The Importance of Bees in Healthy Meal Plans
May 24 2012
With spring here and summer looming, my thoughts, like those of many others, turns to the birds and the bees.
No! Not like that…I think about pollination and the startling fact that 40% of our honeybee population is dying off each year. I know what you’re thinking…”Good! Then I won’t get stung. Besides, I’m allergic.”
But what many of us don’t realize is the VERY important fact that without bees our whole ecosystem and more specifically our food system suffers irreparable damage. In fact, roughly 30% of our food gets brought into the world by honeybee pollination.
Bees don’t just make honey: from apples to lemons, much of the food we eat may disappear with the bees. Even milk and beef production could be threatened: guess what makes the plants that feed the cows? Our friend the honeybee.
And that’s not all, bees add $15 billion to the annual US economy, and their loss will have a devastating impact on food production and food prices – healthy meal plans would not even be possible at that point.
So what’s happening? What’s killing off all the bees? Mounting scientific evidence suggests agricultural pesticides are one of the culprits. Here is yet another example where large scale industrial farming is damaging our future.
So what can we do about it?
Firstly, you can contact your local member of government and express your concern over the disappearance of the honeybee and the prevalence of pesticides in our agricultural system.
You could plant a bee friendly habitat in your garden or windowsill with pollen- and nectar-rich flowering plants like sunflowers, berries, gourds, and most herbs.
You could reduce your usage of insecticides and herbicides around the home. They may get rid of pests, but they can also harm “non-target” insects such as honeybees.
You can support your local beekeepers, and producers of rare honey. Learn about honey varieties in your area.
And most importantly, you can BUY LOCAL ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTS! I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Mix up your regular vegetarian meals by including some fresh produce grown locally. Or, just start eating more vegetarian meals in general with the help of locally grown foods! We need change and we need to make it happen…and we can do it by supporting our local farmers and buying their products.
Just another blant! (Blog rant)