The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.
- Michael Pollan
A sustainable community provides healthy food for its people. The quality of our food, health, and natural environment are interlinked. Strategies to make our food healthier and food production more energy-efficient are critical elements of Clearwater Greenprint.
The availability of healthy foods directly impacts what we eat and therefore our physical wellbeing. Local foods are generally fresher than foods that are transported long distances. Organic foods use fewer toxic chemicals that can damage our health and the natural environment.
Consuming locally grown foods is an important factor in reducing the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Scientists have shown that approximately one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the inputs, byproducts and energy used in food production. Local foods are transported shorter distances from farm to consumer tables. This makes our foods fresher while reducing emissions. Local foods also tend to be less processed and require less refrigeration or freezing, which can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Transportation of food consumes approximately 22 percent of the total energy used to get food from the farm to the food market (agricultural production to food retail on the adjacent graphic.)
Household Storage and Preparation of food consumes approximately 30 percent of the total energy used for food supply.
There are 1,500 acres of vacant land in the City of Clearwater, the vast majority of which is appropriate for some kind of local food production.
If all residential parcels in the City of Clearwater used as little as 15 percent of their land as kitchen gardens, 1,400 acres of land could be available for local food production.