Urban Agriculture: A Solution to Processed and Industrially Produced Food

Lacey Cochran

Urban Agriculture: What is it?

  • Community supported agriculture, community gardens and urban farming.
  • A sustainable alternative to industrial agriculture that follows the local, organic and Slow-Food movements and provides nutrition for low-income consumers.

Is urban agriculture capable of sustainably feeding populations of cities that they inhabit?

It is becoming increasingly important that we make necessary changes to the food system in order to meet our needs as well as keep up with future demands. In order to research this, interviews were conducted with Kansas City Community Gardens, Cultivate Kansas City, and South Bend Unity Gardens.

The Problems with Modern Industrial Agriculture

Modern agriculture has become a burden on the environment and society through deforestation, fertilizer, overconsumption, and food-processing. Also, distribution of the food grown through industrial agriculture is subpar; globally enough food is grown to feed everyone but there are still people in poorer countries starving. It also uses too much energy to quickly grow low quality produce. Furthermore, industrial agriculture is bad for the state of the environment. It requires tons of energy to quickly produce, package, and ship food industrially grown. In fact, agriculture is responsible for 14% of the globe’s greenhouse gases.

What We Need

Citizens need healthy, environmentally-sound agriculture to be more extensively utilized. A way to put this into practice is to have a community maintain their own farm through urban agriculture.

Ways to Do This

  • Governments and corporations can work together in order to reach a consensus on what environmental impacts of global industrial agriculture are acceptable
  • Cap exports and imports so countries do not exhaust their growing capacities
  • Funding should be supplied to rural areas to aid in the start up of local farms
  • Work towards organically farming whenever possible and reasonable efficient

Conclusion

Urban Agriculture is greatly expanding along with the local food market. The network of people utilizing farmers markets and purchasing food grown in their own communities is growing as well as the people producing and selling. However, there needs to be a way to make this local-scale agriculture a more sustainable way of producing food. Urban agriculture opens the door to greener cities, increased biodiversity and wildlife habitat, less social injustice, more jobs, and perhaps most importantly an agriculture system refocused on self-sufficiency of growing and sharing our own food.