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Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009 at 11:21 am. About Conservation.

Food Conservation and Sustainability

This is the third of my recent diatribes on conservation recently, and it pertains to something about which we all care: food. In a society where we can easily find desired food items at our local supermarkets, at times we may forget what is required to raise the food, harvest/slaughter it, package it, and transport it for sale. The environmental impact can be huge. Again, if millions of people began to make small changes, the impact could be enormous.

  • Try planting a small garden: One of my fondest memories from my childhood is of growing vegetables with my family out of buckets, followed by an upgrade to a garden in the backyard. Bucket tomatoes evolved into a garden rich with carrots, radishes, cucumbers, more tomatoes, and even corn (before the raccoons ate most of it). We all hear arguments about “buying locally” in an effort to avoid the high energy costs of shipping food long distances. While this is a good first step (and I love local farmers’ markets), food grown in your backyard does not require ANY oil to transport. Honestly, this is one reason I am so psyched to move from a condo to a house in the near future – so that I can plant a garden and teach my son the wonders of seeds germinating, flowering, and producing fruits and vegetables. What a fantastic way to teach children about nature and science while producing some locally grown food of your own! In addition, it baffles me that we have millions of acres of land in this country used only for “lawn” purposes – using a lot of water to keep grass growing on land while producing nothing other than an ascetic pleasantness. I’m not advising for people to defy their homeowners’ associations, but considering a small backyard garden is a way to make this land more productive.
  • Use the entire chicken: Gabriel’s nanny, Rachel, introduced me to the concept of this, something previously foreign to me. Basically, after roasting a chicken or a turkey, and picking the meat from it, boil down the carcass in some broth, and this produces a chicken or turkey stock. This stock can then be used to make other meals, so it’s double the use. Animals require energy and resources to raise as food sources, so we should probably be using each one to the greatest degree possible.

This may be it for a while regarding conservation posts. As other points arise, I will add them in future writings, but I hope people will feel free to tack on comments with other suggestions. Thanks!

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