It wasn’t exactly launched by a book, although Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon’s best-seller The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating did give a major boost to the local food market in 2007 by shining their spotlight on the long distances travelled by food in our modern distribution system. In truth, though, other writers and food activists across the continent had been working on local food since about 2004. That makes local food 10 years old, and it prompts the question, what’s in store for the next 10? For the answer, we contacted local food suppliers across the country and got the same “Business is booming!” response from all of them. Country Guide article.
Don’t Panic, we’ve got bannock: Notes from Manitoba
Michael Moss: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Michael Moss presented at both a preconference public lecture and at the conference itself. He’s the author ofSalt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. After that talk, I’ll never be able to look at a bowl of Doritoes the same way again. Check out this video. He discussed how the 1 trillion dollar food industry has used salt, sugar and fat to make us crave their foods and to cover up unpalatable ingredients. He also explored whether the powers of marketing could be used to convince people to buy more fruit and vegetables. In the style of the classic Coke Vs Pepsi competition of the 1980s (which raised market share for both companies), he launched aKale vs Broccoli campaign, with the tagline “Broccoli: Now 43% less pretentious than kale.”Adventures in Local Food post.
Today’s young farmers: Redefining ‘biodynamic’
Belying the common myth that farming is a relatively low-skilled occupation, Ryall has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Lethbridge and a diploma in agriculture production from Olds College. She is a director of the Delta Farmers Institute and the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association. “Some knowledge may be passed on between generations, but there is always innovation, new technology we can use to become more efficient,” she says. The Globe and Mail story.
Kings County organization FarmWorks receives recognition
Tides Canada named the locally based FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Ltd. among its Tides Top 10. The national annual award honours some of Canada’s most innovative social change efforts that inspire people to take action, think in new ways and make the world a better place. FarmWorks director Ann Anderson commented, “We’re pleased that Tides Canada has recognized the work we’re doing to put food back where it belongs as the driver of economic and social change. Good food is crucial for our well being and sustainable local food is necessary for our security.” Kings County Register/Advertiser story.
Sustainability on the farm
Jeff Nonay of Lakeside Dairy, a diversified farm in Legal, Alta., knows a thing or two about sustainability. Sustainable practices, such as using gypsum as a bedding and soil amendment and installing a robot milking system, were key factors in the farm’s nomination for the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Dairy Farm Sustainability award in 2012. FCC Express post.
Food fight: Manitoba farmers can sell some products at market, not on website
A jar of homemade jelly from Manitoba’s Harvest Moon collective can be sold at a farmers market, taken home and enjoyed. Selling that same jar on Harvest Moon’s website is illegal and could prompt authorities to seize the jelly, issue fines or shut down production. The same goes for farm-fresh eggs and poultry. Manitoba farmers are allowed to sell their products directly to consumers at markets and at the farm gate, but selling them through a website is a grey area. Manitoba has been criticized recently for making it difficult for producers to meet a growing demand for locally sourced food. Many were outraged when food inspectors seized meat from Harbourside Farms — producers who won an award from Manitoba’s Agriculture Ministry for its prosciutto. Prince George Citizen story.
Local Food for All…Because Healthy Food is a Right, not a Privilege
About 30 folks showed up at the YMCA of Cumberland County yesterday for the official launch of the Cost-Share CSA pilot project. The Cost-Share CSA aims to connect low-income families with healthy and affordable locally produced food. In partnership with the Ecology Action Centre, the YMCA of Cumberland and GoodLake Farm, the Cost-share CSA project is the first of its’ kind in Cumberland County, NS. The Cost-Share CSA model will make seasonal veggie boxes available at half the cost (only $10/wk.), to individuals and families facing financial barriers. Adventures in Local Food post.
NDP aims to increase support for B.C.’s local food producers
Amid growing opposition to government legislation that critics say will weaken protection for B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve, the NDP has announced a private member’s bill intended to support farmers. Opposition Leader Adrian Dix said Tuesday he is hoping the government will embrace his bill, the British Columbia Local Food Act, which the NDP will introduce Wednesday. Globe and Mail story.
The British Columbia Local Food Act, 2014
The British Columbia Local Food Act seeks to improve and maximize food security, economic returns, and population health from protected farmland through the creation of a British Columbia Local Food and Agriculture Strategy. This plan requires the Minister of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia’s Food and Agriculture Committee, to determine recommendations and targets on increasing local food production, processing, distribution, marketing, plus increase public sector organization purchasing of BC grown food. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Members Bill.
Call of the Land App Launched
To celebrate the 61st anniversary of Call of the Land, Alberta Agriculture has launched a Call of the Land mobile app, which will enable Android and iPhone users to access interviews, stories, and upcoming events from the program. The Call of the Land mobile application is available as a free download from the iTunes Store and will be available from Google Play in mid-April. Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson explains in this interview.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Saik’s Agri-Treks: A Trip to Whole Foods, NYC
If decision-making isn’t exactly your forte, grocery shopping can be more than a daunting excursion. There are so many gluten-free-lactose-free-free-range-organic-all-natural-sustainable-recycled choices, it’s hard to distinguish real food from really good marketing. Quite typically, stores and restaurants react to confusion with simplicity. Whole Foods, for example, integrated a “Health Starts Here” program into its product-line. Products given the stamp of approval are whole foods, plant-strong, nutrient-rich and contain only healthy fats. If nutrition is your priority, Whole Foods uses the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) to classify products by nutrients available per calorie, on a scale from 1 to 1000. Real Agriculture post.