By October 17, 2013 10 Comments Read More →

Study Proves Sustainable Farms, Organic Farming Beats Factory Farms

Flickr-Garden-Dr.-HemmertChristina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

For those who are appalled at the way animals are treated in conventional livestock production, there is a better way. Sustainable livestock production practices include providing greater animal welfare, increasing biodiversity, and extending good working conditions to those who care for the animals, all while maintaining a profitable business. A new study clarifies this further, showing how sustainable livestock care outperforms that of factory farms.

More and more people are turning to small farms and more sustainable practices as a means to get their meat. New research from the University of Cambridge (U of C) has identified silvopastoral systems of livestock production as a means of sustainable, ethically sourced food production. This system differs from the tiny cages and infinitesimal square footage that our livestock is most often raised in now. It includes shrubs, and trees with edible leaves or fruits and lots of herbs for natural grazing.

Professor Donald Broom of U of C states that:

“Consumers are now demanding more sustainable and ethically sourced food, including production without negative impacts on animal welfare, the environment and the livelihood of poor producers. Silvopastoral systems address all of these concerns with the added benefit of increased production in the long term.”

Now, even cows that are lucky enough to go to pasture are relegated to GMO grains as a means to fatten them for slaughter. They are also often pumped full of hormones and antibiotics which have led to all sorts of health issues in the humans who consume their meat. The current agricultural and livestock production methods also dramatically decrease biodiversity, as well as pollute the soil and waterways due to the chemicals and artificial fertilizer that is necessary to grow animal feed, and maintain the pasture. In the current paradigm, animal feed is rife with GMOs, too.

Instead of this outdated means of livestock production, the researchers from U of C advocate using a diverse group of edible plants that will help with soil and water retention and cause less pesticide-laden run-off. This in turn:

  • Reduces stress and injury to animals
  • Improves the working conditions and overall satisfaction for farm workers
  • Encourages biodiversity which affects the entire food chain – from plant to insect to bird, bee, and bovine

Further, the researchers point out that varying types of shrubs and trees provide more edible leaves and shoots per unit of land area than cleared pasture land. Trees and shrubs also provide shade to the animals and allow them to hide from any perceived danger. In short, it is a more natural environment for them to live in.

 “The planting as forage plants of both shrubs and trees whose leaves and small branches can be consumed by farmed animals can transform the prospects of obtaining sustainable animal production,” said Professor Broom. “Such planting of ‘fodder trees’ has already been successful in several countries, including the plant Chamaecytisus palmensis which is now widely used for cattle feed in Australia.”

Farmers have already attempted this more bio-diverse way of pasturing animals in Columbia where a combination of the shrub Leucaena along with common pasture grass increased dry matter for food and protein production for the animals by 64%.

The silvopastoral system applies for cows, sheep, goats, and even chicken. It even increases milk production by several kilograms a day without having to pump the animals full of hormones. With its increases in biodiversity and the reduction of animal cruelty, this system is a much more sustainable way of feeding the world, without an increase of land use – which means we can stop mono-cropping and start perma-culture farms in the land we lost in urban sprawl and GMO company monopolies in the past decade.

Additional Sources:

ScienceDaily

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

**This article originally appeared at NaturalSociety.**

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

10 Comments on "Study Proves Sustainable Farms, Organic Farming Beats Factory Farms"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. John Cook says:

    I was thinking as I read the article “that sounds like permaculture” – then at the end it is finally named. We really need to thank Bill Mollison and David Holgrom for creating something so great that it seems obvious after you “get” it. I’m proud to have been there at the very start, attending workshops held by Bill on the bank of the Murrimbidgi river at the Breadbo Down To Earth festival way back then (in the early seventies). I knew immediately how true it was, how important it was, it’s amazing to me how it has spread over the whole world. Thank you Bill.

  2. sbobet says:

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be exciting to read content from other writers and
    use a little something from their websites.

  3. It’s going to be ending of minе day, however beforе
    ending ӏ am reading this great article to improve
    my know-how.

  4. web page says:

    Permanent installations in vehicles gave way to the portable Bag Phones, built with a cigarette lighter plug.

    Regardless of whether it is workplace politics
    deciding who gets that increase you’ve been seeking metropolis
    politics determining exactly where you are allowed to park downtown county politics dictating your
    quarterly property tax or perhaps nationwide politics determining how your colleges are
    funded, politics plays an element with your everyday life.

    ISRO has over time built many field installations and works
    together using the international space research
    community on many important bilateral and multilateral research agreements.

  5. At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming yet again to read other
    news.

  6. Musty odour from carpets can be avoided by adding some baking soda to the vacuum bag.
    You can trim a palm tree in Phoenix but not in Pittsburgh.
    The fence often provides the first impression that is very important.

  7. Tammara says:

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thanks for providing these details.

  8. A few years ago, one of our local residents, Mac Vorce,
    who is also a bicycle enthusiast petitioned for the development of
    bicycle paths and trails. No matter what your field, it helps to know what you’re good
    at, but it also helps to recognize what others are good at.
    Brad Garret is a stand-up comedian but also well known for his acting career.

  9. Brenda says:

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look
    forward to looking into your web page yet again.

  10. ringgle.com says:

    Having the power to provide food for yourself and your family is only enabled through acquiring the proper skills.
    Farmers have always used some natural products and methods to deal
    with plant pests and to replenish the soil. On-site checkups are commonplace.
    (Cone, Marla June, 2007). Organic farming techniques, such as permaculture, are being tested, taught, employed and modified
    by farmers the world over in the effort to produce healthier food for ourselves and restore Mother Nature to
    her former glory.

Post a Comment

Translate »