- © T Mukai (UNEP, Japan)
- © Lupidi (UNEP)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – www.unep.org
- © Wantana Rungsapsombat
- Jonathan Patz / Marjorie Share
EcoHealth101 – www.ecohealth101.org
- Wantana Rungsapsombat
Today, industrial farming methods produce big harvests in the short term, but they also deplete the very resources that future generations will need to continue producing. Industrial agriculture disrupts and depletes the soil with synthetic fertilizers; uses too much water for irrigation; poisons the soil and water with synthetic pesticides that linger in the environment; and relies on expensive distribution systems.
These are called "hidden costs." They are easy to ignore until the problems they cause become increasingly obvious. These costs are referred to as hidden because they are not included in the price of food. How can we put a monetary value on lost topsoil or the value of water in an aquifer that can’t be replenished – or even the real cost in terms of air and water pollution, and of using fossil fuels to power farm machinery and produce synthetic pesticides and fertilizers?
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