On April 11, during a Policy Pub informational session co-hosted by University of Idaho’s McClure Center for Public Policy Research and Sun Valley Institute, panelist Amy Mattias, co-director of the institute’s food and farm program, the Local Food Alliance, was asked whether it would work to establish a glyphosate ban in Blaine County.

The institute heard Bill Pereira’s call to tackle glyphosate within our mission of community resilience. We are thrilled that community members look to us to address systemic challenges.

Glyphosate has been in the media, and rightly so, in recent months. Two significant court cases ruled against Monsanto, producer of glyphosate-based pesticides. According to a new meta-analysis, high glyphosate exposure raises cancer risk by 41 percent. Independent testing has shown glyphosate traces in breakfast cereals, whole grain products, alcoholic beverages, human urine and water samples.

To address community needs, Sun Valley Institute seeks to identify those best suited to carry out action. The Environmental Resource Center has a Pesticide Action program, with a recent win (supported by the institute’s testimony) being a commitment from the city of Sun Valley to hand-pull weeds instead of using pesticides.

Sun Valley Institute looks forward to collaborating with the ERC, the Wood River Land Trust and other leaders to enhance the health of our land, air and water, such as through regenerative agriculture, organic regional food consumption, edible and native plants in landscaping and conservation efforts.

The Local Food Alliance recently completed a Community Food System Strategic Plan and invites everyone to attend the State of Our Food System (stateofourfoodsystem.eventbrite.com) on Thursday, May 16. In the past six months, Sun Valley Institute hosted two community resilience workshops and learned that our community’s main food-related priorities include increasing production of and access to local food and regenerative agriculture.

We welcome input and love the debate it sparks. Keep it coming!

Wendolyn Holland, Founding board member, Sun Valley Institute

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