Earth day is not just for hippies anymore.
April 22 is the annual date for Earth Day. This event recognizes issues relating to the environment through action and awareness campaigns. Food and the environment are inextricably linked. Healthy soil and water along with sustainable practices are needed to ensure a healthy and adequate food supply for all.
Since Earth Day began in 1970, the environmental movement has grown in scope and popularity. Piggy backing on this is the current hot topic of food security.
Commercial food suppliers and producers are making commodities out of necessities resulting in a blight on the environment. The demand for animal-based food has caused an explosion in dairy and meat production. This type of farming eats up natural resources (i.e. land and water) limiting the other types of food that can be grown in its place. The cost of food increases as does the demand for it and soon a premium could be charged on clean drinking water making it as exclusive as caviar.
Related issue in action
Keep an eye on California. With their drought crisis in its fourth year, a mandatory restriction on residential water usage has been implemented. However, it is the agriculture industry that reportedly uses 80% of the available water supply and they are exempt from this constraint. The state is the leading producer of fruits and vegetables in the country and anyone living in Canada and the US has likely partaken in their wares. (Mea culpa! My organic strawberries are usually the California ones.)
See article on Bloomberg Business.
Did you know…?
It supposedly takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow one almond! See graphic.
Here are some Earth-friendly tips to help ensure wellness of the environment and our food supply.
- Save the bees! They are a major pollinator of a surprising number of plant-based food. Pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids, have been implicated in their demise. See list.
- Say no to GMO. Their long-term impact on health and the environment is not known and the prognosis is not looking good either.
- Support sustainable agriculture practices e.g. crop rotation.
- Get acquainted with CSAs (community supported agriculture), a sort of food co-op and network of farmers and consumers.
- Eat seasonally and locally when possible.
- Join the Meatless Monday movement or just go veg all together! See article on The Guardian.
- Save our seeds to support crop variety and integrity.
- Educate yourself on the corruption in offending giant food corporations. (Hello Monsanto…)
- Grow your own food. Fruits and vegetables are popular choices and even an urban environment can support a thriving herb garden.
- Bring reuseable bags when you go grocery shopping and invest in produce bags for fruits and vegetables.
- Compost your food scraps. Composting Guide
- Say no to palm oil and other industries that harm the planet and living creatures.