Industrial farming refers to agricultural methods that focus on maximizing efficiency. With the boom of “agribusiness," farms have become larger and fewer in number, and as a result, the U.S. now has one of the cheapest and most abundant food systems in the world.
However, this type of farming relies heavily on mono-cropping, the process of planting the same crop on the same land year after year. Because this severely depletes the soil of its nutrients and leads to soil erosion, mono-cropping requires the use of chemical fertilizers to replenish the soil. These chemicals, in turn, destroy the existing natural nutrients in the soil, leading to a greater dependency on chemical fertilizers, and the vicious cycle continues. In addition to chemical fertilizers, various insecticides are sprayed on the crops in order to prevent outbreaks of disease. Continuous chemical use can eventually lead to resistance in these plants, requiring farmers to use more and more pesticides. As with fertilizers, farms often become dependent on chemical inputs to maximize crop production.