When going shopping at the grocery store, do you usually pay attention to where the produce is shipped from? Most of the time, people really do not care about where their food is from. Corporate farms produce many products that people buy everyday, but at a cost. The fact is, everyday the global warming and pollution on the planet gets worse. Although corporate farms supply a majority of the produce, they also produce a majority of the pollution. Buying local is better than buying from corporate farms because it is helping keep the ecosystem clean by producing less pollution, contributing less greenhouse gases, and by having less waste to dispose of.
Small, local farms produce less pollution and are more eco friendly than corporate farms. Many harmful chemical products are used in agriculture, the most common being pesticides. When looking at the vast series of environmental problems, it was found that factory farms are “one of the top causes of pollution.” (“Pollution (Water, Air Chemicals)”)Large scale farming, found at corporate farms, usually use more pesticides in their crop fields. Insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are some of the pesticides used, and although they might be harmless in smaller portions, large farms have to use huge amounts to cover all the crops they grow. The problem is that most of these pesticides contain carcinogens, a substance that can cause cancer in living tissue. Smaller farms, on the other hand, are more environmentally sustainable and more aware about what they use for their plants when farming. Chemical pollution is just one type of pollution that larger farms cause. Water and air pollution are also a big factor in factory farms environments, which can lead to a whole other problem, greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases are becoming a big problem that play a large part in pollution. Factory farms are a danger to the climate as it is a fact that livestock production “contributes 14.5 percent” of human caused greenhouse emissions. (yes_magazine) Since the factory farms have so much meat that they produce, it is not hard to see just how much greenhouse emissions are caused by them. More sustainable meat production tactics like local farms and “grass-fed operations” have less greenhouse emissions compared to corporate farms. (yes_magazine) The burning of fossil fuels causes a release of greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming. Factory farms rely heavily on fossil fuels to help power machinery that is used in their daily routine when tending to their crops and livestock. Also a large majority of fossil fuels is use just to transport the produce, traveling across states to deliver their product. Family farms use less fossil-fuel energy than their competitors as they do not use machines as much in their daily setting. Also, when people buy local, small farms do not have to worry about burning mass amounts of fossil fuels transporting their produce.
Some argue that buying locally has some negative effects, and although they are right, there are also a large amount of positive outcomes as well. Buying locally might not be the best plan financially, as most smaller farms have to increase their product cost to beat the competitors, but it is worth it to keep the planet cleaner. Also buying local does have less choices when it comes to picking out products. Some coastal states will not be able to grow certain crops well, and the more central states will not have access to sealand. This can be difficult if you have a specific taste or need. Although there are some negatives when it come to buying local, the benefits outweigh those risks. Local farms are a much greener option, that can help the planet survive. The farms produce less greenhouse gases, and chose not to use harmful pesticides that can have negative effects. Small farms also produce less waste, helping to decrease how much pollution is created.
When it comes to manure, larger farms usually produce larger amounts opposed to smaller farms. The problem arises when all the excess nitrogen in the manure evaporates as ammonia. The high levels of ammonia can be harmful and cause burning in the nose and throat. (“Beyond Factory Farming”) Small, sustainable farms help “minimizing waste, the use of chemical, pollution,” and other harmful factors to the environment. (Lunsford, 2017) The United States is scored at one of the top in the world of methane emissions from waste. (GRACE Communications Foundation) Data has shown that agriculture is a cause of making “145,000 miles of rivers and streams” too polluted for various activities and wildlife. (“Corporate Agribusiness”) Larger farms usually care more about producing then the effect they have on the ecosystem. With some much livestock, larger farms produce too much manure, more than can be absorbed by other fields. This leads to runoff into water and contaminates it, creating water pollution. Factory farms’ livestock waste has up to “30 times more power” to pollute water than human waste. (“Beyond Factory Farming”) Raising livestock in smaller amounts can minimize manure as a pollution threat.
Buying locally can improve the state of the planet and minimize all negative effects that pollution, greenhouse gases, and livestock waste create. Although there are sacrifices when buying local, such as less seasonal produce and higher prices, the world will become healthier, extending new possibilities for a greener life.
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