Local Food News — Canada

‘Greenship’ Will Be A Self-Sustaining Food Source For Northern Alberta

A pile of dirt and tires just west of Edmonton is about to be transformed into an impressive monument to green living. The greenship — similar to an off-grid “earthship” home that generates its own energy — will be an entirely self-sustaining greenhouse. The Aspen Centre for Integral Living, an environmental non-profit behind the project, says it’s as much about educating visitors on green living as it is about providing the northern community with year-round food. Huffington Post story.


‘Align with the eaters’: Food Guide changes may benefit farmers

While still in the works, proposed changes to Canada’s Food Guide seem to emphasize a reduction in foods with high levels of sugar, sodium and saturated fats. If those revisions come to light, they could benefit Canadian farmers, based on the principles of food sovereignty, the head of a national farmers’ group says. “We believe it’s ultimately in the farmers’ interest that food is not overly processed, but produced in a way that is best for eaters,” said Jan Slomp, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU). Western Producer story.


Fresh, local food planned at 3 P.E.I. schools under new $100K program

More fresh, local food could be on the menu at cafeterias in three Prince Edward Island schools starting in the fall under a new pilot program aimed at improving food security and education. The Food Security and Food Education Program — on which P.E.I.’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is spending $100,000 — will help Islanders access local food and teach about its nutritional value, where it comes from, and how it’s produced, the province said Tuesday in a written release. CBC story.


‘Buy local’ cafe set to open in former Real Food Connections location

Two New Brunswick entrepreneurs are hoping they can take an unsuccessful local grocery in a more profitable direction as a local food cafe. The plastic once covering the windows of the former Real Food Connections location in Saint John has been removed and on Monday, several workers will drive down from Fredericton to take over the store. It’s now called “Locavore Foods.” “We’re all hands on deck,” said Jason Lejeune, one of the co-owners of Locavore. “The appearance has changed from being a grocery application to a cafe application.” CBC story.


Food activist finds weeds in province’s urban garden plan

The Alberta government is offering land along the ring road to grow vegetables, but a longtime proponent of the idea has mixed feelings now that it’s on the table. “It’s a little disappointing. There was very little consultation about the property location. We submitted well over 20 locations and this is one of the last locations we’d choose,” said Paul Hughes, a local food activist. Calgary Herald story.


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What is Behind the Trend of Local Food?

To meet the growing demand for more local food on institutional menus it’s important to start with understanding what’s behind the trend – why do people seek out local food? Writer lists five reasons. Food Secure Canada post.


Thirst for craft beer brews opportunities

Three flags fly proudly over Saanichton Farm – one for country, one for tractor and one for beer. For Bryce Rashleigh, they are visible reminders of what keeps the farm growing, and what they are growing for. “The whole local food movement is huge on Vancouver Island,” he says. “People are more supportive of my farm and what I do when they see the connection to what they eat and drink.” FCC Express story.


This is some of the best soil in Canada’: Vancouver tells farmer she can’t raise chickens on farmland

Robin Friesen wanted to farm. So she leased half an acre in the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and bought 150 chicks. But what seemed like a simple plan — raising a small flock of chickens for meat and eggs — became complicated last week with the appearance of a City of Vancouver bylaw officer who told her she’d run afoul of the city’s backyard chicken bylaw, which prohibits people from keeping more than four hens. National Post story.


Food choices govern food production, which has environmental impacts in a time of global climate change

What’s more, the influence of Canada’s Food Guide on the food industry extends beyond our own borders. Food choices govern food production, which has environmental impacts in a time of global climate change. Since Canada is a major food exporter, Canada’s Food Guide affects the health and environment not only of Canadians but of citizens around the world. Given the importance of this publication, it is critical that we get it right. And getting it right means recommending not only a wholesome, nutritious diet but also a sustainable one. Policy Options post.




From bullfrogs to wild rice, the wackiest things the provinces protected in Canada’s new free trade deal.

When Canada’s trade ministers revealed a mass internal free trade agreement last week, the list of exemptions and items to be discussed was as long as the barriers they removed. Bull frogs, wild rice, weddings and funerals were among the integral provincial industries specifically outlined for protection. The agreement includes a requirement that only residents of the province “may be issued a licence for taking of bullfrogs for sale or barter.” So all those people from Manitoba rushing over he border to stock up on frog’s legs better watch out. National Post story.