Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table
Choices about what you eat can make as big a difference for the environment as how you get around. Before reaching for your favorite comfort food this Thanksgiving, join the David Suzuki Foundation for our 11-day challenge, Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table. Starting Oct. 5th, you could win an awesome prize just by sharing your story on Facebook. Plus you'll get helpful eco-advice from me, the Queen of Green.
Answer the daily Facebook question by adding your comment. Don't have a comment to share? Check out the others and vote for your favourite. We're giving out fabulous prizes for the comment with the most "Likes".
The planet doesn't need another fad diet. But how much do you know about where your food comes and the type of impact it's having on the planet? What are you doing to eat more sustainably?
Day 3 of Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table
Find yourself challenged to source organic food and understand labels, then shocked when you get to the till? You should try growing the stuff.
A few years back, I toured an organic apple orchard. My biggest lesson that day wasn't the numerous varieties or heritage apples that exist (although over 100 are impressive) but what the farmer said about his fence posts.
In order to be organically certified, fencing materials like pressure-treated lumber cannot be within "x" number of feet of organic apple trees. Certification takes other toxic chemicals like Chromated copper arsenate (CCA), which is used in pressure treated lumber, seriously. In this case the farmer sourced safer, non-toxic options to meet certification standards and keep the deer from eating at his bottom line. It's intricacies like these that consumers like you and I cannot begin to fathom (unless we talk to a farmer — stay tuned for more on this on Day 5.)
We often think of organic food as solely pesticide-free, but really it's so much more. Organic farming is a balancing act. From waste to water to wildlife, farmers have to take each "W" into consideration. Not to mention the big one — weather.
But don't take my word for it. Read for yourself in this month's Docs Talk column by Dr. Art Wiebe. A Fellow in Rural and Remote Medicine, Dr. Wiebe lives on 44 hectares of land on the shore of Lake Huron, where he and his wife, Janice McKean, have a small ecological farm and sell their products at a local farmers' market. Dr. Wiebe delves into the true cost of food, including why organics are so expensive.
Buying organic is great for:
- Protecting critters (I've toured two vineyards where one left habitat for native snake species and educated farm workers about leaving them be; another accounted for losing some grapes to the bears.)
- Protecting the health of farm workers
- Not applying sewage sludge to cropland
- Saving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions
- Respecting ecological systems and promoting a healthy planet
- Eating tasty food!
Tell us why you buy organic and we're giving out fabulous prizes for the Facebook comment with the most "likes." Today you could win Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or a subscription to Canadian Living Magazine!
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green