Reducing carbon emissions
One important step we can take to reduce our carbon emissions is by choosing to eat food that has been produced more locally. With some foods this is difficult; we don’t have the right conditions to grow bananas, for example, in the UK so we import them from thousands of miles away. But for other foods it just makes sense to grow more of them here. Let’s take apples for example! You can eat a different variety of apple grown in the UK everyday for over 6 years, yet we import almost 70% of our apples, some from as far as 11,682 miles away! Doesn’t that seem a tad crazy? Would it not make more sense to grow and eat more of the food that is suited to our climate here?
By growing more food locally and organically we are taking positive action to reduce the impacts of climate change by reducing our food miles and dependence on fossil fuel-intensive agriculture. By planting trees we also help to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere where it is over-heating our planet. What are we waiting for?
And if that wasn't a good enough reason to get going, check this out: An increasing number of scientists, geologists and petroleum experts think that we may be half way through the global supply of oil. That means that all the easy-to-pump ‘sweet’ crude oil has been used and now the heavier oil left over will become harder and harder to extract. This means that it will become more and more expensive. When you realise how completely dependent our whole food system has become on the availability of cheap oil (transport, machinery, oil-based fertilisers and pesticides, plastic packaging) you realise that a rise in oil prices means a rise in food prices! Combine this with the way that climate change is beginning to affect global food production, and it looks like there could be testing times ahead. This makes now a particularly good time to take positive action to improve our ‘food security’ by producing more local food. Our food hasn’t always depended on oil. Using small scale organic techniques can help us to understand how we produced food not too long ago while simultaneously helping us to prepare for a low carbon future! For more information on organic food production, visit the Garden Organic website.
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