The Changing Nature of Agribusiness - Ecobuy
The Changing Nature of Agribusiness

It is prevalent in today’s society that we deem our health as incredibly important. With a new wave of healthy and sustainable living it is imperative that we as inhibitors of the Earth, take care of it in every way we can. Most of us understand the need for taking care of ourselves but many of us aren’t well educated on where our food comes from. What drives our food to be grown? Who produces it and what is their motive? In today’s article we will be talking about the nature of agriculture and more specifically, agribusiness.

Agribusiness has been a not so talked about topic recently. However, with the population of conscious consumers growing – it is important we address such a topic!

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What is Agribusiness?

What is agribusiness

In short, agribusiness is the business of the production, protection, sales and marketing of an agriculture product. Agriculture is commonly known as the production of plants (fruits and veggies) and livestock (cows, pigs etc). The world and Australia’s food culture relies heavily on agribusinesses to supply us with the goods we demand.

In summary:

  • Agribusiness = production, protection, sales and marketing of a product
  • Agriculture = Cultivating plants or livestock
  • Australian diverse food culture = demand in agriculture that is supplied by these agribusinesses
What Should We Know About Agribusiness?

We will be covering a variety of subtopics that should be addressed so you are informed on what kind of food you are eating and how it can impact not only the environment but also your health!

  • Agriculture economics – Money > Health
  • Negative impacts of food additives and preservatives
  • Solutions to the agribusiness problem
Agriculture economics

Agribusiness economics

The universal goal that drives all businesses to succeed is money. Many businesses equate money to success and often have lapses of misjudgement when finding ways to curate their product in the most cost-efficient manner possible regardless of the consequences it may have on the consumer.

Because of this drive for monetary value in their business, many food companies falsify the nature of their product and place their interests as the forefront of their company. This may mean the immensely large over farming of vegetables and fruit that can result in infertile soil. Other results of infertile and unhealthy soil include inadequate fertilisation and the excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are the most cost-effective way to increase the production of plants as more plants are less susceptible from being eaten by pests. However, chemical fertilisers and pesticides lead to biodiversity loss, irrigation problems and soil degradation,

In terms of livestock, factory farming and slaughterhouses have contributed exponentially to the greenhouse emission in our atmosphere. The waste produced by slaughterhouses (wastewater contaminated with blood, fats, oils and grease which contain nitrogen and and phosphorus pollution) damage aquatic life. And although Australia maintains it’s “meat-eating culture” as seen through meat pies and traditional barbeques, the demand for plant-based meats have increased. Many money hungry agribusinesses have not adapted to this demand and continue to ignore the threats posed on the environment and wildlife.

In summary:

  • Many agribusinesses care more about money than the health of the population and the Earth
  • This leads to the increased use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides to make more food = more money
Negative impacts of food additives and preservatives

Negative impacts of food additives and preservatives

Food additives and preservatives may cause:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Nervous disorders
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin problems

Individuals are able to develop or have already developed sensitivities to food additives. With the improper and excessive use of food additives and preservatives by agribusinesses to enhance and increase their production of food – this poses harm to people’s health. Do you really know what goes into your food?

Food additives and preservatives can possibly transform into carcinogen agents. Some foods produced with nitrates and nitrites, which when mixed with gastric acids, can form cancer-causing agents.

Common food additives and preservatives that are harmful include:
  • Nitrates and nitrites
  • Preservatives: ascorbic acid, calcium sorbate, and sodium nitrite.
  • Color additives: fruit and vegetables juices, yellow 5, and beta-carotene.
Solutions to the Agribusiness Problem

Solutions you can participate in that help reduce the agribusiness problem include:

  • Supporting small businesses that utilise local produce
  • Buy locally sourced fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce your intake of meat (to decrease this demand and thus, the supply)
  • Educate yourself and others on the problem (more who know = more who can change)
  • Local protests or infographics handed to individuals
  • Educate farmers and businesses on how to sustainably farm
  • Use of petitions can push the government to enforce and introduce rules and regulations

How does agribusiness affect the environment?

Agriculture is a major source of carbon emissions, and industrial farming to feed a growing population has led to devastating impacts ranging from the loss of forests and wildlife habitats, to soil degradation and water pollution.

What are the negative effects of food additives?

– Digestive disorders – diarrhoea and colicky pains. – Nervous disorders – hyperactivity, insomnia and irritability. – Respiratory problems – asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis. -Skin problems – hives, itching, rashes and swelling.

Why we shouldn't use pesticides?

Pesticides are incredibly harmful to human health. Pesticides have been proven to cause reproductive and developmental effects, cancer, kidney and liver damage, endocrine disruption, etc.