Wednesday, April 22nd, is Earth Day, and 2020 is the 50th anniversary. We have made some progress in saving the Earth, our home.
But there is much room for improvement.
Did you know that your food choices are a powerful way to help the planet sustain us? To eliminate greenhouse gases would be a giant step forward, but what about removing CO2 from the atmosphere? There is a movement working on removing CO2 and it is called Project Drawdown.
Food touches everything about our world. Food influences our environment. Local, sustainably-raised food requires healthy soils. Sustainably raised produce uses less, or best, no pesticides or herbicides. This may allow the workers in the fields to experience less disease due to lower exposure to these harsh chemicals. Court cases are now being won by farm workers harmed by pesticide exposure.
Food produced with pesticides and herbicides may negatively impact bees, insects, and the microbial diversity of the soils, as well as wildlife and ourselves. Sustainably grown produce may be more nutritious because the produce has less pesticide residue. In addition, the soils are healthier because of the lower pesticide use.
Locally grown, sustainably raised produce helps your community. Nearby farms can sustain themselves financially while providing fresher foods. Fresher equals more nutritious food since it may be consumed closer to the time it was picked. Locally grown means less transportation cost in getting your food to you.
Victory Gardens planted during World War II made up 40% of our food needs. Victory Gardens were instituted not only to help feed people, but also to free up transportation and labor for the war effort. We could learn from those times and reap the benefits of fresher, nutritious food grown closer to home. This may be important as we learn supply chains can be disrupted.
COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to appreciate how we can help to make ourselves more resilient going forward.
Our bodies need the most nutritious food we can give them. All the building blocks of optimal nutrition need to be present to give us the best possible health. Food can indeed be our most powerful medicine.
To celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, the April 2020 issue of National Geographic highlights How We Lost the Planet and How We Saved the World. Education is a wonderful way to give ourselves the insight we need to help the earth and ourselves.