By definition, “Conventional farming, also known as industrial agriculture, refers to farming systems which include the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other continual inputs, genetically modified organisms, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, heavy irrigation, intensive tillage, or concentrated monoculture production. Despite its name, conventional agricultural methods have only been in development since the late Nineteenth Century, and did not become widespread until after World War 2.
Conventional farming is usually contrasted to organic farming (or sometimes sustainable agriculture or permaculture), as these respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Rather than using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives, organic farming systems rely on crop rotation, animal and plant manures as fertilizers, some hand weeding and biological pest control ”
“The Green Revolution refers to a set of research and development of technology transfer initiatives occurring between the 1930s and the late 1960s (with prequels in the work of the agrarian geneticist Nazareno Strampelli in the 1920s and 1930s), that intended to increase agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s. The initiatives resulted in the adoption of new technologies, including:
…new, high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of cereals, especially dwarf wheats and rices, in association with chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals, and with controlled water-supply (usually involving irrigation) and new methods of cultivation, including mechanization. All of these together were seen as a ‘package of practices’ to supersede ‘traditional’ technology and to be adopted as a whole.
The intent overall to feed the masses appears positive, but the methods have proven destructive to the human race with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach challenges (leaky gut, food allergies, IBS, heartburn) and obesity at record levels. We have existed for hundreds of thousands of years, why only in the last about 45 years have we made it Ok to modify our crops? Were these deceptively named ‘Conventional’ and the ‘Green Revolution’ to make everyone think it was in their best interest? Are Polar Bears ever going to modify their food, add chemicals to the seals to make them taste better, so they can eat more? The answers are evident.
“We found that although organic farming systems produce yields that average 10-20% less than conventional agriculture, they are more profitable and environmentally friendly. Historically, conventional agriculture has focused on increasing yields at the expense of the other three sustainability metrics.
In addition, organic farming delivers equally or more nutritious foods that contain less or no pesticide residues, and provide greater social benefits than their ‘conventional’ counterparts.
With organic agriculture, environmental costs tend to be lower and the benefits greater. Biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and severe impacts on ecosystem services – which refer to nature’s support of wildlife habitat, crop pollination, soil health and other benefits – have not only accompanied conventional farming systems, but have often extended well beyond the boundaries of their fields, such as fertilizer runoff into rivers.
Overall, organic farms tend to have better soil quality and reduce soil erosion compared to their conventional counterparts. Organic agriculture generally creates less soil and water pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and is more energy efficient. Organic agriculture is also associated with greater biodiversity of plants, animals, insects and microbes as well as genetic diversity.
Despite lower yields, organic agriculture is more profitable (by 22–35%) for farmers because consumers are willing to pay more. These higher prices essentially compensate farmers for preserving the quality of their land.
Studies that evaluate social equity and quality of life for farm communities are few. Still, organic farming has been shown to create more jobs and reduce farm workers’ exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
Organic farming can help to both feed the world and preserve wild land. In a study published this year, researchers modeled 500 food production scenarios to see if we can feed an estimated world population of 9.6 billion people in 2050 without expanding the area of farmland we already use. They found that enough food could be produced with lower-yielding organic farming, if people become vegetarians or eat a more plant-based diet with lower meat consumption. The existing farmland can feed that many people if they are all vegan, a 94% success rate if they are vegetarian, 39% with a completely organic diet, and 15% with the Western-style diet based on meat.”
This is exactly why I wrote Bliss Intake and took it a step further. Eating a balance intake is great, but burning fat as a primary fuel source (not sugar) is the key to get the population to subscribe to this way of eating…that is if disease is not reason enough.
My Father is now 82 year of age and grew up on over a 1,000 acre corn farm in Iowa. They had a highly successful farm. He lived there through college and they never once did they use or have the need to use modified seeds or pesticides to kill weeds or bugs. They just worked, pulled weeds and let the ecosystem do what it does best, balance and provide an abundance for us.
So how from the 1960’s to now did ‘Conventional’ become accepted by the masses? Was it from lack of education or awareness? How can the food industry still call ‘Conventional’, ‘Conventional’ when it is only about 45 years old? How does our government allow for the use of so many pesticides on our foods?
For how bright humans are, one would think the big food industries would be advocating proper farming that was used before pesticides were introduced. Conventional farming has now proven not to work with productivity, the health of our bodies and ecosystem, so why do they still do it? The profits come when growing is done properly. It is almost like a drug dealer. If the farmers stopped buying pesticides, the manufactures would go out of business. Simple supply and demand economics.
Where do humans think there are actually smarter than God? Everyone likes a shortcut, but not when it is proven not to work and done at all costs. When will the big food industry realize they are better off without the modified seeds and pesticides?
Why doesn’t Whole Foods or other health markets re-name ‘Conventional’ to something different? Maybe, Grown with Pesticides? How would the sales look then?
Why do so many charities raise money to find a cure instead of looking at the cause? Everyone knows there is a lot of money in pesticides, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and the government backing it. I feel there could be just as much money made doing it all properly, without all the ‘man-made’ stuff. I would like to challenge the big food and pharma companies to look at more natural approaches and see the big profits from oxygen, Ozone, hydrogen and more.
I always say to look 6 generations out before making the decision. At the rate we are at now with ‘Conventional’ as it stands today, The health of our entire global population is at a ongoing risk. Some say that the last survivors will be the Amish, as they are self sustained and do not use chemicals to treat their crops.
When I see my 82 year old Father scratch his head and wonder how pesticides and GMO became ‘Conventional’ so quickly, it is time to make a massive shift for our own health and the health of our future generations.
By: Justin Frandson, APC, AIS, PRRT, GMRT
Health & Performance Coach & Consultant
Email Justin at: info@GoBeyondSummit.com