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The Sustainability of Food

            In a healthy farm system, agriculture works in harmony with the natural environment. This begins with healthy soil that stores water and nutrients and provides a stable base to support plant roots. In a sustainable system, soil is kept in balance. Crops are rotated through the fields to replace nutrients in the soil. Where there is livestock, animals graze the land, then waste from those animals is used to fertilize the soil. The idea is that as farmers take from the land they also give back. Industrial farms disregard that need for balance. Land is used continuously and not given proper rest. Crops are not rotated in a way that replenishes the soil. Manure and chemical fertilizers are used to "feed" the soil, but through over-application these additives become a problem. Mankind is dooming itself with its treatment of food. The sustainability of food is quickly declining due to large carbon footprints polluting the earth. There are various types of issues causing this. In the US, each household produces 48 tons of greenhouse gases. Transport, housing and food have the three largest carbon footprints. Food produces about 8 tons of emissions per household, or about 17% of the total (Food's Carbon Footprint). .
             Worldwide, new reports suggest that agriculture produces around a half of all man-made emissions. For example, the average American or European's meal now travel hundreds or even thousands of miles from farm to table ("Food Issues: Food & Sustainability"). One's carbon footprint defines their direct impact on the earth, and almost all food comes from the same beginning. Mankind can fix the food sustainability issue by reducing the distance of food from production to one's plate but still maintaining a healthy way of producing the product. One's carbon footprint defines their direct impact on the earth. Different countries around the world show drastically different carbon footprints.

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