Your food, your city, your health

There is no denying that most people love food. A lot of people are still unaware however that much of the food we consume is not that very sustainable for our well-being or the planet. Where our food comes from is very important, and that is why inspirational organizations work hard every day to raise more awareness among the community and get the message out of improving food consumerism, before it's too late.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2 SMC's Center for Environmental and Urban Studies hosted "Your Food, Your City, Your Health," the most recent lecture of The CEUS Environmental Lecture Series. Karl Bruskotter and Josephine Miller from the City of Santa Monica's Office of Sustainability and the Environment spoke out to all food-eaters alike on how they can make a difference for themselves and their world by choosing to consume foods that are sustainable. Their office encourages people to all be a part of the sustainable foods movement and choose foods that'll bring down the current inefficient food system, in any small ways they can.

"Our current global-conventional food systems are unsustainable," said Bruskotter. According to statistics in his presentation, the food industry is far from reaching sustainable levels.

Suggestions for alleviating the problems were buying organic and locally grown foods and in turn consumers will contribute less to contamination of ground and service water, which comes from the use of chemicals, hormones, and pesticides for unnaturally grown food.

Santa Monica's efforts should come as no surprise, since Santa Monica was voted as one of the top ten sustainable cities by SustainLane Government, a knowledge base managed by sustainability practitioners in local and state government. The city has been following its own Sustainable City Plan, ever since 1994. Today, it can be noted in the 2010 Sustainable City Report Card that Santa Monica is taking steps to achieve the goals in their sustainable food commitment.

Miller noted that "collaboration is the key" between the City of Santa Monica and its community. Working together to raise awareness and promote sustainable options was one key collaboration between the two groups that would promote a more sustainable lifestyle as a whole. The City of Santa Monica has components in their plan called green guides, as well as workshops they provide to the community.

The Santa Monica Farmer's Market is a major engine of the sustainable foods movement in its conjunction with the city. The food from the Farmer's Market comes from independent and family-owned farms, rather than the corporate-owned farms whose process created this huge taint in food sustainability. While organic the lecture encouraged people to take any small step toward negotiating with ourselves when it comes to sustainable food purchasing. This could also include be refraining from packaging; by buying your fruits and veggies loose, to simply reusing your own grocery bags.


Professor William Shelby who teaches SMC's Environmental Studies to the students who always join these lectures, is enjoying this season's focus on food. He is highly aware of the dire state our food industry is in. "We really need to be careful with what we consume these days," he said.