While at a Palestinian café in Ramallah on the West Bank recently, I was surprised to find the waitress was bringing me a flour tortilla much like the pale, medium thin ones used for burritos throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Chihuahua and Sonora.
The pollination services provided to food crops and rangeland forages by bees and other animals is valued at no less than $15-20 billion a year in the United States, but was at one time provided to us “for free.” Recent events suggest that if we want to keep these valuable services available to us, our society needs to make an investment in providing pollinators with food, sheltered nesting areas and pesticide-free habitat.
A few weeks ago, when the Obama administration released its Food Desert Locator, many of us realized that a once-good idea has spoiled like a bag of old bread. If you go online and find that your family lives in a food desert, don’t worry: You have plenty of company. One of every 10 census tracts in the lower 48 has been awarded that status.
Ethnobotonist Gary Paul Nabhan is following food resilience in the desert Southwest. Gary Paul Nabhan wears many hats, but when we recently spoke in his hometown of Patagonia, Arizona, he had on a khaki ball cap emblazoned with a caricature of a horned toad.