Catalytic force: use of deep analysis & understanding of the food system, policy and a vast network of grass roots and grass tops relations to transform the rules that govern development and practice of food system activity.
CAFPC = the vehicle for change (the mechanism in place) The California Food Policy Council emerged from 7 years of movement building work and it provides a path to achieve all three objectives mentioned in the previous slide. We can invite leaders and communities of color to its center we can offer messaging that highlights the momentum for change and the reality of a new system emerging in the participating communities we can demonstrate statewide movement level strategy executed by its members.
The industrial mindset created industrial agriculture and industrial food based on animal cruelty, antibiotic dependent animal concentration and confinement, monocultures, fossil fuel and chemical dependence. It created highly processed fast food that is cheap, easy and ubiquitous and together these things are killing the world and they are killing us.
And the data is in. Agriculture has been for millennia the primary human activity eroding the planets ecosystems. Now fossil fuel use is the primary cause due to GHG emissions, but agriculture and food tied to fossil fuel. We know that 20% of the world’s energy is consumed for food production and distribution. We know that about 20% of the global GHG emissions come from agriculture activity, primarily clearing of forests, particularly rain forests. Important fact, 2013 amazon for the first time became a carbon source, not a sink. Why drought, fires and agriculture, which are interrelated. Industrial ag produces 30% of the worlds food using 70% of the resources consumed by agriculture. Small holders produce 70% of the food using 30% of the resources.
The current 3 year drought, which is projected to go into a fourth year, will be a significant and long-term challenge for ensuring a stable food supply. Agriculture is estimated to use ~80% of the state’s water supply. UC Davis researchers showed that the current drought will lead to 17,000 lost jobs, 420,000 acres fallowed, and ~$2.2 billion lost from CA’s ag industry NOAA climate scientists are projecting that we will not have a wet year or El Niño this year, meaning that our water supplies will not be fully recharged. This is also linked to climate change, as rising temperatures has already affected some of the global wind patterns that historically brought precipitation to California. Air quality drops as dust become more prevalent. Battles over water rights will grow as the state becomes drier and who will win out? Large farms and industry or low income communities and small farmers? Who will decide? You will decide based on the laws made within this building. People are trucking in water already, hygiene is already being effected because they cannot bath or flush toilets. As the water table drops the concentration of agricultural chemicals already present in the groundwater will increase. This further imperils water quality and health. As the water supply declines and agriculture shrinks large number of carbon sequestering trees and vines will die, expanding the release of carbon as well as decreasing economic activity and increasing job loss. We know that low leads to health disparities because of poor nutrition and inadequate healthcare.
Diagram = snowpack projects in California. This model from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography from 2008 compares pre-drought snowpack to 2050. Talk about how snowpack is California’s primary source of water, especially for ag We have significant food system water storage issues if less of the water we get in CA comes as rain and not as melting snowpack Coastal salt water intrusion and collapsing underground water reservoirs is widespread because of over pumping, and drilling of even deeper wells i.e. tragedy of the commons
New principles and practices needed CalCAN and many other sustainable ag advocates have advocated for some of the cap-and-trade funds to go towards agriculture, which is a big contributor of GHGs in the state and globally. Because of this, ag should also be seen as a necessary partner for climate change mitigation and adaption, in addition to its known role as an upstream health determinant. In the FY 2014-15 state budget, $30 million will be spent on ag projects that reduce GHGs, including energy and operational efficiency projects, and on-farm water efficiency projects. There must be more Of the $130 million that will implement SB 375, $6.5 million of that will go towards ag land preservation as a component of integrated land use and transportation projects Historic ground water legislation from the 2014 session. Senator Pavley and Assembly Member Dickinson, along with Governor Brown and Secretary Ross, showed much needed leadership during this time of crisis to do what’s best for the long-term sustainability of ag and the food system in CA.
Explain what agroecology is, and refer to the U.N.’s food rapporteur’s recent speech about shifting the paradigm towards more agroecological practices. Highlight the need for more soil building.
Agroecology is a science that proposes ecologically informed concepts for solving socio-environmental challenges. It asserts that a farm should be managed as a functional system and wise farming should be guided by understanding the structure and function of natural ecosystems. It contains a systems framework for analysis, a focus on both biophysical and socio-economic constraints on production, and use of an agroecosystem or region as a unit of analysis.
The last two United Nation’s Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food, Olivier De Shutter and Hilal Elver have both written that 21st Century Agriculture must embrace the principles and practices that define agroecology.
We have experts here in the state who we should look to for more sustainable ag policy that is relevant and applicable in CA e.g. UC Davis ASI, Prof. Miguel Altieri at UC Berkeley, etc.
Sustainable agriculture that features ecological diversity and integrated nature and food production is possible and we simply needed robust extension of the knowledge and incentives to reduce the sense of perceived risk.
What does sustainable farming and food production look like? It looks like this: growing using nature to protect nature from ag impacts. A buffer strip protecting water quality.
[Animation] From FDA’s website: “The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. ”
But, FSMA is an example where public health, specifically environmental health, is at odds with a sustainable food system. Food safety is extremely important, but research shows that the microbiome in soils is poorly understood, and that our ability to keep food safe is greatly diminished when you go too far to sanitize what’s happening on the farm, especially in the soil. FSMA has been revised from what was originally proposed, but the proposed rule can still be a barrier for transitioning to agroecological practices and diversifying the ag industry, which is necessary in the face of climate change.
By 2011 it was clear to us that due to the work of many many organizations, companies and individuals who share common goals, progress has been made in the effort to remake the food system.
Yet to get to the next level of change and an acceleration in the transformation, three things are needed.
We need policies that create incentives for agriculture producers to sequester carbon in soils, improve water efficiency and reduce the need for hydrocarbons and chemicals on farms. We need policies that aide communities to increase their access to healthy food by supplementing food production within their own neighborhoods and making communities more resilient in the face of global warming and climate chaos. We need policies that ensure that all people have access to clean water, particularly important for low incomes communities and small famers in rural regions where income and health service disparities correlate to increased incidence of disease and suffering that bring added societal burdens.
Dimock: Impact of Drought on Agriculture, Food Systems and Public Health
Impact of Drought On Agriculture, Food
Systems & Public Health
Think & Do Tank
Road Maps to Victory
Backbone for CA Food Policy Council
New Rules & Incentives to Guide Food & Farming
Model 21st Century Food & Farm Policy in California
California Food Policy Council
Ensure that CA's food policy
truly represents the needs of
our communities by coalescing
25 Food Policy Bodies * 71% of CA voters * 1st FPC Organized Bottom Up
Accelerate change at local level by
sharing best practices
Work collectively to advise on future
focused state & federal law
Build local food systems through
Report commissioned by
former UN Secretary-
General, Kofi Annan
Photo by Carson Jeffres, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
Pre-Drought Snowpack vs. 2050
Scripps Institute of Oceanography (2008)
Not a static state, but a process that alters behavior
and practice over time.
Our use of human, ecological and financial capital today
today does not degrade the ability to continue creating
health and resilience through food and fiber production.