Event “Feeding factory farms” by Floor Haalboom

This Thursday October 20th, from 16.30 to 17.30, HHH member Floor Haalboom will give a talk titled “Feeding factory farms: The history of the nitrogen crisis” as part of the History of science series organised by Studium Generale at TU Delft, in collaboration with the Academic Heritage Team and the TU Delft Library. The event will take place in the Orange Room of the TU Delft library, and will be followed by drinks. For more information and for registration, visit this page.


The Netherlands is not only a densely populated country in terms of people, but also in terms of chickens, pigs and dairy cows. These inhabitants of ‘factory farms’ have to eat. A lot. Millions of tons of feed are shipped across oceans to make intensive livestock production possible. This creates global and local problems. Animal feed production competes with human food production. Soy for feed connects the destruction of the South American rain forest to the Dutch nitrogen crisis. How did this situation come into being? And why is it so difficult to change? This is the story of feeding factory farms in the Netherlands: a history of unprecedented growth fueled by grains and oilseeds from all over the world. It is also a story of unprecedented environmental trouble.