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剑桥雅思7Test2阅读Passage2原文翻译 The True Cost of Food 食物的真正成本 […]

剑桥雅思7Test2阅读Passage2原文翻译 The True Cost of Food 食物的真正成本



雅思真题阅读词汇 剑桥雅思7 test 2 passage 2 食物的代价

剑桥雅思7Test2阅读Passage2答案解析 The True Cost of Food 食物的真实代价

剑桥雅思7 Test 2 Passage 2阅读原文翻译


For more than forty years the cost of food has been rising. It has now reached a point where a growing number of people believe that it is far too high, and that bringing it down will be one of the great challenges of the twenty-first century. That cost, however, is not in immediate cash. In the west at least, most food is now far cheaper to buy in relative terms than it was in 1960. The cost is in the collateral damage of the very methods of food production that have made the food cheaper: in the pollution of water, the enervation of soil, the destruction of wildlife, the harm to animal welfare and the threat to human health caused by modern industrial agriculture.



First mechanisation, then mass use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, then monocultures, then battery rearing of livestock, and now genetic engineering – the onward march of intensive farming has seemed unstoppable in the last half-century, as the yields of produce have soared. But the damage it has caused has been colossal. In Britain, for example, many of our best-loved farmland birds, such as the skylark, the grey partridge, the lapwing and the corn bunting, have vanished from huge stretches of countryside, as have even more wild flowers and insects. This is a direct result of the way we have produced our food in the last four decades. Thousands of miles of hedgerows, thousands of ponds, have disappeared from the landscape. The faecal filth of salmon farming has driven wild salmon from many of the sea lochs and rivers of Scotland. Natural soil fertility is dropping in many areas because of continuous industrial fertiliser and pesticide use, while the growth of algae is increasing in lakes because of the fertiliser run-off.

先是机械化,然后大量使用化肥和杀虫剂,再然后是单一种植,畜牧业的笼内饲养,再到现在的基因工程-在过去的半个世纪中,随着农产品产量猛增,集约文章来自老烤鸭雅思农业的前进步伐似乎不可阻挡。但是它造成的破坏是巨大的。例如,在英国,许多我们喜爱农田鸟类,如云雀,灰山鹑,凤头麦鸡和黍鹀,从广阔的乡村消失。随之消失的还有更多的野花和昆虫。这是我们在过去的四十年里食物生产的直接结果。 数千英里的树篱,数千个池塘从地面上消失。鲑鱼养殖的粪便污染已将野生鲑鱼从苏格兰的许多海湾和河流中驱除出去。由于持续使用工业肥料和杀虫剂,许多地区的自然土壤肥力正在下降,而由于肥料流失,湖泊中藻类的生长正在增加。


Put it all together and it looks like a battlefield, but consumers rarely make the connection at the dinner table. That is mainly because the costs of all this damage are what economists refer to as externalities: they are outside the main transaction, which is for example producing and selling a field of wheat, and are borne directly by neither producers nor consumers. To many, the costs may not even appear to be financial at all, but merely aesthetic – a terrible shame, but nothing to do with money. And anyway they, as consumers of food, certainly aren’t paying for it, are they?



But the costs to society can actually be quantified and, when added up, can amount to staggering sums. A remarkable exercise in doing this has been carried out by one of the world’s leading thinkers on the future of agriculture, Professor Jules Pretty, Director of the Centre for Environment and Society at the University of Essex. Professor Pretty and his colleagues calculated the externalities of British agriculture for one particular year. They added up the costs of repairing the damage it caused, and came up with a total figure of £2,343m. This is equivalent to £208 for every hectare of arable land and permanent pasture, almost as much again as the total government and EU spend on British farming in that year. And according to Professor Pretty, it was a conservative estimate.

但是,社会的成本实际上是可以量化的,加起来可以达到惊人的数目。埃塞克斯大学环境与社会研究中心主任朱尔斯·普里斯(Jules Pretty)教授是全球领先的农业未来思想家之一。他在这方面进行了卓著的实践。Pretty教授和他的同事计算了特定年份英国农业的外部性。他们汇总了修复农业造成的破坏所需要的成本,共计23.43 亿英镑。平均下来每公顷耕地和永久牧场208 英镑,几乎是该年政府和欧盟在英国农业上的总支出的两倍。根据Pretty教授的说法,这还只是保守的估计。


The costs included: £120m for removal of pesticides; £16m for removal of nitrates; £55m for removal of phosphates and soil; £23m for the removal of the bug cryptosporidium from drinking water by water companies; £125m for damage to wildlife habitats, hedgerows and dry stone walls; £1,113m from emissions of gases likely to contribute to climate change; £106m from soil erosion and organic carbon losses; £169m from food poisoning; and £607m from cattle disease. Professor Pretty draws a simple but memorable conclusion from all this: our food bills are actually threefold. We are paying for our supposedly cheaper food in three separate ways: once over the counter, secondly through our taxes, which provide the enormous subsidies propping up modern intensive farming, and thirdly to clean up the mess that modern farming leaves behind.

费用包括:1亿2千万英镑用于去除杀虫剂;1600万去除硝酸盐;5500万英镑用于去除磷酸盐和土壤;2300万用于自来水公司清除饮用水中的隐孢子虫;1亿2千500万英镑用于野生动物栖息地,树篱和干石墙的破坏;11.13 亿英镑用于可能造成气候变化的气体排放;1亿600万英镑用于土壤侵蚀和有机碳的损失;1亿6千700万用于食物中毒;以及6亿700万用于牲畜疾病。Pretty教授从这一切得出一个简单但令人难忘的结论:我们的食品账单实际上包含三重内容。我们正在以三种不同的方式为我们本应便宜的食品买单:一次是柜台交易。其次是通过我们的税收。它提供了支持现代集约农业的巨额补贴。最后是清理现代农业留下的烂摊子。


So can the true cost of food be brought down? Breaking away from industrial agriculture as the solution to hunger may be very hard for some countries, but in Britain, where the immediate need to supply food is less urgent, and the costs and the damage of intensive farming have been clearly seen, it may be more feasible. The government needs to create sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sectors, which will contribute to a thriving and sustainable rural economy, and advance environmental, economic, health, and animal welfare goals.



But if industrial agriculture is to be replaced, what is a viable alternative? Professor Pretty feels that organic farming would be too big a jump in thinking and in practices for many farmers. Furthermore, the price premium would put the produce out of reach of many poorer consumers. He is recommending the immediate introduction of a ‘Greener Food Standard’, which would push the market towards more sustainable environmental practices than the current norm, while not requiring the full commitment to organic production. Such a standard would comprise agreed practices for different kinds of farming, covering agrochemical use, soil health, land management, water and energy use, food safety and animal health. It could go a long way, he says, to shifting consumers as well as farmers towards a more sustainable system of agriculture.


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