LETTERS: Backyard garden veggies not the answer to food security

Backyard garden veggies are not the answer to food security.

As is the case for all non-ruminant mammals, humans (especially truly hungry ones), first and foremost need energy (from carbohydrates and fats) and protein. Veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers provide essentially zero energy and protein.

These veggies are 90 to 95 per cent water, with the remainder nearly all insoluble fibre (good for regularity but not much use for basic human nutrition). These foods are good for providing taste, colour, esthetics and some insoluble fibre, but expecting them to provide nutrition for a truly hungry human is more than stretching it from a food security viewpoint and extremely naive. Backyard veggie gardens may be good for the psyche and the soul, but relative to energy and protein, and thus nutrition, are of little value for the body.

City councilors and others with little or no knowledge of human nutrition, and even less about agriculture and food production, pontificating about food security and worse yet wasting public resources and tax dollars growing giveaway veggie seedlings is simply ludicrous.

Locally grown food security on Vancouver Island is simply not achievable. With a population of 800,000, feeding all of us for a year requires some 1.5 million acres of land capable of producing crops using the best modern agricultural practices.

With only about 60,000 crop-producing acres available on the Island, if we tried to feed ourselves based on local production we’d be starving by mid-February every year. With less than five per cent of the land needed, such uneducated discussions are simply hot air and very misleading.

Brian Rossnagel

Victoria

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