How Community Impact Is Part of the Debate Over New Technologies?
There are several major developments in the food and beverage industry that have far reaching impacts on the community, environment and farmers. The implications of these developments for the community are of great concern to many people.
The impact of food production on the community and its environment may be discussed here in the context of the rural communities where the bulk of the nation’s produce is grown. The process of growing, harvesting, packaging and distributing produce is done primarily by large corporations that sell their goods at the local store or supermarket.
Communities that have been traditionally self-sufficient in food production are less likely to develop local farms. Many communities which are used to using agricultural products such as grain, soybeans, wheat and rice may find that they do not have the means to grow and purchase these products. Their income is provided by corporate farming.
A major development in the industry is the increasing use of genetically modified food crops. These crops are made to grow and produce much faster than their non-genetically modified counterparts. They are also often found to be more toxic than non-GMO counterparts.
The first company to introduce genetically modified foods in North America is Monsanto. This company is responsible for introducing a variety of crops that are genetically modified to help increase their yields, increase their shelf life and lower their cost. Most of these crops are cultivated for the purpose of making insect resistant seeds.
Another company that is involved in new biotechnology research that will impact the community is Syngenta. Their purpose is to develop crops that will decrease yield losses when planting and harvesting. Farmers who use their products may be paying more for their crops than they could for non-GMO equivalents.
E. Onyango, a community scientist, describes some of the many types of fruit crops which he has worked with in Africa. His areas of expertise are some of the most genetically diverse regions in the world. He notes that the current process of crop farming can change drastically for the worse if genetic modification methods are applied.
Food markets, supermarkets and even the high street are beginning to see the need for the production of organic produce. Many young people are now questioning whether organic food is the way to go. Some experts believe that it is a healthy trend and that there is no danger to the environment.
Just as concerns about genetically modified foods have raised, so too has concern over the growing demand for organic food. Concerns include the labor costs associated with the growing, harvesting and processing of organic produce. Also, there are arguments over whether or not it is really better for the environment to grow produce organically.
A growing number of individuals are embracing the notion that these Bio-Based Foods are an eco-friendly source of energy. Research has shown that by growing crops organically, the United Kingdom produces more energy than it uses. That being said, traditional agriculture has not been able to satisfy the consumer’s desire for fresh produce.
Still, many continue to question the impact of the food and beverage industry on the community. In the United States, there are those who believe that corporate farming has benefited both the corporations and the country as a whole, while those who do not believe this.
It is not uncommon for citizens to voice their opinion on the benefits of these new technologies, but it is rare to see what impact they may have on the community in a community forum where there is a general consensus of consumers’ choice. So far, the debate on these issues seems to be dominated by a very small group of consumer advocacy groups. Overall, the real picture may not be one of community impact, but rather one of consumer choice.