A new report concludes that farm subsidies result in farming practices that cause more damage to the land than the value of the food produced.
There’s an answer to this, human-scale, no-till, regenerative agriculture. Now before you say anything crazy like, ‘we can’t produce enough food without chemicals and artificial fertilizer to support our current population…damn hippie!’ I suggest you spend some time on https://rodaleinstitute.org/ where they have 35 years of research showing organic, regenerative agriculture is more productive than ‘conventional’ (also, birth control works)… Regardless, until the steel, mouldboard plough was invented in the 1800’s, agriculture was a human-scale, no-till enterprise. For at least the 10,000 years before the plough, humans were able to grow food without a negative energy balance.
Today, we use more than 10 times the energy contained in the food we produce. That’s right, if the food on your plate holds 10 jouls of energy available to nourish your body, we consumed more than 100 joules of energy to get it there on your plate.
The energy balance doesn’t add up. Imagine if a bobcat used 10 joules of energy to catch a mouse that only gave it 1 joul of energy in nourishment…how long would that bobcat survive?
Thanks to fossil fuel, we’re living on borrowed time, letting the stored energy in coal/oil/gas ‘make our life easier’, but it’s not sustainable, and we have to make a change. Professional market gardeners are making a living off 1/4 acre. How much food could you grow in your yard?