Stimulating the Food Industry by Saving the Bees

Aloha FarmLovers!

Stimulating the Food Industry by Saving the Bees

Author: Christy Erickson (SavingOurBees.org)

All around the world, large colonies of both domesticated and wild bees have been dying off, so much so, that the food industry and the environment have been feeling the loss. Research has determined that their disappearance is largely due to human-caused actions; the overuse of insecticides, global warming due to CO2 emissions, disease, and loss of habitat have been linked to their fleeting numbers.

Image credit: Maria Godfrida

How are Bees Connected to the Food Industry:

Bees are master pollinators. They pollinate the flowers that produce approximately seventy percent of crops that we love to eat. Foods such as apples, plums, peaches, guavas, pears, mangoes, okra, strawberries, avocados, onions, lima beans, walnuts, cotton, cherries, green beans, flaxseed, alfalfa and much more are all results of bees pollination. Therefore, if the bees go, eventually, these crops would follow. And if the crops don’t grow, the negative chain of events will continue; the food industry would feel tremendous financial loss and the cost of food would go up. Additionally, our health would deteriorate due to loss of nutrition.

Saving the Bees:

Unfortunately, there is no one quick way to save the bees. There is no light switch to turn on that would make the bees magically reappear. Instead, there is a series of things we can do and stop doing that would inspire their triumphant return.

  • Ban chemical use: The most obvious change that needs to be made is to ban the use of harsh chemicals. While it may take some time for the industry to make the switch to bee-friendly alternatives, you can start at home. There is a safer alternative for almost every harsh chemical that you use daily. Ban chemical insecticides, pesticides, hairsprays, bug sprays, air fresheners and cleaners.
  • Advocate for bees: You can advocate for bees by being their voice. Educate the masses on their importance and support causes that actively support their presence.
  • Start a garden: Starting a small garden is a lot easier than you may think. You do not have to have the greenest thumb to be successful. All you need is a site in which to house your garden; this could be a dedicated space in your backyard, pots on your deck or even trays of herbs on your windowsill. You need to choose crops that would flourish based on your location, treat the soil with organic mulch and compost, stimulate with water irrigation and treat with only plant-based pesticides and herbicides. Starting a garden would not only invite bees and other helpful pollinators to your area, but doing so would also help you keep your family and community healthier.
  • Plant some flowers: Dedicate a swatch of your backyard to grow wildflowers in, throw seeds back there and leave the area undisturbed to attract the bees. Also, you can walk around your community and throw seeds in green spaces to inspire flowers to grow.
  • Become a beekeeper: Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby with only positive outcomes; you will be stimulating the honeybee population and generating yummy, nutritious honey and honey by-products. To get started you need to become educated; join your local beekeeper’s coalition, and take in-depth courses on the subject that would help you learn the right equipment to purchase, how to care for the bees and harvest the honey.
  • Support local organic farmers: Supporting local organic farmers is synonymous with supporting the local bee community. Keeping their business alive will, in turn, keep the bees alive. Plus, you get to bask in the good feeling of helping to stimulate the local economy. Visiting a nearby farmers’ market is an excellent way to buy organic, and you might even meet some local beekeepers who can give you tips on gardening and beekeeping in your region.
  • Be Greener: Lessening your carbon footprint means that fewer harmful CO2s will be released into the atmosphere. You can be greener by walking more, washing/drying your clothing less, carpooling and quitting smoking.

For all that bees do for mankind, we owe it to them to help and protect them.

When & Where to find us this week:

Hale‘iwa/Thurs/2-6. Pearlridge/Sat/8-Noon. Kaka‘ako/Sat/8-Noon. KailuaTown/ Sun/8:30-Noon. Learn more

At The Markets:

EAT FRESH!

Follow our FarmLovers Pinterest pages, for these and many more recipes using fresh, local ingredients! Click each photo to be directed to recipes.

sage roasted pork belly

Orecchiette with Swiss Chard, Brown Butter & Walnuts

Salted Almond Butter Cookies

SEE YOU ON THE MARKET AISLES!

Happy National Farmers’ Market Week!

Aloha FarmLovers!

Happy National Farmers’ Market Week!

This is as good a time as any to share your love for all your favorite market vendors with a few friends! So call up your best buds and spent some time supporting your local growers this week. And, enjoy these Farmers’ Market Facts, courtesy of the Farmers’ Market Coalition… of which we are a proud member!

  • Direct marketing farmers experience lower rates of farm business failure or bankruptcy than growers who sell exclusively wholesale. Growers selling locally create thirteen full time farm operator jobs per $1 million in revenue earned. Those that do not sell locally create only three.
  • According to the USDA, of the $3 billion in direct to-consumer sales in 2015, on-farm stores and farmers markets accounted for $2 billion, or 67 percent.
  • The American Fitness Index includes the number of farmers markets per capita as a factor contributing to community health, using it as an indicator for community members’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if Americans boosted their average daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by just one additional portion per day, it would save America more than $2.7 trillion in healthcare costs. Farmers markets offer shoppers the freshest, most flavorful fruits and vegetables in America
  • 81% of direct marketing farmers incorporate cover crops, reduced tillage, on-site composting, and other soil health practices into their operations. 75% of direct marketing farmers use practices at or above USDA Organic standards according to the American Farmland Trust.

When & Where to find us this week:

Hale‘iwa/Thurs/2-6. Pearlridge/Sat/8-Noon. Kaka‘ako/Sat/8-Noon. KailuaTown/ Sun/8:30-Noon. Learn more

At The Markets:

EAT FRESH!

Follow our FarmLovers Pinterest pages, for these and many more recipes using fresh, local ingredients! Click each photo to be directed to recipes.

Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi Butter Sauce

A Simple Avocado Salad

Chocolate Cobbler

SEE YOU ON THE MARKET AISLES!

Let me tell you why you are awesome.

Aloha FarmLovers!

Did you know that our Kaka‘ako Farmers’ Market has moved around the corner to Ward Gateway? That’s at 333 Ward Ave., in the parking lot just mauka of Ross. See you there!

National Farmers’ Market Week starts this Sunday! To kick it off, here’s a fancy graphic telling you why you are so awesome for supporting our local farmers! Congratulations on being so awesome! Keep up the good work.

When & Where to find us this week:

Hale‘iwa/Thurs/2-6. Pearlridge/Sat/8-Noon. Kaka‘ako/Sat/8-Noon. KailuaTown/ Sun/8:30-Noon. Learn more

At The Markets:

EAT FRESH!

Follow our FarmLovers Pinterest pages, for these and many more recipes using fresh, local ingredients! Click each photo to be directed to recipes.

Crispy Broccolini, Chickpea and Ricotta Salad

Vegan Cold Brew Ice Cream with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce

SEE YOU ON THE MARKET AISLES!

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