Rabu, 19 Desember 2007

The Concept of Sustainability in Agriculture

An article in the New York Times free online edition this week discusses two possible examples of what might turn out to be unsustainable modern agricultural practices (“Our Decrepit Food Factories”, by Michael Pollan. nytimes.com, Dec. 16). Mr. Pollan suggests that MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas) infections in humans may become more common due to the widespread use of antibiotics in pig feed. He also presents some good arguments for why the worldwide collapse of honeybee populations may be due in part to unsustainable modern farming practices that stress the bees.

It makes for easy reading at the student level. The article could be used to spark a discussion about how best to actually achieve agricultural sustainability in the face of pressures to produce more food for a growing world population.

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