Cultural Forces Behind Excessive Agricultural Production

The predilection for consumerism in the United States since its early days of prosperity set the stage for an agricultural system focused on the rate of production. This, of course, was to the exception of most other factors. The social geography of the United States was in part shaped by its rise to prosperity and the materialism that followed. In respect to food consumption and choices, it was shaped by the early tendency towards farming and the available food opportunities that presented.

As a result, the United States consumes far more meat, and food products in general, than the rest of the world. Feeding this demand has created a bloated agricultural industry (Albrecht, 2010). The supply, however, now feeds the demand, and the consumption of these goods is deeply connected to the Social Geography of regions within the United States (Macnell et. al, 2017). As it stands the United States currently produces enough food to feed over 10 billion people, and yet, many Americans struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition (Mosaddeq, 2010). A food desert does not necessarily mean that the area is devoid of food, but they lack healthy options such as fresh produce. Many of these regions are simply In poorer areas such as inner cities and some rural areas, the choices have become limited to cheap meat products from fast food establishments, thus contributing to health issues such as obesity and diabetes (Colón-Ramos, 2017). Their lack of choice has allowed this system to continue to grow and become more entrenched in the American economy.

Unfortunately, however, while the food industry has continued to grow it is still unable to adequately feed all 325 million Americans (Mosaddeq, 2010). The reality is that powerful folks, in the hope of capitalizing on American lust for consumption, have transformed agriculture into an economic institution. As such, it has stakeholders which have strong desires to see it continue to grow for the sake of profit. The reality remains, that it does not accomplish what it set out to, provide cheap nutrition for all Americans. This system’s methodology is, in fact, unsustainable, apart from being ineffective. Possible reform could include Urban vertical farming and smaller scale farming throughout the United States (Grossman, 2014). Through this change in methodology, it could be possible to combat food insecurity, as well as the environmental costs of factory farming. As a side benefit, this could also alter the social geography of especially unhealthy food behaviors across the United States.