According to a senior UN official, if the current rates of soil degradation continue, all of the world’s topsoil could be gone within 50 years.
The Food and Agriculture Organization has reported that unless we adopt new approaches to growing food, such as organic and permaculture principles, the global amount of land suitable for food growth per person in 2050 will be only 1/4 of what it was in 1960. On top of the soil erosion from deforestation to clear land for farming, and the continual burden of stripping minerals from the soil to grow plants without replacing them, chemical-heavy farming techniques also render soil lifeless and infertile for plant life, bacterial life, and all life forms. “We are losing 30 soccer fields of soil every minute, mostly due to intensive farming,” Volkert Engelsman of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements declared.
The 15 million acres of native tallgrass prairie in Nebraska, once known for their fertility, are now 98% gone due to our parasitic industrial food system. According to Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization, about a third of the world’s soil has already been degraded. Like a parasite, modern agriculture rages war on biological life, until soil becomes salt and dust, incapable of growing anything.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“The plow is at once the symbol of domestication, and the world’s most feared ecological wrecking ball. It unearths microenvironments, destroys nests and burrows, throws open moisture”.
– Steven Stoll, agricultural historian[/quote]
Not only must we convert ALL rural agricultural practices to organic by only buying organic, the urban agricultural revolution is well underway and is helping us produce enough food while restoring soil health around the world.
Can Urban Farming Feed the World?
Let’s do some calculations to find out if we can actually feed the world by farming solely in an urban setting. To demonstrate the potential of urban farming, we’re going to focus only on the lawn for the production of food. Keep in mind, that in addition to lawn farming, urban farming can also be done on massive scales and often without soil with vertical farming, at bus stops, on rooftops, in their front and back yards, even underground.
- Lawns are the biggest “crop” in the U.S., accounting for between 35 million – 50 million acres.
- 1 Acre = 4000 square metres
- 10 square metres can feed a single person
- 400 people can be fed per acre
- 35 million acres x 400 people fed per acre = 14 billion people fed
Even if it took 20 square metres to feed a person, 7 billion people could be fed off the lawn area in the United States alone.