A number of Irish chefs and restaurateurs, including the founders of The Happy Pear, Darina Allen and Brother Hubbard's Garrett Fitzgerald, are appealing to the Irish people to sign the People4Soil petition.
The campaign, which requests that the European Commission approve a Soil Directive to safeguard European soils, already has hundreds of signatures throughout Europe, as reported by businessworld.ie.
Commenting on the campaign's importance, Dave and Steve Flynn of The Happy Bear explained, "We have a farm where we grow our own fruit and veg and soil is at the root of everything. So many minerals like calcium and nutrients like vitamin B12 come directly from the soil, if we degrade the soil we're degrading our own nutrition and our own health and happiness really."
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Darina Allen added, "Each and every one of us totally depends on the four or five inches of soil around the globe for our very existence. Remember, if we don't have rich and fertile soil, we won't have good food and we won't have clean water. So let's stop treating soil like dirt."
The Environmental Protection Agency asserts that in the absence of an EU Soils Directive, "the challenge remains to ensure a consistent approach to protecting and managing our limited soil resource."
A total of 8,250 Irish signatures are required before September 12 to pass the European Citizen's Initiative petition.