Food is a renewable resource, capable of harnessing the endless supply of solar energy in order to feed and energize the human body. However, the ever growing human population has forced agriculture into dependency on nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels, chemicals, and mineral fertilizers.
Herman Daly argues in his work “Steady State Economics,” that although the worldwide per capita production of food has remained relatively stable, or even slightly decreasing, the growing global population and increasing level of consumption in rich countries across the globe has forced agricultural dependency on nonrenewable resources. Continually, the increased demand for food production and productivity has lead to the development of high yield species of crops. These high yield crops replace the traditional low-yield crops, and actually cause a decrease in the variability of genetic diversity in crops. This increases the vulnerability of the crops to pests and disease, which leads to an increase in the use of pesticides.
This endless chain of growth and increased demand and stress put on the earth’s natural resources forces an endless cycle of abuse and degradation. In what ways should we change our routines about food choice in order to decrease our impact on the earth’s resources?
Daly, Herman, Steady State Economics, 2nd Edition, (Island Press, 1991).