As we sort through reports of record breaking heat, wildfires and drought, it's challenging to peer into the future without grave concern. The recent news of increased risk of …
As we sort through reports of record breaking heat, wildfires and drought, it's challenging to peer into the future without grave concern. The recent news of increased risk of wildfires in Washington and the "drought emergency" in all the Skagit Watershed has me wondering if Jefferson County is next. How will this affect food supply? Who will suffer most? What does this mean for our struggling environment? Wildlife?
While focus is often on reducing fossil fuels, there is also great potential in the transformation of our food and agriculture system as a key solution to this climate crisis. This includes changing what is subsidized and grown, how it is grown, what is served, and what is wasted. Our food and agriculture system are responsible for one third of
all greenhouse gases coming from deforestation to grow feed for livestock, methane gas from intensive animal agriculture as well as the production of pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals are also harming people, wildlife and pollinators. All this is wreaking havoc on our soil which becomes less capable of growing nutrient rich food and all the less resilient to extreme weather patterns like flooding and drought.
As an Eco-Dietitian and Governing Council Member of the Coalition for Organic Regenerative Agriculture, I know that what serves the environment also serves human health. Changing what we grow, eat and serve (more plants) as well as how we grow it (organic, regenerative practices) are just two avenues towards reducing emissions, improving health, and protecting biodiversity.
I hope US Congressman Derek Kilmer will be an advocate for climate-friendly policy like the Agriculture Resilience Act, and that members of our community will use their voices, votes and forks to advocate for practices and menus that benefit people and planet.
Mary Purdy, MS, RDN