Today we sat down with Kristen Saake Blunk, Pete Klienman, and Bill Shuffstall to talk about their role in helping farmers, and agriculture in general to be more sustaiable. Kristen is the director of AEC or Agriculture and Environment Center here at PSU, where she coordinates a variety of research and outreach efforts. They were a lot of fun to interview, and we even got some callers. Check out the podcast for the entire show...
Recently, Michael Pollan, the author of the best-selling Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, told Bill Moyers that the American industrial food system contributes 20% of American greenhouse gas emissions (including transportation and infrastructure costs). Following from the IPCC and UN numbers, that means that American food production and distribution creates nearly 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The average American’s activities result in nearly 20 tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere per year. Doing the math, we find that the average American’s diet generates 4 tons of CO2.
According to the United Nations Statistic Division, that is equal to the annual total emissions of one Mexican, a Brazilian couple, a Peruvian family of four, a Pakistani family of five, a small village of 20 in Cameroon, and a village of 60 people in Uganda. While we may not aspire to live in some of the desperate situations facing millions of people in these countries, we cannot help but note that in this regard, the way we eat is unequally contributing to climate change. And this says nothing of soil loss, pesticide pollution, or Type 2 diabetes all of which can be tied to our industrial “fast food” lifestyle.
Statistics like these are troubling to many. And it’s easy to want to bury our heads in the sand and just carry on. But there is help out there and our guests today, Amber Concepcion and Kate Sanfillipo from Local Bounty are here to help us figure out how to help us with these quandaries and tell us about a new business they've started that hopes to be part of the solution. "LocalBounty.org provides a user-generated directory of local producers, searchable by community and by category. Users can create listings as well as rate and review producers."
They'll be providing us with some tools to educate and empower ourselves, our neighbors, and our local economy in a more sustainable fashion.
Listen in to The Lion 90.7 fm today from 5-6 pm and call in with questions and comments.