Farm for Health, Energy Independence and the Environment

  • by: Care2
  • target: U.S Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack
What if we could solve global warming, a broken health care system and dependence on foreign oil with one simple reform? We can, by changing the way we grow food in America.

Our current food system is inefficient (uses 19 percent of fossil fuels), unhealthy (increases heart problems and diabetes) and harmful to the environment (responsible for 37 percent of greenhouse gases).

Did you know that in contrast to animal feedlots or vast corn fields, crop diverse farms are more sustainable and require little or no fertilizers and pesticides? They also provide humane spaces for animals to live. Currently, animals are separated from crops, making animal waste a hazardous pollutant rather than a natural soil fertilizer for plants.

What's more, foods grown in diverse crop fields are richer in nutrients. And by putting more nutritious food at the center of American diets, we can ease the burden on health care that spends billions of dollars combating the effects of obesity.

Tell Congress: Support localized farming rather than food manufacturing giants, so that we may reduce (foreign) oil consumption and pollution caused by shipping, and provide food for a healthier America.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,

The food and farming industries garner a lot of political attention. Understandably, the manner by which we grow, process, and distribute food is influential, so it is imperative that we take a look at the impacts of the food and farming industries. By changing the way we grow and process food, Americans can positively impact global warming, rising health care costs, and dependence on foreign oil.

The way we grow and ship food uses a surprising 19 percent of our total fossil fuels, which is second highest, falling only behind cars. It is time for all industries to consider their short-term and long-term impacts on the environment.

We can no longer afford to continue these agricultural processes that deplete natural resources, such as fresh water reserves. Global warming is exacerbated as a result of the many greenhouses gases emitted by food growth and processing.

Reforming farming to be more sustainable will lessen the affects. Please shift this industry from monoculture crops and feedlots to self-sustaining farms with crop diversity. These diverse farms naturally replenish soil nutrients and even hold water better during drought years.

It is widely known that the food industry relies on cheap fuel to maximize production, but now is the time to veer away from fossil fuels and foreign oil dependence. Oil is limited, but others natural resources like the sun are not. Now is the time to shift to using long-term resources. It is not only natural but easy to use the sun and processes of nature to fuel the food industry.

Sadly, the focus on food today had moved away from quality and instead concentrates on output. This creates mass production of cheap, unhealthy food. It is no secret that the average American diet is unhealthy and a great contributor of widespread obesity. Four of the top ten killers in America today are chronic diseases linked to diet: heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes and cancer. The costly burden falls to an already broken health care system that spends billions of dollars fighting preventable yet common diseases. Not only is this harmful to those who are paying the high price of health care, but these are habits that are passed down to our children who have become the most unhealthy generation ever.

[Your comment here]

Clearly, reforming the food and farming industries is dire. But you can offer a glimmer of hope for America's future by providing stepping stones of change that will put an end to global warming, pollution to the environment and the downward spiral of our broken health care system. All of these industries need great reform as well but it must begin at the heart of the problem, our food system.

Thank you.
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