By: Stephen Alexander and Serina Branch
Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
What is sustainable agriculture and why is it important to you? Sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. Sounds good, right? Idealistically yes, but realistically this practice hasn’t come close to fruition nationally or globally. The good news is that you you, the consumer, can spark change with your dollar and make responsible food choices that impact your environment in a positive manner.
“Carbon” is shorthand for greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases. These gases are released by many different types of activity – not just the burning of fossil fuels, but also farming, deforestation and some industrial processes.
Percentage of global emissions allocated to human activities:
Electricity & heat (24.9%)*
Other fuel combustion (8.6%)*
Fugitive emissions (4%)*
Land use change (12.2%)*
Industrial processes (4.3%)*
*global emissions relative to conventional/ factory farming
Now is the Time
Now is the right time to fully embrace sustainable agriculture – a system in which farmers use techniques that protect the environment, economy, people, and communities.
Embracing sustainable agricultural practices allows farmers to think critically about their farming processes and creatively devising innovative practices to reduce their emissions related with conventional farming activities. S.A.P require farmers to be more careful about the use of natural resources such as water, waste, and energy. S.A.P. in today’s world prompts farmers to develop strategies to reduce “food miles,” and/or grow food locally.
Local food growing stimulates the local economies and reduces the carbon footprint. Also, along with sustainable agricultural practices comes community cohesion, effecting the farmers, laborers and consumers positively.
Community cohesion in Delray Beach
Right here, in our very own Delray Beach, many people have been making informed/responsible food consumption decisions by shopping at local farmer’s markets, local grocers, or eating at restaurants that provide local farm to table food.
Purgreens, a local farm to table restaurant in the heart of Delray Beach, has been part of the pioneering process that helps reduce our collective carbon footprint. Influenced by responsible agricultural practices, Purgreens has implemented an urban agricultural growing system popularized by LA Urban Farms. This farming system utilizes Tower Garden Aeroponic Technology developed by the world leader in vertical aeroponics. Tower Gardens can grow most all vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. This state-of-the-art vertical patented technology is the perfect solution for farming in an urban setting, using 90 percent less land and 90 percent less water. This technology also allows the grower to control all elements of food production, most importantly the quality and safety of the water.
The nutrient-dense living produce from PurGreens can be harvested in half the amount of time as traditional organic farming and requires a fraction of the amount of time to maintain (up to 50 percent less time) all without use of any soil. Best of all, the Tower Garden eliminates the use of any harmful herbicides and pesticides.
Change starts with you. You have the capability to make a difference by voting with your dollar. Shop at local grocers, farmers markets, and eat at restaurants that serve food harvested from sustainable agricultural practices. Health is contagious; be the change you want to see in the world.
Serina Branch is a PurLife training specialist in Delray Beach. She is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is an advanced sports nutrition advisor. After being born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she moved to Florida at the age of 22 for the consistent warm weather and beautiful beaches. She practices what she preaches, as she truly enjoys spreading the positivity of health and wellness in our beautiful city.
Stephen Alexander, not to be confused with his father SR the local chiropractor, is a training specialist for PurLife In Delray Beach. He is a Delray local that is always looking to lend a hand in his community through helping others and leading a healthy and positive lifestyle. He is passionate about music, nutrition, and living life in the healthiest fashion, both physically and mentally.