When I think of an industrial farm I think of a nasty, foul smelling plot of land. I also feel that the food produced from industrial farms is no good. After all, who would want to consume harmful chemicals from the very products that we are supposed to be getting nutrition from. Over the past few weeks I have been reading the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" and from reading it I have grown to hate the words "industrial farming". To me organic food seems like the ideal food choice. This article has challenged my original philosophy on industrial food.
Expecting the worst, the author of this article visited an industrial farm to see a tomato operation. The Bruce Rominger's farm was different than many other industrial farms. For instance it grows more than just corn and soybeans. Instead it grows 6,000 acres of tomatoes, wheat, sunflowers, safflower, onions, alfalfa, sheep, rice and more. So on this industrial farm there is a diversity of crops, crop rotation, cover crops (crops that are planted basically to maintain the soil), and (mostly) real food. The crops that are grown here are not meant to be junk food, animal feed, or biofuel. That's what crops should be grown for. Tomatoes cover the ground for hundreds of yards in every direction on an 82 acre field. Water and fertilizer are supplied equally to all of the plants through underground tubes, this reduces the amount of waste and run
off. It also makes sure that all of the tomatoes in the row get the water and fertilizer that it needs. In older forms of irrigation (furrow-irrigated fields). The tomatoes got their water and fertilizer from a central canal so the tomatoes that were at the end of the row didn't get the nutrients that they needed in order to grow. The tomatoes at the farm are bred so that they can be harvested at the same time (there is only one harvest). They also have a blocky shape, this makes it easier for them to move down the conveyor belt. The tomatoes are bred for many different purposes. Some of them being disease resistance, sweetness, wall thickness, ripening date etc. The tomatoes are not represented by names but by numbers like this: BQ 205. The author tasted two tomatoes and said that they had a good texture were sturdy (firm) and had a very mild genuine taste to it. He even thought that they were better than the tomatoes that his supermarket had sold. The harvester is a machine that is 35 feet long that cuts the vine drags it into the belly of it. Then the sensors of the belt return the dirt, vine root and even the green tomatoes into the soil. This leftover material is either turned into soil or becomes sheep food. The two people who are on each side of the belt sort the tomatoes by hand as they come through on the conveyor belt. After this is done the conveyor belt transfers the sorted tomatoes into a gondola (almost like a really big container). One gondola can hold up to 25 tons when it's full. When it can no longer hold anymore...