Urban Agriculture:
           Issues for Public
       and Environmental Health
                 Karen Rideout, MSc
Nation...
outline
•   Introduction to urban agriculture (UA)
•   Urban agriculture and public health
•   Potential challenges of UA
...
the many sides of urban agriculture
• Urban / peri-urban
    – Intersection of urban and rural
•   Community gardens
•   C...
UA is everywhere
• Global south
• Europe
• North America

• Vancouver &
  BC
Urban agriculture in Vancouver
urban agriculture is growing
              • Many municipalities
                are supporting urban
                agri...
why urban agriculture?
• Local food supply
• Therapeutic,
  exercise
• Grow ethnic foods
  from home
• Social interaction
...
benefits of urban agriculture
                • Food security & diet
                  quality
                • Community...
urban agriculture and public health
• Zoning & land access
• Air | water | soil
  quality
• Social stratification
• Agricu...
zoning & land
• Land access is the biggest challenge to urban
  farmers and community gardeners
• People will grow where t...
air pollution
• Road traffic pollutes   MITIGATION
  soil and plants:        • Pb particles can be
   – Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mo...
water
IN                          OUT
• Use of non-potable        • Run-off from larger
  grey water                  urba...
soil contaminants
Heavy metals:
  – Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Hg, As
• Organic compounds:
  – PAHs, POPs,
    pesticides
• Pathogens...
sources of soil contamination
• previous use of land         • leakage of HCs (gas
  (industrial, dry cleaning,     statio...
a note about brownfields
•   lack of access to land
•   lack of awareness and resources
•   private land ownership (e.g. p...
soil contaminants
                                • Pathways of human
                                  exposure to soil
 ...
gardening on contaminated sites
• Site mitigation:
   – excavation & soil        – very expensive,
     replacement       ...
gardening on contaminated sites
• Design solutions:
  – raised beds
  – impermeable barriers
    with landscape fabric
  –...
gardening on contaminated sites
• Planting options:
  – grow low accumulators in contaminated soil


• Soil conditioning:
...
factors affecting metal bioavailability

•   pH
•   organic matter (elements bind to it)
•   CaCO3 – keeps pH>7, decrease ...
plant choices
Contaminant        Avoid            Plant
 Cadmium           Lettuce
                  Spinach
             ...
soil testing resources
– Resource Management Branch, BC Ministry of
  Agriculture and Lands Abbotsford, 604-556-3102
– Agr...
agricultural pollution
• Pesticides
  – drift from peri-urban agriculture
  – untrained hobby farmers and gardeners
  – pe...
UA and food safety
• Pesticide residues
  – Most backyard and community garden plots use
    organic methods
  – Community...
urban livestock
• Regulations vary by
  municipality
• Some cities allow
  backyard chickens
   – Victoria, Burnaby, New
 ...
health concerns with backyard animals
• Avian influenza
• Odour
   – Not a health risk
   – Control with proper hygiene
• ...
CFIA
1. Prevent contact with
   other animals and
   wild birds
2. Clean barns, tools,
   litter – keep food
   sealed
3. ...
pests
                     • Compost
                        – rodents, flies
                        – odour
            ...
composting
                       • Put wire mesh under compost
                         bin for rodent protection
       ...
social issues
•   Stratification / property values
•   Community improvement
•   Perception and aesthetics
•   Conflicts o...
safety and security
• tools and
  machinery
• syringes, glass
• physical strain,
  back injuries
• locked or not??
• acces...
role of public health
• Educate gardeners and public about:
  – proper handling, storage, preparation of fresh foods
  – f...
gaps
• Food sales regulations
• Actual contaminant levels – soil testing
• Effective, low cost remediation
research needs
• Small community/personal gardens vs
  commercial farms
• Soil testing and contaminants
  – Jurisdiction
 ...
summary/conclusion
• UA is increasing for
  many reasons
• Regulations and
  guidelines are lacking
• Problems with
  perc...
Thank you!




   karen.rideout@bccdc.ca
 www.ncceh.ca | www.ccnse.ca
UA resources
•   Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture & Food Security
    www.ruaf.org
•   Centre for Excellence in Brown...
Urban Agriculture: Issues for Public and Environmental Health
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Urban Agriculture: Issues for Public and Environmental Health

7,325

Published on

An introduction to the growing area of urban agriculture, including its public health and environmental health implications, its challenges, its food safety connections, and role of public health professionals should play.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
2 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • beautiful presentation..good job..
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • The public health implications of urban agriculture is yet to be given due attention especially in developing countries. Policy makers need to look into this critical issue if the aim of the health component of the MDGs is to be achieved. The contributions of urban agriculture to food and nutrition security in Africa are quite enormous but the public health implications should be carefully addressed.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
7,325
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
228
Comments
2
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Urban Agriculture: Issues for Public and Environmental Health

  1. 1. Urban Agriculture: Issues for Public and Environmental Health Karen Rideout, MSc National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health SOEH Seminar Series January 22, 2010
  2. 2. outline • Introduction to urban agriculture (UA) • Urban agriculture and public health • Potential challenges of UA • Environmental health issues • Food safety and UA • Role of public health professionals • Discussion and questions
  3. 3. the many sides of urban agriculture • Urban / peri-urban – Intersection of urban and rural • Community gardens • Commercial agriculture • Backyards and balconies • Temporary sites/’Guerilla’ gardens • Victory gardens • Entrepreneurial gardens • School gardens • Educational farms • Recreational farms
  4. 4. UA is everywhere • Global south • Europe • North America • Vancouver & BC
  5. 5. Urban agriculture in Vancouver
  6. 6. urban agriculture is growing • Many municipalities are supporting urban agriculture and community gardening • UBCM climate change initiative www.toolkit.bc.ca/
  7. 7. why urban agriculture? • Local food supply • Therapeutic, exercise • Grow ethnic foods from home • Social interaction • Environmental • Connection to nature/food
  8. 8. benefits of urban agriculture • Food security & diet quality • Community economic development • Mental health • Urban design & vibrant neighbourhoods • Educational & skill building • Local food • Biodiversity • Physical activity • Productive vacant lots • Beauty, nature
  9. 9. urban agriculture and public health • Zoning & land access • Air | water | soil quality • Social stratification • Agricultural pollution • Food safety • Animals & pests • Safety & security
  10. 10. zoning & land • Land access is the biggest challenge to urban farmers and community gardeners • People will grow where they can find land – old industrial sites – vacant lots – railway lines – brownfield sites – private development sites – roadsides and boulevards • Potential concerns re. traffic safety | air & soil pollution | fencing
  11. 11. air pollution • Road traffic pollutes MITIGATION soil and plants: • Pb particles can be – Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mo washed off – Petroleum HCs • Boundary crops can (unburnt fuel) act as a protective – PAHs (gasoline) buffer • Variable – Depends on wind, distance, traffic, soil characteristics
  12. 12. water IN OUT • Use of non-potable • Run-off from larger grey water urban farms or those – Household or rain using chemical inputs water or pesticides may – lack of regulation contaminate surrounding – Microorganisms properties or sewers – Household chemicals • Most community gardens have organic requirements
  13. 13. soil contaminants Heavy metals: – Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Hg, As • Organic compounds: – PAHs, POPs, pesticides • Pathogens • Asbestos fibres
  14. 14. sources of soil contamination • previous use of land • leakage of HCs (gas (industrial, dry cleaning, stations) photo processing) • wood preservatives • atmospheric deposition (creosote, chlorophenols) (esp. near roads) in construction, raised • paint particles (Pb) bed frames, or rail lines • contaminated fill • waste disposal • water runoff • bonfires • composts and fertilizers • faeces • pesticides • burial of dead animals • sports and hobbies (e.g. • sewage sludge airgun pellets)
  15. 15. a note about brownfields • lack of access to land • lack of awareness and resources • private land ownership (e.g. property developers) • gas stations and railway lines
  16. 16. soil contaminants • Pathways of human exposure to soil contaminants – Uptake through plant roots – Deposition of soil particles on leaves, fruits, or roots Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Consumption of soil by animals used for food, milk, or eggs
  17. 17. gardening on contaminated sites • Site mitigation: – excavation & soil – very expensive, replacement fast (+/-geotextiles) – soil washing – expense – soil vapour – very expensive extraction – microbial remediation – low cost; <1 year – phytoremediation – low cost; 2–5+ (+/- chelating agents) years
  18. 18. gardening on contaminated sites • Design solutions: – raised beds – impermeable barriers with landscape fabric – buffers between garden and roads Photo: Wikimedia Commons Photo: Inside Urban Green Photo: City Farmer
  19. 19. gardening on contaminated sites • Planting options: – grow low accumulators in contaminated soil • Soil conditioning: – lime raises pH to minimize cation (metal) uptake – compost neutralizes pH, making Pb less bioavailable
  20. 20. factors affecting metal bioavailability • pH • organic matter (elements bind to it) • CaCO3 – keeps pH>7, decrease availability • % clay size – metals sorb to clays • % plaster & concrete – affects pH & sulphate • Redox • Form of metal (particulate, soluble, organic) • Concentration of other contaminants
  21. 21. plant choices Contaminant Avoid Plant Cadmium Lettuce Spinach Carrot Mustard Lead Lettuce Spinach Onion Pea Mustard French bean Collards Squash Mizuna Tomatoes Sunflowers Dioxin Root crops Above-ground Cucurbitaceae parts General Leafy greens Fruiting plants
  22. 22. soil testing resources – Resource Management Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands Abbotsford, 604-556-3102 – Agrichem Analytical Saltspring Island www.agrichem.ca – M.B. Laboratories Ltd. Sidney www.mblabs.com – Exova (Nor-west Labs) Surrey www.bodycotetesting.com – Pacific Soil Analysis Unit Richmond, 604-273-8226 – Caro Analytic Services Richmond & Kelowna www.caro.ca
  23. 23. agricultural pollution • Pesticides – drift from peri-urban agriculture – untrained hobby farmers and gardeners – pets and children • Fertilizers – improper use – pets and children • Water runoff
  24. 24. UA and food safety • Pesticide residues – Most backyard and community garden plots use organic methods – Community based growers using pesticides may not have adequate training • Poisoning risk • Runoff • Pets • Sale of produce – Farmers’ markets, shops, CSA, “farm” gate – Value-added products (jams, pickles, etc) – Fruits and veg, eggs, meat
  25. 25. urban livestock • Regulations vary by municipality • Some cities allow backyard chickens – Victoria, Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver – New York, Seattle, Portland, LA, Chicago + others – Halifax, Toronto don’t allow • Goats, guinea pigs, rabbits • In North America, other • Land use and/or animal animals generally not control by-laws permitted
  26. 26. health concerns with backyard animals • Avian influenza • Odour – Not a health risk – Control with proper hygiene • Noise – only roosters • Pests – rats, mice, etc. • Cruelty to animals – not unique to food animals • Predators • Excrement and waste
  27. 27. CFIA 1. Prevent contact with other animals and wild birds 2. Clean barns, tools, litter – keep food sealed 3. Report early signs of disease 4. Keep birds away from visitors 5. Segregate new birds for 30 days
  28. 28. pests • Compost – rodents, flies – odour • Animals – predators – odour – flies • Generally from poor management or neglect, although rodents always a possibility • Perception can be a problem Photo: CityFarmer
  29. 29. composting • Put wire mesh under compost bin for rodent protection (prevents burrowing) • Keep compost covered • Bury food scraps well with soil and dry brown matter to kill fly larvae and minimize odour • Avoid putting fatty foods and meat in domestic compost • Vermicompost www.cityfarmer.org
  30. 30. social issues • Stratification / property values • Community improvement • Perception and aesthetics • Conflicts over land use / access
  31. 31. safety and security • tools and machinery • syringes, glass • physical strain, back injuries • locked or not?? • access and lighting Photo: Brian Latta Photography
  32. 32. role of public health • Educate gardeners and public about: – proper handling, storage, preparation of fresh foods – food preservation (e.g. safe canning practices) – egg handling and animal hygiene (where permitted) • Work with land owners to ensure soils are safe – Choice of crops – Barriers and creative garden planning • Provide safety education for tools & chemicals • Proper pest management practices • Sales and processing (CSA, farm market, value- added)
  33. 33. gaps • Food sales regulations • Actual contaminant levels – soil testing • Effective, low cost remediation
  34. 34. research needs • Small community/personal gardens vs commercial farms • Soil testing and contaminants – Jurisdiction • Private or development land • Brownfield sites • Railway lines – Which contaminants? – Potential for plant uptake? – Mitigation options?
  35. 35. summary/conclusion • UA is increasing for many reasons • Regulations and guidelines are lacking • Problems with perception, fear, aesthetics • Major health issue is soil contamination • Potential for chemical use in urban ag
  36. 36. Thank you! karen.rideout@bccdc.ca www.ncceh.ca | www.ccnse.ca
  37. 37. UA resources • Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture & Food Security www.ruaf.org • Centre for Excellence in Brownfields Remediation | www.cemrs.qc.ca • US EPA Brownfields and Land Remediation www.epa.gov/brownfields • Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment | www.ccme.ca • McGill School of Environment Brownfields Guide http://mse-research.mcgill.ca/envr401_2002/brownfields/guide.pdf • American Community Gardening Association www.communitygarden.org • City Farmer | www.cityfarmer.info • Vancouver Community Gardens http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/comgardn.htm • Chickens in Vancouver | www.chickensinvancouver.com • Vancouver Community Agriculture Network | http://vcan.ca/
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×