Why Can’t We Just Plant Some More Food?

An acre of farmland is lost every minute in America
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

An acre of farmland is lost every minute in America

Every day the world population grows. When it comes to feeding all those people, a common idea is to just grow more food. However, it is not as easy as that. Now, I do not agree with the idea that there are too many people in the world. However, there are tremendous pressures being put on the world’s food supply.

Growing more food sounds like a good idea, but industrial farming over the last 40 years hasn’t proved that to be the case. Yes, advances in agriculture have increased crop yields per acre. But, those greater yields are offset by the fact that farmland is being lost in the United States at an ever-increasing rate.

On average, we lose one acre of U.S. farmland every minute. Most of this loss is due to the conversion of land from farms to industrial and residential uses. Between 2002 and 2007, 4,080,300 acres of farmland were converted for development. This is roughly the area of Massachusetts and is just part of a long-term trend.

Over the past 25 years, every state in the country has suffered a net loss of farmland. The biggest losers are Texas (1.5 million acres), Ohio (796,000 acres), North Carolina (766,000 acres), California
(616,000 acres), and Georgia (566,000 acres).

We could use more land for food, but we are also going to need more land for everything. Right now, industrial and residential development is winning out. Remember those 219,000 new people coming over for dinner tomorrow? And the next day? And the next day? Demands for land use is coming from every area, not just from the farmers. The pressures on land management will increase to a level never seen before.

The average American eats approximately 2,000 pounds of food per year. With all things considered, having an emergency food supply just makes sense.


          Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer
          or ruler, yet it stores its provision in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8)

 

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