Crops and a changing climate

lightened-beauty vegies from santa monica fmGlobal warming, climate change, we can see it happening all around us. Warmer temperatures in some places and colder winters in others. What can each of us do on an individual level and how can we let our leaders know that this matters to us? It is time for action in so many levels.

This article points out the serious ramifications of global warming on crop production in India and China, and this holds true everywhere it is warming up, but I think that it misses one important point and that is the critical importance of crop diversity. When we are using only one type, or only a few varieties, of seed there is no possibility to adapt to changing conditions be they temperature, water or pests. The critical importance of seed and crop diversity is to have the ability to use seeds that are drought, temperature or pest resistant. This is a crucial argument against the wide spread use of genetically modified seed, they are all identical and cannot offer protection against the changes that nature brings, and in many ways has always brought, it is just magnified now.

Supporting local, organic and bio-dynamic farmers is an important step in  creating food security and safety, it benefits the environment and local economy as well. Let your supermarket managers know that you want organic products not conventionally produced, genetically modified food products. The market will meet our demands if we stand up, they just want to make a profit but we must speak out and shop with our fork.

Especially let your local Whole Foods managers know that you want organic, not commercial food in their stores. Over the years I am sure that the amount of organic food has diminished in Whole Foods as more and more shoppers assume that if it is in Whole Foods it must be organic….it isn’t! Be wise when you shop and look at what you are buying to see if it really is organic.

If you shop at farmers markets ask the growers how they grow their food.   They may not be able to label their food as organic but may be producing it pesticide free or close to it. Let your local farmers know that it matters to you.

Local farms help to reduce the costs to the environment (in transportation and pesticide/herbicide use), create jobs in the local economy, and help to foster a sense of community. They also are on the front lines of maintaining seed diversity to protect us against a changing climate, be it natural or man induced. There used to be hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables grown but this has diminished drastically, limiting our choices and perhaps more importantly putting us in a dangerous position as far as our food security.

Do not get discouraged there are so many great things happening out there and I will be bringing you more and more great news and simple ways that you can make a difference. Please share what is happening in your local community to make you optimistic.