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“In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage,” states US Ecologist Gary Nabhan in a recent interview. Nabhan is a ethnobotanist/gardener whose promotion of biodiversity has caught the attention of many over the years. He is known for his work in biodiversity as an ethnobotanist.

Since Coming Home to Eat was published in 2001, the local food movement has ignited, causing a worldwide green epidemic. Over the past few years there has been a dramatic rise in the number of organizations and businesses that have contributed to the promotion of sustainability through conservation. The Earth Day Network has been playing a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiasts together to share ideas and discuss new ways to support the planet. Other large organizations and non-profits like Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working on successful emission reduction projects in the San Francisco Bay area. As climate control has continued to worsen, collaborative and individual acts are vital for any successful green campaign. As human beings, we’re constantly told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and air dry clothes instead of using a dryer! But let’s take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan (author of Coming Home to Eat) strongly suggests.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization confirms, only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and that a dozen species now give 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just 4 crop species supply half of plant based calories in the human diet.

Nabhan suggests that eating foods that are home-grown will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. Otherwise known as “eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory in that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we’re promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.

Agriculturist Marco Contiero also mentions that “biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.”[1] According to Conterio’s theory, this would suggest that as individuals we tend our own crops/plants, and should make sure to purchase localized farm products at supermarkets and groceries. In the end, this condenses export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.

Both Nabhan and Contiero’s theories rely profoundly on an action oriented approach at conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, organizations and individuals have taken a stronger following to expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists. So remember be sure to visit your local farmers markets and apple orchids to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. Promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.

Article Submitted by Kori Bubnack
Image from Cubit’s Organics

Amanda Hearn
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