everyone's harvest

Transforming our food system, one sustainable blog at a time

The Food Movement and Your Food Choices Can and Will Save the Planet August 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 8:40 pm

 

FEATURED ARTICLE: “Access to Good Healthy Food Should Be a Basic Human Right

 

DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s Harvest as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their personal views of food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same: “to create vibrant, healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 

 

Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern

 

FOOD. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s what we put into our bodies to keep us alive, to sustain us. Pop that cheddar and bacon

melt hot pocket into the microwave. Slap on some Skippy peanut butter and Smucker’s jam on some Wonder bread and voilà,

you have a ten-second PB and J sandwich. Or better yet – drive through McDonald’s and order a Big Mac. You may or may

not eat like this, but regardless, the sad truth is that a majority of the human beings in the world today do eat like this, or do

not have enough to eat. And the inconvenient truth we must all face sooner or later is that nothing is “simple” about our food

today. In fact, our food is becoming increasingly complex. The truth is, what we eat three times a day does matter, and the

way our food is being produced has an enormous impact not just on our personal health and well-being, but on the health of

other human beings, animals, the planet, as well as future generations. Our current system of food production is inflicting

tremendous harm on the environment. Have you seen the documentary Vanishing of the Bees? Known as Colony Collapse

Disorder, the honeybees are mysteriously disappearing all across the world and abandoning their hives. Some believe that

this is a consequence of chemical pesticides and, in particular, the new systemic pesticides used in conventional farming. We

must now import honeybees into the United States from foreign countries in order to compensate for our loss. A world

without bees means no fruits, vegetables or our sweet and beloved honey. Additionally, the Amazon rainforest, also known

as the lungs of our planet, is being deforested at an alarming rate for cattle grazing, corn and soy production. This means

that tons of carbon dioxide is released into our atmosphere and that hundreds of crucial plant and animal species become

extinct each day.

 

Eric Schlosser and Will Allen do an excellent job of highlighting the problems with our current food system in their “Access

to Good Healthy Food Should Be a Basic Human Right” article. They make a compelling argument for why industrial

agriculture must become sustainable agriculture. But we must be sure to also include in this conversation how the oceans are

being negatively impacted by our fossil-fuel intensive industrial-food system, as well as by the commercial fishing industry.

After all, we are talking about food, aren’t we? Industrial agriculture emits a staggering amount of greenhouse gases into the

atmosphere and, consequently, exacerbates global climate change. This is causing the oceans to experience a phenomenon

called ocean acidification, (an increase of carbon dioxide in the oceans), which is making the lives of sea creatures very

difficult. Furthermore, the continual runoff of chemical fertilizers from conventional farms into the ocean is causing a

phenomenon called dead zones, low-oxygen areas where there is little to no life. What’s more, our insatiable demand for

seafood combined with the unsustainable commercial fishing industry is causing the over-fishing of the oceans and is

devastating the ocean’s food webs, ecosystems and biodiversity. And that’s not all. Once again, the lives of human beings are

being affected by the way in which we harvest fish from the oceans. Have you seen the documentary The End of the Line?

Large and sophisticated foreign fishing fleets, called Super Trawlers, have overfished the waters off of Senegal to such an

extent that Adama Mbergaul, an artisanal fisherman, now has a meager two dollars left in which to feed his family.

 

Yet, hope is not lost. Food activists, students, community members, founders and members of nonprofit organizations,

educators, academics, farmers, ranchers, gardeners, researchers, doctors, dietitians, chefs, environmentalists, merchants

and handlers, celebrities and so many others, young and old, currently are a part of a growing worldwide movement to

change the way our food is produced as well as the way the world eats. The people in this movement are committed to local,

organic and sustainable food and understand the absolute necessity of occupying and transforming our food system. “A new

food system is now emerging, as more Americans see what’s happening, understand the consequences — and start to take

action. This new system will be much more diverse, resilient, and democratic. It will take the long view. Across the United

States, communities are rejecting the industrial model of food production and creating a new one. People are shopping at

farmers’ markets, building school gardens, planting vegetables in their backyards. Perhaps the most important change is a

new attitude toward food, a change in mindset. Instead of being passive consumers, eating the junk food marketed on TV,

millions of people are educating themselves, changing what they eat and where they buy it. They are becoming empowered.”

 

Everyone’s Harvest, a nonprofit organization based in Marina, California whose mission is to create healthy, vibrant

communities and equitable food webs, is empowering the Monterey County through its four certified farmers’ markets,

nutrition education, and community gardens. The organization is a partner in the Salinas-Marina Community Food Project

that works with three collaborative gardens: the Chinatown Community, Shoreline, and Pueblo Del Mar Garden. These

gardens provide fresh and organic produce, employment training, and a free public green space for the marginalized and

low-income populations in the area. Furthermore, through its free Edible Education healthy inter-active cooking workshops,

Everyone’s Harvest teaches youth and their families in Pacific Grove, Marina and Salinas about nutrition and how to prepare

mouth-watering meals that consist of more fruits and vegetables. Following the workshop, the participants receive market

vouchers that enable them to purchase local produce from the markets and use what they learned from the workshop to

prepare a wholesome meal at home. Small-scale family farmers also are being empowered through the organization’s USDA-

supported farm scholarships to aid in the expansion of farmers’ businesses in order to bring more of a diversity of produce to

Everyone’s Harvest Certified Farmers’ Markets.

 

This is the wave of the future. This grassroots food movement is the solution to the one percent, overfishing, energy, health

care, climate change, global outbreaks like swine flu, global depletion, environmental degradation, cancer and other

diseases, world hunger, species extinction, and the list goes on. And “as the food movement matures and grows, it could end

up being the best vehicle available for achieving environmental goals. The industrialized way we farm today damages our

land, our water and our climate. Reforming agriculture and promoting sustainability won’t just help us get better and

healthier food; it will also fight greenhouse-gas emissions and water pollution. The food movement has been criticized as

elitist, but that reputation belies recent efforts to get low-cost fruits and vegetables to urban poor who suffer

disproportionately from obesity and diabetes.”

 

FOOD. Sounds more complex now, doesn’t it? Be conscious of what you eat. Join with us so that this sustainable food

movement grows, because our health, the planet and our children and grandchildren depend on every individual and

collective action we take from here on out.

 

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3 Responses to “The Food Movement and Your Food Choices Can and Will Save the Planet”

  1. A very informative, interesting and useful article. Brava, Chiara! “Semper ad meliora.” Or, loosely translated from Latin, “Keep up the good work.”
    Love, Nonna

  2. Well written and very informative ❤

  3. Vicki Cabiglio Says:

    Well written and very concise, Chiara. It is a subject that needs to be understood and talked about until it becomes commen knowledge. Food today is not a simple choice. Hopefully, someday we can proudly say all the food we produce is healthy and sustainable.


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