The current position of the planet’s food situation is that although there is more than enough food to go around, the distribution of and access to food is not equal, meaning that some countries and people have more than they need while others are at risk from starvation.
Worldwide, changes in farming have led to increased production for many countries; the Green Revolution, which began in Mexico in the 1940s, has allowed many countries to become not only self-sufficient in food, but to produce enough to export as well (Briney, n.p.). However, the impacts of the Green Revolution have not been entirely positive: the necessity of using fertilizers, for example, has caused a number of environmental issues, while the expense and up[heaval of adopting Green Revolution methods mean that it has not been implemented in many of the areas where food is a serious issue – predominantly areas of Africa (Briney, n.p.). This means that, despite efforts in the global community to enable countries to solve their food shortage problems through increased production at home, the one-size-fits-all approach has not been successful.
In the USA, the industrialization of farming has enabled the country as a whole to produce more than enough food to feed its population. However, it has also brought disadvantages on a social level that raise concerns about the sustainability of the food production levels, including “topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination, the decline of family farms, continued neglect of the living and working conditions for farm labourers, increasing costs of production” (“What is Sustainable Agriculture”, n.p.). These issues suggest that the United States may face food shortages for individuals or the nation as a whole in the future if solutions are not found.
The most obvious solution to these problems both globally and within the United States would be a greater variety of food production methods; studies have suggested that a variety of farming methods, with differences in crops, scale, procedure and technology, are needed to suit the different needs and capabilities of different countries (“Sustainable Agriculture”, n.p.). By encouraging the use of different agricultural methods for different environments and situations, it is possible that the successes of the Green Revolution can be repeated in other areas globally, hopefully without the more negative consequences.
- “Sustainable Agriculture: Definition and Terms.” United States Department of Agriculture: National Agriculture Library. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 26 October 2015.
- “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” U C Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute. University of California, 2007. Web. 26 October 2015.