I am an environmentalist. I used to shy away from that “tag” because of the negative connotations that are used as barbs, hurled by “real” men fronting as psuedo-lobbyist and commentators, who act on behalf of corporations with economic interest that threatened our human interest in survival. So, I resisted the label and the image of me in red flannel or “camo”, hugging a tree while nesting among giant sequoias to prevent deforestation or displacing pygmy owls.
But this changed when I became more involved with nature as a fly-fishing angler, witnessing pristine waters polluted by trash and chemical run-off from industrial farming techniques.
My company, Green with Indy focuses on what I describe as the “circle of life of food”. It begins with soil remediation, organic vegetable gardening, vegetable sharing and basic cooking instruction. Concentrating on these illustrates their connectivity, their integrity is strengthened as a whole.
I’ve chosen to concentrate on food because of a belief that our social ills are directly related to the demise in family dining. Families are not dining together, food is not being prepared at home, too much of what we eat is either processed or fast food. We’ve outsourced cooking.
Skills are not passed down around a communal event. And, through concentrating on these issues, I became an environmentalist, a supporter of the basics of life as they relate to the quality of soil to grow healthy food, to cook it, to share what was grown and to enjoy it together as a tribe. This defines the circle of life of food.
I am an environmentalist, because of the belief that quality in, equates to quality out. Healthy food begins with healthy soil. By composting food waste, essentially we turn garbage into a natural, organic fertilizer and doing so defines sustainability.
Being faithful stewards means reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides to grow food, lessening their impact on our rivers and streams and the amount of phosphate that flows into those waters, that create algae bloom, suffocating fish and other wild life in them.
Only 38% of the earth’s surface is farmable. There is a shortage of fresh water worldwide. Our own mid-west has endured years of drought, reducing the availability for grain and produce, while their prices go higher and higher. Supply and demand is more prevalent when seven billion people and counting, need feeding.
While this is happening, we have people talking about urban food deserts, where they don’t have stores providing them with fresh fruits and vegetables or when it’s available, the cost is prohibitive to the point where buying fast food seems the better alternative for too many households.
Ninety-seven percent of environmental scientists agree that climate change is real and the result of not treating it is as real as the effect of not treating carcinoma. Just like developing skin maladies, climate change is a gradual process. And, it does impact earth, our soil and water. Why do we import fifty percent of our tomatoes from Mexico, picked green, and sprayed with petroleum based ethylene in order to appear ripe, while having no flavor at all or fertilize our lawns with petroleum based fertilizer? Have you seen Geist Reservoir lately?
Yes, I am environmentalist, so I have taken the lead in Indianapolis to do my part in impacting it and I ask that you do the same.
- What happens if those who throw out food, helped to grow it?
- What if we had more kitchen gardens or replaced well-manicured lawns with edible plants?
- What happens if our water systems were cleaner and we didn’t buy bottled water?
I’d like to know what you think about what we can do to be better stewards of the land, beginning with you?