Agricultural practices

Not quite. What sells in the grocery store is perfect food. What sells is the illusion of plenty. It does pay to grow 3000 apples, put the 300 prettiest in the store, sell 150 and throw the rest away. And that is what every large grocery chain does.


I suspect that you could eat a plant-based diet if it was really well constructed and carefully thought out.


There are a few approaches that can be taken to reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment. The first is using technology: greenhouses, vertical agriculture, hydroponics/aquaponics, etc., which can all drastically increase land and resource efficiency and increase yield. However, they tend to be prohibitively expensive. The second is just to change the current ‘conventional’ system of industrial agriculture for increased efficiency, but the system largely remains the same. New techniques and technologies can be adopted into conventional agriculture but do not significantly change it, e.g. row-style agroforestry, drip irrigation (instead of flood or overhead), cover cropping, no-till, polycultures, etc. This is probably the most viable method because it requires the least up-front input and change. The third is to drastically change industrial agriculture and adopt a system that mimics productive natural ecosystems. Many farms (mostly smallholder farms) are transitioning to permaculture, which can produce food with minimal resources and impact on the environment, and it can even sustain livestock production (though at significantly lesser production than factory farming/CAFOs). The main drawback of permaculture is that it’s not scalable unless large industrial agriculture is divided into many smallholder farmers.
The best solution is probably a mix of all three depending on the situation. In a small, densely populated country like the Netherlands, technological agriculture is probably the most viable, while in the United States, a mixture of conventional agriculture and permaculture principles will likely be the most effective (and attainable).


Yeah I think so,1.3%20billion%20tonnes%20per%20year.

I have a question We tend to plough our fields before seed are sown, which tend to kill beneficial bacteria . Then we add fertilizers to get back that nutrients that we lost by fertilizers , Is it really necessary ?

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And those who are not afraid of GMOs can eat “Impossible Meat.”

I am, too, but I still strive to get as close to vegan as I can. If I discovered that I was one of those people who cannot survive on a vegan diet, I honestly would consider it a disability.

I would rather be slightly on the skeletal side than slightly on the pudgy side, but maybe that’s just my esthetic sense.

Permaculturists pride themselves on their “no-till” methods.


This is an exaggerated thing. It does happen, but really what happens to a lot of the ugly fruit is it gets made into jams and the like. Since it makes more money to make ugly fruit into jam and sell pretty fruit in stores, than to throw away ugly fruit and sell pretty fruit.

As to body types (mentioned elsewhere), being underweight is much worse for you than being overweight.

people on costal area

Just so you know, oceanic fish populations are in dire trouble due to very long time of massive overfishing, and it’s not strictly coastal people who are eating those foods any more. The idea that it is mainly coastal people eating seafood is an idea left over from the 1800s and early 1900s.

Ocean fish numbers have been cut in half since the 1970s and they continue to decline rapidly.

The double impact of an extended period of overfishing as climate change have pushed marine ecosystems onto the end of collapse, and over in some cases, and that includes fish stocks.


Having horses in steppe is much better than making it a farmland, what we should do is turn to animal species that don’t degrade ecosystem around them so no more sheep, goats and cows. Living without meat is awful.


There is a large game breeding industry here in South Africa and in Namibia, where some farmers have switched from traditional livestock to indigenous game species (ostrich, springbok, kudu, gemsbok, etc). I think that this is better for the land and vegetation, as native species are better adapted for the climate and vegetation than cattle or sheep ever could. They also require less feed than cattle.

I think it would be good to support those farmers by buying their meat products rather than just beef or lamb. Pity it’s more expensive than the latter two though …

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming potential revolution in lab-cultured meat. If the lab-grown meat is no different in taste to conventional meat and the cost is about the same, I would be more than willing to switch to lab-grown meat only.


As I remember main reason why African species weren’t domesticated is that they don’t grow as fast as species we use now, but it’d be so good to use them, supporting their populations, preferably supporting predators too, and of course supporting people. I never read about reindeer effects on tundra, but as they’re always moving, probably not critical, so maybe use more deer meat too (I know USA have a too large whitetail population, so it’s easier there to use wild ones).

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yeah I agree , So what do people of island eats their primary food and earning is fishing . By seeing this problem what do you suggest shall we do?
1 Give coastal people employments or something like worker in conservation of oceans
2 Transport them vegetables

And I have heard that fish farming can help save fishes in ocean ,is it really helpful?

Does meat really feel that tasty cause I have not tasted it. But I have recently read a research paper and it said certain plants can replace meat as they are equally nutritional and some researchers said that it can even boost lifespan.

Well it will not make as big step towards climate change but as said eating veggies can really reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultre

Well at last I will say eating meat or not eating meat is not point, Point is that we respect our food and keep looking for solution
as @dinofelis said lab grown meat can make bigger change . I am looking for it to be common in our shops and malls in India someday

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Sure it is plus cultural and personal aspect plays role (e.g. which parts of animal a person treats as edible), but vertebrate muscles are both very nutritious and delicious, personally I hate fat while most of people find it tasty, we eat chicken liver while I’m sure it’s not popular everywhere, so it’s a hard question to answeranswer, also thinking how each mammal, bird and fish taste different based on what they eat and how much their muscles work.
P.S. Want to clarify I mean awful if everyone will be forced to not eat what they’re used to unless it’s a threatened species, other than that everyone should eat what they want (maybe with some supervision on children).


Yeah, I agree

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People on islands fishing is not the problem, it’s the massive amount of industrialized fishing done by countries like China, japan, the US, Norway, Vietnam, etc. that is, combined with pollution and warming and acidifying oceans.

Fish farming has its own enormous sets of problems, it’s not really a solution, at least not how it’s being done at present.

The biggest two things that need to be done globally are to get away from a “make as much money as you possibly can at all costs” capitalist economic system and to come to terms with the fact that our population is far beyond the carrying capacity of the planet for how we are presently using it.

Unfortunately, neither of those things is going to happen, for a range of reasons.


This is a huge topic. Traditionally, livestock were reared on land unsuitable planting crops - too rocky, too cool etc. Pigs were fed on scraps, or left to forage, as were chickens and other fowl. Meat was fairly rare, and somewhat expensive. Along the way consumers found a taste for it, but wanted it cheap, which has resulted in feedlots, intensive pig farms, and hatchery chickens/eggs. Similarly with products like cooking oil, sugar, and other non-food essentials.
Farmers who grow crops are facing the same dilemma. Although most of Canada at least has moved to zero till planting, a farmer must get the maximum yield per unit of land as their overall profit is small. Hence the added fertilizers or whatever. If they were less ‘efficient’, the cost of bread, vegetables etc. would rise. Consumers don’t want that to happen, so there is always pressure on producers to keep the cost of the product low.
It’s a vicious cycle. It is possible to live on a non-meat diet (beans and rice provide a complete protein source), and live well. It is possible to rear livestock in non intensive ways, which can actually benefit the environment. I don’t know what the cost of products like those are, but if things are going to change, consumers are going to have to change their expectations and eating patterns.
And don’t even get me started on ocean fishing!!! It’s an ecological nightmare.


At last I am thinking that why do we started ploughing .I heard from local farmers and found that ploughing helps in

  1. It helps in water to pass through to the soil and makes good drainage
  2. Nutrition comes over the soil.
  3. Seed are easily sown .
  4. Plant roots can penerate easily.

This is why in my region ploughing takes place . I wonder what you do in Canada.

Ploughing/tilling actually, somewhat counterintuitively, prevents water from draining, interrupts the nutrient cycle in soil, and increases penetration pressure. In a natural ecosystem, a grassland, for example (as a natural analog for standard farming practices), the soil is extremely porous, even in areas where the subsoil is dense clay. Over millenia, the constant and intensive growth of plants adds soil organic carbon, which acts as a sponge for nutrients and water, allowing plants to access the nutrients and water that they need without drowning. Plant growth also adds air channels to the soil as roots grow, force apart the inorganic substrate, then die, leaving a channel of air and organic matter where the root once was. This effect compounds over time with the activity of the other soil biota, which colonize the soil and bring nutrients to the plants in exchange for root exudates and organic matter. Some symbiotes, fungi especially, can ‘mine’ the soil, extracting phosphorus and other minerals from the inorganic compounds in the soil which they then feed to the plants in exchange for root exudates. Mycorrhizae can also connect different plants and shuffle nutrients around, helping to maintain the health of the whole community.
However, when the soil is tilled, the air channels, pockets of organic matter, fungi, etc. are all torn up, and the soil is exposed to sunlight, killing much of the biology. The increased sunlight, heat, and surface area exposed to sunlight after tillage also volatilizes much of the soil organic carbon and nutrients, releasing them to the atmosphere (contributing to climate change with emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc.) and depleting the soil. In addition, when the plants that are on the soil are taken away (i.e. when a field is left fallow) their half of the bargain with the soil biology goes away. They stop being able to supply the soil with the exudates and organic matter that it needs to sustain itself, so the soil starves. All of these effects compound to deplete the nutrient availability in the soil and destroy the soil structure and the biology that maintains soil structure (which harms drainage and root penetration). Frequent tillage also creates a hardpan just below the tillage depth, which further compounds the soil penetration and drainage problems.
So how can we solve these problems? Well, obviously, the best way to solve problems caused by tilling is to stop tilling, but that doesn’t solve the underlying reasons why farmers till. Farmers primarily till for three reasons: to break up the soil for root and water penetration (as you said), to control weeds, and to more quickly decompose crop residue (with the intention of clearing the previous crop to make planting easier). These problems can be solved with reduced or no-till. First, mechanically breaking up the soil, as written above, will not increase root penetration and water infiltration. It does initially, which is why people think it works, but that’s only because the soil is aerated when tilled. Once the soil has a chance to settle, it compacts more than it had before ploughing. The best solution to break up the soil is to increase organic matter content, increase soil biology, and keep a wider diversity of plants in the soil year-round (through cover cropping, if necessary). These methods do take a long time to work, so an initial planting of cover crops like daikon with a deep taproot can break the hardpan enough that a crop can be grown, then over time the soil improves through the aforementioned methods. Second, weeds can be controlled (without herbicides) through a variety of methods. The most effective on a large scale would probably be mulching. Instead of removing the previous crop, it can be rolled over to flatten it against the ground, which shades out any weeds. Flattening the previous crop has the added benefit of increasing soil organic matter as it decomposes, in addition to the many benefits of mulches in general. If the weeds are severe or especially rhizomatous, tillage may be necessary, but a shallow plough can achieve the same effects on weeds without damaging the soil as much. Third, ploughing the previous crop under and returning the field to fallow does provide a starting point to easily plant, but the effect is minimal when considering the effort taken to prepare the field before planting. A flattened crop can, with perhaps a bit more effort, be planted into as well as a ploughed-under crop. There are special seed drills that farmers can buy that cut through crop residue, but they aren’t absolutely necessary as long as the crop is rolled in the same direction as the seeds are sown.

Some sources and further reading:


It means tilling or ploughing is of no need . Thanks for making me understand .