Water by farming at the scale of Go Local Food and using it in a targeted way: we are only using the water we need. Collecting our vegetables from the fields means they come with mud – cleaning and packing vegetables would use much more water.
We are helping pollinators by preserving hedgerows and limiting our use of chemicals. Pollinating insects have been badly hit through insecticide / pesticide use but we need them to ensure agriculture continues!! 80% of Europe’s plant species depend on insect pollination; current estimates of economic value of pollinator services is in the hundreds of £ms. Read the review here.
Farming at a small scale with field margins drastically reduces soil loss. Loss of soil from intensive monoculture fields / general poor land management has huge impacts on our rivers. It washes off during heavy rain and blows off in extremely dry weather. Diffuse pollution from agriculture is one of the biggest polluter of our rivers impacting not just on the long-term sustainability of our river ecology, but driving ever increasing costs for treatment of water for supply.
Eating seasonally means that we work with the environment. Demanding out of season crops means more interventions are needed – such as heat and water or we are driven to accepting huge food miles to deliver what we think we need.
The world is feeding itself is nutritionally, socially and ecologically destructive way – Go Local Food is trying to do things differently.
Not On The Label is a fab book by Felicity Lawrence who describes how our food is grown. Here she is talking about out of season salad production for supermarkets, she also highlights the impacts of being exposed to really high levels of chlorine has on the workers.
“One of the main sources of out-of-season salad for British supermarkets is southern Spain. Vast swathes of Murcia and Almeria have been given over to these thirsty crops. Growing them intensively in monocultures depends on heavy agrochemical use. The miles of greenhouses form one of the bleakest industrial wastelands I’ve seen. The workforce there depends too on migrants, many of whom live in makeshift cardboard houses without sanitation.”