The problems we see with the industrialization of farming deal not only with crop production, but also with the raising of livestock. "Americans fear only one thing, inconvenience." This has a lot to do with the problems we have. It is convenient to grow mass numbers of crops by using different chemicals. It is convenient to have livestock on antibiotics and steroids in order for them to grow faster. Anything we can do in order to make production more convenient. By doing this we are sacrificing the quality of food that we as a nation are supplying to our citizens. We, as citizens, encourage this industrialized farming by continuing to buy foods that come from this style of farming. Why do we do it? Because it is convenient.
The part of the movie that was most convincing to me was when Russ Kremer, the pig farmer, told his story. Here is a guy who used to be all about the industrialized farming of pigs; giving them antibiotics to increase their growth and keeping them close together in pins. But after getting a strep infection from a stab wound left by one of his boars he decided enough is enough. He exterminated his whole heard and started fresh with a new concept of farming. No more closely quartered pins and no more antibiotics. Since then his business has flourished. If seeing this man's story is not convincing enough that industrialized farming is not the way to go then I don't know what could convince you.
I agree one hundred percent that free range farming is the best way to raise livestock. As for crop production I think that we are a long way from being able to grow everything organically. I took a plant biology class at Ohio University and my professor said it takes more land to grow the same amount of organic crops as we do industrial crops. We would not be able to produce near enough organic crops to full fill all of our uses of crops. However we could grow the same genetically altered crops and just decide not to spray harmful pesticides and fertilizers on them. If we do that though then the crops will be infested with bugs and weeds like George Naylor's crops were. People have a false sense that organic means no spraying crops. Organic crops are in fact sprayed with herbacides, pesticides, and fertilizers. The difference is that they all have to be made of pure, natural products and undergo mass amounts of tests in order to be "organic approved".
Even though I believe we are a long ways off from having all organic crops in mass amounts; I would encourage people to have their own gardens in the summer so that they can have foods without those harmful chemicals. Or if you don't want to plant a garden then go to a local farmers market or look for locally farmed fruits and vegetables in your stores. As for meat consumption I personally think that farmers markets or meeting with local farmers is the best way to get it.
A challenge for everybody.............For one week, try and eat foods without and ingredients label. It is way tougher than you would think and is a good way to see how much processed food we normally would consume in a week.