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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Roberta Fulthorpe

1Reading 4 How sustainable agriculture can address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture y Industrial agriculture depends on expensive inputs from off the farm pesticides and fertilizers It also uses fossil fuels 1 monocultures are eroding biodiversity among both plants and animals 2 synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers are polluting soil water and air 3 soil is eroding faster than it can be replenished 4 water is consumed at unsustainable ratesy The problem in industrial agriculture is not the meat but the way that meat is produced Instead of eating the grains we use a large amount of it to feed animals lots of energy is lost 7 kg of grains to produce 1 kg of meat by cattle Livestock diets have become higher in grains and lower in grasses The grains provided are monocultures that excessively use chemicals and pesticidesy The use of growthpromoting antibiotics in animal agriculture is thought to be one of the factors driving the increase in antibiotic resistance in humans They also contains fats which leads to diseases such as heart disease colon breast and prostate cancery Resource intensive agricultural practices are considered unsustainable because 1 much of the consumption is of nonrenewable resources eg fossil fuels 2 renewable resources are consumed faster than their replenishment rate Avg US farm uses 3 kcal of fossil energy to produce 1 kcal yA more sustainable food system would involve closer connections between producer and consumershorter distances from the farm to the dinner plate and therefore less energy use for food transporty US is much worse than any other country in terms of energy production and reliance on such energyy We might pay less money at the grocery store but we end up paying more tax to the govt for things like cleaning up the farm pollution which is very costlyy Impact of food production on the Environment rdFertilizersCrops generally use only 13 or at mostof N supplied to them via fertili
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