Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Parts of a Whole: Mapping a Global Agriculture

This post originally appeared on AgrowingCulture.org.

The world today is on a dangerous path. One that leads nowhere pleasant for all of our globe’s denizens, be they terrestrial or aquatic, oxygen breathing or carbon-respiring. The ways in which we produce our food and fiber has created many unintended environmental and social degradations.

We are coming to see the consequences of our agricultural model in increasingly stark terms. 

Humankind has fundamentally changed the biosphere so sufficiently that we are in fact living on a different planet than the one that preceding generations occupied, according to renowned environmentalist and author Bill McKibben. The global temperature has risen 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit (0.85℃) in the last 132 years as a result of rising levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The prevailing model of agriculture is responsible for around one-third of those emissions. If not addressed, “emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries could increase an additional 30 percent by 2050,” the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns.

We needn’t wait 40 years to see the deleterious effects of globally industrialized agriculture because the effects are already evident throughout the world. To whit: Deforestation for the sake of agriculture is perpetuated and justified through the creation of grazing lands in the Amazon and palm oil plantations in the South Pacific....read more at AgrowingCulture.org.