Q: What can I do?
A: Become a food citizen by demanding a say in how our food is grown.
Buying organic and pesticide-free whenever possible is an important start. But being a responsible consumer will not make enough of a difference to make our food system sustainable and safe for future generations. Consider this:
In 1940 our food system produced 2.3 calories of food for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used. Now it takes 10 calories of energy to produce one calorie of supermarket food. This same, inefficient industrial food system generates nearly 30% of climate-changing greenhouse gases and produces oceanic “dead zones” the size of the U.K.
“Food miles” are a piece of this problem1, but most of the problem is industrial food production (esp. synthetic fertilizers and pesticides). Chemically intensive farming is inefficient, unsafe for workers and farmers, unhealthy for consumers, and increasingly unsustainable for the planet.
Solutions are available, and decisions are being made now. Get involved.
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1. CHRISTOPHER L. WEBER & H. SCOTT MATTHEWS, "Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States," Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 3508–3513.