Do large populations affect the environment, society and resources? Even though populations put stress on the environment, it’s only one of many other causes that create unsustainable development. That said, our choices of how to use resources and land and for what purposes are critical issues that create the resulting impact on the environment to meet those purposes and uses.
The American Bill of Rights states that people have the right to life, property and liberty. Just as people have a right to clean air to breathe, people also have a right to healthy food to eat. When this right is denied and people are hungry, it’s a violation of human rights. Food rights are among the most violated human rights. However, in order to create enough of healthy food for all the U.S. citizens, the government and the people need to make significant changes in using their resources and land properly.
There are several issues outlined below that explain how to improve the distribution of the land and resources in the U.S.
Chemical farming destroys the soil
Environmental pollution is a significant problem in the U.S.. But while most of the focus is placed on polluting industries and traffic pollution, a major source of environmental devastation is actually caused by modern food production. That said, modern, chemical-based farming methods destroy critical soil microbes, saturate our farmlands with toxic fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers and lakes.
However, there’s a solution. It’s called organic farming. We need healthy soil to grow crops and therefore, we need to farm organically in order to keep our soil and resources healthy so that we are not stuck with an earth covered in un-farmable land.
Growing too much food
Growing too much food leads to obesity and food waste. Even more, most of the corn and grains grown in the U.S. are not grown as food for people; it’s mainly grown to feed animals and livestock. That said, animal farms use nearly 70 percent of the U.S.’ total grain production.
A significant portion of the crops also goes to fuel and high-fructose corn syrup production. There’s no need to plant GMO seeds and spray them with tons of chemicals to grow massive amounts of food. Instead, we should be working on creating better distribution practices that are based on organic farming policies.
The U.S. loses up to 10 percent of its farmland to landfill
Getting food from the farm to our table eats up to 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of the U.S. land and swallows nearly 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the U.S.. However despite the effort, 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten.
However, this not only means that Americans are throwing out billions each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of solid waste. This solid waste accounts for a large portion of methane emissions. The U.S. Government should conduct a detailed study of losses in our land distribution and set goals for waste reduction.
Unfair land distribution
Land ownership has become more concentrated in the hands of larger companies and larger agribusinesses. This drives rural workers out of jobs. Such effects combine and lead to an increase in urban migration as people move to the cities in hope for a better chance.
That said, land ownership should be fair and honest, so it can provide mechanisms to ensure sustainable and efficient use. Unfair land ownership also leads to using more monocultures in the industrial agriculture. Because there lacks a diversity of crops, the loss of biodiversity leads to more resource usage.
Losses in distribution
Proper transport, logistics, delivery, and handling of food products is critical throughout the supply chain, particularly with goods that require cold conditions. Problems occur when products are kept at improper temperatures and when products sit too long on loading docks. Without temperature-controlled, food-grade warehouses as part of the distribution and supply chain, such practices will enivitably fail.
Even food banks in some cases reject these loads because they can’t use them in the quantities being shipped, for instance a truckload of beets. There are several solutions, though. Interlinked local markets and online exchanges could lead to faster delivery and less waste. Employee training should ensure proper handling and storage in order to help keep losses low at the distribution stage.