It’s no secret that there are problems as to how the current agriculture and food system is set up. One of the most pressing issues, in my opinion, is that we are currently stuck in a loop of eating nutrient-less, tasteless vegetables that are very blatantly less than fresh. Every day, we are eating vegetables that are not living up to their full potential. In fact, some 12 vegetables declined 27% in calcium, 37% in iron, 21% in vitamin A, and 30% in vitamin C from an analysis of nutrient data from the years 1975-1997. Likewise, the British Food Journal published data collected from 1930 to 1980 where 20 vegetables were found to have dropped 14% in potassium, 22% in iron, and 19% in calcium. (Kushi Institute)
I find it extremely worrisome that in the past few decades the vegetables we consume have declined in vitamins and nutrients percentage-wise in the double digits. While the cause of the nutrients content decline is due to a number of issues, one of those causes is that crops are typically harvested earlier than their complete maturation process due to having to transport 1,500 kilometers to reach your table. There are a few things that can be done. First, healthy produce is grown on healthy soil. In order to make the soil healthier, and prevent any damage to the soil, you should start by forgoing any fertilizers and pesticides, using organic growing methods instead. Another tip is to alternate fields between growing seasons, which allows the land to have time to be restored back to its full nature before planting crops in it again.
Of course, telling companies what’s needed to be done to their crops to make them taste fresher and more flavorful as well as jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients won’t convince all of them to just quit what they’re doing and make the switch. Unfortunately, big-time companies continue to cause problems with the current agriculture system simply by providing food that’s got less nutritional value and less flavor to each bite. However, shopping at your local growers instead of a big-time corporation or mass-producing company is always the better option. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
Once you’ve found local growers that meet all of your food needs and you’ve transitioned to going to them regularly for all of your food-needs, it’s time to take the next step and grow your own food. The only way to avoid vegetables and fruits that are rich in toxins and contamination and low on the nutrients that they were initially chock full of with the utmost confidence is to grow the food yourself. Supporting local growers and taking part in personal urban framing as you transition is always recommended, but growing your own food allows you to reach a whole new level of “organic.” The disease-preventing, health- and life-giving foods that we so desperately need to consume in order to stay at our full potential become that much more rich in nutrients that our bodies crave. (Permaculture Research Institute)
Another obvious tip that’s often forgotten, especially when it comes to this particular subject, is to spread the word about all of the knowledge that you gain on the state of the current food system and what people can do to change it and turn it around. Only loud voices everywhere at one time can truly start a movement that’s remembered.
By picking produce that’s been grown on healthy soil through a local grower, or growing it yourself, is the best method to use in order to fight the chaos that the current agriculture system has become. Once you’ve finally made the transition to either shopping local or growing your own, you can combat the way mass-produce companies take advantage of consumer and their lack of knowledge on the subjects. I personally think that once you’re aware of the state of the current food system, it’s up to you to take up personal urban farming, support local growing, and spread the word. It’s easy to simply spread the word about the agriculture system, what people can do to change the way the system works now, and how they can switch to a personal urban farming lifestyle or shopping local just like you did.
This article is part of a miniseries about problems in current agriculture.
Read the previous articles here: <a href=”http://swissponic .ch/problems-in-agriculture-1-high-usage-of-chemicals/”>Part1, Part2