Eating beef has a huge cost for the climate. Fortunately, there are lots of things we can do to effect change, not just in our personal lives, but also collectively. Research by the USDA National School Lunch Program has shown that kids eat more fruit and vegetables when more fruit and vegetable choices are offered. That program is administered by the US Department of Agriculture, under the guidance of the Secretary of Agriculture, appointed by the POTUS. A plant-rich diet is one of the most important Drawdown solutions, but the beef lobby is powerful. Speak out for wiser food production policies, and vote for candidates who will do the same. Your voice and your vote make a difference!
Join a community garden, or start one. Learn about regenerative agriculture (traditional farming) practices from Organic Growers School. Connect with local farmers and farmers markets through the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). Dig In! Yancey Community Garden in Burnsville, NC grows sustainably-grown produce to share with folks who need food, and they teach traditional farming practices to the community. Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (AIMS) in Celo, NC conducts research and education in permaculture, agroecology, and more. Learn about grants, scholarships, and other opportunities through Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA). Russell Hedrick in Hickory, NC uses regenerative agriculture practices with great success – saving money, increasing yields, and suppressing weeds. He’s a champion for no-till practices, leading educational events all over the country – watch one of his videos here. Influence your school or workplace to offer more tasty vegetarian options, or even start a Meatless Monday. Learn permaculture and other sustainable practices with organizations like the School of Integrated Living (SOIL), Wild Abundance, Living Web Farms, and Living Systems Design.
Eat your veggies. Sauteed mushrooms! Caramelized onions! Black bean soup! Roasted carrots! Hummus yummus! One of the biggest impacts you can make is with small changes to your diet. Here’s how:
Grow your own! Amy Landers’ family has been tending their family land in the North Carolina Blue Ridge for over a hundred years. She and her husband Colby are raising a family on their small homestead using the farm practices used by her great-grandparents and generations before them. Watch the video below for her advice about traditional farming practices that can help climate change.