Problems and solutions for global food system
Thanks to the advancement of technologies,farming in modern
society has improved a lot.It seems that the appearance of high
efficiency tractors, powerful pesticides as well as nutritious
fertilizers contribute to our productive agriculture. Nevertheless,
does it represents our real situation? Certainly not. In fact, there
are a great amount of problems lie in our global food system.
Generally speaking, these problems are reflected in three aspects,
First,let us talk about the environmental problems. The introduction
of heavy machinery put great pressure on soil. As a result,
problems like soil compaction and soil erosion emerged, which lead
to the degradation of soil fertility. What’s more, a great volume
of water were also consumed by agricultural irrigation and at
the same time, the usage of chemicals and fertilizers create a great
deal of polluted water.
In the social facet, we experienced a great loss of farmlands
under centralized agricultural and urbanization process. Foods
produced by large agricultural industries are usually transported
for a long distance.It not only waste a lot of energy but also
break the connection between land and food we eat. Subsequently,
a series of food safety and security as well as social inequity
As for the ecological problems, intensive cultivation require
more energy input than small-scale farming, hydroponic greenhouses
produce more ecological footprint than open field production.
Under current global food system, non-renewable energy flow in
our ecosystem, meantime,plants and animals are lack of diversity.
Abusing nitrogen fertilizers and long distance transportation
produced a lot of greenhouse gases accelerated the pace of climate
So what should we do to fight against the above problems?
First and foremost, we need to hold four principles, that is,
equity,diversity, ecological integrity and economic viability.
The following are several concrete methods to improve our global
1.Explore urban farms. Especially lands surrounding urban area.
Take advantage of wasted or inefficient lands within the city.
If necessary,industrial lands can also be considered.
2. Encourage and support self-reliance food system. Residential
garden or backyard is a good place for food growing. Open spaces
in cities,for example,parks are supposed to be used for cultivating
plants instead of inedible flowers.
3. Introduce poultry and livestock in urban households. Replace
fertilizers by animals manure and enhance the biodiversity in urban
4. Encourage small-scale economies, specifically, farmers’ market.
Directly provide food for customers, strengthen the link between
land and what we eat.
5. Publish policies to give workers in farming, food processing
and food serving equally treatment as others.