Rolling plains of wheat, endless fields of flowering canola, row upon row of fruit trees: these agricultural landscapes are the stuff of stunning photographs.
Filling these paddocks with just one crop, known as monoculture, is a relatively easy, common and efficient way to produce food and fibre.
But international research shows that these monocultures can be bad for the environment and production through effects on soil quality, erosion, plants and animals, and ultimately declining crop yields. Research I have published this week in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability shows a possible link between monoculture landscapes and fewer wild pollinators.
Is there a better way to grow our food?
Published today at The Conversation. Read the rest of the story here….
The fight to encourage local produce sometimes seems futile against big business and globalisation. Despite the rhetoric of democracy, freedom of choice and consumer rights, it is always very obvious how little choice we do have when it comes to spending our own money.
Most of the “brand variety” you see on the supermarket shelves are owned by just a handful of companies – yet we’re led to believe that we’re “making a difference” by making a “choice”. If you buy Green & Black’s organic, fair trade chocolate because you want to make a difference to the “small farmers”, your money goes to Kraft, via Cadbury Schweppes. If you buy Bushells tea because you want to “support Australian”, your money is fed straight into the mouth of the global Unilever monolith.
It happens all across the world, and it’s not really news. What is becoming an issue is the increasing price the Environment pays for the Globalisation of Produce. Continue reading