Peak oil is not just a driving our butts around crisis – its more important than that.
Peak oil is a food crisis.
Fortunately, we have had people working without much general recognition for many many years to help us be prepared for this moment.
The Kentucky Community Farm Alliance is one such group. check out thier web site: http://www.communityfarmalliance.org/index.htm (Thanks Becca for the tip!)
Here is a sample of thier L.I.F.E. – local innovative food economies – philosophy:
“One way to bring together urban and rural people, to create economic and social empowerment, to preserve and enhance our farms and communities, lies in creating what Community Farm Alliance calls LIFE – local innovative food economies. LIFE has the power to enhance Kentucky’s fiscal and cultural vitality. A local food system allows Kentuckians to benefit by consuming most of their food from local farms, Kentucky farmers to make a living from their land and opens the door for a new generation of farmers to prosper.
What is LIFE?
The basic idea is to create a system where people grow and eat food closer to home. Jennifer Wilkins of Cornell University provides a more scholarly definition, stating that they are systems in which food production, processing, distribution, and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social, and nutritional health of a particular geographic location. We envision LIFE to include not just food, but also fiber, and other products such as soap, flowers, landscaping plants, agri-tourism, and more.
What are the Benefits of L.I.F.E.?
Locally innovative food economies are inherently more sustainable than an exclusive reliance on global food systems. LIFE supports more small and mid-sized, often low-input, family-owned farms. A greater percentage of the food dollar stays within the community, increasing local wealth through the multiplier effect. Transportation costs and related environmental consequences are likely reduced. In general, locally grown food is fresher and more nutritious than food shipped from long distances. By their decentralization and regional focus, these systems are more responsive to local needs. Finally, with LIFE customers and farmers can come to know one another, creating mutually supportive relationships, and raising citizens’ awareness of the many dimensions of their food choices.
What is the Potential for L.I.F.E.?
Local production and marketing keep a greater percentage of the food dollar within the community and increase regional wealth through the “multiplier effect.” As a result, 10 new farm jobs in Kentucky would generate three additional jobs in the farm service sector of the local economy, and 10 new local processing jobs would generate six additional jobs in the community. Every $1,000 increase in net farm income would generate an estimated $930 of income in the community, creating a total of $1930 of new wealth. 2004 estimates found that if Kentucky were to raise its per-farm average direct marketing sales to the national average, it would generate an additional farm-level income of $7.9 million and have an estimated statewide economic impact of $15.8 million.”