Many different chemicals are widely used in INTENSIVE FARMING to speed up the growth of plants and animals, and to kill bugs and stop diseases. One of the main problems is that although these chemicals work in the short term, they do not just disappear and stay in the food that we eat. Our food is thus contaminated with chemicals. Soil used to grow the plants will also be contaminated and have chemicals living in it for a very long time. Animals which eat the grass which has had chemicals sprayed on to it will absorb them into their blood and therefore their flesh and brain. They too become contaminated.
INTENSIVE farmers spray chemical fertilizers directly on to their crops usually by using a spraying tractor. This helps the crops grow by giving them all the nutrients they need but these are artificial. ORGANIC farming actually uses the natural process that nature has harnessed over millions of years where the soil itself carries all the necessary nutrients and food the plants need, ready for it to be sucked up in to the plant as and when it needs it. Insects underground are always working on making the soil good through the natural nitrogen cycle. By using a process called CROP ROTATION, the farmer can keep a good soil for many years without resorting to chemicals. Instead he uses manure, kitchen waste and compost.
ORGANIC farmers treat their animals with a lot more care for their welfare. The animals must all be free range which means they are not crammed in to one building together. For example, battery hens are squeezed in to these long sheds where you can get thousands of hens caged up like they are in a prison. They can hardly move and can’t avoid eating each others droppings. Because there are so many in the same place they are ALL fed antibiotics that only a few of them may need! Also, non-directly, chemicals used in INTENSIVE farming and the factories that produce them are slowly killing off the nearby wildlife.
NO GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
A newly discovered technique in the food industry is that of Genetic Modification and GMO’s. This is where, through science, a tomato can have a gene from fish added to it to make it have a longer shelf life. Also, the same technique can be used to make newly born animals grow quicker and fatter to make more meat more quickly. All of this sounds good but by changing the way these organisms are made up, we are altering nature in a very unpredictable and dangerous way. We simply do not know what the long term effect will be. Today it is possible to get any food to look or taste exactly how it is wanted. This is so unnatural and nobody yet knows what may happen in 50 years time if our food is being changed for good.
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