Posts tagged ‘food shed’

The food shed- or why the Young Organics already save the world!

by Zoe Heuschkel

On June 5th the President  of Germany kicked off the “Week of the Environment” in “his garden” at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. But I could see neither much  of a garden or much of environment.

The reason for my participation was that our project about the Future of Food had been invited to host an expert forum on sustainable agriculture in the scope of the Rio+20 summit.

The food shed

By far the most intriguing presentation was given once again by Vandana Shiva. She talked about an idea that came up in the late 1920´s and translated it into our time: the “food shed” theory. In 1929 Walter P. Hedden published the book “How great cities are fed” where he discusses the necessity of big cities to feed their inhabitants by using resources from the surrounding areas. Today, Vandana Shiva pointed out, there seems to be a strong relation between the size of a city and the distance food is travelling before it reaches the city:  “the bigger the city, the longer the travel” she said. Why do we eat food that has been transported  for 10.000km instead of tapping into local suppliesVandana suggested tocreate more self-sufficiency and “food sheds” that would not see food come from into the city from far away.

How Young Organics already save the world

Our gardening plot in Bonn will not feed the city, it  hardly can supply enough food for all the gardeners, but it it is a sign. Sustainability issues are  negotiated in Rio or elsewhere, and the message is clear: we need to take over  responsibility: for our own consumption, for the planet and for future generations. Young Organics gardening fits into a global pattern of people’s actions related to take over responsibility for our own nutrition. We might not be gardening experts, farmers or horticulturists and sometimes we get overwhelmed by slugs, rabbits and other uninvited guests, but we want to take on responsibility for our food system.

We get in touch with the soil again, we gain and share experiences and learn while aiming to contribute to a more sustainable future of the planet. We meet and exchange, enjoy and work together and maybe someday  we will be able to feed ourselves. And make our peace with the slugs.

What did I learn?

1)      If you want to get your seats filled- invite Vandana Shiva for your event

2)      We need to make peace with our planet. The struggle for the survival of the fittest species has ended and if we continue fighting we will eradicate ourselves from the planet.

3)      It is time to accept that we are responsible for our nutrition. We can not continue to simply hand over all decisions on how our food is produced.

We live in a wonderful and terribly crazy world – instead of being terrible we should focus on being wonderfully crazy!

June 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment