When Al Gore presented An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 most people were in denial about global warming. How many people do you know (maybe yourself?) who completely misunderstood the term and scoffed when the first huge blizzards happened. How many people are still denying that there are climate changes going on with massive devastating storms, polar ice cap melting, and resulting rising tides that have cities all over the world’s coastlines, including New York, trying to come up with plans how to stop the flooding.
In the past week I have been reading about how climate change is already resulting in changes in food production which will lead to shortages and rising prices. There has been an international conference meeting in Japan, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and their discussion is not easy to accept. The picture they paint is bad and something that is hard to consider.
But it is time we take our head out of the sand. The changes ARE happening and they WILL affect us.
Oh sure, by the time the huge changes happen I will be dead, but my kids won’t be. So how selfish can I be? It IS inconvenient to make changes. I am a creature of habit, as you probably are.
So, there are a number of things you can do….small changes that should not be difficult that will make your own contribution to the problems reduced tremendously.
Let’s start with what you eat.
If you are eating out at restaurants or buying the meat you eat at the grocery store, unless it is raised organically, you are part of the problem. Big time. Most Americans’ meat (beef, pork and chicken) are raised in huge confinement facilities. The EPA reports that failures to properly manage manure and wastewater at CAFOs can negatively impact the environment and public health. Manure and wastewater have the potential to contribute pollutants, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones and ammonia, to the environment. There’s so many more reasons not to eat meat from those animals, but we’re sticking to environment today.
Now this next step takes about 15 minutes…think you can spare that in order to help make a change for your kids?
If you don’t already know where you can purchase locally raised meat year-round, go to Local Harvest and read through the farms and farm market section for your zip code. Then call one of the farmers and start the discussion.
Some local farmers will sell in small quantity. Some require you to purchase a half an animal as a minimum. That will bring down your costs amazingly, but if you don’t have the freezer space, get together with some friends and make the purchase together.
No excuses now.
Your world environment thanks you, your taste buds will thank you, your body will thank you, and the local economy will thank you. What legacy will YOU leave your children?