Sunday, March 24, 2013

Joan Gussow - Think Globally Eat Locally

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well ... and remember the mantra: there are live plants under the snow ... growing happens!

The other day I ran across an article by Joan Gussow, professor of nutrition, gardener and advocate for local food.

I nodded my way through the article, agreeing with her as she said talked about why we should be concerned about where our food comes from and that we should be particularly worried about the loss of farmland and the reduction in numbers of farmers ... and that this meant we are losing the ability to feed ourselves.

Then she referred to her "new" book, This Organic Life, (which I love and recommend!) and I realized that the article was not written in 2012, it was written in 2002. 

And somehow, her comments became even more relevant. 

How can we - shoppers, eaters - realize that what we buy affects the health of the land near us, and land and farmers in other countries?

What needs to be done so we recognize that a wide variety of local food can be grown? And that we may need to do some adjusting of diet, but can appreciate more the seasonal food?

How can we get to know who grows our food? Face to face?

Gussow talks about how her own commitment to - and enjoyment of - growing her own food has developed, and that it reminds her that "food is the generous outcome of a collaboration between our species and the rest of nature, not simply another product of industrial civilization."

Gussow's article of 11 years ago - like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring of 50 years ago  - shows us that problems were known about long before many of us ever thought of them. 

Relocalizing the food system may seem hard to do, but contemporary chemical monoculture is not feeding one billion  - or is it 2 billion? - people, and contempory agriculture and food processing has made another one billion overweight and sick. 

I remind myself that interest by young people in having small-hold organic farms, and programs such as FarmStart and Everdale are encouraging.  There is an ever-increasing interest in urban agriculture.  I hope that some days Michael Levenston, of the City Farmer website ( feels swamped by the good news he's able to pick up, and the number of cities in Canada and beyond that are looking at urban agriculture policies.

Agriculture needs to be organic, and local ... in our backyards and urban spaces.

I hope you enjoy Gussow's article.

Best regards,

Why's Woman

Gussow's article, Think Globally Eat Locally,  is absolutely worth reading.  Mother Earth News, February/March 2002

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