Industrial agriculture will soon be in decline. Here’s why that’s great for humanity.
By Steve Holt
On its face, the amount of money agriculture contributes to the U.S. economy, around $444 billion in 2012, is incredible. More incredible still is that just 10 years ago, that number was $218 billion. But the more than 100 percent increase does not tell the whole story. Looking deeper into numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture, one finds that agricultural growth is not primarily attributable to a dramatic increase in growing foods Americans eat but to commodity crops grown for export (mostly to China) or to be turned into non-food products like corn-based ethanol. And we are still feeding an ever-increasing amount of food to animals to satiate the world’s exploding appetite for meat.
But no matter how great life on the factory farm may be these days (for the owners, that is), the agricultural bubble of the last decade is headed for an irreversible dip over the coming years, experts say. Read Full Article »