Many folks do not realize how important a steady climate is for farming and food production. Many of us see plants growing everywhere and it is easy to think that plants will just grow. We imagine that wheat and corn and peaches and cauliflower just take seeds and a watering can. The reality is more complicated. Food systems left local farms and small gardens long ago, and now our food is grown by large agri-businesses. These agri-businesses have benefited from thousands of years of soils enriched by sun and rain. They thrived in a stable climate that brought an expected range of heat, cold, and rain. That stability is now changing.
To try to get a sense of the scope of the Food/Climate issue, the Climate Cafe Multifaith hosted a conversation. Read about that conversation here: Global Food Systems and Moral Action.
Andrew Schartz is the Director of Sustainability and Global Affairs for the Center for Earth Ethics. He has been one of a collaborative team of folks across the globe tackling the food systems in the Food + Faith Dialogues.
Andrew Schwartz offered both warnings and encouragement at the Climate Cafe. The warnings are clear, we need to address climate change as well as diversify our food systems. The encouragement was also clear, we CAN do this! Folks are paying attention and motivated to make the changes we need.
One of the best paths of hopefulness is to increase support for local farms and locally produced food. Sharing home-grown food with neighbors is a great way to celebrate strength in community!
What we need to think most about is the injustices in the system. There is enough food produced on the earth to feed everybody--everybody. But some communities have way too much, while other communities do not have enough.
I invite you to read the article and check out video from this Cafe.