- Author: Marissa Palin
PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Yet, major declines in bee populations threaten the availability of many fresh ingredients consumers rely on for their dinner tables.
To raise awareness of just how crucial pollinators are to our food system, the University Heights Whole Foods Market store temporarily removed all produce that comes from plants dependent on pollinators. They pulled from shelves 237 of 453 products – 52 percent of the department's normal product mix.
Products removed included:
- Summer squash
- Green onions
- Bok choy
- Broccoli rabe
- Mustard greens
To help support honeybee populations, for every pound of organic summer squash sold at Whole Foods Market stores from June 12-25 the company will donate 10 cents to The Xerces Society for pollinator preservation.
"Pollinators are a critical link in our food system. More than 85% of earth's plant species – many of which compose some of the most nutritional parts of our diet – require pollinators to exist. Yet we continue to see alarming declines in bee numbers," said Eric Mader, assistant pollinator conservation director at The Xerces Society. "Our organization works with farmers nationwide to help them create wildflower habitat and adopt less pesticide-intensive practices. These simple strategies can tip the balance back in favor of bees."
More information available online./span>
- Author: Marissa Palin
Now imagine going to your local farmer's market, and seeing no locally-grown citrus. No oranges, no lemons, no grapefruits, no mandarins.
According to the Citrus Research Board, California's citrus industry generates approximately $1.8 billion in economic activity through commercial growing operations.
But that could all change if Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, gets a hold of our trees. The pest, and the disease it transmits, has the potential to completely decimate California citrus crops.
So far the disease-transmitting pest, asian citrus psyllid, has been found as far north as Tulare County. In 2012, the disease was found in Los Angeles County. In Florida, the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity according to CDFA.
The average American eats 12.5 pounds of citrus each year. California's citrus industry ranks 2nd in the U.S.
How do we prevent HLB from claiming our citrus trees? What would California look like without citrus? What would world agriculture look like without California citrus? Comment and let us know your thoughts.