J500 Media and the Environment


Sustainable is Obtainable by Kelly
February 10, 2010, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , ,

Every time I hear talk of sustainability, I think, “ah, wouldn’t that be utopia?”  The picture in my head is all green and sunshine, warm and busy. There we are, wasting not, wanting not, and all of our food is bright and delicious.

Unfortunately, I think most people believe that the idea of sustainability is more akin to a perpetual motion machine than an actual possibility. A community-wide agricultural system that supports the local ecology, biosphere, and human population? Please. I can barely sustain my Wednesdays.

There is no doubt that the idea of developing such a system is daunting. But even though I may I say utopia, I don’t mean to flippantly disregard the idea as fictional.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Defining a sustainable food system helps us see  just how possible, and desirable, a sustainable food system really is. Of all the definitions of I’ve seen, I like the American Public Health Association’s definition the best.  Let’s consider my favorite elements of that definition.

A sustainable food system:

Provides healthy food today: Let’s admit it, we need better food. We’re a nation plagued with obesity and diabetes. There may even be a connection between our food and our moods. And we don’t need that food tomorrow, we need it today.

Ensures  food for generations to come: A sustainable food system helps us take care of people tomorrow by what we do today. Isn’t it a comfort to realize that with some care and effort, we can keep ourselves from leaving the next generation hungry and struggling?

Makes nutritious food available, accessible, and affordable to all: The socio-economic disparity in food choices today is upsetting. A sustainable food system can help balance our food resources and give people access to their human right to healthy food.

Is humane and just, protecting farmers and other workers, consumers, and communities: This is my favorite part. A sustainable food system is humane and helps us help ourselves. It strengthens our communities, provides jobs, and protects farmers‘ livelihoods.

Has a minimal negative impact to the environment: We need to start taking better care of the earth if we expect it to take care of us.  We need to start avoiding pollution and soil erosion before there is an irreversible impact on our environment.

I see no reason why a sustainable food system cannot succeed. I believe it can and, with inspiration and motivation, will. A system of efficient balance takes time, planning, and dedication. An agricultural system that provides the environmental and human health that we need is too invaluable to dismiss as a dreamland.

K.Cochran

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Kelly,

Have you heard of any ideas that you like for how to do any of the things in bold that you talked about? -Kristina B.

Comment by kristinabev

I think organic farming is the best example of an agricultural system that provides healthy food today and has a minimal impact on the environment. In my opinion, until there is a sustainable food system, organic farming is a great food source.
– K.Cochran

Comment by Kelly




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