Traditional mixed farming: better for the world than vegan crops?

Cattle and fence207044

Last Saturday’s Guardian newspaper (25th Aug) contained a fascinating article by Isabella Tree who, along with her husband, has vastly improved their business and restored the health of their land by changing from pure arable farming (growing crops) to traditional mixed farming of crops, beef cattle and pigs.

The article, If you want to save the world, veganism isn’t the answer, is a great illustration of how mixed arable and livestock farming is self-sustaining, preserves healthy soil and helps prevent release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In mixed farming, artificial chemicals are not necessary as manure (or muck, as we say in Yorkshire), is produced on the farm.

Ms Tree compares this traditional method to the intensive practices used to grow huge amounts of vegan foods such as maize and soya, which require a massive input of herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers.

Food for thought.


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