(NaturalNews) The failures of agricultural monocropping are on full display following the release of a new report suggesting that humanity may have reached or even exceeded “peak food” production — that is, a crest in the overall growth rate of foods produced in some 21 staple categories including eggs, meat and vegetables.
A team of researchers from Yale University, Michigan State University (MSU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany looked at global food production data in each of these categories and came to the startling conclusion that population growth around the world now outpaces production growth in a number of different food categories.
When speaking of peak food production, it’s important to note that this refers to the overall rate of growth rather than growth itself. Production is still expanding in most food categories, in other words, but just at a slower rate than before.
In the case of chicken, experts say peak production was reached in 2006, while both milk and wheat allegedly peaked in 2004. Rice, on the other hand, peaked back in 1988. Meanwhile, many of the other categories measured appear to reaching their peak, which doesn’t bode well for an ever-growing global population.
“People often talk of substitution. If we run out of one substance we just substitute another,” said Jianguo Liu of MSU, one of the authors of the report. “But if multiple resources are running out, we’ve got a problem.”
“Mankind needs to accept that renewable raw materials are reaching their yield limits worldwide.”
Corporate agriculture is reaching its peak, not agriculture in general
The truth, though, is that corporate systems of chemical agriculture, which are centered around the large-scale growing of individual commodity crops, are what has reached a peak. These unsustainable growing methods not only damage soils but also spur the proliferation of pests and weeds that further inhibit yields.
The problem isn’t too many people in the world but too many factory farms that are chemical-intensive and environmentally destructive. Large-scale commodity plantations like those currently growing millions of acres of soybeans and corn, for instance, are stripping our soils of nutrients and rapidly destroying arable land all around the world.
If these centralized, top-down systems controlled by multinational corporations were replaced by renewable, bottom-up systems where the people are in charge, keeping up with food production would cease to be an issue. Decentralized, organic, renewable growing methods have proven time and time again to produce less waste and higher yields.
Renewable, organic polyculture systems produce higher yields and increased food sovereignty
A 30-year research project spearheaded by the Rodale Institute, known as the Farming Systems Trial, revealed that organic farming methods marked by a diversity of foods grown together produce higher yields, perform better in drought conditions, promote soil health, use less energy and generate higher profits compared to large-scale chemical models.
And the best part about organic growing systems is that, when done right, they don’t require expensive chemicals or patented seeds. People groups the world over can sustain themselves with these methods, growing all the food they need — rather than having to participate in a corrupt global system that generates high amounts of food waste due to poor distribution systems — without having to rely on corporations for provision.
“Organic farming is far superior to conventional systems when it comes to building, maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil,” explains the Rodale report. “When one also considers yields, economic viability, energy usage, and human health, it’s clear that organic farming is sustainable, while current conventional practices are not.”
Be sure to read the full Rodale report here: