Humans have been farming for 10,000 years. It was just about 60 years ago that we started industrializing agriculture in the U.S. and around the world. After World War II, chemical companies needed a market for wartime inventions and pesticides were put to work in the fields. In the decades that followed, trade and development policy — coupled with savvy marketing by chemical companies — effectively developed an entire model of industrial agriculture.
Today, pesticides touch every aspect of our lives, from residues on our produce to increased chronic disease to biodiversity loss. It’s time for a dramatic shift in our food and farming system.