Sunday, January 2, 2011

Feeding a Growing Population vs. Conserving Biodiversity

Biodiversity is very important and each species, no matter how small it is, plays an important role in the ecosystem. By relying only on a few highly productive livestock breeds and allowing less productive breeds to become extinct, the genetic diversity will decrease which means that the biodiversity of our earth will suffer as well. The human population is rapidly growing and people think that there is not enough food in the world which leads to industrial agriculture to be able to produce food faster. Industrial agriculture causes many problems and sustainable agriculture should be our method of producing food instead. There are high demands on the agriculture industry to be able to feed the growing human population but the biodiversity of breeds and crops need to be maintained. 

This is what industrial agriculture looks like.

Industrial agriculture is the modern form of farming and they view a farm as if it were a factory. They rely heavily on pesticides, fertilizer, and genetically engineered hormones. Industrial food also contains a lot of bacteria which causes many illnesses. Industrial agriculture puts many animals at risk and it also demolishes wildlife habitats as well as corrupting water and soil. The livestock are always kept in filthy conditions making them vulnerable to diseases. Monoculture, which is growing one crop at a time, is used as it lowers production costs which means that the products can be sold at a cheaper price in the marketplace. Because of the global success of fast food, more than half the world plants only one type of potato. The decrease in genetic diversity in agriculture is deadly for multiple reasons. Crops and animals that are very similar to each other have the same vulnerability to disease. Growing genetically uniform crops and animals is a disaster waiting to happen. Animals that become extinct or plants that are no longer grown take with them genes that farmers will one day need. 

Sustainable agriculture is a way of producing food that is healthy for both the consumers and the animals. It also does not harm the environment and the animals are well cared for. Sustainable agriculture conserves biodiversity by raising different types of plants and animals. Many sustainable farms do not use any type of chemicals to grow their food. Critics claim that sustainable agriculture produces very little food and uses a lot more land than industrial agriculture. There’s recent evidence, though, stating that over time, sustainable agriculture can be just as productive as industrial agriculture.     
Sustainable agriculture is healthier for everyone, including the environment.
Conserving biodiversity is crucial in keeping a sufficient food supply. Using sustainable agriculture to produce our food would be the best solution as food is being grown while biodiversity is being sustained and it keeps our environment in better shape. I think there is enough food in the world but it is not being distributed evenly. Many developed countries waste a lot of food everyday while other people are living in poverty with no food. Conserving biodiversity is important, it is too risky to let certain breeds become extinct. 


Contrast, By. "The Myth: Industrial Agriculture Benefits the Environment and Wildlife." Keep Maine Free From Genetically Engineered Crops. Web. 02 Jan. 2011. <>.

"Sustainable Agriculture -- National Geographic." Environment Facts, Environment Science, Global Warming, Natural Disasters, Ecosystems, Green Living - National Geographic. Web. 02 Jan. 2011. <>.

Utilizing, By. "What's Wrong with Industrial Agriculture." Organic Consumers Association. May 2002. Web. 02 Jan. 2011. <>.

"What Is Sustainable Agriculture? - Introduction to Sustainability - Sustainable Table." Sustainabletable. Web. 02 Jan. 2011. <>.

"What Is Sustainable Agriculture?" UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Web. 02 Jan. 2011. <>

Blogs I Commented On  


  1. Excellent Blog Carmina! It was very informative and it gave a lot of background information about sustainable and industrial agriculture. I agree with you when you discuss how harmful industrial agriculture can be to the balance of ecosystems aswell as damaging wildlife habitats and corrupting water and soil. I also liked how you discussed how developed countries waste food, and how we can play a part in feeding others around the world by not being wasteful. Additonally, I find it very fascinating that sustainable agriculture can infact produce just as much food as industrial. Overall I really liked your blog! Awesome Job!
    - Melissa.

  2. nicely done ;) i really liked how you compared industrial and sustainable agriculture, it was refreshing :) I agree that we have enough food, but it is not being shared as it should. It's unfair that even today, there are still millions of people who are starving. BRAVA :P

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  4. I loved reading your blog Carmina! Your post was well researched and very organized. I agree with the point you made when you discussed how industrial agriculture ruins bio diversity and the specific effects you mentioned (e.g. crops are more prone to diseases). Biodiversity is extremely important to the environment and has a large effect on the ecosystem. As well, I agree with you when you said how industrial agriculture effects not only the environment, but also the people who consume these crops. People will get sick from consuming toxins used such as pesticides. I also like what you said about developing countries not being able to eat because people in developed countries waste food. This gives me hope that one day sustainable farming will be able to feed the world. This blog was extremely well written and well researched, excellent job!

  5. I found you blog very interesting. I agree with you on the idea that industrial agriculture reduces biodiversity in ecosystems. Biodiversity if very important, and I personally believe that we must do the best that we can to do try to preseve the biodiversity of ecosystems. I also agree wiht you on the point you made about the fact that industrial agriculture also affects the health of the humans that consume its products. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Good job.

  6. I think that industrial agriculture does have a rick on biodiversity. Biodiversity is important because all species including us humans rely on it. When one species are affected, all species pay the price as well somehow. I agree with your fact on the vulnerability of animals on disease. If there was more biodiversity, there would be more disease resistance and more diversity in products and healthier environments.

  7. Yes, i agree with you Carmina. That using sustainable agriculture to produce our food would be the best solution as food is being grown while biodiversity is being sustained and it keeps our environment in better shape and that we have enough food to distribute it to the world evenly. This is so true, I feel that humans are a very greedy and selfish race. We already have anough food for everyone to share equally, but we consume much more then we need and waste a lot too. The amounts of food we produce and purchase is crazy. Sustainable Agriculture is def. the way to go unless we want to keep on poisoning and harming our animals, people, and earth!