Industrial agriculture depends upon nitrogen fertilizer to produce the stuff it passes off as food. Without it, industrial agribusiness would be unable to extract much of anything from the depleted soils in uses for its monocultures. There simply isn’t sufficient fertility in the soils. Only by massive applications of synthetic fertilizers does the machine function.
I wonder how many Americans realize that over half the nitrogen fertilizer used in this county is imported, or that over 20% of the imported nitrogen fertilizer comes from Russia. The primary source of the nitrogen used to produce nitrogen fertilizer is natural gas. In the 1980s the U.S. was the world’s largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizer. Now the U.S. is the world’s largest importer, due primarily to increased consumption of natural gas in the U.S. While most of our imported nitrogen comes from Trinidad and Tobago, we are also dependent upon Russia, Latvia, Venezuela, the Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.
It goes without saying that such a model of agriculture is unreasonable and unsustainable.
So I’ll hop back up on my soapbox and encourage everyone to buy your food from local farmers who fertilize naturally.