Sunday, December 17, 2017

Supply chain solutions - it's not rocket scence

Two trucks converging from the main road and an off-ramp heading up Wainuiomata Hill this morning epitomised to me the ironies of our modern food systems. One was a Meadow Fresh truck, no doubt taking refrigerated goods to the supermarket or dairies over the hill, the other was a large Waste Management truck. One heavy vehicle to truck in processed, packaged food; the other to take out all the waste packaging. Both powered by greenhouse gas producing fossil fuels.

I know that's simplistic - the Waste Management truck will be taking out lots of other forms of waste (though how much is 'necessary' in the long run, who knows); and perhaps some of the packaging the Meadow Fresh truck was bringing in will be recycled or reused - perhaps.

But the main point is we have these massive, complex, industrialised and segmented 'food' production, transport and consumption systems; such that end consumers don't have any idea what impact their use is having on our world. Quite frankly, most probably don't want to.

I live in a suburb just north of a main industrial centre in Lower Hutt, and regularly see trucks going over the river (Te Awa Kairangi), from an international logistics company bearing the slogan "Supply Chain Solutions". Our supply chain solutions in regard to food, in my humble opinion, lie a lot closer to home and more down to earth.

A multitude of climate change and environmental problems would be lessened if more of us - those capable of doing so - grew more of our own food, or made it ourselves. If you get the right ingredients - it'll be healthier too. Grow things like potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes - rocket even. That will spice up your life. If you don't have a garden plot yourself, check around for a community garden, or find others in the community who can help: maybe a plot share with someone else who can't fully utilised their own backyard. The possibilities are endless - and growing.

The Guardian newspaper says, while both agriculture and transport each contribute about 15 percent of total global carbon emissions, "when land conversion and the wider food system are taken into account the total contribution of food may be as high as 30 percent". 

Yes, I speak from my own place in the midst of this interconnected web of production and consumption. We buy a lot of packaged, processed food, including much from overseas; but we do grow some veges - including a promising patch of potatoes this year, bake our own bread occassionally; and my wife, for cost reasons, beats our own butter from cream from a local organic producer. We even make gourmet pizzas which outclasses those from Dominoes and Hell. In the product mix - we're not perfect, but occasionally strike through to a better way.

No comments:

Post a Comment