Report Cites Economic Benefits of Local Food
A new report suggests there are significant economic benefits to expanding the role of local food systems in Canada. The report was done for the Conference Board of Canada. Spokesman Michael Bloom says food grown and consumed locally across Canada should be more deeply integrated into the national system. The report suggests that would be beneficial to producers and to the whole food economy. Blackburn News story.
Small steps make a big difference
Embracing a buy local philosophy doesn’t have to be arduous, a pair of Canada’s leading advocates say. And while people may feel their efforts won’t matter, that’s simply not the case. “They’re wrong if they think that,” says Don Mills, president of Local Food Plus. “It will make a difference. “As consumers, we can have some control over our purchasing choices. I think we can have more of an impact than we give ourselves credit for.” MetroNews story.
Chefs and Speakers Gather to Celebrate Local Food
It’s well-known for featuring the works of the Bard, but local food will be the star attraction at an upcoming festival in Stratford, Ont. The community of 30,000 nestled on the Avon River in southwestern Ontario has been a premier theatre destination for six decades. In addition to being a hub for music and art extravaganzas, performances of Shakespearean plays as well as works by other playwrights are featured at the four stages of the Stratford Festival. But beyond being a showcase for the arts, Stratford is also home to a thriving culinary landscape that lures theatregoers and food aficionados alike. Huffington Post Canada story.
Local growers still face obstacles in retail
Local food plays an increasing role in the diets of Canada’s largest provinces, but tension will continue between local producers and major retail chains, says a new report. Jessica Edge argues in a Conference Board of Canada report that Canadians have a “growing appetite” for local food. Twenty-nine percent of produce grown in Quebec is consumed in the province while the percentage is 24 percent in Ontario and almost 16 percent in British Columbia.
However, Edge wrote that local food producers complain they cannot get shelf space in local chain grocery stores or watch their produce shipped hundreds of kilometres to a company warehouse only to be shipped back. Western Producer story.
Fresh & city-grown: Montreal’s second rooftop urban farm opens
A few years ago, the idea of a large-scale commercial urban farms capable of providing locally-produced food seemed impossible. But in 2011, the world’s first commercial rooftop urban farm opened in Montreal, Canada, and now, aiming to expand its direct-to consumer business model, Lufa Farms is launching a second, larger operation this week in Laval, just north of the city. TreeHugger story.
How farmers are saving seeds and building a Canadian collection
On Kim Delaney’s seed farm in Palmerston, Ont., the peppers, the tomatoes and the more than 100 varieties of vegetables she grows have had to cope with a lot of rain this season. That means at the end of the summer, the finest specimens she’ll choose to collect seeds from – that she’ll package and sell to her customers to plant next year – will hold the genes they need to thrive in rainy weather. And because she’s been growing seeds for the past 13 years, what she produces will also be primed to do well in other conditions, too – even droughts. Globe and Mail story.
Eat Local! food and sustainability challenge September 29 to October 6
It’s harvest time and with all the excellent farmers’ markets and abundant local food sources, what better way to celebrate and take part than to incorporate local foods into your menu for a week. We encourage you to eat local as much as you can during this week-long challenge with our rabble staff and contributors. Add some farm-fresh broccoli and lettuce or maybe some homegrown herbs to your plate. Or maybe even go all out and give up the coffee, purchase some farm-fresh meats and cheeses and try to cut your own asparagus! Rabble’s Eat Local blog, post.
Cheese Rolling Promotion for Canadian Dairy Products
About 11 thousand people were on hand to watch people chase wheels of cheese down a mountain in British Columbia. It was last weekend’s 6th annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival, hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada. The races involved chasing an 11 pound wheel of cheese down Blackcomb Mountain. Dairy Farmers of Canada uses the event to showcase Canadian cheese to Canadians and visitors from all over the world. Blackburn News story.
A Chance to Visit Apple Heaven while Still on Earth
Sunday September 29, 14th annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival. So many apples, so little time, but take time to taste the apples along the way! Plan for festival 2013 by viewing more than 1000 photos of past festivals on the new Salt Spring Apple Festival blog. In 2011 seven photographers captured this great little event, each in their own way, and collectively they documented the apple festival in a very powerful way. Website. YouTube Channel.
The contribution of collective urban gardens to the fight against food insecurity
The city of Montreal has had many community gardens for a long time, but very few persons know the existence of the collective gardens and what distinguishes them. These spaces are rooted in community action, and provide people with the means to help counteract problems such as poverty, food insecurity and social alienation by enabling them to take charge of their diet in a wholesome, responsible and self-sufficient manner. In order to better assess the impact these spaces yield, we roamed nearly a dozen community gardens throughout the summer of 2011, and conducted interviews with over twenty organizers and participants throughout the following winter. This analysis enabled us to have a better understanding of the role, as well as the limitations collective gardens yield in the empowerment process of low-income, urban residents. On a food level, these programs and spaces have helped increase awareness for many in terms of the importance of healthy eating, while certain projects have also contributed to the broadening of many participant’s culinary palette. The dimension that particularly stood out however, was the social impact of community gardens. Through a process of personal empowerment, a number of gardeners acquired the dignity and tools to break free from isolation, thus enabling them to better function within society. Although most actors in the community agree on the need to favour food autonomy for individuals, the initiative doesn’t appear to be an entirely viable alternative to traditional food assistance programs. It does however provide participants with an inexpensive, complimentary food resource, as well as a means to socialise with other members of their community. Thesis abstract. Thesis (French only) available from Joe Nasr.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Mobile food truck for dogs rolls through Saskatoon
There’s been a lot of talk about local food trucks this summer and a new one rolled through Saskatoon on Friday. But this truck’s lineup was filled with a lot of hungry, hairy customers because it caters to dogs. Pet owners and their pups enjoyed a session in a photo kiosk and canines dined on treats from the “SO GOOD! Doggie Cafe.” Global News story.