Home Healthy Lifestyle Food Sustainability Practice is Complex - Here's why

Food Sustainability Practice is Complex – Here’s why


Inspired by the theme “Earth Day 2021”, “Restoring Our Earth”, Well + Good is running a month-long series called “Planet Hope” with expert-led content focusing on food, clothing, sustainable life and everyday activities. Check back for helpful advice on how to consistently and meaningful practice each focus of your life.

Every Saturday morning, I wake up early – even before my dog ​​- filled with excitement and competition. My goal? To get to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, the nearby farmers market in front of the others so I could opt for local kale, arugula, banana and even chocolate. I feel thrilled when I find a fruit or vegetable that I don’t recognize, because it means I can add a new flavor to my mental taste and cooking repertoire.

Too often, however, this aestheticized act of sustainable eating – just that someone who likes to eat well-off will get the most precious products – rather than being interpreted as a problem. The side concerns not only agriculture, but also economics, government policy, and labor. Implementing food sustainability is not as simple as bringing a cloth bag to a farmer’s market and saving on scrap do stocks. Sure, those habits are sustainable (and should be!), But they aren’t enough to make sustainable eating a more accessible reality for everyone than a consumer choice. used for a few privileges. Only after we unravel the dominant story of ecological consciousness of bourgeois and goods that we begin to really understand what needs to happen.

We must find ways to use agricultural land and urban space to produce food that is both ecologically good and economically accessible.

What exactly needs to happen? We must find ways to use agricultural land and urban space to produce food that is both ecologically good and economically accessible. In fact, it’s time for food justice: an approach that takes into account the Earth, the workers, the animals, and all the people cooking, serving and eating.

Interested in making meaningful food sustainability practices? Grasp the following 3 tips:

1. Rethink your nutrition plan (namely meat and dairy products) to prioritize the planet

United Nations (UN) recent reports that the food system accounts for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding this would result in the Earth becoming too warm (i.e., global warming). That number comes from how land is used, how food is processed, packaged and transported, among other issues. From that number, the foods with the strongest impact are beef and dairy, which is why in 2019 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends Switch to a plant-based diet to limit emissions and slow global warming.

Lack of sustainability pervasive in the food industry also contributed to food insecurity, which increased among Americans during the pandemic. to over 54 million, up from 35 million before the pandemic. How? Good, cattle like cattle and chickens are used up 80% of global agricultural land while providing 20 percent less global calories. This lack of land use not only has a major effect on the climate but also means that the variety of foods could provide more calories for many people who are not growing on most lands. usable around the world.

Though there are best practices for sustainable eating meat and dairy products, as scholar and author on the environment and food security Francis Moore Lappé was rewritten in 1971 in the first edition of Diet for a small planet, the inefficiency of the use of agricultural land to grow grain which is then supplied to cattle leads to avoidable famine. This is because the use of farmland for taste provides calories compared to what we would have had if we were to use farmland more efficiently, to grow other sustainable crops.

2. Procurement locally to influence institutional change

A nutritional plan full of vegetables, beans and whole grains is a sustainable win, but the processing, packaging, and transportation involved in the food industry is also important. That’s because eating locally and knowing who is farming often means more sustainable eating.

In the United States, undocumented workers accounting for 50 percent of the agricultural workforce. This means that they are ineligible for benefits, such as unemployment, and are often mistreated or underpaid, as they will not have legal recourse if paid below the minimum wage. . It is also worth noting that during the pandemic, meat processing factories experienced a large outbreak of COVID-19, but consumer demand for cheap meat and former President Trump using the Defense Manufacturing Act keep factories well-ventilated, despite the inability to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.

So if you eat meat, you can choose not to support large corporations that did not take care of their workforce during the pandemic by finding a local butcher. Industrial meat and dairy companies accept $ 38 billion in government subsidies In the United States each year are the main responsible for poor working conditions, as well as more greenhouse gas emissions than smaller farm owners.

3. Examine your raw materials to control who is benefiting from your dollars

There is also the issue of understanding who owns the farmland that grows a lot of food that one will find at the local grocery store or market. While there is one million black farmers in 1920, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), that number is now only 45,000 of the 3.4 million farmers nationwide; The COVID-19 bailout bill passed in early March will result in $ 5 billion being awarded to them and is expected to rise again from a century ago.

When we think about sustainability, we should also think about equity, about the workforce and land ownership. It is because, for example, the United Nations has found it that the farming practices of indigenous people It is very useful in combating climate change, because the variety of what is grown and how it is used will keep carbon in the Earth, not release it. Agri-businesses have largely abandoned a variety of land uses.

Restaurants are another area of ​​concern for sustainability in the culinary space, with industry usage estimates 15.1 million workers, for many people are dependent on staggering salaries. To help ensure that millions of employees have a living and sustainable salary, organizations like Union A Fair Wage is focusing on ending minimum wages below the minimum, which will go a long way towards making food and catering jobs sustainable. Workers recruited for affiliates in a mission backed by sustainability are a win for the practice of food sustainability in general.

The many factors that make up a sustainable food system can really do Thinking about making it looks intimidating. It’s not just about getting organic produce or reaching farmers’ markets, but being aware of the extent to which food is political and considering how to move the food system towards a fair future. – from fields to markets and restaurants. It’s about finding out who in your local community is doing farming and food justice, and asking what help they need to stay on, as well as sponsoring restaurants that have paid their salaries. enough to live for their workers. It’s about voting for people who take these concerns seriously. The food system is very complex; There is no easy answer. But one thing each of us can do is learn and find a community, equipping ourselves with more than just a cloth bag.

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