As research paper for my writing class this semester, I wrote an argumentative essay on how urban agriculture can help solve many of the common issues associated with industrial agriculture. This research was an opportunity for me to deepen my interest in this concept, and while reading through source materials, I discovered surprising benefits of this small scale agriculture model.
Environmentally, urban farming mitigates greenhouse gas emission in the atmosphere. Thanks to the proximity of the farm to the consumer, the vegetables and fruits travel short distances, what do not require any energy consumption for transportation and long-term conservation. This reduction of food travel can help decreasing the agriculture’s current contribution of “20% of human-generated emissions of greenhouse gases”.
Urban agriculture certainly has benefits for public health. Most urban gardeners grow plants traditionally, that is, through the use of natural composts instead of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This sustainable model of agriculture provides fresher and healthier food to the consumer. Economically, urban farming can help cutting the expenses of an household depending on the eating habits of the gardener. On a larger scale, the healthy fruits and vegetables grown in urban gardens can help preventing the diet-related diseases, such as obesity, which are threatening the national economy.
Apart from environmental, economical and human health advantages, urban gardening also strengthens social connections in communities by drawing people closer to each other. Thanks to my EcoReps class, I was personally involved in some sorts of small scale agriculture, and its mental and social impacts on me are praisable.
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021
Image source: Audubon.org