Happy Earth Week! Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd, and GoFarm is celebrating all week by sharing resources about the ways that food systems impact our planet and the actions we can take to protect the environment for generations to come. Join us by signing the Earth Week Pledge, where you can pledge to make environmentally-sustainable choices in your every-day life. These choices can be big or small, but they ALL have impact.
Send us a photo of you with your signed pledge, OR
Send us a photo of you participating in one of the pledge actions, OR
Tag us on social media with the hashtag #GoFarmEarthWeekPledge!
There are many changes we can make in our lives for the better of the planet, but this week we are focusing on how the choices we make around food can greatly affect our impact on the environment. In addition to healing the environment, sustainable food choices can be healthy for your community, local economy, and yourself. Keep reading to learn more about the current food system and it's effects on the planet, sustainable agriculture and it's historical origins, how eating local can make a difference, and other actions you can take in honor of the Earth!
The Food System and the Environment
A food system is how food gets from the farm to your plate. This includes production, transportation, distribution, consumption, and waste. Our current food system presents problems for farmers, consumers, and the environment. Farmers struggle to make a profit on the food that they grow, there is a lack of transparency around food production for consumers, and 40% of food that is produced is wasted.
Conventional or industrialized farming has allowed us to produce food on a large scale and feed much of the world, but comes with its downsides. Generally, conventional farming is designed to maximize yields, and can involve practices like genetic modification, use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. These practices can strip soil of its nutrients, reducing its ability to produce nutritious food. Additionally, these land management practices can lead to biodiversity loss and soil erosion, making land susceptible to floods and drought, and eventually unsuitable for farming.
On the other hand, sustainable agriculture focuses on crop production with minimal use of chemical fertilizers, using practices that improve soil quality and biodiversity. Sustainable soil management is critical to the future of agriculture, because it can take over 100 years for an inch of topsoil to form. Biodiversity (meaning the variety of life- plants, animals, insects) on a farm goes right along with soil health. Allowing for biodiversity can enhance the health of crops and the landscape by allowing natural ecological cycles to take place.