Without agroecology we won’t be able to both nourish our growing population and preserve the natural environment. Unfortunately, agroecology is not a specific method that will bring us to this outcome. It is a general category of agriculture that maximizes “productivity, energy conservation, climate health, biodiversity (and related ecosystem services), soil and water conservation, and profitability.” (LUPG) It inevitably takes different forms, as each growing environment is distinct and there are many ways to fulfill these requirements within each place, but it always implies holistic sustainability and high food productivity.
Agroecology is a necessary component of ‘sustainable intensification’—producing more food on the same area of land without degrading the environment. While the latter term is liberally used to describe a number of food production models, the ones that focus exclusively on intensification—such as industrial pork production—are hardly worthy of being called ‘sustainable.’ True sustainable intensification adheres to agroecology. Continue reading