March 01, 2012 Environmental Law

Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Policy

Sam Kalen

Our interest in food, and by necessity agricultural policy, has expanded exponentially during the past several years. What, where, and how we grow our food transcends more than nutrition and safety. With a global population increase of approximately 2 billion people expected by mid­century and changing demographics worldwide, how to produce food for the children of the twenty-first century is becoming a dominant global question. Answering this question requires an acute appreciation for the relationship between the agricultural sector and the environment.

Unfortunately, often what is overlooked in the agricultural policy debate is how agriculture policy indirectly and yet quite dramatically affects how we perceive and respond to environmental issues. Increasingly, modern agricultural methods have separated local communities from the production of the food they eat. In response, the environmental community is focusing on how to reconnect communities with local food production.

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