1. Conventional Agriculture: The first step in the food chain is agriculture; and the way in which animals are raised and plants are cultivated. “Conventional” agriculture is only concerned with profits and does not care about the quality of the produce. Capitalist agribusinesses and factory farms only want to make a fast turnaround that will yield monetary profits and are willing to sacrifice the quality of the product and the integrity of the environment.
A. Monoculture. Conventional farms use the practice of monoculture where year after year the same plants are grown on the same field which is entirely unsustainable. Because plants naturally extract certain nutrients from the soil while depositing other nutrients, it is necessary for agriculturalists to rotate different crops every year (permaculture), and allow the land to lay fallow (dormant) every few seasons in order to maintain the soil integrity. The practice of monoculture completely depletes the land of all nutrients and in just a couple of seasons destroys the integrity of the soil. Because no plants could ever naturally grow this way it then becomes necessary to spray plants with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides.
B. Crops are sprayed with toxic petrochemicals. Conventional farms spray plants which petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and vermicides. These cancer causing agents get absorbed into the plants and are later ingested into the body. So now, not only is the soil depleted of essential nutrients but it is contaminated with toxic chemicals. The chemical spray used for conventional agriculture is the biggest contamination of fresh water in the US. By eating conventionally harvested foods, not only are the many essential nutrients your body needs lacking, but harmful toxins are actually being introduced that are known to cause cancer.
C. Crops are NOT being fertilized with essential nutrients. Commercial agribusinesses using conventional practices only replenish the soil with 3 nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK) using petrochemicals; which is all it takes for plants to grow big and fast. Conventional farms do NOT naturally replenish other trace elements such as magnesium, zinc, iron and other essential nutrients which the human body requires to maintain health. If these minerals are never reintroduced back into the soil, then they are never absorbed into the plants, and the minerals will never be in the food people eat. So no matter how much of the food is consumed it is impossible to get the required nutritional intake because the minerals simply are NOT in the conventionally grown produce.
D. Crops are harvested prematurely. On top of the fact that the crops are grown with practices of monoculture, sprayed with toxic chemicals, and never fertilized with the essential minerals to begin with, crops are also harvested weeks prematurely. This is because the crops only grow in size to a certain point and the final weeks of the harvest are spent absorbing nutrients from the soil. Because commercial agribusiness only cares about money and not quality, as long as the crop looks big, they don’t care to allow the final weeks of the harvest enabling plants to fully assimilate the few nutrients that are in the soil and develop the higher vitamin and mineral content. Even though the crop is not yet ripe, it has grown to its full size and is as good as it will ever look, so at that point it is harvested prematurely and then artificially ripened while being transported to the market.
Conventional agriculture makes up 95% percent of the food on the market. All of this factory food is typically void of essential nutrients and contaminated with chemicals, just upon leaving the farm. Now let’s examine what happens afterward...coming soon.