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Urban Farming and Sustainable Fast Food

It is interesting to note some of the changes that are occurring in our society. The age of barter continues, with reports that there is an increase in bartering on the website Craigslist, while the number of car-share schemes are continuing to rise.  For example the website Hitchsters connects travelers going to and from airports so that they can share a ride (and thus split the fare). The hitchsters.com matching system makes riding in a car to the airport more affordable, more convenient, safer, and more environmentally friendly.

There is also a rise in Urban Farming also known as Urban Agriculture. This not only has the potential for reclaiming unused land, but also increases the ‘greening’ of cities and towns while lowering carbon emissions by having locally produced food. This type of activity is not new, Cuba for example has been doing this for years but now it is a growing phenomenon from London to Tokyo. This takes the English idea of the allotment and really turns it into a viable business models with good green credentials (assuming good green farming practice of course). In many cases the soil must be treated for contaminants caused by pollution from the local environment.

Another important element is the social and employment potential, and it would seem to be a good starting place for the redevelopment of the co-operative idea, a concept Ireland has a long and proud tradition of supporting.

And the potential to sell the products may not just be farmers markets. Some advanced thinking food outlets are catching on the local element, such as Burgerville who only use food produced in the State where they are based (Oregon and Washington). The company has other sustainability developments (are you listening Burger King, McDonald’s and Supermacs?) such as commercially compostable soda cups (that’s soft drinks to us Europeans). They are also committed to offsetting 100 percent of their energy use with renewable power. Who says fast food is bad for you?

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