Aside from liking the taste of fresh produce, one of the reasons I started gardening is my growing awareness of the insecurity of our food supply. Years ago I read an article about how our hybridization of crops, though creating some hardier varieties, is slowly diminishing the natural biodiversity of our food supply. One article I read revealed that apple varieties grown in the US once numbered in the thousands and now there are only a few hundred left. The scary thing about this decline in crop varieties is that the possibility of a blight, disease or insect infecting and wiping out what remains are now more possible than ever.
Whereas people in third world and developing nations would be happy to have our bruised, malformed or scuffed fruits and veggies we, here in the US especially, waste hundreds of tons of food. What’s frustrating is that most municipalities have laws against feeding the hungry or anyone using the less than perfect food that isn’t sale-able (in the eyes of the consumer and merchant). Ever watch the Food Network Special The Big Waste? It’s eye opening. There are people dying of hunger all over the world and even in our country and there are bruised apples and less than perfect pumpkins and heads of cabbage (just to name a few) waiting to feed them.
These are just a few of the problems that our global food system faces. What can be done to create a better food system?