock and are a component of a majority of processed foods.) Naylor rotates the two crops. He reads broadly, covering a wide range of subjects including finance, management, health, and society. Like this article? What’s Wrong with It? Naylor rotates the two crops. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Growing just corn in industrial agriculture required much less labor than diversified farming, thanks to fertilizer, pesticides, mechanization, and other practices. George Naylor is a typical farmer, raising corn and soybeans in Greene County, Iowa. Naylor’s farm, which has been in his family for generations, no longer financially supports the four people who live on it; his wife works off the farm and he depends on a federal subsidy. What happens when you try to forage for your own food. (Soybeans have become the second crop supporting the industrial food system; like corn, they’re fed to livestock and are a component of a majority of processed foods.). Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading. What is Industrial Farming? In industrial farming, Naylor plants a hybrid corn variety developed by Monsanto, which yields 180 bushels per acre; in 1920 the average was about 120 bushels per acre. How is Industrial Organic food like at Whole Foods not much better than massive industrial farming? George Naylor is a typical farmer, raising corn and soybeans in Greene County, Iowa. Naylor and other midwestern industrial farmers are going nearly broke because the price they get for corn doesn’t cover their costs — and it keeps declining as they get more productive (we’ll explain more about why later). Here’s how farming works today. Industrial Farming, Today. But in the early 1900s, most farms started out as diverse operations, with corn, fruits/vegetables, oats, hay, chickens, and pigs. Beginning in the fifties and sixties the availability and cheap price of corn made it more profitable to fatten livestock on feedlots, and chickens in giant factories. Monoculture farms got bigger but required fewer people to operate. The plight of midwestern farmers is a direct result of years of farm policies designed to encourage overproduction to benefit the huge agribusinesses that buy corn, process and sell it, or feed animals on factory farms to produce and process meat. He has a passion for non-fiction books (having read 200+ and counting) and is on a mission to make the world's best ideas more accessible to everyone. Why is industrial farming so bad for you and the environment? Your email address will not be published. Sign up for a free trial here. Current industrial agriculture practices are temporarily increasing the carrying capacity of the Earth for humans while slowly destroying the long termcarrying capacity of the earth for humans necessitating a shift to a sustainable …

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