Supporting Farmland Feed the Mind

Wellbeing Narrative Feed the Mind Conservation rural land Laura Arnold

Photo by Laura Arnold.

If you read my previous post on grocery shopping, you know why it is important to buy locally-grown produce.  Local produce is more nutrient-dense, thus better for your body.  This is also why it is important to support local farmers and farmland.

In the United States, it is reported that 91% of fruit and 78% of vegetables come from farms closest to cities and urban environments.  These farms are directly in the path of land development and are at risk.

Did you know…

  • We lose over an acre of farmland every minute in the United States!
  • In the 25 years from 1982-2007, we have converted over 41 million acres of rural land to developed land.  Here in California, we lost 616,000 acres of rural land to development.
  • Even more surprising, the rate of land development does not correspond with the rate of population growth.  From 1982-2007, the US population increased 30%, while developed land increased 57%.

Farmland does more than contribute to food supply and the national economy, it also protects and supports the environment…

Farm and ranch lands provide food and cover for wildlife, help control flooding, protect wetlands and watersheds and maintain air quality.  They can absorb and filter wastewater and provide groundwater recharge.  New energy crops even have the potential to replace fossil fuels.*

Supporting farmland–no matter where we live–benefits our bodies, local communities, national economies, and our planet as a whole.

To learn about ways you can help save farmland in the United States, click here!

If you’re in California and are interested in purchasing healthy, free-range, grass-fed beef, look into Leftcoast Grassfed, located on California’s Tomkat Ranch.  The ranch was originally established to support the environment and land conservation.  They use solar-powered electric fences, and the cattle practices rotational grazing as a natural land conservation tool.  As a result, TomKat Ranch brought natural grasses back to the land, decreased erosion, and minimized their carbon footprint.  They are an incredible example and worthy of consumer support, because they function in an ethical and responsible way to promote the wellbeing of cattle, consumers, employees, and the environment.

**This post focuses on U.S. statistics and organizations, but do look for similar organizations in your country that support farmland conservation!

Sources
*”Farmland Protection: Farmland Protection Issues.”  American Farmland Trust. 2012. http://www.farmland.org/programs/protection/default.asp.
“Threatened Farmland: Farming on the Edge Report.”  American Farmland Trust.  2012. http://www.farmland.org/resources/fote/default.asp.
“TomKat Ranch”. LeftCoast Grassfed.   http://www.leftcoastgrassfed.com/about/tomkat-ranch/.