As our environment gets worse each year and new climate crisis are on the radar, one of the main focuses environmental science should be the usage of the land that we can use. New health plans for consumers have become more prevalent as of recent, as many individuals have taken it upon themselves to help the environment. On a broader scale, what can be done to help this world become more efficient with its land and create more sustainable food sources? We lave a limited amount of land in the world and an even smaller amount of that land can be used for agricultural or livestock farming purposes. So the goal of those looking to find a solution to farmland efficiency should be to find the food production on land that produces the most output, for the least amount of work possible, alongside having to be fairly lasting if exporting the product is wanted.
Arguments exist over whether land used for livestock or agricultural are the best choice for using the land most efficiently, but this question only exists for land that could be used for either use. However, often land could be only useful for one or the other, so reasonably livestock farming and agricultural farming could be used in a sustainable plan on feeding as many people as possible given the land we have to work with. About a fourth of the earths land is used for livestock faming as well as other land and water being used for those animals water and their own needed food. But much of this land couldn’t be used for other food production originally, and those that could, now after being converted into livestock farms cannot be converted to have other uses as the livestock have irreversibly changed the land. When land is converted from livestock farming to agricultural farming, issues in the changed landscape can occur, as well as other issues that were not considered such as proximity to drainage and water sources.
So sustainability and efficiently can be found in decreasing the new plots that could be used for livestock farming being used for such, but that doesn’t address the land that isn’t suitable only for livestock. Sustainability most likely couldn’t be found in not using available land for a certain food source if that food source could be used and has been used to feed such a large portion of the world, a portion that has been increasing as advances in technology and genetic modifications have increased. Part of the answer to creating more sustainable and efficient food sources is to share what we know in relation to research on genetically modified organisms. As advancements have increased, the exports of meat the us can produce has increased while the land used for the source of that meat has stayed fairly constant. These advancements, when spread worldwide, could create an increase in land, only useable by livestock, being used to its most efficient to get the greatest amount of exports after being able to feed those in their own country. An increase in worldwide production of food in the most efficient way possible is one of the important first steps to creating more sustainable sources of food.
The responsibility of sustainability should not be left on the shoulders of the consumer, as they can only control the food that is produced to a certain amount. This is not to say they cannot effect production whatsoever, as we have seen in our lifetimes supermarkets change greatly in what they sell especially when it comes to plant based food. However consumers without restraint would most likely hurt the ideas of sustainability as wants are often thought about in the grocery store over needs. The goal of sustainability might be somewhat hindered by the consumer, but as more consumers want certain types of food, higher amounts of efficiency will be needed to accommodate this demand. As demands require the producers of food to become more efficient, sustainability should be what follows, but it seems somewhat unlikely. The most efficient way to raise livestock and animals is most likely one that leans more heavily into animal cruelty, but as our culture develops it seems unlikely that this will be seen as a sustainable and acceptable way to get food. To create a source of sustainable food for the world to survive off of, looking into the future is necessary and if a way of food production will not be accepted and held up over time, it is likely that these sources will have to be changed. If a source of food will need to be changed based on how our culture develops it is unlikely that the process would be seen as sustainable, no matter how efficient it is.
The key to developing sources of food that are both sustainable and efficient meet at a place that uses land available for the purpose that allows it to ethically produce the largest amount of food that the land allows. It must also need to be able to keep up over a long period of time and not destroy the land it uses in a way that it cannot be continued to use or repurposed into another form. Because land available can only often be used for certain purposes, the goal should be to find the most ethical, long term source of food that the land can provide using the technology available. Alongside this, the advancement of environmental and GMO science will most likely develop what use of land is the most efficient source of food, which is why not using land in a unchangeable way is important to long term sustainability. Planning for future technological development, understanding ethics of food production and consumption, and using the means and land that we have in the most efficient way is the way to create long term sustainable food sources.