South Korea is where I originally came from, and as shown in NGO website the consumption of meat has increased by 83% compared to 1961. This is the biggest increase rate among other countries in the same period. This increase of meat consumption shows the rate of industrial farming has increased in South Korea. Industrial farming has started earlier in America as shown in NGO website. Second to China, the US consumes more meat than any other country. American food industry has tendency to disregard morals for an increased food production
Industrial farming has certain problems. Critiques of industrial food production are such as the way animals are raised is not clean, it takes up a lot of oil to truck fertilizer, and it contaminates soil through the use of nitrogen. Most of the critiques are focused on environmental issues. According to Kingsolver, genuine food culture is an affinity between people and the land that feeds them [Kingsovler]. It is a relationship between people and the soil that is needed to grow food. The place people live is as same as the place where the soil is available. The soil is filled with dirt and nutrient food is needed to grow. The ingredients of food take steps to be formed. As most of the agricultural land shifted gradually into single crop corn or soybean farms, the farming converted from naturally based to a highly mechanized production system [Kingsolver]. This transformation to urban nation caused unexpected consequences. One of it is the absence of knowledge about how foods grow. As modern education system makes students move away from manual labor, and dirt which are the fundamental sources of farming, intuitive sense of agriculture is vanishing. This aggravates the relationship defined by Kingsolver above. This is the reason why people should be aware of how and when to look for their foods.
Pollan came up with some solutions that would resolve the ethical issues of industrial farming. Polyface farm is where human, animal and plants are keeping interactive relationships rather than staying under the control of industrial economics. 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.
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. To address the question above only certain parts of Polyface farm’s functions can be implemented. These features can replace the parts of industrial farming that go against the morals.