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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Sustainable Food Pyramid

I heard an interesting hour of discussion on Wisconsin Public Radio today. Featured was Paul Roberts author of the books The End of Oil and The End of Food, and most recently an article for Mother Jones Magazine Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008. His main point is that our current models of a sustainable food economy will not work on a much larger scale-as in billions of people. There are parts of the article I can agree with, but Sky Vegetables and vertical farming? The future of sustainable food is not so 'pie in the sky'. It is dirty and plain and unglamorous and lies in our OWN hands (and does not create controversial magazine articles). I believe food will become more and more expensive and this will force changes, just as the high gasoline prices hit people where it hurt the most-the pocketbook. This is the only way mainstream America will change.

Back to the sustainable food pyramid. According to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sustainable Good Food has 4 qualities: Affordable, Fair, Healthy and Green. I don't think we can create an industrial food economy which is all of these things. If you think of all these qualities as points of a pyramid; the closer you get to affordable the further you are from fair, etc. You can't have it all. The only way I see all of these coming in one package is to produce my own and eat local. No more coconut shrimp for me, its cranberries, maple syrup and Point Beer!


ChristyACB said...

While I agree with you that is how America can create a sustainable food pyramid for themselves, that won't work for much of the world.

That is where the article resonates.

Many places on this planet simply weren't meant to hold as many people as they do. Most of the African continent comes to mind. They can no more grow food for themselves in their current numbers later than they can now. Same with much of Europe, which is based on ever expanding cities and a decreasing surrounding countryside that would supply the city. They tipped that a couple of hundred years ago. And the extreme north and south were never meant to hold such numbers either.

He is quite correct in that places in the world that want or need to keep their current population levels will have to develop very innovative farming methods to do so sustainably.

hickchick said...

You're right Christy--looks like I am the typical self centered American. I guess it's all I know. Kris

Anonymous said...

why not sky vegetables?