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Sustainable Food and Agricultural Technology

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Sustainable Food and Agricultural Technology
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USDA (2012), Sustainability as a concept is a key focus to many disciplines in the global world. Since 1987, U.S. has focused on sustainability in reference to agriculture to ensure food sufficiency. Sustainability builds its concept in that there should be no food shortage. This concept call for integrated food production and other products, natural resources stewardship, workers, farmers quality of life and farm profitability. Hence, sustainability means then other aspects such as recognition and productivity action-oriented behaviors, environmental, social and economic goals should work together as interrelated systems. In USA agriculture, technology regarding food production has been a major focus addressed by both governmental and non-governmental bodies. Annual productivity and efficiency of use of farm inputs such as energy, water, fertilizer and natural resources has quite improved regularly. Despite these efforts, agricultural issues related to social, economic and environmental still have been on the increase. This critical thought argumentative essay will focus on issues related to sustainable food and agricultural technology.
Question 1
I would go for the sustainably produced foods and food products.
Sustainability objective is to ensure despite having gotten produce from the farm; the same farm remains as productive and as healthier than it was before. To achieve this, good farming practices ought to be employed such as organic manure application, companion planting, and crop rotation.

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Sustainability practices do not involve petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers, address soil erosion, pests and weeds challenges, hence addressing whole systems of agriculture (USDA, 2012). USDA (2012) the claims support that about 60% of the services of the ecosystems like clean air, ocean fish stocks, and fresh water are consumed unsustainably. Some of these effects are streaming from past farming technology for timber, fiber, and food. The main concern of un-sustainability in agriculture production is that there is increased reduction in agriculturally dependent communities prosperity, farm workers loss of quality life, mid-sized commercial farms loss, production cost increment, reduced genetic diversity, hypoxia in areas of Mexico, water scarcity and continuous prime farmland loss. Hence, a comprehensive system to address interconnected systems would be advisable to address sustainability of food production.
It is true that sustainability forms of farming that involves organic farming is quite productive and saves the planet. However Duffy, Liebman and Pecinovsky (2003), unsustainable forms of farming have been deployed since they are not only cost-effective in reference to production and output, but also time-saving. In addition, organic crop production faces challenges of lack of surety of operation timing, condition of the environment and pest control strategies impact highly on the expected yield at the end make it unreliable for commercial and human food sustainability. However, this does not render my choice void.
Question 2
I would be willing to pay twice as much as cheap food produced unsustainably.
Any extra coin that goes to food that I consume should be backed up by substantial benefits, to my life and the general environment that I leave in. GRACE Communication Foundation (2015) supports that, Sustainable Agriculture refers to production of animal, fiber, food or other plant by use of methods that enhance animal welfare, human communities, public health and environment protection. Producing sustainable food is neither cheap. For example, nitrogen fixation calls for a myriad of sustainable activities increasing the cost of production. Nevertheless, sustainable production ensures preservation of the general environment in a wide concept.
Sustainable farming protects biodiversity and foster healthy ecosystems maintenance and a nice gesture for the development. The foods are also human healthy enhancing as they avoid pesticides that are hazardous, and hence safe for the general community, workers, and the consumer. Sustainable food production protects human from hazardous pollutants, toxins, and pathogens exposure. Being a sustainable food consumer, I will act as future advocacy on sustainable food attainability. Therefore, it is only by practicing what I encourage by going an extra mile of buying the sustainable product at an extra cost if that is the only case by which I can have it. Hence, it is the benefits that come with the sustainable food product and understanding the increased cost of production following already destroyed environment that I will draw the line of purchasing the product compared to the cheaper food product produced unsustainably.
Question 3
Yes, it would matter.
The beauty of nature comes from varieties, and that is no exception to food varieties. Having, only one or two types of various plant species in the farm or the market place would be of much importance to me. IIRR and ACT (2005) this is because despite the fact that the same species will produce more or less equal nutrients as the other, other factors may rule this fact. A farmer with various plant combinations does so with reasons. Such include, different field sizes, different soil types and land terrain. Some plant may not call weeding in some season within the year and hence the farmer may plant such species when he is committed in some seasons. The plant, planted in a given place and time depends on the soil moisture availability, time in the course of the rains, and the purpose of planting a certain plant either for commercial purposes or personal use. There are certain species of the same plant that do well during summer like; Salad type Radish, and others in winter; Winter Radish. To avoid missing ready produce from the farm, plant varieties ought to be maintained.
On the other hand, Reid (2004) transgenic cropping involves plants with artificially introduced gene using various biotechnology techniques; that is recombinant DNA (rDNA). The inserted genes (transgenes) may be from either the same plant or another plant species. The transformation of genes may modify the host plant function and control its expression. These genetically engineered plants are known to increase productivity compared to conventionally produced crops. Some of the GE crops are resistant to the virus, insecticide, and herbicides. Despite these accompanying benefits many tried GE trait crops have been stopped being produced as they pose a great healthy risk for example cancer among the human population. GE crop use that may reduce plant species to a few species is likely to increase bacteria resistance to pesticide like Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt genes are used in transgenic crops and hence this can lead to resistance of Bt using insect control sprays posing a great threat to the future elimination of the bacteria and subsequently reduced crop production. This fact explains why reducing crop varieties will matter to me as various medicinal and herb plant will be left out posing health concerns to the general public and the environment.
Duffy, M., Liebman, M. & Pecinosky, K. (2003). Organic Vs Conventional Farming Systems. Iowa State University, Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm. Accessed 18/5/2015 from, HYPERLINK “”
GRACE Communication Foundation (2015). Food Program: Sustainable Agriculture-The Basics. Accessed 18/5/2015 from, HYPERLINK “”
The International Institue of rural Recosntruction and the African Conservation Tillage Network (2005). Conservation Agriculture: A Manual for Farmers and Extension Workers in Africa. International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Nairobi; African Conservation Tillage Network, Harare.
Reid S. (2004). Transgenic Crops. Department of soil and crop sciences at Colorado state university (CSU). Accessed 18/5/2015 from, HYPERLINK “”
USDA (2012). sustainable agricultural systems science white paper, US Department of Agriculture Research, Education and Economics office of the chief scientist. Accessed 18/5/2015 from, HYPERLINK “”


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