Why do current food, energy, resource and production systems need to be replaced?
Mankind has lost about half of all soil in the last two hundred years
Current food systems are very unwisely designed, compared to how nature works. The following arguments mean that the current food system must be replaced.
- The food system requires huge amounts of fresh water that drains groundwater and the planet's aquifers, that is, huge water reservoirs far underground. More than 90 percent of all freshwater use on the planet goes to food systems.
- Monocultures increase soil erosion and are very sensitive to climate change. We have lost about half of all soil since the 19th century.
- A very large part of the planet's arable land, > 50 percent, goes to animal feed and biofuel.
- Antibiotics in animal production risk severe antibiotic resistance.
- Animal factories favor the emergence of zoonoses and pandemics. Zoonoses are diseases that are spread between animals and humans.
- The cultivation method "monoculture" impoverishes biodiversity both underground and above ground. Large beautiful fields, which we in Skåne are proud of, are literally dead, and provide almost no conditions for other animals and plants.
- The food system is extremely energy-intensive in relation to what you get out. We put in 10-15 energy units and get out 1. Cheap oil allows this!
- Uses large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers. Phosphorus in fertilizers is a finite resource that is only found in a few places on the planet.
- Requires large investments in vehicles and infrastructure, not just tractors but trucks, roads, ships, aircraft, trains, processing industries, refrigerated counters, etc.
- Involves long transports, often across continents.
- Provides malnourished food. We only add nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the soil.
- Generates large food waste. About 1/3 of the food is destroyed or thrown away, not only in the home but in the store, in production and in transport.
- Crops have a low built-in immune system because (a) we stress the plants through eg seed breeding, and we give them a lot of fertilizer b) the plants do not get the other minerals they need c) the plants does not have support from other plant types under and above ground that are found in, for example, a mixed forest d) the plants are fully exposed to sun / drought / rain. This increases the risk of pests and diseases.
- Gives great environmental damage to land and water. Pesticides and fertilizers enter watercourses and go out into the Baltic Sea, for example, and kill the sea.
- Generates huge greenhouse gas emissions from the entire food chain from seed, production, processing, transportation, sales, cooking and recycling.
- Poisoning humans and animals through pesticides, and heavy metals that can be absorbed by plants that lack important minerals.
- Uses huge amounts of packaging materials