Sustainable foods come from a food system that integrates sustainable food production, storage, transportation, packaging, processing, distribution, and consumption of food and management of the waste from all these activities in order to enhance local economies, the environment, and public health. The food system impacts all sectors of the society, ranging from the environment to the nutrition of the consumer. Since grocery stores are the resource of foods and are located throughout the city, it is important for Claremont to implement food sustainability to enhance the environment and public health.
The City of Claremont recognizes the proper reduction and management of toxic materials as an important step towards improving the environment and public health. The city will be taking its own operational changes toward achieving the goal, though this blog post will focus primarily on the efforts made by the city to influence the community. The italicized portions of the next section reflect these efforts.
Urban agriculture allows Claremont residents to reconnect with their natural environment and to increase the understanding of the growth cycle and our dependence on the natural environment. According to the City of Claremont’s updated Sustainability Plan in 2013, the goals for sustainable agriculture includes:
- Educate families and the broader community, especially through community gardens located on local K-12 campuses, regarding how to grow their own foods.
- Encourage and explore all possibilities for local food production.
- Encourage urban agriculture and horticulture on vacant, undeveloped and underutilized parcels in all areas of the City Continue reading
This goal the City has set for itself, reduce greenhouse gases, might be considered a no-brainer in development of a climate action plan or sustainable community strategy. A significant majority of sustainability plans or climate action plans are based on reduction of greenhouse gases, through mitigation measures. In California this approach has added strength when considering legislation such as AB32, which targets emissions. The very first step in reducing greenhouse gases is establishing a baseline from which progress can be tracked and strategies analyzed for effectiveness. Establishing a baseline inventory from which progress could be measured was listed as a ‘Phase I’ step in the implementation plan back in 2008 and still in the new 2013 update. ‘Phase I’ strategies are defined by the city itself as the “just do it” category. The fact is this crucial first step has not yet been completed.