Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pollyanna’s Answer to Rising Fuel

As a follow up to my imaginings of edible garden rooftops, check out Franke James’ visual essay on transforming a parking lot back into paradise.

Increases in food prices over the past months have affected us all in some measure – with profound consequences for the world’s poor. Soaring oil prices (and government subsidies) provide market incentive for farmers to sell corn for fuel rather than food. Corn shows up in most processed foods – pop, junk food, cereal, etc. - as well as hamburger and steaks. The beef industry relies on corn to beef up cattle – something that cows, which are grass eaters, should not eat.

On the Pollyanna flipside…
There can be a positive twist to the food crisis here at home.

The Beef
The cost of organic meat is becoming competitive with meat that is raised unsustainably. Happily, buying organic meat is more convenient than ever now that it’s showing up at local grocery stores and a number of ‘friendly organic butchers’ that are popping up in your city. When you switch to organic you will be supporting more humane, sustainable and local businesses.

While you do, eat less meat. Heck, you can even become a vegetarian like me. Now I know many of you are not prepared to make that switch, but reducing meat in your diet will help with your pocketbook and overall cardiovascular health.

Say No to Processed
On that note, choose vegetables, fruits and nuts over processed snacks. Challenge yourself to cook from scratch rather than from some processed mix that contains strange preservatives and chemicals you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce. Know what you are putting in your body.

And on the heels of my blog last week, plant a garden. Grow some of your own vegetables and fruits. It’s about as local as you’re going to get.

True Sustainable Transportation
Walk and cycle more. A colleague of mine reports that she is walking more now that gas prices are soaring. If more are doing the same, we will see trimmer people and a decline in hospital visits.

More Transit = Less Road Rage
Take transit – and connect with your fellow citizens. Grant it there are some on the bus to whom you want to give a wide berth, but I find I am more connected to folks in public transit than I am in a car.

In the News

Ont. premier pledges to preserve giant swath of northern boreal forest
McGuinty – you’ve made me mad about your nuclear plans, but thank you for getting the ball rolling on preserving the planet’s “largest carbon storehouse.” Thank you for also considering overhauling the Mining Act that gives companies far too much power over citizens.

Health report to get 'low-profile' release
Health Canada has prepared a major report on the harmful impact of climate change on the health of Canada’s citizens, particularly its most vulnerable. Yet the Conservative Government shamefully will give its release a low profile hoping the media won’t pick it up.

Solar future brightens as oil soars

As Gas Prices Rise, Police Turn to Foot Patrols

Government copyright bill fails green test

1 comment:

Franke James said...


Thanks very much for sharing Paradise Unpaved with your readers! Good to learn of your blog and your writing on the environment! I enjoyed your Garden, Garden Everywhere and Lots and Lots to Eat item too. Isn't is great to be able to eat fresh herbs from our own gardens? It's a new thrill for me.