Christina Stucker-Gassi, NCAP's Healthy Food & Farms Program Manager, was featured on the Pet Improvement radio show based out of Newport, Oregon (KNPT AM 1310 and 98.3 FM). Listen as Christina talks with host Jane Laulis about the work that NCAP does to keep communities healthy, smart food choices, and how to make sure your pets are safe from pesticides. Click the video above to listen; key points from the interview are also below.
How can we keep the beautiful places that we (and our pets) enjoy pristine, so that we're all healthy?
NCAP's Healthy Food and Farms Program works with farmers and consumers regarding how our food is produced, and how to reduce exposure to pesticides. NCAP began doing this work in the 1970s, starting with a campaign against forest spraying of pesticides. With advances since then in scientific understanding and technology, we now know much more about the harm of various pesticides and their long-term impacts.
When shopping for food, an "organic" label in the store is a great indicator of healthy food if you're seeking to reduce your exposure to pesticides. NCAP works to support farmers, especially small-scale growers that are struggling to make sustainable choices and make ends meet.
If you can choose foods that come from your farmers market or directly from a local farmer, you can have more certainty that these farms aren't using pesticides. That's harder to know when buying from large organic producers, like those found in a grocery store. Ultimately, consumers drive this market- so buy organic and local!
What does “sustainable” agriculture really mean?
It's often used as a buzz word. Let's get more specific about the practices a farm is using, for example growing cover crops. Ideally sustainable would mean that the whole system is taken into consideration: building ecological resilience in agricultural systems so that we sequester more carbon, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
NCAP follows and advocates for pesticide-free farm and food policies. NCAP stays up-to-date on pesticide news and shares information with communities through workshops, letter writing campaigns, a monthly email newsletter on relevant topics, etc.
Lastly, we leave you with a pet tip. Find the highest quality, organic food for your animals to keep them healthy. If your pets spend time in your yard or garden, don’t spray chemicals that could hurt your pets.