Fix environmental woes through food system

TO THE EDITOR:

These upcoming weeks constitute a crucial, decisive moment for the fate of humanity and the world at large: it’s final exams time at UNC.

Just kidding! Well, sort of. While scoring high on our tests and papers is certainly important, I’m referring to an issue with
somewhat larger stakes than that.

On Monday, thousands of delegates convened in Durban, South Africa, for the start of a two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference. As we citizens of the world attempt to effectively reduce and reverse the negative environmental processes that our lifestyles have affected, it’s important to keep in mind the system that impacts our climate the most: food.

According to the U.N., the livestock industry is responsible for 18 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and animal-based food production is one of the “most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

Of course, we could always ignore or despair this food-based environmental devastation — but that wouldn’t be the Carolina Way. Personally, I have hope for the future of food. As a member of FLO and UNC’s Sustainability living-learning community, I’ve seen firsthand the creative, inspired efforts of our students — from advocating Meatless Mondays in the dining halls to starting a compost program in Morrison — to change the way we perceive and obtain our food.

It’s time for those in positions of power to go with the FLO and embrace local, sustainable agricultural practices as a necessary solution to our economic and environmental afflictions.

Glenn Lippig
FLO (Fair, Local, Organic) Food

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