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Future of Food Production

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The Future of Food Production
The process that food consumed in America goes through to make its way to our mouths is like a Rube Goldberg contraption.
The seemingly straightforward process of growing, raising, harvesting, and slaughtering goes on every day, completely hidden from consumers. Very few Americans are aware of the highly complicated, mechanized, and convoluted journey that any given bite of food takes from its origins in nature (or some manipulated approximation of it) to its destination on our plates. Although some people criticize the state of our food system, it is clear that it grew to be the international machine that it is because of demand.
More than 300 million Americans want lots of food, meat especially, and they want it cheap. So like every other production process in this country, our food system has been industrialized to produce maximum food calories for the American people at minimum cost. This industrialization of our food system has allowed for population increase and higher standards of living.
But there are significant problems with the industrial food system. Caught up in a drive to maximize production and profit, the industrial food system has grown to an unsustainable size. As food production has become increasingly industrialized, concern for the environment and the animals we eat has taken a backseat to expansion. Specialization, rather than integration, has become

Forman 2 the hallmark of America’s farms. Rather than having chickens, hogs, corn, and hay all on one farm, all these things now reside on separate, much larger farms. There is, however, another, very separate food system that supplements the industrial food system: the local food system. Local food systems cater to people who believe that it is better to “buy local” or from a smaller, usually family-owned farm rather than from a…...

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