Problems with food production and distribution
Efficient food production incolves compromises and conflict
Improving the efficiency of food production is useful- it means cheaper food for us, and better standards of living for farmers. It also helps to feed an increasing human population. But it all comes at a cost.
1) Some people think that forcing animals to live in unnatural and uncomfortable conditions is cruel. There's a growing demand for organic meat, which means the animals will not have been intensively farmed.
2) The crowded conditions on factory farms create a favourable environment for the spread of diseases, like avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease.
3) To try to prevent disease, animals are given antibiotics. When the animals are eaten these can enter humans. This allows microbes that infect humans to develop immunity to these antibiotics- so the antibiotics become less effective in human medicines.
4) The animals need to be kept warm to reduce the energy they lose as heat. This often means using power from fossil fuels- which we wouldn't be using if the animals were grazing in their natural environment.