Posted 4:40 PM 9/16/2012 : A U of A study reveals a need for sustainable border food-systems
TUCSON- A recent study from the University of Arizona highlights the stark differences in food systems between the United States and Mexico.
This week farming advocates from across the border region are in Tucson to work towards a more sustainable bi-national system.
According to the study 60 percent of U.S. spring and winter produce come from the farms of Mexico.
In a country where we throw out nearly half of our yearly food source many are wondering what can be done to make both sides of the border more sustainable.
Ed Gonzalez traveled from El Paso to learn how Tucson has created a more localized farm to market system. "I am starting to learn about what programs are doing here in Tucson to amend the soil, and how much water is that soil going to need," said Gonzalez.
The study also points out that despite the Sonoran Desert being a bi-national food source there is no correlation between how much food a state produces and how hungry people in that state are. "A system that is dependent upon workers who can't afford to eat, to buy and eat the food they produce is fundamentally unjust," said Chet Phillips, a University graduate assistant in sustainability.
He envisions a more localized food economy allowing farmers to sell directly to consumers at farmers markets like the ones in Tucson. "We've saved at least four farms from going under. Nowhere in the country can you start a business but at a farmers market with 500 dollars or less. So it makes a great starting point for small economic development," said Roxanne Garcia, Director of the Tucson Farmers Markets.
Phillips feels the localized system creates more accountability helping the farmers, and the hungry.
For more information on the study visit uanews.org.
To learn more about the food summit, click here.
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