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Earth Journal




Can we grown food anywhere we want?

Urban communities are taking charge of their food security

Food is at the core of our human civilisation and the key to the fabric of sustainability. It defines our culture, shapes communities, engages neighbourhoods, and makes places.

Increasing in many cities, residents are embracing urban farming as a way to improve access to healthier, more nutritional and  a far more sustainably produced food. Farming our street edges, empty plots, vacant lands, parks, rooftops and backyards is a great way to encourage an appreciation of locally grown food and increase consumption of fresh produce.

Despite these benefits, cultural and lifestyle opposition, rather than regulations,  continue to constrain the growth of sustainable urban farming. We need to change our attitudes and our beliefs towards food. We need to encourage and engage with urban farming techniques to solve the deep rooted problems concerning our food.

In order to make our food systems healthier and more sustainable we need to follow a two step approach. First, we need to encourage and fortify parts of the food system that enable access to healthy food options . Such as eating fresh locally grown vegetables. Choosing a variety of local seasonal vegetables that make for a nourishing diet. Encourage farmers’ markets, roadside stalls and community gardens. 

Second, we need to disempower elements that continuously expose us to unhealthy food options. Discourage the consumption of processed foods and fast foods. Avoiding foods that are often produced and supplied in carbon-intensive and wasteful ways.  Prevent the proliferation of unhealthy food advertisements near schools and residential communities.

Adopting this two step method will be key to a healthier, more sustainable food system. In many cities across the world, there is a new cultural environment where growing one’s own produce is enjoying a renaissance.

Many local communities are viewing food security and the opportunities presented by local food production as urgent solutions to the many problems that ail our current food system. Urban farming is increasing becoming a trend wherein local communities are making smart choices for healthy and mindful living.

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