Hot? Hungry? Step inside these food forests.
The article discusses efforts in cities like Tucson, Arizona, to combat extreme heat and food insecurity by planting trees. Tucson, where shadeless neighborhoods suffer disproportionately from rising temperatures, has pledged to plant 1 million trees by 2030. The Biden administration granted $5 million to Tucson's tree-planting initiative, part of a $1 billion commitment by the U.S. Forest Service for urban and small-scale forestry projects. The article explores the idea of using these trees, especially mesquite trees, as a food source to address hunger. Brandon Merchant of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona leads a project to plant mesquite trees that produce seed pods, offering a sustainable food source, thus creating "food forests" in Tucson's low-income areas. The initiative aligns with a national trend of combining tree-planting with efforts to address food security and environmental benefits.