Just as the pandemic forced many of us to pivot, the recent rise in grocery prices is proving to do the same

With many countries putting an export ban on popular foods, like rice, oils, wheat, sunflower and corn, and with inconsistent global temperatures, many of us are being forced to look at what the future of food looks like.

This isn’t the first time the world has had to deal with global food shortages. Through the World Wars, people started victory gardens out of necessity and were resilient through times of hardship. Unfortunately, the globalized food system doesn’t look to be improving anytime soon, so let’s do what we do best and work together to create a resilient, localized food system.

Support local farms

Grocery prices are going up because foreign countries are putting bans on exports, gas prices are going up, and food is harder to come by—on a global scale. But grocery stores are only one place where we can buy food, and they may no longer be the most affordable option. Local farms are already priced fairly to compensate the farmers and workers, and might only have to raise their prices minimally to cover the cost of gas for any tractors or machinery. On top of that, local farms also tend to be more resilient through climate change, which means more stable crop production, and they don’t have to export their food to you.

Grow your own food

Growing your own food may not have been an option you'd consider before, but with the price of food now, it may be something you want to think about. Does it take work? Yes. Is there a learning curve? Of course! But you’ll have healthy, nutrient-dense food that will cut your grocery bill down (especially if you preserve your summer harvest for the winter). This is what generations before us have done in times of trouble and if we prepare now, it can soften the blow for later.

Be creative

Grow food vertically, grow potatoes in bags on your concrete pad, grow food on unused lawns, or even turn your landscape into an edible one. There are so many creative ways to utilize the space you have and make it a productive one rather than just an aesthetic one. Why not have both? There are a lot of techniques that allow you to grow a large amount of food in a small amount of space—it just takes a little creative juice.community gardenPhoto by David Clode on Unsplash

Spearhead a community garden

Space can be a deterrent for growing our own food, even if you plan your successions and plant accordingly. In these cases, it might not be a bad idea to start a little community garden in your neighbourhood. Contact the city if there’s a park or nearby lot not in use and see if you can convert it into a garden, or gather together as a neighbourhood and start growing food on your lawns. If you grow a bunch of carrots and your neighbour grows potatoes and the next person grows peppers, you could have a pretty stacked trading system amongst your community.

Stick together

The only way we get through this with grace is to work together. Leave no person behind when it comes to food: share growing space with low-income communities, learn together, trade food and services with your loved ones and neighbours, and you’ll be surprised how much comes out of it. It’s always tempting to keep things for ourselves when we have little, but one good deed is traded for five good deeds and will ripple out and create a hub of abundance.