This sounds like a pretty boring article.. but it hits a spot here at our house. I always try to buy organic foods when possible, and last summer came across CSA (Community Supported Agriculture Farms) and found that there was one in our area. As a member of a CSA you are delivered a box of fresh organically grown vegetables ,and fruits where applicable weekly for about the same cost as buying them from a local grocery store. When we first started getting our CSA veggies, the kids didn’t like them. “They taste funny,” they said. Yet, after a few weeks, we had company coming and I bought some extra veggies from the grocery store. Carrots and tomatoes, and the like..and guess what my kids said! “Those veggies from the store don’t taste like anything mom! We aren’t going to stop getting the farm vegetable are we?!” Even the baby loves the cherry tomatoes from the farm, in fact she learned how to open to the fridge and I caught her stealing some out, and there were numerous “yummier” options within reach, like yogurt and cheese sticks! But she grabbed handfuls of cherry tomatoes, and sat eating them saying “MMMM”! She won’t touch a store bought tomato! One bite, and she spits it out and says “Yuck!” In this article Kori explains the impact that buying locally grown produce has on our environment. You can find a local CSA by googling CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture!
Join the Green Epidemic
“In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage,” states US Ecologist Gary Nabhan in a recent interview. Nabhan is a ethnobotanist/gardener whose promotion of biodiversity has caught the attention of many over the years. Since Coming Home to Eat was published in 2001, the local food movement has ignited, causing a worldwide green epidemic.
The past few years have shown an increase in the number of organizations and businesses that have contributed to the promotion of sustainability through conservation. The Earth Day Network has been playing a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiasts together, sharing ideas and discussing new ways to support the planet. Other large organizations and non-profits like Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working on successful emission reduction projects in the San Francisco Bay area. While climate control has continued to worsen, collaborative and individual acts are vital for any successful green campaign. We’re constantly told to consume less unhealthy food, and spend less time in the shower, but let’s take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan strongly suggests.
According to The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and that a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just 4 crop species supply half of plant based calories in the human diet.
Nabhan states that eating foods that are home-grown will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. Otherwise known as “eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory in that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we’re promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.
Agriculturist Marco Contiero also brings up that “biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.” This theory would suggest that as individuals we tend our own crops/plants, and should make sure to purchase localized farm products at supermarkets and groceries. In the end, this condenses export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.
Both of these theories rely heavily on an action oriented approach for conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, organizations and individuals have taken a stronger following to expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists. Make sure, before comes to an end, to stop by your local farmers markets to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t hesitate either to stop the next time you drive by a yard stand with fresh crops, or go to the apple orchard down the road. Promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.