Organic farming and sustainable agriculture is like killing two birds with one stone (not the best figure of speech for an environmental site [oops]). These practices have less impact on the environment, all while producing healthy, whole foods. So much of the news has focused on our melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and extreme weather, but little attention has been paid to the fact that at the end of the day, climate change can lead to all of us going hungry.

grapes in hand

Image courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance on Flickr.

Climate change is accompanied with increased temperatures, drought, wildfires, and extreme storms. Will our crops be able to keep up with these rapid changes? A recent article by The Atlantic, “The Agricultural Fulcrum: Better Food, Better Climate,” explains how industrial farming is actually contributing to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.

You may be surprised to learn that the production of that ear of corn you’re eating depended on the use of fossil fuels. In a perfect world your corn flourished on it’s own through the magic of mothernature, was handpicked, and set on your plate. But in reality, growing our food requires the production of fertilizers and pesticides, processing, packaging, and transportation, all depending on fossil fuels and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

The use of fertilizers and pesticides are harmful in that they contaminate waterways, reduce biodiversity in soil, reducing its quality, and they are also believed to have harmful effects on human health.

Because of industrial farming’s effects on health and the environment, sustainable agriculture is looking like a better alternative. Sustainable agriculture recaptures greenhouse gases, provides cleaner water, promotes biodiversity, and offers reduced exposure to pesticides.

One young woman in China has found the enormous benefits that sustainable agriculture has to offer. In a very inspiring story, which you can watch here, a recent university graduate goes against societal pressures to make use of her degree in the big city, and decides to open up her own organic restaurant in the countryside where her family owns an organic farm. The short video will give you a newfound appreciation for pure, wholesome food. Lifen Yang shows us how food prepared without chemicals and made with the best ingredients can be tasty too. Some how us humans have lost sight of what real food is; reconnecting with it is like meeting a long lost part of you.