Monday, July 12, 2010

Sustainability Through the Consumption of Things Conserved

Dan Grifen contacted and ask me if he might submit a guest post. I gave him my simple easy rules and he sent the following post to me. It gave me food for thought and I am trying more herbs, spices and even grew a couple of new things in the garden. I am all for being green and saving our earth. But like everyone else being green does cost more. In today's economy when frugal and pinching pennies is a normal thing it's really hard to have the extra money. Maybe each grocery day find one new thing to replace one fruit or veggie could be a start.  I hope you will share your comments on Dan's post and I will post any feedback of his..... Have a blessed day!

"In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage,"- US Ecologist Gary Nabhan

Since the beginning of the green movement, there has been a rise in the number of organizations and businesses that are doing their part in the promotion of sustainability through conservation. As human beings, we're told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and spend less time in the shower! But let's take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan strongly suggests.
Gary Paul Nabhan,phD., is a Arab-American writer/conservationist whose extensive farming work in the U.S./Mexico borderlands region has made him word renowned. Specifically speaking, Nabhan is known for his work in biodiversity as an ethnobotanist. His uplifting messages and attitude towards life and culture has granted us access to mulitple beneficial theories including his latest of eat what you conserve.
According to The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization about three quarters of the genetic diversity of crops been vanishing over the last century and that a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just 4 crop species supply half of plant based calories in the human diet.

Nabhan claims that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save we're promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species. But this goes beyond what we typically buy in the supermarkets, particularly because of price and abundance. We must remember to try new things and immerse ourselves in the very concept of diversity. Keep in mind- the benefits of splurging for that costly fruit/vegetable supremely outweigh the cons. Not only are you promoting biodiversity and further eliminating the needs of farmers to remove rare, less purchased crops off their agenda, but you're also effectively encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Agriculturist Marco Contiero mentioned that "biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change."  With sustainable crop efforts being lead by the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) and the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) the duo plans to provide a more sustainable crop that can withstand natural disasters, avoiding food shortages like Haiti is experiencing. Contiero goes on to state "We need to ensure this is the basis for the future..." - This is exactly what Doug Band the CGI, and the IRRI ar doing by engaging in sustainability efforts.

So remember, next time you're in the supermarket picking out a common varietal of navel oranges or strawberries, turn your attention to something that's a bit more exotic in nature. The same goes for salads/salad ingredients; shop outside the norm, picking spices and vegetables that you wouldn't normall incorporate into your everyday diet. During such economic downtime it isn't always easy to maintain the same level of grocery shopping intrigue, but we must also not forget that in this sundry of foods we can find fun!

Dan Grifen- Supporter of all things green and progressive


Granny J said...

That is a great post. I believe that people actually enjoy their food more if there is variety. You don't have to have a whole plate of a new vegetable, just enough to let you know whether or not you like it. The same goes with fruits. Add one new fresh fruit to that fruit salad and see how much difference it makes to the taste, texture, etc.

Mike said...

I grew eggplant this year for the first time. I know it's not exotic or 'out of the norm', except for me. That's what I got from his post. What's not normal for me. Anyway, we tried your eggplant parmesan, added a touch of zucchini with it. I'm not a big fan of parmesan cheese but I have to admit it was pretty tasty. I also bought and fixed a pot of white beans w/cornbread. I haven't had that in a looong time.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I'm all for 'going green' ---and will do it in ways which we can afford. Since we are retired and on our retirement incomes, we are VERY careful with our money... We go green by driving a Prius, by recycling, by not using AC (unless we have to-like this summer, darn), by not using my clothes dryer, etc...

I am not going to pay the price difference in the grocery stores to buy organic foods... AND---as much as I'd love some other ways of getting our energy (other than oil and coal, etc.), I don't want to pay for all of these changes... We already pay WAY too many taxes as is.. If the Govt. would stop spending my money on themselves, I may feel differently...

Nice post, Peggy (and Dan).

amelia said...

Food for thought indeed, very interesting...

Denise said...

Certainly some "food for thought", pun intended. Seriously, I do like to try different things but often get stuck in the rut of getting the same thing. With the cost of food it is sometimes not cost effective to buy something and find out you don't like it and throw it away...I will try something new my next trip to the grocery store!

The Mind of a Mom said...

This is so much fun being part of your blog and see that others are also. You are so kind to share!
Thank you
Polar Roe