Coronavirus is hitting the meat industry hard. It’s impacting workers in meatpacking facilities, many of whom are getting sick and dying.
At the same time, distribution has caused bottlenecks in the food supply, especially in large-scale meat production, and, due to public policies that have allowed the industry to become highly consolidated, many farmers are being forced to kill their animals, while others are seeking to find ways to sell them in ad-hoc, online markets.
Meanwhile, some small-scale and pasture-based farmers and the processors with whom they work are experiencing record demand for their products.
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"People must move away from factory farming and stop destroying natural habitats as a matter of urgency, because of the threat of diseases and of climate breakdown. Factory farming is linked to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which threaten human health.
If we do not do things differently, we are finished. We can’t go on very much longer like this.” - Jane Goodall ethnologist and conservationist, UN Messenger of Peace.
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#Farming #covid19 #Health
Greenfield Robotics Executive Chairman, Jay Samit, is a serial disruptor, bestselling author & keynote speaker. He's also a talented artist! We love this painting of the bots hard at work on the farm.
Todd Ballard’s family has been farming for more than 100 years, and each generation has taken pride in clean fields, nicely tilled and weed-free.
He started experimenting with cover crops about eight years ago and direct seeding three years ago, increasing the no-till ground yearly.
A lot has changed, and it’s taken some adjustment...
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You may have heard it called soil health, regenerative agriculture or carbon farming.
Instead of constantly pumping fertilizers and pesticides into worn-out soil, a more hands-off approach encourages an underground living ecosystem of bugs, worms, fungi, microbes and bacteria to make the soil healthier and less threatening to the environment.
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Although we've recently seen a surge in farm-to-table, shopping local, and CSA farm shares, how quickly will we return to buying from factory farms and embracing our vulnerable food supply chain because it's cheaper and easier? What happens next time there's a crisis?
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Economic shutdowns have severely disrupted supply chains that move food from farm to fork.
Are the recent changes in consumer behavior temporary? Will people go back to their old ways post-pandemic, or instead, will people continue to support and buy directly from smaller, local food producers. What about in less densely populated areas?
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Myths get in the way of our ability to restore degraded soils that can feed the world using fewer chemicals. One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable.
MYTH 1: LARGE-SCALE AGRICULTURE FEEDS THE WORLD TODAY
MYTH 2: LARGE FARMS ARE MORE EFFICIENT
MYTH 3: CONVENTIONAL FARMING IS NECESSARY TO FEED THE WORLD
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Most of the meat eaten globally is raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (or CAFOs), points out Krissy Kasserman. “We have a lot of evidence that previous outbreaks have arisen in factory farms,” she says. “I think that in focusing our anger on wet markets, we’re ignoring the way that most people eat all around the world.”