It's Not Just About The Birds and The Bees: Are Low Priced Vegetables At Risk?

Bees Pollinating Vegetaples

Anyone who has been a farmer, had a big back yard garden, or ever had a greenhouse understands instantly that there is much more than beauty at stake. Most fruits and vegetables depend on insects to pollinate and without an adequate supply, crop yields fall. If yields fall, then prices rise. If prices rise, the poor are shut out of healthy food. If the poor are shut out of healthy food, then they get sick, health care costs skyrocket, and the good die young.

Already our food supply is too dependent on processed foods and our health suffers. Stand at the front door of your local supermarket. Where are the vegetables? Where's the real food? You'll see it stuck over on the right or left and in tiny proportion to the rest of the store. That is if you have a supermarket and don't live in a food desert as many of the urban poor do.

Take a look at the contents of shopping carts in lower-income neighborhoods. You'll find such low cost staples such as macaroni, white bread, white sugar... The vegetables have become a luxury that many feel they can't afford.

Once upon a time the doctrine of man's dominion over the earth  implied stewardship. Now many just call for an end to the EPA.  If we continue on this course, it might mean an end to more than to the EPA. But really, ending the EPA is only about ending regulation so that the few can profit at the expense of the many.

"Promiscuous" Bees and Vanishing Insects Mean Less Food For Us

Are Vegetables Prices At RiskMOTHER JONES - The foods that make our meals more colorful and delicious—coffee, watermelon, almonds, to name a few—depend on pollinators like bees. In fact, three-quarters of global food crops rely at least partly on pollination by animals. But two reports published in Science last week show how wild pollinating insects such as bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles are disappearing, putting these foods at risk. Plus, one of the reports reveals, substituting hives of honeybees isn't going to cut it—according to research collected across 20 countries, managed honeybees don't do nearly as good of a job at pollinating as their wild counterparts.

For one of the studies, Laura Burkle, an assistant ecology professor at Montana State University, wanted to see how climate change was affecting bee and plant interactions. When she and her fellow researchers stumbled across data collected in the late 1800s by naturalist Charles Robertson and in the 1970s by another researcher in the same location, they realized they had an opening. Burkle's team returned to Carlinville, Illinois, the site of Robertson's research (now fragmented forest surrounded by corn fields), discovering that where 109 species of wild bees once pollinated plants in the area, only 54 buzzed around today.

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How Can You Help the Bees?

As in many instances of things that challenge us as a nation such as pollution, a degrading environment, etc., we sometimes feel as if we are powerless to contribute to the solution.

A 3-year campaign launched on the BCC by the horticulturist, Sarah Raven has been quite successful in addressing this problem.  In this edited version of  her longer BBC video, she gives very practical things we can do in our own yards and gardens to help provide food for pollinators.

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Basic Info on Colony Collapse Disorder: Why Are Bees Flying Off to Die?

A quote attributed to Albert Einstein says that if the bees disappear, “man would have only four years of life left”. Whether or not Albert Einstein said this may be irrelevant. What is important for us to realize is that 30% of our food is dependent on pollinators such as bees.

What has been happening? Why are the bees abandoning their hives and calling it quits? This video offers some answers.

Related Books

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming Kindle Edition

by David Wallace-Wells
0525576703It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. Available On Amazon

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

by Dahr Jamail
1620972344After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. In response, Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest—in order to discover the consequences to nature and to humans of the loss of ice.  Available On Amazon

Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to Thrive While Creating a Sustainable World

by Ellen Moyer
1942936559Our scarcest resource is time. With determination and action, we can implement solutions rather than sit on the sidelines suffering harmful impacts. We deserve, and can have, better health and a cleaner environment, a stable climate, healthy ecosystems, sustainable use of resources, and less need for damage control. We have so much to gain. Through science and stories, Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves makes the case for hope, optimism, and practical solutions we can take individually and collectively to green our technology, green our economy, strengthen our democracy, and create social equality. Available On Amazon

From The Publisher:
Purchases on Amazon go to defray the cost of bringing you InnerSelf.comelf.com, MightyNatural.com, and ClimateImpactNews.com at no cost and without advertisers that track your browsing habits. Even if you click on a link but don't buy these selected products, anything else you buy in that same visit on Amazon pays us a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, so please contribute to the effort. You can also use this link to use to Amazon at any time so you can help support our efforts.

 

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