It seems like one step forward, two steps back for the environmental movement these days. The once-high hopes of achieving national and/or international action on climate change have faded to a mere memory. Backward-thinking Republicans are attacking the Environmental Protection Agency in Congress. Eco-minded folks are getting bummed.
But another movement, one that shares a common ethos with environmentalism, is gaining momentum and providing grounds for optimism. Demand for local, organic, and sustainably-raised food is at an all-time high, and showing no signs of falling off. The food revolution is well underway. Though predominantly driven by health concerns, the new food movement dovetails with those of environmentalists. So can foodies save the environmental movement?
In a recent TIME Magazine article, Bryan Walsh discusses the issue, predicting that the food movement may be the best vehicle for achieving the goals of the environmental movement.
Reforming agriculture and promoting sustainability won't just help us get better and healthier food; it will also fight greenhouse-gas emissions and water pollution. The food movement has been criticized as elitist, but that reputation belies recent efforts to get low-cost fruits and vegetables to urban poor who suffer disproportionately from obesity and diabetes.
So cheer up, greenies. Environmental reform is on the menu.