With the ever-changing climate and the growing population, food sustainability has become crucial. Our population is increasing much more quickly than it has in the last few hundreds of years. By 2050, we are estimated to have a 2 billion people increase, making our population up to almost 9 billion people (“The Future of Food Hackathon”). Out of these 7 billion people, currently, there aren’t many farming and agriculture families left. These families, altogether, supply the food and produce for the entire world and they are slowly dwindling down in size. We, the people of Earth, depend on a very short supply of people to supply the food to feed everyone, but we forget that they need help, too. Many of these farmers and agriculture-owning families barely have enough food for themselves. They are poor, malnourished, and falling apart as they try to compete with big agribusinesses that use GMOs for their plants, their pesticides, their modified fertilizers, and more detrimental products that harm the land and oceans. The small agriculture producers are being squashed under big business and rapid producing of foods that may be genetically modified and not as beneficial as gar as nutrients and health. If we lose the small farming families, we will have no natural, region-specialized, seasonal, and organic crops left.
Rows of Crops and Produce (Agriculture)
One company that is focusing on food sustainability and Earth friendly habits is Whole Foods. On our class field trip, we took a tour of the store and learned many important aspects that make them one of the most environmentally sound grocery stores in the US. Whole Foods takes pride in helping local growers, in sustainability, in organic or all natural clean products, and in promoting healthy living. Their 365 brand is one of the best ideas in sustainable food industry. With prices cheaper than most grocery stores, like Smiths, all of the food under this brand are all natural or organic. Organic means no GMOs, man-made additives, pesticides, additive fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemicals. Natural is a little less “clean” than organic, but it also means no GMOs, or growth hormones, but it could mean that there are preservatives and refined sugars in the product. But, overall, both organic and all natural are healthier than most of the food found in normal grocery stores.
An Outdoor Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods has delicious and healthy seasonal produce and compared to Walmart, who uses GMOs and additive chemicals to have produce year round, their food tastes and looks cleaner. All of the leftover produce and unused food, in the Whole Foods across the street from my school, goes to the Roadrunner Food which helps to feed people who are homeless or needy. Whole Foods composts all of the produce and food that has gone bad, too! Both of these plans help to create a sustainable system that benefits the people, the company, and the environment. All of their products have labels that say where the food originated, the nutrient density per calorie, the rating of the produce (which must exceed satisfactory or good), and whether the food is local, micro local, or macrolocal to show sustainable practices and to ease the mind of confused shoppers that are used to being blinded by big business. To top it off, the store prides itself on being clean, pretty, and welcoming. Whole Foods is a sustainable company with values based on the healthiest and most environmentally friendly service, products, and ideals.
A Whole Foods Store (front view)