Eating Locally Improves Community Well-BeingAug 6th, 2013 | By Meagan Nelson | Category: Food Justice Blog Posts, Our Food, Our Right, Uncategorized
This post is part of a series of posts covering topics related to CAGJ’s new book, “Our Food, Our Right.” The author, Meagan Nelson, is the Publicity Coordinator at Community Alliance for Global Justice and has a background promoting liberal causes, working in communications and outreach on campaigns for Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, and President Barack Obama. Nelson is studying Communication, Law, Economics and Government at American University and aspires to make the sustainable food movement and its related health and environmental benefits an active political issue in American lives.
While we all know that it is a good thing to be mindful about what we put on our plate every day, here are a few refreshers to remind us about the importance of eating local, sustainable foods.
First, eating locally is better for the environment. The globalized food system creates significant carbon dioxide emissions as food is transported around the world. When food is grown closer to home, farmland and green space is maintained in the area and carbon dioxide emissions are eliminated. According to La Via Campesina‘s Principles of Food Sovereignty in CAGJ’s new book, Our Food, Our Right, sustainable management of natural resources and conservation of biodiversity free of restrictive intellectual property rights can only be done from a sound economic basis with security of tenure, healthy soils and reduced use of agro-chemicals (Our Food, Our Right 20).
Eating locally also boosts the local economy. Money goes to the farmers and artisans in your hometown rather than being shipped to another country around the world. This local spending builds a better community. Seattle creates a wonderful sense of community by offering several places for residents and visitors to purchase local food! Some of these include the Central Co-op, which you can learn more about here, and a variety of farmer’s markets located all around Seattle. Find the nearest one to you!
According to CAGJ’s new book, Our Food, Our Right, The food system has monocultural fossil-fuel heavy industrial agriculture, which contributes to climate change while underming the biodiversity needed to build resilient food systems capable of adapting to floods, droughts, shifting conditions, and stable health. The obesity crisis and other health epidemics are the result of corporate food offered in schools and grocery stores, drowning out other alternatives that put women, the poor, and people of color at risk. (Community Alliance for Global Justice 14)
Changing the food system is a vital priority that needs to take place through the actions of diverse people, and it can be as easy as hooking up with a local nonprofit such as Alley Cat Acres which teaches you how to build a better garden. Join the local food movement today buy joining nonprofits and making continuous visits to your local farmers markets, benefiting your community. You won’t regret it!
For more information on the benefits of eating locally, check out the following links and Community Alliance for Global Justice’s new book Our Food, Our Right, available in stores now! Review the book and win a special prize!