Locavore News — Canada

 

Anita Stewart inducted into Taste Canada Hall of Fame

Anita Stewart has spoken, written, lobbied and organized across Canada and internationally for nearly three decades on Canadian cuisine.  Academically, Anita was the first Canadian to graduate with an M.A. in Gastronomy, and was awarded a Doctor of Laws (Honouris Causa) by the University of Guelph in 2011.  She holds an honourary P.Ag. designation and a lifetime membership in the Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks, and has written 14 cookbooks.   Most recently, Anita Stewart has been appointed as a member of the Order of Canada for her contributions as a journalist, author and culinary activist and for her promotion of the food industry in Canada. Taste Canada―The Food Writing Awards 2012. (PDF).

 

Grass-fed beef certification launched

The Nova Scotia government is hoping the province’s beef producers will be able to sell their products under a certified grass-fed beef label. They are currently conducting research on forage-raised beef, and are looking to get approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for a grass-fed protocol by early 2014. According to provincial agriculture minister John MacDonnell, Nova Scotia’s beef producers have typically run cow-calf — and not finishing — operations. FCC Express post.

 

Rooftop farms seek to feed Canadian cities’ growing demand for local food

Growing up in Lebanon, Mohamed Hage’s mother would send him on a two-kilometre trek, across a chain of small hills, to collect wild asparagus that grew in a valley at the edge of their village. The freshly picked veggies ended up in omelets, some of the “best you could have.” It’s a romanticized vision of agriculture, one where communities grow and source their own food from nearby lands. “But we’re already past the point where the land we have can suffice for this form of consumption,” says Mr. Hage, the co-founder and president of Lufa Farms, which built the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse in 2010. “What we offer is the next best thing.” Sitting on top of an office building in Montreal is a 31,000-square-foot greenhouse. National Post story.

 

Foodie alert: First vendors at new Hudson Public Market announced

The new Public Market set to open at the Hudson Building downtown is shaping up to be a foodie central with the first confirmed list of vendors. Highlights include some new additions to the local food scene: The Hot and Cold Café from Cosmo Meens, Olympic chef and Mo:lé founder. George Szasz of Paprika and Stage Wine Bar fame will also launch a new hot food venture. Tortilleria Monterrey will bring their popular market handmade tortillas to their Mexican-style deli. Island Spice Trade and Bounty Seafood are other new additions. Established local favourite such as Silk Road tea, Salt Spring Island Cheese and Wildfire Bakery will also have shops. Victoria Times Colonist story.

 

Compassion Farm issue studied at UBC

The urban farming controversy around Lantzville’s Compassion Farm inspired one of the province’s top universities to incorporate the issue into its curriculum. The University of British Columbia included the issue in its Faculty of Land and Food Systems, land, food and community 350 course last year. “It turns out there is a huge amount of community support for urban agriculture in Lantzville and very few people have a problem with it, although you wouldn’t know it based on the level of complaints that are raised,” said Lee. Nanaimo News Bulletin story.

 

Can you control what you eat? Ian Brown takes the food diary test

According to nutritionists, I’m clueless, and so are you. And the nutritionists may have a point. The average North American believes he or she makes 15 to 35 decisions about food a day. But scientists who measure them say we make 225. “Given that people so dramatically underestimate the number of food-related decisions they make in a day,” one study has concluded, “it is not unfair to say we often engage in mindless eating.” Globe and Mail story.

 

Michael Smith and David Rocco get Taste Canada awards for cookbooks

Some of Canada’s celebrity chefs took top honours for their written work in Taste Canada’s food writing awards Monday. Michael Smith, David Rocco and Josee Di Stasio each won for their cookbooks. Winnipeg Free Press story.

 

Promoting Canadian Fruits and Vegetables For Good Health

One goal of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is to let consumers know about Canadian farm products. That includes fruits and vegetables. Zanib Ali of Ryerson University was handing out samples as a way of promoting health – and boosting farmers incomes.  This year’s Royal features a large Journey To Your Good Health display of Canadian-grown food and food innovation. Blackburn Agri-Media story.

 

Help wanted: Supporting organic agriculture in Canada

An interview with Rod MacRae, sustainable agriculture teacher and researcher. His research now also includes explorations of the transition to other forms of sustainable agriculture, including advanced integrated pest management and pasture-based systems.  He is also concerned with the focus on GMOs for developing the Canadian agricultural industry.  MacRae comments “The government still largely believes that the organic market is a niche market, not a transformative process for creating a more sustainable food system…” His long-term hope, which MacRae admits may be more of a dream, is to see a sustainable food system in Canada, where every person would have access to an affordable, sustainably produced diet. In his vision, organic products would occupy 10% to 20% of the market, and would serve to lead the other sectors to more sustainable practices. Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada post.

 

Conference Board Tests the Waters

What does the Canadian food industry think a national food strategy should contain?  That is the question the Conference Board has endeavoured to answer a process led by “investors” Loblaws, Maple Leaf Foods, Heinz, Nestlé, Parmalat (amongst others) and various government departments — each of which needed to invest tens of thousands of dollars just to sit at the table! Not surprisingly, civil society voices are few and far between — mostly foundations who have the resources to participate. Food Secure Canada post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The politics of food guides

For 70 years, the issuing of government food guides in Canada has been about more than just nutrition and health. The first Canadian government food guide debuted in July 1942, and reflects its Second World War origins. Then called Canada’s Official Food Rules, the guide was written to address the crisis of widespread malnutrition revealed by a series of studies. Poverty was the main cause. It was shortly after the Great Depression, a time when government, in order to save money, had set the levels of relief rations well below nutritional adequacy. CBC News story.

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Locavore News — Canada

 

The Conference Board of Canada – Canadian Food Strategy – Online Consultation

The Conference Board’s Centre for Food in Canada (CFIC) invites you to provide your online feedback and assessment of draft content for the Canadian Food Strategy. In-depth research by the Conference Board–more than 20 studies—has been undertaken to inform the development of the draft Canadian Food Strategy. It covers five main pillars: industry prosperity, healthy food, food safety, consumer security, and environmental sustainability. CFIC website. Feedback survey.

 

Food advocates press for national school nutrition program

Canada’s major food advocates called for a national school nutrition program to ensure children get healthy food and will take that battle to Parliament Hill next month, delegates decided at the national Food Secure Canada conference in Edmonton on Sunday. While many provinces support hot meals in schools, there’s no federal involvement and there’s a desperate need for more dollars to ensure kids eat healthy to learn, said Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada. Edmonton Journal story.

 

No standards for “local” food labels in Canada

Buying local doesn’t necessarily mean that money stays in B.C. or even Canada. Depending on who’s using the term, “local” can mean “the closest place” supplying a product. Apples at Matchstick Coffee Roasters are labelled “local” and “organic,” but some of the apple were shipped from Washington State, through the distributor Spud.ca. “There’s so many different ways of looking at local,” said Peter van Stolk, CEO of Spud.com and Spud.ca. “We judge local in terms of mileage.” 24 Hours Vancouver story.

 

Good Time to Be Canadian Wine Maker

BMO says the industry is benefitting from an aging population and by consumers willing to pay more for premium wines. According to their report, older individuals are key consumers of wine and tend to have more income. And it says Canadian wineries are benefitting from the reinvention of their product and the switch to higher-quality grapes. Blackburn Agri-Media story.

 

Farm to Cafeteria Canada Strategic Plan

Farm to Cafeteria Canada is a national network that promotes, supports and links farm to cafeteria programs, policy and practice from coast to coast to coast. Farm to Cafeteria Canada is comprised of diverse regional and sub-regional agencies who are already working to bridge the gap between farm and tray. Together we have developed a strategy to link and further the Farm to Cafeteria movement in Canada. BC Food Security Gateway post.

 

High-end shops cater to taste for food as fashion

Increasingly, those who know and love food see it not just as something that be should delicious, wholesome and preferably local, but that should look great and reflect their own, personal style. “What’s in your pantry and on your plate have become a form of self-expression much like a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutins, or absolutely anything vintage,” wrote domestic diva Martha Stewart in an essay last year on the Huffington Post. “Just as the label ‘fashionista’ evokes an entire lifestyle, so, too, does the term ‘foodie.’ ” Edmonton Journal story.

 

Community Event: Locavore Dinner & 10% Shift Talk

Over the last few months I’ve met with a lot of Saanich Business owners and one of the things I kept hearing is that they think consumers don’t realize how huge the benefit is to the local economy if they shift even a little of their spending to local/independent businesses. To explore this idea and engage with people, my constituency office organized a public event which included a ‘locavore’ dinner (a delicious meal featuring locally grown/raised food, prepared by ‘Food for Thought’) and a talk by CUPE-BC President Barry O’Neill. People might be surprised that a union leader has emerged as a leader on this issue but Barry has developed a great presentation (tenpercentshift.ca) and even teamed up with people like Shachi Kurl of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to push the idea. (They co-wrote an op-ed recently in the Vancouver Sun). Inside Saanich South blog

 

Environmental tool development underway

In a news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the company says it will use the investment to develop and optimize cost-effective, easy-to-use scientific tools that measure nitrous oxide and methane emissions on the farm. These tools will require little expertise to operate and will be readily available to producers who want to make informed decisions about which beneficial management practices will work best on their operation. FCC Express story by Allison Finnamore.

 

Agriculture leaders aim to mend fences with environmentalists

The province’s farmers are holding out an olive branch to the environmental movement in hopes of healing what has been, at times, an adversarial relationship. Agriculturalists and environmentalists will meet Wednesday at B.C.’s first Forum on Agriculture and the Environment in Richmond. “I think we have a lot more in common with our love for the land than sometimes we let on,” said Oliver cherry grower Greg Norton. “Without a healthy environment, there is no agriculture.” Vancouver Sun story.

 

Langley Township plan for farmland blocked

Langley Township’s plans for a huge university district on protected agricultural land have been effectively turfed by the Agricultural Land Commission. The commission, which controls farmland in the province’s agricultural reserve, says that the proposed 180-hectare site is composed of “prime farmland,” rendering it unsuitable for the Township’s purposes. “Most of the land proposed for non-farm designation has agricultural capability and is appropriately designated as Agricultural Land Reserve,” the commission said in its Oct. 16 report. The Province story.

 

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The Food Show on 570 News

Anita Stewart on Greater KW Chamber of Commerce Feast, Janine Windsor Founder and President, LEAF: Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (http://www.leafme.ca/) Nick Benninger about Iron Chef Uptown 21 (www.uptown21.ca). June 3, 2012 show.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Community Supported Agriculture Webinar

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a relatively new concept in local marketing, but it is a concept that is catching on. More and more producers are choosing to start a CSA to help sell their local products. To help local producers understand what it is and how it works, the Explore Local initiative has organized a webinar for November 22, 2012. The webinar will explain CSA and provide tips on how to get started and how to find customers. The benefits, risks and challenges of this new marketing concept will also be discussed. John Mills, Eagle Creek Farms, who has been operating a CSA since 2009, will be an integral part of this webinar and will share his experience with attendees. The webinar will begin at 9:00 a.m. on November 22. Space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended. To register, click this webinar link and answer the registration questions prior to the webinar date. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.

 

A fork in city’s path to future: pave or save prime northeast farmland

Late last month, Greater Edmonton Alliance and Live Local organized a public tour of some of the farmland within Edmonton’s northeastern city limits. More than 400 people got the chance to experience, first-hand, the foodland that city council will be ruling on this fall. The choice is between two futures: one which paves over virtually all the prime foodland remaining in Edmonton and one which protects a significant amount of that land to build a resilient food economy that can withstand and adapt to sudden global changes. Edmonton Journal opinion.

 

Hundreds of Food Enthusiasts Power Up! in Edmonton

With Canadians still reeling from the biggest recall of meat in history, hundreds of people and organizations from across the country who are working on food issues are preparing to converge upon Edmonton for the 7th National Assembly of Food Secure Canada (FSC).  Powering up! Food for the Future, will be held at NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) from November 1-4, 2012 and is being organized in collaboration with the provincial network, Growing Food Security in Alberta (GFSA). Food Secure Canada release.

 

State of Urban Agriculture in Montréal consultation report released

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal released today the report on the vast consultation held last spring on the state of urban agriculture in Montréal. [Rapport de la consultation publique sur l’agriculture urbaine.] It is important to note that this is the first time that the right of initiative provided under the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities has been used by citizens. The initiators collected 29,000 signatures requesting the public consultation, which attracted a great deal of attention. Some 1500 people participated in one way or another, via the Office Web site, the one-day exhibition in May, the seminar, or the tour of the boroughs, and the commission received more than 100 briefs and opinions. City Farmer News post.

 

Community Food Centres Canada

Community Food Centres Canada provides ideas, resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada so they can establish responsive, financially stable community food centres. These centres work to bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. With our partners and communities, we are working toward a healthy and fair food system. Website.

 

Food choices not based on facts

Farmers Feed Cities released the results of its Informed Food Philosophy Study, revealing that while 97 per cent of Canadians agree that food choices are important to them, the data indicates that there are several misconceptions consumers have when it comes to certain food choices. AgAnnex story.

 

Food Clusters: Towards a Creative Rural Economy

Towards a Creative Rural Economy, provides a key look into one of the ways in which rural communities can succeed in the Creative Economy. “Rural food clusters have emerged as part of a place-based creative economic development that can transform a region’s ‘comparative advantage’ into a ‘competitive advantage’. By enhancing the connection between local food production and consumption, new opportunities have emerged for small and rural communities.” Rural Research Network post. Report.

 

What’s on Your Plate? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Animal Agriculture in Canada

WSPA has released a report that discusses the impacts of intensive livestock operations (ILO) on health, the environment, animal welfare and rural Canada. “The viability and liveability of rural communities is put in jeopardy as ILOs proliferate, especially for those families who rely on farming as their chief source of income. ILOs drain money from communities as more tax dollars are needed to address the associated health, environmental, social and traffic problems. In spite of the significant costs ILOs bring to the host community. World Society for the Protection of Animals report.

 

Food Network and Loblaw Partner on Multi-Platform Marketing Campaign

Food Network Canada and Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) are joining forces to reach and connect with more viewers and consumers through a national, multi-platform marketing campaign designed to mark the exciting return of Canada’s homegrown competitive reality series Recipe to Riches. The campaign’s innovation is inspired by the original show format where everyday Canadian home cooks’ recipes are turned into President’s Choice products – Canada’s number one brand* – available on grocery store shelves just days after their episodes air. Building on the first-of-its-kind partnership established between the two companies in season one, the collaborative campaign takes a unique approach to leverage and align each company’s assets in fresh ways and get Canadians fired up for the second season. The new season of Recipe to Riches premieres Wednesday, October 17th at 9pm ET/8pm PT exclusively on Food Network Canada. Broadcaster Magazine story.

 

Canada ranks 8th on global food security index

People in Canada and other developed countries may have their fill of food, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting all their nutrients. That’s according to the Global Food Security Index, a study that ranks and measures food security in 105 countries. Compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit think-tank, the index assesses food affordability, availability and quality. The food supply in wealthy nations averages 1,200 calories more per person, per day, than in low-income countries, according to the report. Toronto Star story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

London Training Centre’s – Local Food Skills Course

Vimeo.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Local Outranks Organic For Most Canadians

More Canadians appear interested in buying local than organic. And it’s a big gap. A Farmers Feed Cities survey shows 86 per cent would prefer to buy local – only 29 per cent are interested in buying organic. Blackburn Agri-Media story.

 

Trends show appetite for ethnic foods, healthier fare

John Scott has seen quite the evolution in foods bound for Canadian supermarket shelves over the years. Scott is president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, organizers of the country’s largest grocery industry conference and trade show — a marquee event which has also had its share of changes. “The trade show 10 years ago was just full of prepared meats, deli products and that kind of thing. ‘Who has the best pepperoni?”‘ he recalled in a recent interview. “You saw very, very few ethnic products in those days — totally different type of offering from today,” he added. CP24 story.

 

Doors open wide for farmers to educate consumers, report shows

Canadians are extremely interested in where their food comes from and how it’s produced, says a new report. In its new Informed Food Philosophy Study released Monday to coincide with Ontario Agriculture Week, Farmers Feed Cities, an agriculture awareness organization, showed 97 per cent of Canadians say food choices — local, organic, imported, free run, conventional and genetically modified, among them — are important to them. This bodes well for efforts to educate consumers by farmers, food processors and organizations such as Farmers Feed Cities, says Jenny Van Rooy, campaign co-ordinator. Owen Roberts post on FCC Express

 

Want safer food? Go local

There is, however, another way to build a safer food system: shorten the supply chain. Or, in the words of the good food movement, go local. We have created an industrial food system that is a vast web of inter-actions between countless actors that has spiralled out of our control, as outbreaks like these prove. Without clear data documenting that large-scale centralized food production is safer than local food distribution, we argue that, at the very least, the benefits of industrial food are offset by this inherent potential for large, geographically dispersed, difficult to identify, and hard-to-control outbreaks. Ottawa Citizen opinion.

 

We can nurture a more local economy through purchasing choices

Demand for local, fresh food is growing. For the health of our economy and our environment, we would do well to support other parts of our local economy, too. There are many reasons why people are buying more local food. For some it is a matter of taste and freshness. If you’ve ever compared the taste of Ontario strawberries with that of any import you already know this. Others buy local food because it’s healthier. There are more nutrients in fruits and vegetables picked immediately before being taken to the market. Others choose local food to reduce the pollution created by trucking or flying products from a continent away. A Region of Waterloo study found that imported food typically treks an astonishing 4,500 kilometres before it gets to our kitchen counter. I prefer local food because I feel, in the long-run, I can place more trust in the environmental choices made by farmers who depend on the same water and resource base as their neighbours. Kitchener-Waterloo Record opinion.

 

Barriers to new entrants

Is lack of investment capital holding back the next great idea? Access to the right financing may have left many new entrants at the starting block. However, it’s not only access to capital, but also access to the right financial structure that’s important. The ability to achieve business cash flow and gain business equity are the secret of success for many businesses. The ability to start a venture, create value chain relationships, to build out a new market and innovate OFTEN requires financial support. Is innovation and innovators in the agricultural sector being blocked by capital access issues? Denise Faguy post on Farms.com.

 

Calgary Food System Assessment and Action Plan

Since 2009, The Office of Sustainability at The City of Calgary has been working with stakeholders from across Calgary to get a clearer understanding of our local and regional food system and the roles of everyone involved in it. A food assessment is a great starting point which would allow all stakeholders to better understand each other’s contributions, connections and where priorities for improved sustainability exist. City of Calgary post

 

Fresh: Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy

Edmonton has an opportunity in which to consider the role of food and urban agriculture in its economy and in the lives of its citizens. We have a long history of food production and we are a major urban centre with some world class players in the food sector. Edmonton also has an emerging food culture —from small local producers at farmers markets to successful large commercial farms, from food trucks offering diverse and delicious meals to unique high-end restaurants. Yet how often do we really stop to consider where our food comes from and the degree to which local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm can further build our local food and urban agriculture system?Report. (3.5 MB PDF)

 

New suburbs aren’t more important than Edmonton’s best farmland

Edmonton city council has never once protected a plot of prime farmland from suburban development. That is about to change, but exactly how much land will be preserved is the subject of a fierce fight. It pits private rights against the public good, a multinational property company against a community group, neighbour against neighbour. Fortunes both small and large are on the line. In January, city council will be asked to decide whether or not six sq. kilometres (600 hectares) of prime farmland in a fertile belt northeast of the city along the North Saskatchewan River should be preserved as farmland. Edmonton Journal story.

 

Powering Up! Food for the Future

Food Secure Canada’s 7th biennial Assembly, is coming up November 1-4 in Edmonton! Assembly 2012

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

FAO Launches Data Portal to Help Increase Sustainable Food Production

In anticipation of the impending challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) recently developed the Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) Portal. This new online data platform allows users to identify the geographical areas with the greatest potential to significantly increase yields in food production without depleting natural resources. Food + Tech Connect post.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Harvest for Hunger Remembered One Year Later

A year ago, on October 5, thousands of people flocked to the Tollenaar farm between Listowel and Monkton, ON to take part in Harvest for Hunger. The goal of the day was to harvest 160 acres of soybeans in ten minutes or less, and to raise $200,000 for Canadian Foodgrains Bank. At exactly 1:30 PM, 120 combines started up, stirring up dust and excitement among the thousands of people gathered to watch. Eleven minutes and 43 seconds later, they were finished—not quite as short as the organizers hoped, but still a world record for soybeans. Canadian Foodgrains Bank story posted on Harvest4Hunger blog.

 

Agriculture and Food Hub in the Rouge National Urban Park

A tremendous opportunity for a world-class Agriculture and Food Hub adjacent to the City of Toronto is a distinct possibility. Our vision for this Hub includes sustainable poly-cultural demonstration farms that help conserve our natural agricultural heritage and encourage Canadians to gain a better understanding and respect for food, farming and ecology. The Agriculture Hub will provide education, offer engaging farm experiences, help support a vibrant farming community in the Park, and promote the long term use and preservation of the land. AgriFood Hub post. Parks Canada survey.

 

Farm to Cafeteria Canada: A National Survey

Farm to Cafeteria Canada, is conducting the first ever nation wide survey of activities to bring local, nutritious and sustainably produced foods into schools, health care facilities, and universities/colleges. Activities may include: sourcing and purchasing local foods, growing, processing, preserving, and serving local foods, composting food wastes, promoting and/or teaching about local foods and developing local food policies. Survey.

 

Big Step for Big City Farming

Nearly 3,000 rectangular planter boxes, which stand out in varying shades of green and brown against a concrete parking lot, make for an impressive sight when viewed from high above on the Georgia Street viaduct. Situated on Pacific Boulevard between the busy overpass, BC Place Stadium, and the bustling seawall at False Creek, SOLEfood Urban Farm’s newest (and, at two acres, its largest) site is a highly-visible sign that urban agriculture has arrived in Vancouver. The Tyee story.

 

A Guide to Growing School Gardens in Alberta

School gardens are a growing trend across North America, although certainly not a new one. School gardens are used as a tool for integrating a number of “real-world,” authentic, and personally meaningful concepts and connections for students. A garden provides a vehicle for integrating food and fibre concepts across different grade levels and subject areas. Many life skills are learned, such as research and the scientific method, problem solving, team building, cooperation, nutrition, gardening, and critical thinking. Report (17 MB PDF).

 

BMO Survey Says Canadians Looking Local for Food

A new survey suggests Canadians are looking to put more locally grown food on their tables. The Bank of Montreal survey shows 94 per cent of Canadians believe it’s important to support local farmers and to buy local on a regular basis. BMO’s David Rinneard says the survey suggests Canadians understand the significant contribution our farm families, and the agriculture industry as a whole, make to Canada’s national economy. As part of the survey consumers were asked what home -grown products they always or frequently try to purchase. 77 per cent of the respondents picked poultry and vegetables. Then came beef at 75 per cent. And 70 per cent of the respondents said they typically tried to buy home grown fruit or cheese products. Blackburn Agri-Media story.

 

EarthBox® Helps Students to Get Growing

When Rod Sirman, owner of Greenland Garden Centre near Sherwood Park, first heard about EarthBox®, he immediately saw the potential for sales with urban gardeners. Specifically, those who wanted to grow their own vegetables and herbs but were living in condos or residences with small yard spaces. “We like to keep up with the trends, and our customers were telling us they wanted to grow their own tomatoes, herbs and salad vegetables,” says Sirman. “In confined spaces, it was difficult for them to grow their own food and we saw this as a great opportunity to provide a portable garden that could be used indoors or outdoors.” Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.

 

Trends show appetite for ethnic foods, healthier fare

John Scott has seen quite the evolution in foods bound for Canadian supermarket shelves over the years. Scott is president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, organizers of the country’s largest grocery industry conference and trade show — a marquee event which has also had its share of changes. “The trade show 10 years ago was just full of prepared meats, deli products and that kind of thing. ‘Who has the best pepperoni?”‘ he recalled in a recent interview. “You saw very, very few ethnic products in those days — totally different type of offering from today,” he added. Canadian Press story.

 

Powering Up: Food for the Future

Canada’s food movement will gather in Edmonton this year for its biennial feast of food and ideas. The theme – Powering Up: Food for the Future – reflects the need to place questions of energy, climate and long-term sustainability at the centre of how we think about, produce, and eat our food.  It also reflects the growing strength of the food movement and its commitment to creative solutions to the problems of hunger, sustainable livelihoods in the food business, and the protection of our health and the environment. Food Secure Canada is a broad network of individuals and organizations including inner-city, rural and remote communities, community food projects, food businesses, government officials, teachers, dieticians, environmentalists, farmers, fishers, Indigenous leaders, students, gardeners, cooks, academics, health professionals, food bank workers and users, anti-poverty and human rights activists and a huge array of interested individuals. Food Secure Canada’s 7th Biennial Assembly Call for Workshops and Presenters.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

How I Fell in Love with Hospital Food

I grew up in the Canadian outdoors, paddling canoes and playing tag in the forest near my home in Waterloo. My respect and appreciation for the people who feed the world’s communities was cultivated in my grand parents’ backyard and has grown over time through the farmers I have met across Canada, India, and Barbados. I now work as a researcher and facilitator advancing the sustainability of our food systems with the environmental non-profit, My Sustainable Canada. I recently had the opportunity to share some of the successes from our work at a global innovation summit in Europe. Last month, I was in Bled, Slovenia giving a TEDx Talk about institutional buying power and its ability to transform the food system. Hayley Lapalme TED video.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Vancouver Urban Farming Forum 2011, Summary Report

Urban farming is a rapidly growing practice in cities throughout the World.  Vancouver is no exception with many urban farms emerging over the past five years.  These urban farms exhibit unique entrepreneurial approaches to commercial food production which contribute to social, ecological and economic aspects of urban sustainability. The City of Vancouver has the goal of being the Greenest City in the World by 2020. Local Food and Green Economy are two of ten areas of focus for achieving the greenest city goals. Report.

 

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival!

This past weekend brought the second annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival to Picton in beautiful Prince Edward County.  It’s Canada’s only showcase of artisan and farmstead cheese with more than 125 different cheeses to taste, it brings together producers from P.E.I. to Vancouver Island! I was lucky enough to attend the cheese festival on Saturday—-possibly the best day of all because it happens to feature the ‘Cooks & Curds‘ gala! Agatha Podgorski blog on Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance website.

 

BMO: Stock-Up on Local Food This Victoria Day Long Weekend

BMO Bank of Montreal today encouraged Canadians to support local farmers and choose locally produced foods and beverages this holiday weekend. The Victoria Day long weekend is a great opportunity to celebrate springtime with friends and family, and fire up the grill for meals featuring some of the best tasting, highest quality and safest foods produced anywhere in the world. Yahoo Finance story.

 

NDGs Empress: So now it’s up to the jury!

Following last Friday morning’s 10 o’clock deadline, a jury made up of seven working professionals, including four of the city’s civil servants, will have up to seven weeks to consider three proposals as to what the borough should do with its Empress – the borough’s derelict Sherbrooke Street theatre which many believe could become the spark of an artistic renaissance in Montreal’s west end. While the Empress kitchen will offer a whole new range of locavore food services, Dorsey also described a facility which will include roof-top gardens and entertainment facilities which could easily handle receptions, weddings and other social functions associated with the theatre’s own business and performance schedules. The Suburban Newspaper, Montreal story.

 

Meal Exchange

Meal Exchange is a national student-founded, youth-driven, registered charity organized to address local hunger by mobilizing the talent and passion of students. Since 1993, our programs have been run in over 75 communities across Canada and generated donations of over $3 million worth of food and funds to address local hunger. Website.

 

Urban agriculture advocates in Montreal claim success in drive for city consultations

A coalition of 50 organizations has made history in Montreal by collecting the required 15,000 signatures on a petition to force the city to hold public hearings on the state of urban agriculture here. Members of environmental, gardening and social groups spent the last three months gathering the signatures from Montreal residents. On Tuesday, they announced they had amassed 25,000 signatures. City Farmer News post.

 

Over 25,000 people support urban agriculture petition

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay has announced that a public consultation on urban agriculture will be held this spring. The city clerk has confirmed that the petition meets the criteria for the right of initiative and contains 29,068 valid signatures. enviromontreal.com post.

 

Farming goes to town as crops come to city

The report, called The state of urban agriculture in Montreal, is the first to look at the extent of agricultural activities on the island. It was prepared for public hearings into urban agriculture by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal that are to begin Tuesday night in the Ahuntsic/Cartierville borough. The 54-page document traces the history of agriculture in Montreal from the Iroquois who raised vegetables along the banks of the St. Lawrence River as early as 1,000 AD to the groundbreaking Ahuntsic rooftop greenhouse that produces 25 varieties of vegetables and herbs, enough to feed several hundred people every week. Montreal Gazette story.

 

Consultation on the state of urban agriculture in Montreal

As part of its mandate to hold a consultation on the state of urban agriculture in Montreal, the Agency today launched a website, www.montrealacultiver.comallowing all citizens and organizations to share their experiences link with urban agriculture. Our goal is to make an inventory of the Montreal urban agriculture practices, problems and future prospects. This site is a collaborative space citizen. Ultimately, we want to see a portrait of Montreal as agricultural practices at the habits and techniques that their distribution in neighborhoods. All your initiatives are important! Whether you have a large vegetable garden, a small yard or just a windowsill. Show your garden! (translation) Website.

 

Enthusiasm for urban agriculture is growing in Montreal

It seems Montrealers want some soil of their own, and maybe the odd chicken. That’s the message coming out of public hearings into the future of urban agriculture in the city. Expanding the city’s network of community gardens to allow more residents to grow fruits and vegetables was an idea that came up repeatedly at public hearings in Montreal on Monday. Representatives of the city of Montreal and its boroughs have been providing a snapshot of existing urban agriculture projects at the hearings, organized by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal. Montreal Gazette story.

 

The People’s Food Policy Project recommends a fix for Canada’s broken food system

It’s a face that I will remember for a long time. The farmer, utterly frustrated by Canada’s food system, could no longer muster the will to tell his story. He and his wife were taking part in a community “kitchen-table talk,” coordinated by the People’s Food Policy Project (PFPP). He gazed off at nothing as his wife explained how they had taken over his parents’ farm in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and built it into a thriving business to pass on to their children. They once had 20 to 30 wholesalers and retailers vying for their produce; now, thanks to corporate concentration in the food business, they have two. That leaves them little choice but to accept the lower prices offered. They must also transport their produce some 500 kilometres to a supermarket distribution centre in Moncton where it is repacked and shipped back to supermarkets just kilometers from their farm. But what really hurt was etched all over that farmer’s face: the vegetables they had taken such pride in growing were, by then, a week old, and their neighbours didn’t see the value in buying that local produce. Margaret Webb essay.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

‘Farmville’ project with real animals launched by National Trust

A large working farm will be taken over for the first time by web users across the world on Wednesday, who will vote on every key decision taken on its cattle, pigs, sheep and crops. The MyFarm experiment hands over power at the National Trust‘s 2,500-acre Wimpole Estate farm in Cambridgeshire, UK. Up to 10,000 farming novices will choose which bull to buy, which crop to plant and whether to spilt fields to resurrect lost hedgerows. Guardian story.

 

What is MyFarm?

MyFarm is a big online experiment in farming and food production, giving upto 10,000 members of the public a say in the running of a real working farm. The farm is on Wimpole Estate, near Royston in Cambridgeshire. The MyFarm Farmers will join forces on this website to discuss and make decisions on every aspect of the farm: the crops we grow, the breeds of animal we stock, the new facilities we invest in and the machinery we use. The aim of the farm is to be profitable, and to maintain the highest standards of sustainability and welfare. Website.