The world’s biggest food suppliers, like Amazon, Google, and Walmart, have been making their moves in a major way over the past several years, and their biggest customers are in the United States.
That’s because, in the wake of the global economic crisis, many of the world´s top food sellers are shifting production to low-wage countries like China and India.
The biggest change for many of these companies has been a move to source food directly from the land rather than from farms, a process called agroecology.
As more food is grown locally, and as farmers are increasingly reliant on growing the fruits and vegetables that go into their products, many are looking for ways to lower their environmental footprints.
To get a sense of how many of them are sourcing food from farms from around the world, National Geographic recently spoke with food-systems consultant Daniel Turetsky about his experiences in sourcing food.
Read moreIn his research for this story, Turetz traveled to the Philippines to meet with a farmer who works in the fields.
He wanted to know if he could grow his own food and use local resources to produce it, so he began growing fruit and vegetables from scratch on his farm, using only local tools.
“We started with one seedling and it was really bad,” said the farmer, named Luis.
“But it grew in the end.”
His son, who is also a farmer, started growing vegetables at home.
“When he was growing his vegetables, he didn’t know how to grow them,” Luis explained.
“He would grow them with a small container and it would get moldy.”
After he learned how to control the mold, Luis began growing more.
“It was a huge help,” he said.
“I didn’t have a problem growing the plants.
I got better.
It was the most natural thing.”
In many cases, these farmers have been doing this for generations, but for some, the experience has changed.
In recent years, as the global economy has recovered and farmers are reaping the benefits, they have also been looking to lower the environmental footprint of their farms.
And as the demand for fresh fruits and veggies has grown, so has the demand from low-income countries.
“The food system has shifted to where farmers need to be the most,” said Turets, who also co-authored the book The Hungry Planet.
“There is a lot of pressure to be self-sufficient in terms of producing food, but also be self sufficient in terms the environmental impact of it.”
This pressure comes in two forms: One is because the demand is high for fresh produce.
As demand for fruits and greens has grown over the years, the demand has also grown for more nutritious ingredients like sugar, salt, and grains.
In addition, as more countries have started importing food from other countries, they are also looking to find ways to make their produce more sustainable.
“What we’re seeing is that as more people are making more food choices, they’re also making more choices in terms how to do it,” Turet says.
“They are buying more food, they may not be eating more fruits and veg, but they’re eating more of it, and they’re buying less of it.
The result is a less-toxic environment.”
That is why, in recent years in many countries, food-service workers have been getting training in sustainability.
“People are trying to learn more about sustainability because they don’t know what to expect in their jobs,” said Jody Lee, a sustainability educator with the Food Safety Network, which works with the food industry to promote food safety and the environment.
“That’s the challenge that I think is really challenging, is getting people to make these conscious choices about their food, which is a very personal choice.”
In a recent interview with National Geographic, Lee said that she hopes to see more of this type of training in the coming years, in addition to other forms of training that include environmental education.
“One of the things we are trying very, very hard to do is give more of an understanding of the benefits of sustainability to the workers in the workforce,” she said.
The next big shift in the food system is the growing use of artificial fertilizers, and that is leading to even more waste, more pollution, and more environmental damage.
The impact of these new methods on the environment is huge, and companies are starting to understand it.
“In a lot more countries, there are companies that are using chemicals that are toxic to the environment,” said Lee.
“And there are a lot people who are going to be impacted by that.”
She said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of the synthetic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in certain agricultural crops.
“PCBs have been linked to an increase in dioxin and other contaminants in soil, water, and air, as well as a