Could agroecology save our bees?

Article Published: Apr. 7, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Could agroecology save our bees?

If you attended the recent showing of "Vanishing of the Bees," you are well aware that there are many factors causing colony collapse disorder, which has killed off one third of the honeybee population throughout the world. One in every three bites of food we eat is the direct result of honeybee pollination.

Ecology is the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. Throw agriculture into that study, and you have agroecology. Of course, the relationship between bees and food is intricately meshed.

Agroecology promotes secure and sustainable food systems. Methods from natural and social sciences are integrated to deal with the complex challenges of meeting human food needs in a resource-efficient manner that is economically sound, environmentally benign and socially acceptable.

On Sunday, April 17, at 4:30 p.m. at the Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Road in Boone, agroecology professors will share their perspectives on sustainable agriculture. The public is invited to this free event, sponsored by Slow Food Boone-High Country.

A potluck dinner will immediately follow. Information will also be shared about the sustainable development farm that was recently donated to Appalachian State University. ASU offers a B.S. degree in agroecology through the sustainable development program, which has exploded in popularity.

This recipe is provided by Brooke Kornegay, the ASU sustainable development farm manager. Tasted at a recent potluck, and this is delicious!

Cheese Grits and Sausage Casserole

1 pound sausage (preferably from a local farm)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (skim or 1%)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grits
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (made with 2% milk)
1 teaspoon thyme

Brown sausage and drain. Cook 1 cup grits as directed on package. Place 4 eggs in large bowl and beat. Add browned sausage, grits, milk, butter, and thyme and mix together. Pour into 3 quart baking pan that has been coated with oil, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups and is the local food coordinator for Watauga County. To contact Margie, e-mail or call (828) 264-3061.

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