Agriculture Food and Natural Resources: What can you do

Food & Agriculture

The human population has now exceeded 7.8 billion individuals with a growth of over 80 million per year, which is why our food choices influence the balance of ecosystems and the future of the planet so much.

Most of our food comes from agriculture and to produce enough food for everyone, more and more land is needed, removed from natural habitats . In addition, our development models determine an unequal distribution of food with great differences. 

From deforestation to soil erosion, from pollution to desertification, from the exploitation of water resources to climate change: the current agri-food system is among the greatest threats to global biodiversity .

Almost all the threats to natural ecosystems are in fact connected to the use we make of the territory and to the overexploitation of natural resources , starting with water.

Intensive agriculture requires greater use of chemicals to increase crop yields and productivity, but soils are becoming increasingly impoverished more and requiring and more chemical fertilizers. A vicious circle that is leading to serious consequences for ecosystems.

For years we have been supporting the double value of a sustainable diet: on the one hand it can save the planet and on the other keep us healthy. There are a whole series of behaviors that we can adopt to significantly reduce the impact of our diet on natural resources, starting with consuming seasonal and local products , preferring products grown with organic farming up to a profound change in our diet, with less meat and more cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit


Because it is important

Agriculture is essential for the supply of food, natural fibers such as cotton, and the growing production of bioethanol as fuel. Organic farming is a production method that not only allows for healthier and tastier foods, but also brings a series of environmental benefits. Fortunately, in recent years we have witnessed a rediscovery of quality products, with a short and "organic" supply chain . With respect to the climate changes underway, it is known that organic crops are able to greatly improve the capacity of soils to absorb and fix carbon, thus removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In recent years, aquaculture has also developed as the fastest way to produce food in the world and has helped reduce fishing pressure on depleting fish stocks .

Agriculture is the largest industry in the world since it employs more than a billion people and generates an annual profit of over a trillion dollars, yet so far it has not been able to play an important role in favor of sustainability, indeed it has often been the cause that has favored the loss of biodiversity and habitat in the world.

Adopting a sustainable diet means not only worrying about the future of the planet, the next generations, but also, today, about our health. The principles to be adopted for a sustainable diet are simple to follow:

  • eat healthy and cut back on foods that have undergone long transformation processes;
  • choose foods with little packaging, especially if multiple and made of plastic;
  • diversify your diet and make it as varied as possible;
  • reduce waste and consume what you buy;
  • reduce the amount of meat and buy only adult-sized fish.


What can you do

At the individual citizen level, there are so many behaviors that you can adopt to reduce the impact of your diet on the Planet.

Buying local means privileging the short supply chain, that is, reducing the passage between producers and consumers, with the double advantage of helping to maintain an adequate income for Italian farmers and reducing emissions associated with the transport of food.

Variety is one of the most important principles of a healthy and sustainable diet: consuming seasonal fruit and vegetables helps to respect this principle. Furthermore, seasonal products, especially if local, take a short time to arrive on our tables, thus maintaining a higher nutritional intake than those that, out of season, must remain in the refrigerators for a long time before reaching the supermarket counters.

A diet rich in variety of plant foods (cereals, fruit, vegetables, legumes) and moderate amounts of fish and meat, such as the Mediterranean diet, is widely recognized for its multiple health benefits and low environmental impact.


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