Sustainable Agriculture: The Ethical Choice for the Future
Thesis: The idea of sustainable agriculture is a legitimate, logical, and necessary approach to the new concerns and problems stemming from current agricultural trends in light of impending global food shortages and rapid depletion of natural resources.
Agriculture has been a principal source of obtaining food to meet basic needs of humans for thousands of years. More recently, with the industrialization of agriculture, increased efficiency, and a decreased need for small rural farmers, there has been a resulting disconnect of consumers to the process in which their food is produced. As we are embarking on a new century, there is growing concern that
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Those concerned, including some agriculturalists, those involved in education, and concerned consumers, foresee a future in agriculture that looks entirely different from the way current trends are leading. Ikerd explains that there was a purpose for industrialization of agriculture, but that it has come to the point where looking at continuing with the current world view in agriculture undermines new issues that need to be addressed coming out of that movement. Some of these issues include: environmental degradation, effects on rural communities, and the use of non renewable resources that go beyond the energy used in photosynthesis to create the food we eat. He argues that while there was a need for the industrialization it has now fulfilled its purpose and is time to move on (Sustainable Agriculture). Those who are involved in the movement away from the industrial notion of agriculture call their new approach “sustainable agriculture.” Sustainable agriculture encompasses a variety of ideas and practices that are not all used by everyone in the movement, but is a movement that “equitably balances concerns of environmental soundness, economic viability, and social justice among all sectors of society” (Hassanein 3). The idea of sustainable agriculture is a legitimate, rational, and necessary approach to the new concerns and problems stemming from current agricultural trends in light of impending