Urban Farming

Topics: Nutrition, Global warming, Food security Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: April 8, 2014
The Future of Food in Vancouver: Small-scale Urban Farming
In today’s modern world Canadians are facing daunting challenges with regards to health and the environment. The NASA website on climate change reports that temperature, carbon dioxide levels, and sea levels are all on the rise while land and arctic ice are steadily declining (”Vital Signs of the Planet”). Not only is the environment degrading at a rapid rate our health is also declining. In 2012 it was reported that almost 13.5 million Canadians over the age of 18 had a Body Mass Index that would classify them as overweight or obese (“Body Mass Index”). The solution these problems in Vancouver lies in the addition of community gardens and other small-scale farming projects to the city. One of the largest benefits of urban farming is the effect that the practice has on the environment. The global food industry’s impact on the environment is staggeringly huge. To get from farm to plate food must travel immense distances through long and complex distribution chains including suppliers, manufacturers, warehousing, and retailers, steps which add up to produce a massive carbon footprint. It would be much easier and greener to simply use lawn space or community gardens situated just a few kilometers away from residential areas to grow fresh and healthy produce. By setting up urban gardens around the city local Vancouver groups such as Innercity Farms, Farm Folk City Folk, and the Vancouver Urban Farming Society hope to make low environmental impact produce accessible to all. The carbon footprint of the large-scale food industry is not only gigantic, the industry also does not provide an acceptable ecosystem for insects. Perfectly maintained mono-crop fields do not do bees and other pollinating insects, which need diverse plant life to thrive, any good. Across North America the populations of pollinating insects are declining at a record-breaking pace (Fetterly 8). Also at fault for the decline in insect...
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