Agriculture is the lifeblood of most countries’ economies. Many countries support agriculture and are increasing their investments in food production (Tubiello et al. 2655). Agriculture is produced on a variety of scales. Most people who live in cities with restricted garden space have recently become involved in small-scale agriculture as a means of self-sufficiency. David Arthur Cleveland, a well-known environmental scholar, investigated the importance of producing local foods and published an article titled, What Can “Local” Food Do? Cleveland’s article is discussed critically in this document.Local food production should be encouraged in all regions of the country as it assists in minimizing greenhouse gas emission thereby reducing global warming.
What Can “Local” Food Do is an educating article that discusses the different aspects of local food production. This author defined local food as the sustenance produced and consumed in the same geographical location. Cleveland also presented the various assumptions that people have such as the perception that foods produced locally are more sustainable than the processed food. Basing on Cleveland’s reasoning, local foods are the produces grown in an individual’s yard and consumed by the same person that grows them. Cleveland also presented the findings of some pieces of research conducted in Santa Barbara County. The agenda that this renowned scholar attempts to forward is that local food can enhance environmental sustainability and minimize the production of greenhouse gas emission by a large percentage (Cleveland). The author’s parting shot was that the public should embrace the production of local foods by utilizing their gardens and lawns to grow vegetables and using agricultural wastes as organic fertilizers (Cleveland).
The author’s arguments were either based on experience or research. This individual began by explaining what many people assume about local foods and their production. The main strength of this piece of literature was that it was factual. The author was keen to support the argument by providing the findings of prior research. The Santa Barbara County was a case study used in the article. This region is well known for its production of agricultural goods in both large and small scales. However, the author terms this country as a “prime example of a missed potential.” Close to 95% of the agricultural goods, i.e., vegetables and fruits that are consumed in Santa Barbara County are imported while 99% of its total fruit and vegetable production are exported. These facts were obtained from Cleveland’s research on food systems in Santa Barbara County.
The high percentage of greenhouse gas emissions witnessed in the various regions of the globe is something that every government should worry about (Tubiello et al. 2657). The variations in climatic conditions have been widely attributed to the immense production of these gases. Cleveland was thoughtful enough to address this problem in his article thereby enhancing the level of relevance of this literacy piece. According to this researcher, the massive adoption and implementation of local food production will save households 0.058 MT of greenhouse gas emission annually that translates to an average of 9% of the US GHGE (Cleveland). Therefore, the author advises that there is a need to promote environmental sustainability through gardening and the localization of food systems.
Another outstanding strength is the ability of the author to identify an issue and provide the readers with the means of addressing the problem and the contribution of the concerned government agencies. The author seemed to advocate for local food production systems as a means of minimizing global warming through the reduction of GHGE. A skeptical reader may ask him or herself the ways in which the proposed system can minimize global warming. However, the answers are evident in the piece. The author advocates for green farming whereby the kitchen wastes can undergo composting and be used instead of other inorganic fertilizers. The author and his fellow environmental studies experts modeled the impact of creating a household vegetable garden from a lawn (Cleveland). In a nutshell, Cleveland’s description of the means of adopting green farming provides solutions to global warming.
The steps and models presented by the author were both efficient and easy to implement. However, this article had one central weakness. The author failed to discuss the means in which people with no lawns can create their household food garden. Most people hailing in urban centers live in apartments. There is no practicality in the adoption of local food systems in these regions. Therefore, there will be the increased importation of foods from other regions, and the amount of GHGE will continue to rise due to transportation and other underlying issues. Cleveland would have provided an alternative technique that can be employed in regions with limited garden spaces.
All in all, the production of local foods must be embraced all parts of the country as it assists in minimizing greenhouse gas emission thereby reducing global warming. What Can “Local” Food Do provided insights on how the production of local food production models can enhance environmental sustainability. Cleveland’s article is highly efficient as it addresses the malign issue of global warming from an agricultural perspective. The strengths of this article outdo its weakness making it appropriate for any audience.
Cleveland, David Arthur. “What Can “Local” Food Do?”. Union of Concerned Scientists, 2017, http://blog.ucsusa.org/science-blogger/what-can-local-food-do.
Tubiello, Francesco N., Mirella Salvatore, Alessandro F. Ferrara, Jo House, Sandro Federici, Simone Rossi, Riccardo Biancalani… and Nalin, Srivastava. “The contribution of agriculture, forestry and other land use activities to global warming, 1990–2012.” Global change biology vol.21 no.7 (2015): 2655-2660.