How Can We Transition Away from Monoculture Agriculture?

Do you ever question where your food comes from or how nutritious it is? Having cheap food is definitely a luxury, but what are the costs that we pay as a by-product without realizing? Biodiversity (polycultures of many plants and organisms living together) is nature’s mechanism to cope with ecological pests naturally and grow abundantly with all animals. Anthropocentrism in industrial settings has given this pushback with monoculture farming, which requires the destruction of nature and biodiversity to function. To have just one thing, farmers must kill all other things that naturally live in those ecosystems. That means chemical sprays, tilling the soil, and extra water – all of which deplete the massive fungi and micro-bacteria network ecosystems under our feet. Without this, plants cannot absorb nutrients and survive in groups as beneficial parts of synergistic ecosystems. How can we transition from industrial monocultures to industrial (or many individual) polycultures?

Monoculture agriculture systems make selling vegetables cheaper by growing industrial amounts with pesticides and tilling the soil year by year. But is this really more affordable? What costs are there that we are unaware of? When industrial farms till soil, the micro-bacteria and fungi are exposed to the sun and destroyed, disrupting the ecosystems in the soil. When pesticides are used, insects and other synergistic micro-basteria are killed. Water is contaminated by these chemicals that runs downstream to other water systems. Growing single (monoculture) plant species limits the biodiversity and halts an ecosystem from growth, disease mitigation, and other ecosystem services. How much do industrial farmers pay to replace these natural (free of cost) services? How much do we pay to offset the environmental side-effects of this?

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