Grow Your Own

June 13, 2008

Food prices rose 0.3 percent over the past month, according to the Associated Press via the Buffalo News.

The recent increase is part of a larger trend linked to the increase in oil and natural gas prices. As the world passes the global oil production peak (which many believe occurred in 2005 or 2006), prices will continue to rise and our current food distribution infrastructure – with produce and meats trucked over vast distances from farm to grocery – will no longer be a viable option. Food supplies will diminish as inputs derived from oil and natural gas – such as gas-powered farm machinery and methane-based fertilizers – become increasingly scarce and expensive. (Natural gas will peak shortly after oil, and unlike oil depletion, it will not be a gradual decline in production.)

During World War II, the U.S. began a Victory Garden campaign to ease the burden of military spending on food for the troops. Within a matter of years, almost half the nation’s vegetables were being grown in personal and community gardens. The U.S. should return to urban and suburban agriculture and a reimagining of communities that will need to begin growing food closer to home.

The process has already started amongst people feeling the pinch of higher gas and food prices. For more information on urban agriculture and its benefits, check out Sprouts in the Sidewalk.

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