Industrial Agriculture, an Introduction to its impact
In our last entry, we talked about the broader concept of regenerative agriculture, why it is important as a practice, and how this relates to our brand. If you have not read that post already, you can find it here. This post is a discussion piece about regenerative agricultural practices, specifically in relation to creating and maintaining a local economy, and why this is important now more than ever; as we exist in the imminent grips of a climate catastrophe. Of course, this is not to say there is no solution, and so, we will explain how supporting regenerative agriculture within your local economy can be considered a piece of a larger solution for our shared climate crisis. We will talk specifically about why the local and organic growth of hemp is creating new economic and environmental possibilities that have the potential to produce massive impact. Not only do we have the power to delay the effects of further global warming, but supporting regenerative agriculture can ultimately reverse the effects of climate change.
“Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates.” - ― Vandana Shiva, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis
Our society as a whole has become completely dependent on a global stream of capital, flowing recklessly through the land that we have coexisted upon for all of human history. For many, no longer are the days of growing our fruit and vegetables, hunting for our meat and fishing for our fish, sourcing our materials locally to build our homes, libraries, and schools, and generally considering how to most responsibly use our available land and resources; so as to preserve energy, and to disturb the cycles of nature as least possible. We no longer have an imminent need to consider our natural surroundings. Within “developed” countries, all food is available at all times without any consideration of source or resource. “The US and Europe alike are using so much of their land in highly inefficient livestock farming systems, while so much good quality cropland is being used to grow animal feeds rather than human food.”(Carrington, Damien 2014) This shows an overall societal problem, but also an individual disinterest, where many just cannot be bothered to consider making changes to their diets. The “University of Oxford scientists... found that meat-rich diets - defined as more than 100g per day - resulted in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3.8kg of CO2 per day, while vegan diets produced only 2.9kg.” (Carrington, Damien 2014)
The “Anthropocene Epoch,” refers to “...an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.” (National Geographic 2019) It is believed by some that the Anthropocene begins “at the start of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, when human activity had a great impact on carbon and methane in Earth’s atmosphere.” (National Geographic 2019) With the advent of the rail system came the ability for the large-scale commercial trade specifically of agricultural products, forever changing the structure of capitalism, and the need to for localization and conservation within our individual communities.
(Gilkson, Andrew 2017)
Developed rail systems and, eventually airways, along with many other great leaps and bounds in technology, have brought us into our current post-global, capitalist society. Within a period of just about one-hundred twenty years, humans have created such a system where global trade is fully possible. Incredible!
Through mass possibilities in trade, societies no longer rely upon locally produced materials to grow towns and cities. In our last blog, we speak briefly of carbon sequestration through the rotational growth of crops, specifically in relation to CBD hemp. It is also worth noting that Hempcrete, a concrete made of hemp, can be a tool of carbon sequestration itself; in other words, our buildings can be 0 emissions structures, and have the capability to remove carbon from our atmosphere while acting as a functional structure.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ 2010 report on Low Carbon Construction concluded that construction was responsible for around 300m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is almost 47% of the UK’s total. Of this, around 50m tonnes is embedded in the fabric of buildings.
Making one tonne of steel emits 1.46 tonnes of CO2 and 198kg of CO2 is emitted make one tonne of reinforced concrete. One square metre of timber framed, hemp-lime wall (weighing 120kg), after allowing for the energy cost of transporting and assembling the materials actually stores 35.5kg of CO2.
If we can convert plants into building materials, we are in a win-win situation. Plants use the energy of the sun to convert atmospheric CO2 and water into hydrocarbons – the material from which plants are made.
(Lawrence, Mike 2014)
In supporting regenerative, local agricultural practices, and in reclaiming our local economies, we have the power to slow climate change as a whole, and possibly even to reverse some of the damage that has already been done. With a renewed public desire for responsible production, the option of farming on a small and sustainable scale has become viable for many once again.
(Cartoon from Iowa State, https://c2c2.iastate.edu/)
Hemp is steadily growing as a major crop in the necessary change of our agricultural, community based economies. At Botana are doing our part in the reshaping of conventional and oppressive farming structures that are currently considered common practice.
Botana products are produced from the hemp we grow in our own farm. We are contributing to our local economy, providing jobs and trade in a small, rural area, and all the while, we are creating a system of carbon capture through our plants themselves. Our medicinal products are produced using responsibly grown organic hemp. Our products are fully vertically integrated, meaning we are in full control of our process, putting care into our production every step of the way; from the soil, to the consumer.
In our next entry, we will delve further into solutions; specifically how small scale regenerative agriculture, like we practice here at Botana, works as a carbon capture system. We will also talk about carbon credits, and paying into carbon offset.
Carrington, Damian. “Giving up Beef Will Reduce Carbon Footprint More than Cars, Says Expert.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 July 2014, www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars.
Glikson, Andrew. “Forget Doomsday, We're about to Enter a Hellish Radioactive Age Called the Plutocene.” Newsweek, 28 Sept. 2017, www.newsweek.com/doomsday-plutocene-era-radioactive-nuclear-war-climate-change-673162.
Goodall, Jane. “Organic Farming.” MasterClass, MasterClass, 19 Dec. 2018, www.masterclass.com/classes/jane-goodall-teaches-conservation/chapters/organic-farming#transcript.
Lawrence, Mike. “Growing Our Way out of Climate Change by Building with Hemp and Wood Fibre.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 Sept. 2014, www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/25/hemp-wood-fibre-construction-climate-change.
National Geographic Society. “Anthropocene.” National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society, 5 June 2019, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/anthropocene/.
Shiva, Vandana. “Vandana Shiva Quotes (Author of Stolen Harvest).” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/144748.Vandana_Shiva.
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