Everybody needs food to survive. While the agricultural revolution has tremendously helped the world to solve hunger issues and sustain the current world population, it has also changed our concepts towards food. I’ve always heard a joke about how “kids nowadays don’t know that watermelons are green not red”, as an insult to how children are spoiled. However, industrial agriculture has distanced the relationship between the food we eat and where they are coming from. Most people, will not give it a thought when seeing a piece of meat at the supermarket that it actually comes from an animal. And even fewer people understand the environmental impacts that the agricultural system has contributed. I believe in the importance of understanding and acknowledging the environmental impacts of our foods, so as to be conscious about our choices in consideration of the environment, as well as to mend the divide between us and the food that keeps us healthy.
With some understanding of the detrimental impacts on the environment the industrial agricultural system has brought upon, I (and I believe many of us) felt guilty but yet stuck about the issue, since this system is so ingrained into our daily lives. Unless one has the ability and resources to live off-grid, engaging with the industrial agricultural system is inevitable. Therefore, I envision a world where regenerative agriculture is the main source of our diets, and everybody has the right to enjoy fresh and healthy food without destroying the environment. For this to happen, we first have to expose and break free of our current industrial agricultural system. I understand that this is a big task, but I am hopeful that with awareness, education, and enough support from people, this will happen.
The first thing I will suggest is to raise awareness about the negative impacts brought upon by industrial agriculture. Consumers should have the right to know the environmental impacts on the products they buy. I will support the restructuring of the agricultural system: cutting back funding for annual monoculture, and chemical pesticides, while emphasizing and promoting polyculture and sustainable farms. The government should also subsidize the capital, education and resources needed to establish regenerative agriculture. The barrier to establishing urban food gardens should also be lowered (changing land use regulations to lift the ban on agriculture in residential areas, which also provides resources for starting community food gardens). This way, there are more options for choosing more sustainable foods and addressing food insecurity while being less reliant on industrial agriculture.