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Posted on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : noon

In food news, a few messages of hope: We can all do one small thing to help the planet

By Kim Bayer


From the Global Footprint Network website

I get depressed when I read about things like 16 of your favorite things that climate change is totally screwing up (and half of them are things you eat and drink) and Earth Overshoot Day on Aug. 20. This date, marking the time in a year's cycle that human activity goes beyond what the planet can replenish, has been coming earlier every year.

"Throughout most of history, humanity has used nature’s resources to build cities and roads, to provide food and create products, and to absorb our carbon dioxide at a rate that was well within Earth’s budget. But in the mid-1970s, we crossed a critical threshold: Human consumption began outstripping what the planet could reproduce."

I wonder what's going to keep us from destroying the planet we depend on. As Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan have observed, we have to vote with our forks, but also vote with our votes so that policy makers stop incentivizing destruction and start incentivizing solutions.

It's not just one thing that created this situation, and there's not just one thing to save us. Everyone can do something — even one small thing every day. Corporate hegemony and governmental self-serving are only powerful as long as we are all complicit — and as long as we fail to participate in developing alternatives. Along with messages of doom, there are also messages of hope. Here are some of my favorites this week.

Good Food News

The $11 Trillion Reward - Investing in Healthy Food Will Save Lives and Dollars

HomeGrown Festival's Back to School Night at the Wednesday Evening Market - Aug. 28 4-8 p.m.

Michigan to Debut Member-Owned Health Insurance Co-Op

I support farmers markets

Food Movement on the Twittersphere

FSEP's food system survey: share your vision on the local food system!

COLORS Set To Re-Open With New Menu, Dinner Service

Market value of West Michigan’s agricultural production estimated at $1.8 billion

Kim Bayer is a freelance writer and culinary researcher. Email her at kimbayer at gmail dot com.


Jojo B

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 4:48 a.m.

Seriously, moderator, why are you deleting my comments? I'm not making a personal attack. I'm hoping the author will come back with a more finished article. And I would love for an explanation of what the intro graphic means.

martini man

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 2:16 a.m.

I know ...I'll give up my F-150 ...walk to where I want to go only home grown organic food .. turn off my AC ..and bathe once a month.. .and the planet will be saved. What a bunch of crappola you liberals are spouting.

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

Shouldn't this be tagged as an editorial?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

If you are going to have a headline which says "We can all do one small thing to help the planet", there should be a reference to that thing somewhere in the article. What is the small thing? Voting with our forks? Voting with our votes? Clicking on the links?

Thinking over here

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

I agree - lame. Where's the "list" of one small thing I can do?


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 4:35 p.m.

Where are the "messages of hope"? P.S. any link doesn't count, as links should only be supplementary to articles