Gardening connects us to the unique agriculture of our region, sometimes in our own backyards. In her lecture last week honoring Seattle Tilth’s 30th Anniversary, Anna Lappe’, author and food activist, emphasized such connection. She made an accounting of the real cost of food, factors that are not fully disclosed to consumers, and ones which are difficult to face:
- Industrial global food production is responsible for at least 33% of green house gas emissions.
- India and China now want something like an American diet, which will at least double demand for meat and dairy worldwide.
- People tend not to connect food with environmental degradation, and we must begin to educate ourselves about that.
Some solutions are known, she says:
- Decrease meat consumption.
- Buy organic; organic farming techniques decrease food-related greenhouse emissions.
- Buy seasonal food from local vendors and Farmers Markets.
- Plant an edible garden somewhere.
Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council President, also spoke at the Tilth event. He described his Food Systems and Sustainability Resolution, which he hopes will be confirmed by the City Council on Earth Day 2008 (4/22). The resolution will provide a framework for local food and sustainability relating to agriculture, community gardens, public health, transportation, food waste, social justice . . . and more. He’s asking/hoping for community support via phone calls, email, and attendance at community meetings. Visit his web page for more information: http://www.seattle.gov/council/conlin/. His understanding of, and commitment to making concrete progress around Seattle’s sustainability goals is impressive.