We want to encourage a broad community conversation about food in the city. So every week until our Food in the City conference we are going to offer up a “juicy” question about food and agriculture.
Last week’s question was the healthy food question that explored nutrition and health. What became obvious from all the thoughtful comments that were shared on last week’s post is that health means more than just personal health. So, taking a cue from our readers, this week’s question asks about the connection between food and healthy ecosystems.
There are some common assumptions that we are hearing more and more these days around food and the environment. Local food is greener. Eat less meat (particularly beef) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Organic food is better for our bodies and the planet. There seems to be a lot of evidence to support these kinds of claims. However, we can’t help but wonder how we can be sure about how our food choices will affect our ecosystems.
Let’s say, for example, that I really like how avocados add nutrient value and taste to my meals, and my dietitian even recommends them for my particular dietary needs. How can I be sure whether my love for avocados is a green food choice? After all, avocados don’t grow in Edmonton, so they definitely won’t be local. I can find some organic ones, but they’re coming from so far away. And how about my favourite summer barbeque choice – burgers? I know, eating less meat is supposed to be the greener choice, but if I get the local organic beef I should be good, right? Or is consuming less meat still greener than consuming local organic meat?
As if food choices for my personal health weren’t difficult enough, now I’ve got to think about how my food choices also impact the planet!
What do you think? Our question to you this week is: What food choices do you think are best for healthy ecosystems?
Join the conversation, post your comments, and share what you are thinking with others!