Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hang In There


It's been a tough winter. And it's not over yet... (Sorry!) What with the gale force winds that swept over the UK and most of Europe; the sub-Arctic cold that is still reigning over Canada and parts of the US; the incessant rains over South-Western England; the snow in places that should never see it (Texas, I'm looking at you!) and the heat wave where they are unheard of (Yukon anyone?); I chose to hide out most of February. And what about the Winter Olympics taking place in near-tropical conditions? This winter is definitely one we will not be forgetting anytime soon.


The weather has run amok, a clear sign that climate change is afoot. While it may seem strange that I continually bring up environmental issues on a food blog, we cannot separate what happens with the climate from what takes place in our plates. The floods in Southern England are not only affecting towns and cities, prime farm land is currently still under water, too sopping wet to allow for any field work to take place. Cattle cannot be taken to the fields to graze, since there are no fields to speak of. Meanwhile, in California, a state-wide drought is not only threatening huge urban populations, but also the farms that feed those very people and so many more around the world. The longer these fields and orchards are left unworked, the more likely the harvests will be delayed -if they happen at all. Any crop failure translates into increased prices at the supermarket. At the risk of sounding alarmist, we should all be prepared to spend a lot more on food in the coming months.


And yet, we can still hope, can't we? Hope, and cross our fingers, that the rains will fall over California, and that the sun will dry out England -just enough to get the crops going. Hope that our governments will finally concede that climate change is real, and that more definite action must be taken. But we need to speak up: unless we put our collective foot down, and say enough is enough, nothing will change. So this March, how about we take a few steps towards setting these changes in motion? Write a letter to your local government stating your concerns about how climate change is affecting your food supply; sign a petition or four to nudge policy changes on environmental issues; take public transportation, walk or cycle instead of driving your car.


And while you ponder all the great changes you will implement this month, cook up a batch of pancakes or doughnuts for Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.



Bon app'!



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