Food insecurity, or not having reliable access to fresh nutritious food, is an issue for people around the world, and it might get worse. Canada already has problem areas like the Canadian Arctic where food insecurity is prevalent. What causes food insecurity and why might it get worse?
Food insecurity is driven on the demand side by not having enough resources, or money, to purchase fresh nutritious food. This can result in the buying of calorically dense – nutritionally poor foods (think Cheetos or pizza) or in extreme cases the inability to purchase food at all.
On the supply side crops are highly affected by droughts, floods and other extreme weather, driving up the price of food. If the extreme weather is bad enough, this can lead to shortages in different types of produce, making it difficult to eat a healthy, varied diet and even leading to malnutrition.
Looking into the future where climate change is driving more extreme weather patterns, from forest fires and droughts to mega storms, an increasing population and demand for food, and a stressed eco system food insecurity is going to become a larger problem unless we do something about it. We need to add more resiliency into our food system for all our sakes.
One solution to this problem is growing your own food. Now, you’re probably thinking that is not an option for you because you live in the city and have no backyard – but that’s where you’re wrong! Hydroponic gardening makes it possible to grow your own food indoors, helping you become totally independent when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
Growing your own food adds resiliency to the food system by providing a controlled, protected, and isolated environment in which to grow. This means when a drought in California causes the price of lettuce to triple you don’t need to worry because you have your own grown right here in the city.
We call this decentralized production and it acts to balance out the risks of monocropping in large thousand-acre fields. It adds resiliency and more supply to your local food chain, whether you are feeding yourself, your family, or your whole block.
Perhaps best of all though? Fresh food just tastes really good! So why wouldn’t you want to grow?!