Local Food News — Canada

Food-systems planners are playing a growing role in municipal policy

“Food systems are actually one of the most ancient urban issues,” she says. Only in the past decade has there been a “renewed recognition of the legitimacy of food systems as an important urban system.” As rural depopulation, paired with the rise of mechanized farming, led to long-distance food transportation and refrigeration, it resulted in fewer food producers and a larger gap between urbanites and food sources. Food-systems planning bridges that divide. Maclean’s story.


Sometimes the best way to fix a system is to build a new one!

Open Food Network Canada is the Canadian ‘node’ in a global network of organizations working to turn the food system on its head and put greater control in the hands of sustainable food farmers, purveyors and eaters.  Using this open source platform as a starting point, we are a registered not-for-profit working to connect, enable, and ignite Canada’s local, green, healthy and fair food initiatives, connect them to eaters, and contribute to a global food commons that connects such initiatives around the world. Website. Video.


Sustainable Diets and Canada’s Food Guide, November 29

Sweden, Brazil, Qatar and Germany have integrated sustainability principles into their national dietary guidelines. With the recently announced revision of Canada’s Food Guide, we have a strategic opportunity in Canada to do the same. Health Canada is undertaking an initial 45-day consultation with Canadians and stakeholders on Canada’s Food Guide until December 8, 2016. Input received will be used to develop new dietary guidance tools that better meet the needs of different audiences. Food Secure Canada webinar.


New Brunswick Releases Local Food Strategy that Supports Healthy Local Food in Schools

Last month — fittingly during National Farm to School Month — the New Brunswick Ministry of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries released a Local Food and Beverages Strategy that includes significant support for healthy local food in schools. Stakeholder discussions that helped inform the strategy identified a number of opportunities, one of which included to encourage procurement for local food in public institutions and promote agriculture in schools. Sustain Ontario post.


Industry disruptors change food culture slowly: Andrew Coppolino

Newspapers and TV, taxi services, the hotel industry: these businesses are in the midst of cultural disruption. And like many aspects of our society whose stability we had taken for granted, food culture is also subject to disruptions. How could it not? Our modern food system – the way our food is grown, harvested, processed, packaged and distributed – is more than 50 years old. But there’s innovation in food, altering that system, albeit slowly. CBC News story.


Edmonton food sharing company flouts rules, follows in Uber’s steps

A small local food-sharing company is following on the heels of global ride-sharing company Uber, flouting the rules while operating in Edmonton. Kian Parseyan launched food-sharing firm Scarf on Sept 1, after failing to receive government approval. Parseyan said a politician he spoke with, who he refused to identify, suggested it was better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, so he decided to go ahead with the business. CBC News story.


Vegetable thieves raiding Whitehorse’s community garden

It’s harvest time at the community garden in downtown Whitehorse, but not every picker or digger is supposed to be there. Some folks have been helping themselves to other people’s veggies. “We have had some enthusiastic people come forward and say, ‘we need to catch these people, we need stakeouts, we need to have surveillance cameras,'” said Randy Lamb of the Downtown Urban Gardeners Society (DUGS). “But the last thing we want at the community garden is a little camera on a pole, and ‘Big Brother is watching you.'” CBC News story.


Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Bets on Local Food

Over the past six months, alongside Food Matters Manitoba, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has doubled the amount of local food purchased for their two casinos, the Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino. Both casinos are home to highly popular restaurants. Not only does this provide their customers with the best our province has to offer, but provides an opportunity for a crown corporation to support the local food economy. Wire Service media release.


100km Foods Inc. Is Delivering More Than Local Food; Honored for Overall Positive Community Impact

100km Foods Inc., a local food distribution company in Ontario, has been recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by B the Change Media based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the independent nonprofit B Lab.  100km Foods Inc. is a Toronto based local food-distribution company founded in 2008 that sells, markets and distributes products from small and medium sized Ontario farms to Ontario restaurants, hotels, independent retailers and institutions. Canadian Insider story.


Why a new national strategy on food can’t satisfy all

Mr. Meredith, an assistant deputy minister at Agriculture Canada who will chair the committee that works on the policy, approached the mic. “Thank you,” he said, gesturing at Ms. Bronson, “for raising expectations so high that it’s impossible for me to do my job.” If Mr. Meredith is feeling pressure, it’s no wonder. For years, groups like Ms. Bronson’s have lobbied for such a policy, arguing that it could help address issues such as food insecurity in Canada’s North and the rising cost of food. And, because food touches so many areas – agriculture, the environment, health and international trade – they say it could bring under one umbrella the many piecemeal programs that currently exist under different departments. The Globe and Mail story.




University of Saskatchewan lands new Canada Excellence Research Chair

The University of Saskatchewan’s new research chair hopes his work will help farmers around the world grow as much food in the next 35 years as they produced in the last 10,000. “It’s a daunting task,” said Leon Kochian, whose appointment as Canada Excellence Research Chair in Food Systems and Security is funded by $10 million from the federal government and $10 million from the U of S. Kochian, an expert in plant root systems, comes to the university’s Global Institute for Food Security from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He said he expects to spend the next seven years working on better tools and systems for plant breeders. Saskatoon StarPhoenix story.


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