This is a reprint from Winter 2008 edition of Black Oaks Center Clearing Newsletter; Food Security, Resource Depletion & Climate
by Fredrick D. Carter
Resource depletion is threatening present and future food production. Rising fossil fuel prices due to peak oil and natural gas, are reflected in the 75% rise in food prices over the past 2 years. Most of the food we eat is ushered over 1500 miles using massive amounts of crude oil. Embodied energy costs for production are chipping away at the bottom-line in commercial agriculture and food industry. After a crop leaves the farm, 2.5 times more fossil fuel energy is spent in food processing, packaging, transport and sales than what was needed to culture and harvest the crop.
Other natural resources that are necessary for food production and in limited supply are clean water and healthy soil. Dwindling amounts of both have lead to chemically laden plants and animals in the food chain and soaring cases of environmentally related illnesses.
Thousands of acres of deforested lands contribute to rising CO2 emissions, a main contributor to climate change and global warming. Unpredictable weather patterns and a rise in environmental disasters have affected food production world wide. The wide spread use of GMOs is a looming threat to food security. 90% of all U.S. citizens purchase their food from supermarkets. Processed foods account for 3/4ths of all food sales globally. In truth, our food is far from secure.
The Food Security Coalition of North America defines community food security as a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self reliance and social justice.
The Basics of Community Food Security
Ways to Secure Food for Your Family
Create outdoor and indoor gardens that are maintained chemical free.
Eat locally grown healthy food
Eat foods that are in season
Purchase healthy food collectively in bulk when possible
Stock up on dry goods especially during inclement weather. Keep them in pest free containers.
Keep some of your household savings as family food storage, at least 2 to 3 months worth.
Store what you eat and eat what you store
Buy directly from farmers with healthy farming practices
Learn how to process foods in ways that do not require ongoing energy use like a cold storage, dehydrating, pickling, brining and canning.
Save & preserve organic, heirloom seeds, plants and animals.