Local Food News — Ontario

KW Habilitation Joins Local Food Movement

Through a newly formed partnership exploring on-site food production, KW Habilitation (KW Hab) has joined the local food movement. Working in the community for over 40 years, KW Hab offers a wide range of individualized services and supports to children and adults with developmental disabilities. KW Hab is participating in Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities on Institutional Land), a province-wide feasibility study funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). Headed by Dr. Phil Mount from Wilfrid Laurier University and My Sustainable Canada, Project SOIL explores the potential of onsite food production at public health and educational institutions throughout Ontario. Exchange Morning Post story.

 

FREE: Harvest Ontario 2014 Now Available

Get them while they’re hot! Harvest Ontario 2014, the number 1 source for local including farms, farmers’ markets, wineries, fairs and more, is now available FREE at your local Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home Furniture locations across Ontario and select Ontario Tourism Centres. Quantities are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Website.

 

New Sustain Ontario Collaboration with OMAF and MRA

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Rural Affairs, and Sustain Ontario have reached an agreement to partner this year on a six-month learning and knowledge exchange opportunity for an OMAF and MRA employee. The OMAF and MRA employee will be seconded towork with Sustain Ontario staff and leaders from July to December, 2014 providing program and policy analysis support.  This opportunity is designed to provide an opportunity for OMAF and MRA to better understand the interest in sustainable food systems, and for Sustain Ontario to better understand how to build collaborative partnerships with government and traditional stakeholders. Sustain Ontario post.

 

A Timeline of Local Food at U of T

The food services industry has had its fair share of fads and food crazes (quinoa anyone?), in part because we are always looking for better ways to eat. Occasionally there comes a genuine food revolution that not only changes the way we eat, but the way we understand our food systems. One such food revolution is the local food movement, when one eats as much locally produced food as possible. Eating Ontario produce benefits the environment, the economy, and increases the quality of your fresh produce. UeaT – University of Toronto post.

 

Food Visioning Event in Clinton

Locally-produced food in Huron County is in the spotlight as farmers, consumers, municipal and health representatives gather in Clinton. The Huron Food Action Network is holding a Food Visioning and Networking event at the Central Huron Community Complex on Wednesday night. Janice Dunbar of the Huron Food Action Network says the evening will feature several guest speakers who will share their experiences in growing, distributing and promoting local food. She tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the event will examine what’s working well and what can be improved in local food policy and delivery. Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre story.

 

Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy

Thunder Bay City Council unanimously endorsed the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy.  The Food Strategy builds on the Thunder Bay Food Charter, which was adopted by City Council in 2008, in addition to 33 other local municipalities, organizations and businesses. The Food Charter is based on a commitment to community food security, which integrates economic, social justice, health, cultural, and environmental considerations. The Food Strategy is a strategic action plan to carry forward the principles engrained in the Charter. And as with the Charter, the Food Strategy is a community-led approach to defining issues and crafting solutions. The Food Strategy was developed through numerous rounds of consultation, including Food Summits, seminars, surveys, and an Open House that brought out over 140 people. Website.

 

Sustainability at Sobeys

Focussed sustainability efforts began with seafood approximately 5 years ago. Since then, Sobeys has fully mapped their seafood supply chain and have discovered exactly where all their seafood is sourced from. The website offers a ‘Better Guide to Seafood’ with tips on how to select fish, seasonal recommendations and recipes. While the main website still primarily promotes fresh, well priced food, the sustainability message is scattered throughout the site as well as on the separate, dedicated, sustainability website. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post. Sobeys sustainability website.

 

A Discussion about Food Literacy within the Context of the Local Food Act

The passing of the Act came after three readings and a series of committee hearings where amendments to the legislation were proposed and subsequently voted upon by the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Various organizations, including Sustain Ontario and some of its members, had the opportunity to voice their views on potential amendments to the Act through both written submissions and presentations. A major theme that consistently ran throughout the submissions and questioning periods of the October 2013 hearings was the urgent need for food literacy for all Ontarians. This perspective was voiced by nearly all of the various groups and government officials that were present at the hearings and by many voices outside of the official process. Sustain Ontario discussion paper (draft).

 

County of Simcoe Proclaims Local Food Week

In support of the Government of Ontario’s Local Food Act, 2013, the County of Simcoe will recognize Local Food Week beginning Monday June 1, 2014 as proclaimed by Warden Cal Patterson. The Local Food Act seeks to foster successful and resilient local food economies and food systems across Ontario by increasing awareness of local food, while developing new markets for the production and retail of local food and food products. County of Simcoe post.

 

Feast ON

Taste Real is proud to partner with Feast ON to highlight restaurants featuring Ontario grown food. Feast ON uses specific criteria to recognize businesses that showcase the tastes of Ontario. Guelph Wellington Local Food post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Opportunities to Fill the Gaps in Knowledge about the Impacts of Food Education for Children and Youth in Ontario

A literature review was undertaken to explore this question, and to gain a better understanding about the availability and gaps of such evidence. It is hoped that capturing this information will help those working in the field by contributing to the overall body of knowledge about food education, by highlighting gaps that can be filled by future research efforts, and by informing advocacy relating to the benefits of food education. Based on the comprehensive literature review, it appears that both qualitative and quantitative studies capturing the impacts of food education in Ontario are lacking. The information that is available is largely limited to outlining the challenges that children and youth experience relating to their health and well-being, rather than describing food education programs and their benefits. The Research Shop, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph report.

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