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The Mass Media

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UMass Boston Harvesting Some New Ideas

In the possible absence of available gas for consumption, Joseph Ziemba of the UMass Boston sustainability club stressed the critical need for communities to build a intervowen model of communal gardens with abundant agricultural resources.

As a result of high oil and food prices in a downturning economy, urban people used to a fast pace of life are using alternative methods to conserve fuel and energy, and are beginning to engage in more physical activity by walking, taking public transportation, and riding bikes, said Ziemba, a living example of sustainability in his last semester at UMB.?

“The majority of food produced in our domestic and global agricultural system-which is largely unsustainable-is improperly grown, harvested, and transported, leaving it void of the necessary nutrition to maintain good health,” he said. “Produce is harvested before it is ripe, pumped full of chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides that poison our bodies, ecosystems, and drinking supplies.”

Not only are these foods improperly harvested, Ziemba said, but the transportation used to move produce to different locations around the world them uses up much of our precious fossil fuels, raising gas prices and more importantly, allowing even more CO2 into the atmosphere and therefore increasing the speed of the greenhouse effect.?

Ziemba is one of those who have joined the struggle to harvest organic foods that limit harmful effects.

“This is the main idea of sustainability: meeting the needs of our generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” said Ziemba.

“First of all, one can cook their own meals rather than eating out.? This saves the energy and resources of shipping food to a restaurant by cutting out a step in the path food takes from the place it is grown to the place it is consumed.? It’s also a lot cheaper, but requires a conscious effort,” Ziemba said.? “Also, finding out where the food we eat comes from is an important factor.? If possible, buy food that is grown and produced locally.? There are many farmers’ markets in the Boston area,” Ziemba continued.? According to Ziemba, it is also very important to find out where the food you eat is coming from.? Large scale manufacturers not only use many chemicals and fossil fuels in making their products and transporting them, but they also tend to under-pay their staff, which is another thing that sustainable foods fight for: fair working conditions with good wages for staff.? Eating less meat also creates a more sustainable life style.?

? “It takes nearly 10 times the resources in water and fossil fuels to produce one pound of meat as it does to produce one pound of vegetables.? Chicken demands less than beef, but still more than vegetables, and next is fish.? Think about it, a cow needs to eat grass, or corn in most cases, which takes water and energy to produce.? Then the cow is slaughtered, which uses more energy in shipping and the slaughtering process.? So eating less meat, or at least meat that is locally raised and slaughtered is a more sustainable eating habit,” said Ziemba.

One can easily take control of their eating habits and become a sustainable eater.? But the fight does not stop there.? If you are interested, there are many different organizations that you can join to support and fight for sustainable foods in our schools.? Here at UMB, one can join the UMB Sustainability Club.? They meet on the 3rd floor of the campus center, every Monday at 2:30.? If you are looking to join something more wide-spread, then you can aim at joining the Real Food Challenge.?

? “The Real Food Challenge is a nationwide movement that grew out of Slow Food Nation.? It aims to bring together 300 colleges and universities in an effort to bring more local, clean, fair, ecologically sound food to these schools,” said Ziemba.? “The goal is for the schools to receive 20% of their food from local, sustainable sources by 2020,” Ziemba said.? For more information on either of these organizations, e-mail them at [email protected] for the UMB Sustainability Club or visit www.thereallfoodchalleng.org for more information on The Real Food Challenge.

? “It will include a farmer’s market with locally grown produce, and a food panel/discussion with sustainable food refreshments.? The market will be located in the courtyard area outside the rear of the campus center, and the discussion will be in a conference room inside the campus center.? Flyers will be distributed with the exact room number, or contact the club,” said Ziemba on the event.? All students and faculty are invited to both of these events.?

? “Hopefully what will come out of this event is that we will raise awareness and concern about food issues on campus, develop a network of concerned individuals and groups, expose students and faculty to sustainable food alternatives, and build support for the Real Food Challenge and the changes we hope to bring on campus,” said Ziemba.? “Oh yeah, and we hope to have some fun at the event!”?

? Also, you can get involved with the UMB Sustainability Club this October with two different opportunities.? First on October 4th, from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M., the club is participating in a harbor clean-up.? Then, on October 22, from 12 to 3 P.M., the club will hold its UMB Sustainability Harvest.?

Also, you can get involved with the UMB Sustainability Club this October with two different opportunities.? First on October 4th, from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M., the club is participating in a harbor clean-up.? Then, on October 22, from 12 to 3 P.M., the club will hold its UMB Sustainability Harvest.?