E10. Hidden Cancer Is Mass Farming
Why has this horrible method of mass farming, this greedy irresponsible business model, that has been forming cancer in us for so long, taken so long to be highlighted by the main media?
And why, even when we find out about the sickening truths of modern day farming, this mass production method, does it take us a little while to start our processes of changing, and or, completely abandoning this greedy mass production business model?
Mass Strategy At Any Cost
Many factors came together in the early twentieth century to make mass production possible. Henry Ford‘s decision to produce an inexpensive automobile that working people could afford was a gamble. He succeeded in convincing his financial partners to back his idea through sheer determination.
Detroit’s history of mechanical innovation also played an important role. The city’s many skilled engineers and designers helped refine Ford’s early attempts and later helped build large factories to showcase his ideas.
The abundant talent—similar to California’s Silicon Valley in the late twentieth century—allowed Ford to recruit talented employees. The immigration boom in Michigan provided Ford’s company with the unskilled workers for the assembly lines.
The assembly line gave Ford factories a fluid appearance and dramatically increased productivity. Without the assembly line, Ford would not have been able to keep pace with consumer demand. At the same time, Ford hoped to maximize economies of scale by building large factories. Most important for consumers, the increased efficiency brought with it a reduced cost. Model T prices quickly dropped from more than $800 to $300. As a result of these innovations, workers were soon able to produce a new Model T every two minutes.
The company sold 11,000 cars from 1908 to 1909, a 60 percent increase over the previous year. Ford then outdid himself with the 1910–1911 model, selling 34,528. Sales skyrocketed in 1914, reaching 248,000, or nearly half the U.S. market. The heavy demand forced Ford to continue innovating. He built the largest and most modern factory in America on a sixty-acre tract at Highland Park, north of Detroit. Ford’s net income soared from $25 million in 1914 to $78 million by 1921.
Even the decline of the Model T did not affect the demand for automobiles. Mass production techniques spread to other car manufacturers.
Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors introduced the annual model change in the 1920’s. The changing look of automobiles, made affordable by mass production, mirrored the changing national landscape. A sweeping car craze prompted the desire for material abundance that would mark the genesis of modern America after World War II.
Advertisers, artists, and writers used the factory and assembly line to symbolize life in the United States.
Often, they associated manliness with technology and engineering. Many looked upon the factories that linked American cities with an attitude akin to romanticism.
Corporate marketing, advertising, and public relations staffs and outside agencies developed to massage this message into the public’s subconscious.
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Cruel Anti Nature Animal and Crop Farming Now Our Staple!
With its focus on the quantity of production, often to the exclusion of other goals, today’s food system is on an unsustainable course.
The problem begins with and is driven by industrialized production of both crops and animals. Industrialization is a product of technological change, public policy, and, most recently, globalized trade.
The lack of sustainability derives from reliance on the intensive use of nonrenewable and hard-to-renew resources—soil, antibiotics, fresh water, and fossil fuels, for example—but also from the waste and pollution created by the industrial model.
For at least 50 years, American agriculture policies have promoted production of, and ultimately lower market prices for, commodity crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans.
Over the last 3 decades in particular, these “cheap food” policies have exacerbated the negative impacts of an industrialized agriculture on the health of the agro-ecosystem, as well as on the health of the humans who must share and be sustained by it.
Sustainability and health are two sides of the same food system coin. Policies that put US food production on more sustainable footing can help aid in public efforts to address the myriad crises confronting both the food and health systems.
Food production, human health and welfare, and the state of the world’s natural resources are inherently connected.
“Growing food is among the most essential services our ecosystem provides, since it is fundamentally dependent on the world’s atmosphere, soils, freshwater and genetic resources,” according to Rosamond Naylor of Stanford University.
More simply, people need food to survive and thrive. The health and sustainability of the America’s agro-eco food system is a human health issue, therefore. Yet a number of leading experts in systems biology, agro-ecology, and public health now question that sustainability.
That hallmark of industrialized agriculture, the intensive use of resources, is at issue. The unsustainable rate of use of renewable resources, like groundwater and soil, is one dimension. The intensive use of nonrenewable resources, especially including fossil fuels but also pesticides and antibiotics, is another.19
A third issue is that intensive resource use, when combined with the lack of natural cycles to reuse these resources on the farm, creates wastes that not only pollute air, soil, and water quality but also pose health risks to the people relying upon them.
Risks to human health can be acute in nature, such as the risk of pesticide poisoning. More often, they are longer-term risks experienced by populations downstream or remote in time compared to when the pollution first occurred.
The pollution of groundwater resources with nitrogen, the development of environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance, and climate change fall into this category.
The following section describes a few of these problems in greater detail and begins to make some of the links between them, as well as offering examples of the interconnectivity of health and agro-ecological sustainability.
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