Advocacy Plan for Food-Friendly Municipalities Underway
The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable has hired a consultant to conduct a policy advocacy campaign to support development of community gardens and temporary farmers’ markets in the region. This project was made possible through funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to promote access to healthy food in our community through policy change. Waterloo Food System Roundtable post.
New culinary magazine celebrates everything local
Metroland Media Group has added a new magazine to its family of publications. Local Tastes is a celebration of local food and drink for Prince Edward and Quinte regions. It will be in the market in mid-April. The newest entry in Eastern Ontario’s food magazine sector is a testament to the attraction of the culinary assets in the region. Dedicated to all things local, the magazine will celebrate the unique food-related stories and products produced in the region. Initially, Local Tastes will be distributed with its sister publication, County & Quinte Living, which has had great success as the leading lifestyle magazine for the region. Metroland Inside Bellevile story.
Hanover Business Gets Food Fund Money
The province’s Local Food Fund made it into Hanover. $472,780 was announced yesterday to increase the variety of Ontario craft beer at MacLean’s Ales. The money will help build a new state-of-the-art brewing facility to increase production and grow the customer base for its products, which are made with local hops, malt and barley. Blackburn News story.
Minister Brings Beer Money
Ontario Rural Affairs Minister, Jeff Leal, presented the check Monday morning. Leal says “MacLean’s Ales already sources ingredients from local producers, so it’s great to see them increase capacity and demand for Ontario craft beer.” The new facility will increase production ten-fold over the next five-year, and is expected to create eight local jobs in the town of Hanover. Bayshore Broadcasting story.
Local grocery co-op nabs tasty grant
Hamilton’s Mustard Seed Co-op has received more than $100,000 in funding from the provincial government. The money comes from Ontario’s Local Food Fund and the $117,603 grant will go toward the co-op’s local network food strategy. The announcement was made at the York Boulevard grocery store on Friday. “Essentially, it’s about connecting the local and regional producers to local consumers, urban consumers in particular, many of which don’t have connections to the producer community,” said Graham Cubitt, president of the co-op. Hamilton Spectator story.
Durham public school cafeterias to serve up local food
High school cafeterias in the Durham Distinct School Board will soon be serving up potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and more produce grown on local farms. A new $109,000 project facilitated by Ecosource, a non-profit organization focused on growing green communities, means high school students will enjoy fresh, healthy meals made from locally-grown food. Thanks to support from the Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization that supports the integrity of agriculture in Ontario, and funding from the Ontario government, Ecosource will partner up with the board and its cafeteria food provider, Compass Group Canada, to deliver a series of educational programs and events to increase engagement in buy-local programs and drive local food sales in high schools. Northumberland News story.
Ontario’s Local Food Strategy
Ontario has been a long-standing local food leader and advocate. Foodland Ontario was started in 1977 and since 2003 there has been $116 million invested in business advisory services, marketing and promotion, funding, research, capacity building, and value chain development. In 2012 a number of local food challenges were identified by key stakeholders and the Ontario Local Food Strategy was born. A number of new initiatives came to fruition to build on the successes of the past including the Local Food Act (2013), the Local Food Fund, the Local Food Procurement Policy and the Best Practices Guide for municipalities. Waterloo Food System Roundtable post about a presentation by Jaya James, Policy Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture and Food/Ministry of Rural Affairs.
St. Mike’s teams up with George Brown to offer patients local food
Thanks to a sizeable grant from the provincially-funded Greenbelt Fund, George Brown College and St. Michael’s Hospital have officially embarked on a partnership to enhance the hospital’s menu by integrating more local food products into the hospital’s patient meals. “The grant allows us to engage our faculty and students in our culinary program — specifically the students in our culinary management program — to work with St. Michael’s staff to come up with innovative and healthy tasting recipes by using local ingredients,” says Winnie Chiu, director of the Food Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. CityNews story.
Fruit of the Earth and Work of Human Hands
Twenty five years after Ontario bishops in “The People and the Land” proclaimed the need for sustainable food production by support for both the people and the land, it is ironic perhaps that consumers have never been more aware of the issues connected with food, but the land, the fruits and people of the land have never been more vulnerable. As a reading of the signs of the times, “People and the Land” was a prophetic document, applying to the agricultural crisis of the day such principles of Catholic social teaching as dignity of labour, environmental stewardship and the primacy of family and community. Now, twenty five years later, we bring to our Ontario Catholic faithful an early 21st century look at Ontario’s farming issues in the reflection “Fruit of the Earth and Work of Human Hands“ so that we can learn and better understand what our Creator has blessed us with, and carefully consider the questions and challenges that Catholic social teaching has to offer concerning Ontario’s farming community. Social Affairs Commission, Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario publication.
CFFO Says Food Processing Is Where Jobs Will Be
For the CFFO, there is a possibility to grow but in processing sectors. Nathan Stevens is General Manager and Director of Policy Development for the CFFO. Stevens says primary agriculture has the potential to produce more. But adds there is little value in flooding markets without a growing processing sector or new export opportunities abroad. . Blackburn News story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Public urinals harness pee to grow food
How much use is a city-load of urine? Quite a lot, it turns out. So much so that the Netherlands’ Waternet utilities company has placed some pee-collecting urinals in Amsterdam, with the hope of turning it into fertilizer for the city’s urban roof gardens. The idea stems from the fact that urine contains phosphorous, a key ingredient in for fertilizer that is a non-renewable resource facing depletion. Springwise post.