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Not What First Came to Mind

Not What First Came to Mind

I must admit that when I first read about a growing movement to develop urban farms, a viable cost effective and environmentally friendly technique to produce food was not the first thing that came to mind. Nevertheless, a recent story in the Wall Street Journal highlights the advancements in urban farming taking place all around the world.

As I discussed in my last Food Day blog earlier this week, the food we consume often travels great distances or is grown in energy intensive ways creating an energy deficit; there is less raw energy in our food than is used to produce it. The Wall Street Journal report notes that there are a number of different configurations of these urban farms being employed in or designed for different urban environments; some of these designs involve renovations to old warehouses and industrial manufacturing facilities while others like the vertical farm in Switzerland (see image above) are much more ambitious in design and scope. All of these designs could bring cheaper, fresher food to our cities while increasing our food security. However, some experts worry that the extra effort and infrastructure needed, as well as the use of artificial lighting and/or heating for some designs would counteract any environmental advantages of urban farming and leave the energy deficit only shifted in source and in all other ways more or less unchanged.

October 24th is Food Day, a day set aside to think about sustainable and healthy foods. Thinking about the lack of sustainability of our food sources must be part of how we begin to address the interrelated issues of food security, healthiness and climate change. My colleague, Raechel Banks, has put together a website of resources and programs for congregations and individuals who would like to take action in their community in observance of Food Day.

Image Courtesy of the Daily Green.

Published: 10/18/2012

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