Polyface Farms and industrial food production system differs on moral and ethical sides. Farmers in polyface farms take extra care for each individual animals. They move the cattle every evening, drag the broiler pens, tow chicken coops [Pollan 220]. All these works require physical and mental challenge. The whole farm is treated as a biological system in contrast to the industrial food production farm. The way animals are raised in industrial food production farm is not clean, and it takes up a lot of oil to truck copious amount of fertilizer and shipping across the country. It also contaminates soil through the use of nitrogen.
This results in a difference in the amount of food production between these two farms. Polyface farm does not require chemicals or fertilizer, thus produces less food than industrial farms where the farmers use a lot of chemicals. If Polyface farm takes over the food industry, the income of drug company will decrease and this will lead to the collapse of fertilizer market. Other factor affecting the amount of production is intensity of labor. Polyface farm is less labor intense than monoculture farm. It creates fewer jobs for polyface farms than for monoculture farm thus not producing jobs for workers.
This lead to a question of “Do we disregard morals (treatment of animals) for an increased food production?” According to Bittman, people are heavily exposed to the marketing of animal products and junk food. Their production has been supported by government agencies at the expense of a more health and Earth friendly diet [Bittman 3:22]. It seems obvious that trend flows to what people want rather than what they need for health.
Michael Pollan, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” A Natural History Of Four Meals. 2006 The Penguin Press. 2006. 220
Mark Bittman, “What’s Wrong with the Way We Eat?” Ted talk. Recorded December 2007 at EG 2007. 3:22