They might have to.

I’ve written a lot over the years about why folks should grow their own food.  There are plenty of compelling reasons to grow fresh alternatives to supermarket fare.

But almost everything I’ve written presupposes that there is always the option to leave the growing of food to the corporations and to just buy the stuff the grocery stores and restaurants sell instead.

There is a possibility, however, that we may not always have that option.  However remote, there is a chance that the industrial food system will collapse and the alternative to growing your own food will be starvation.

The typical American meal travels, on average, over 1500 miles from the field to the plate.  The distribution of cheap food from large monocultural operations is dependent upon fossil fuels.  The affordability of that food is dependent upon the fossil fuels remaining relatively cheap.

But what if the predictions of peak oil are true?  What if the world’s supply of fossil fuel (which surely is finite) is beginning to decline and the decline is soon to become precipitous?  What if the cost of fuel increases dramatically, because of peak oil, inflation, political turmoil in the Middle East, or some combination of those things?  What if all or part of the international transportation system collapses or ceases to function efficiently?  What if there is a sudden food shortage caused by a previously unknown virus or blight that runs rampant in monocultural operations (as history has experienced in the past)?

Perhaps none of these things is likely, and it is probably not helpful to fret over or fear them too much.  But think of how much better our society would be able to weather such disasters if we just took the time to plant a garden and enjoy the great food it produces.

There are lots of good reasons folks should plant gardens.  One is, someday they might have to.

Love Wins