Shiva Explains How Industrialized Ag Leads to Loss of Nutrients in CropsPosted: September 5, 2012
In her article, Vandana Shiva argues that hunger and malnutrition are being perpetuated by the industrialization of agriculture, the same system that is claiming to have the solution to these problems. She notes that the industrialized food system is too focused on increasing yields, and is not addressing the loss of nutritional value in crops grown as monocultures. Because nutrients in crops are derived from nutrients in the soil, crops grown in an industrialized setting where chemical pesticides have degraded the soil end up nutritionally empty. While the addition of synthetic fertilizers help to keep the soil from complete degredation, they do not account for all of the micronutrients found in organic soil. As a result, a person would be required to eat much more of a given crop in order to receive the same nutrients found in its organic counterpart. Because of this, Shiva argues that biodiverse, organic farming is the most effective and low-cost strategy for addressing world hunger.