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Category: Blog

Blog

BIODIVERSITY AND FOOD BANKS:

Championing Healthy Ecosystems and Food Security

By Tina Moni 14th June 2023

In our busy and bustling world, it’s easy to forget the amazing link between nature and the food that we eat. But did you know that when it comes to biodiversity, all the incredible plants, animals, and tiny creatures around us play a huge role in making sure we have plenty of tasty and healthy food to eat? In fact, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 75% of crop types rely on animal pollination. This underscores the critical role that biodiversity plays in our food production.

Biodiversity & Agricultural Resilience

You might not realize it, but when farmers grow our food, they rely a lot on the different forms of life around them. From the busy bees and butterflies that help plants make fruits and veggies to all the tiny, helpful creatures in the soil, like earthworms and friendly bacteria – they all play a big part in making sure our food grows well. According to the FAO, agricultural biodiversity can enhance resilience to climate change and reduce vulnerability to pests and diseases. This means that by supporting biodiversity, we safeguard the long-term viability of our food sources and ensure a steady supply of fresh, nutritious produce.

 

The Power of a Diverse Crop Family

Just like we have different friends, farms also need lots of different crops to stay strong. When there’s only one type of plant, it’s like having just one superhero – if something goes wrong, it can cause big problems. Cultivation of a single crop can make plants more susceptible to pests and diseases, leading to potential crop failures. However, according to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), cultivating a diverse range of crops can reduce the risk of crop failure by up to 30%. Food banks encourage the growth and distribution of diverse crop varieties, supporting genetic diversity and enhancing food system resilience.

Celebrating Local Flavors and Super Seasonal Picks

Imagine those times when you bite into a juicy, ripe tomato or crunch on a sweet, fresh apple, or take a bite of a perfectly ripe strawberry and it just tastes like the best thing ever? That’s the magic of eating fruits and veggies that are locally sourced and seasonally produced.

Research from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) shows that locally sourced food can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation by up to 5-17%, depending on the type of produce. These farms often employ sustainable agricultural practices that respect and nurture the surrounding ecosystems. By sourcing from these farms, food banks not only reduce carbon footprint but also support regional biodiversity and the local economy.

 

Educating & Empowering Communities

Food banks not only provide food assistance, but they also serve as educational hubs for raising awareness on the significance of preserving biological diversity and sustainable agriculture practices. By providing educational resources and workshops, food banks also empower individuals and communities to make informed choices that support biodiversity and promote a healthier planet. Research conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP) demonstrates that educational initiatives can lead to a 25% increase in sustainable agricultural practices within local communities.

Friends in Green Places (Collaborations/ Partnerships)

By participating in conversations around creating healthy ecosystems and food security alongside key players in this space, food banks can make their mission even more powerful. Together, they can come up with new and innovative ideas to solve the problems of food scarcity and environmental vulnerability. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), collaborative efforts between food banks and local agricultural organizations can lead to a 20-25% increase in the distribution of fresh, locally sourced produce.

By integrating these statistics into the article, we can further emphasize the critical role of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and the significant impact of food banks in promoting these essential principles.