Sustainability: Oct. 22, 2011

QUICKREAD

Food Day

“It’s time to eat real, America!” The Center for Science in the Public Interest has designated Monday as Food Day in an effort to transform the American diet.

Food Day was organized to promote “healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”

The Eat Real agenda includes passing laws to ensure easy access to healthy food from sustainable farms and ranches while limiting subsidies to agribusiness.

Michael Pollan, author of a number of books including “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” explains, “Food Day is an opportunity to celebrate real food and the movement rising to reform the American food system.”

Agribusiness has become increasingly concentrated and accounts for an obscene percentage of food products in our grocery stores. Even the seeds and pesticides used by most farmers are controlled by a handful of giant corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont.

Across Colorado, numerous Food Day events are scheduled, primarily on the Front Range.

The closest official event to the Grand Valley is in Aspen, but you can honor the spirit of Food Day by only buying locally grown foods and beverages and eating at restaurants featuring those items.

Eating lots of local fruits and vegetables improves your diet and supports plant diversity.

Meat and poultry raised with care on Western Slope ranches reduce the amount of petroleum used for transportation.

To learn more about Food Day and to find yummy recipes, go to http://www.foodday.org.

— Adele Israel



Sharing and collaborating will be the order of the day at the Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum hosted by the Water Center on Oct. 31 at Colorado Mesa University.

Hannah Holm, water center coordinator, said the forum will be a “scholarly networking event to trade information.”

Water experts will share information about current projects and ideas about future ones.

A variety of topics related to the river basin will be on tap, including sessions about climate change, water policy, watersheds, restoration and geomorphology, the study of the evolution and configuration of landforms.

There also will be ample time for networking and exchanging ideas. More than 50 people already have registered for the forum and about a dozen exhibitors will have displays.

Primary sponsors for the forum are Ute Water, the city of Grand Junction, Chevron and the Colorado River District. Cost for the all-day forum is $55, which includes lunch. Preregistration is required and you can still register or find information at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/watercenter/UpperColoradoRiverBasinWaterForum.html or by calling Hannah Holm at 683-1133.

The water center is a partnership between the Mesa County Water Association and the university born from concerns about increasing demands on water in our environment and communities.

The center officially opened in May and has already hosted several classes and meetings.

A font of information, the water center facilitates research, education, outreach and dialogue on regional water issues among scholars, community leaders and citizens.

A diverse 24-member advisory council for the center keeps a stream of homegrown policy solutions flowing. The university faculty director is professor of geology Gigi Richard and the water association’s chairman is Kirby Wynn.

Because of the symbiotic relationship with the association, the water center has absorbed many association projects. The ever-popular Water 101 course, under the auspices of the water association for decades, is now offered through the center.

Water 101 is an inexpensive, three-session evening class that will broaden your basic understanding of Colorado water law, water quality and any current hot topics.

Holm said the course will be offered again in the near future.

A series of free seminars, Natural Resources of the West: Restoration, is presented in cooperation with the water center. The seminars are held most Mondays from 4–5:30 p.m. in Saccomanno Lecture Hall, Wubben Science Building, Room 141, and are open to the public.

“The bottom line is the water center is supposed to be useful to local communities and the region in general,” Holm said. “Let us know about your needs for water education, information or research.”

Adele Israel is a Grand Junction writer who has been involved in sustainability efforts for some 20 years. Have a question or column idea for Adele? Email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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