Over time, farmers have shifted their cropping patterns, as well as the type of foods and quantity they produce. While more foods are available year-round, both because more is produced and because traders bring them in, a “nutrition transition” has occurred with increased consumption of processed foods that provide more calories and fewer vitamins and minerals than unprocessed foods (e.g. fatty meat products over lean ones); foods that travel long distances before being consumed are likely to be less nutritious than their locally available counterparts. Vegetable and fruit farmers remain out of it all, to a large extent, since their produce is perishable.
One obvious impact on human health is the deterioration in food quality, with the accompanying increase in nutritional diseases. Increased technological advancement allows cold chains to preserve food intact and without exposure to spoilage-inducing agents like temperature and infectious pathogens. Technological improvements have also increased the efficiency of food production in several ways: by extending the growing season during seasons where crops can be grown—thus providing more productive land for raising livestock or growing senesce crop plants to feed the population that lives in cities in the winter time —and by breeding animals to yield larger quantities of milk/meat while requiring less energy to raise and maintain.
Overall, the impact of agriculture on the environment is increasing over the years. Many parts of the world continue to offer evidence that healthy, sustainable food systems thrive, avoiding the pitfalls described above through growing locally-owned farms feeding nearby communities on a sustainable basis using methods of farming that do not pollute the trophic levels below or above it but instead nurture and strengthen the ecosystem as a whole by conserving soil fertility and wildlife diversity through the use of holistic multi-cropping techniques, using simple and effective equipment from companies like California Industrial Rubber Co., whereby farmers plant many different crops (including trees) in addition to their staple foods; also relying heavily on green manures which improve tilth and also bind nutrients and carbon in the soil whereas inorganic fertilizers can release nutrients in surface waters and the atmosphere and become toxic to soil and water biota in the long run and consequently impoverish the soil’s capability to support crop growth.
Strengthened food safety measures are important and necessary in both domestic and export markets and can impose significant costs. Some countries may need help in meeting food control costs such as monitoring and inspection, and costs associated with market rejection of contaminated commodities. The costs of responding to food safety emergencies are high and can vary widely depending on how quickly and thoroughly the response is organized and executed If detected early enough in any chain from production to the consumers’ table. At this point in time the global commodity trading system is interconnected and many products from around the world are traded extensively in most developed countries’ supermarkets making them extremely vulnerable to highly contagious disease epidemics that can then spread very rapidly.