When I meet someone I don’t know, I am often asked, “What do you do?” Responding that I work on food policy usually gets me a puzzled look or a quick change in topic. Everybody eats, so why is it so hard to talk about food policy? Food policy reminds me of the wizard behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz; the wizard is … Continue reading Why is It So Hard to Talk About Food Policy?
There’s this familiar story that climate change is mostly going to mean good news for our food system. If the days are getting warmer, the story goes, farmers in the Maritimes will have more days to grow food, and the chance to grow different crops. Isn’t it a win-win? Two summers ago, I borrowed a pickup truck, threw my tent in the back, grabbed a … Continue reading Climate Change Resilience on Maritime Farms
We recently released this report profiling stories from the Our Food Project 2013-2017. Here are some highlights! Timeline of garden and program growth from the HUGS garden at Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre: Mobile Food Market in Halifax survey results: Cost-Share CSA programs: Policy: Blog Written By: Miranda Cobb, Ecology Action Centre, Research and Evaluation Coordinator Adventures in Local Food is your source for food … Continue reading Stories from 4 Years of Food Systems Work
We often hear messages about healthy eating to support a healthy, active lifestyle, such as limiting sugar and salt and eating enough vegetables and fruits. We’ve also been hearing more about environmental aspects of the foods we eat, such as whether food production, processing and distribution contribute to climate change, impact biodiversity, and protect healthy soils, fresh water, oceans, and air. These messages come as … Continue reading What is a Sustainable Diet?
As the new network coordinator of Our Food SENB (June 20th marked three months in the role), I’ve been learning the ups, downs, ins, and outs of a very broad network of folks in Southeast NB doing amazing work within the food movement. It’s clear that in this region, if you are interested in food security (or food in general), you won’t have to travel … Continue reading Many Hands Make Light Work: how do we ignite them and harness the energy?
Halfway through its first term, the federal government has begun to develop a national food policy for Canada, including launching online consultations with Canadians and hosting a summit with stakeholders. This was a commitment made within the ministerial mandate letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. A friend asked me whether I think the national food policy will do any good. The People’s Food … Continue reading A Food Policy for Canada: Reasons for (Cautious) Optimism
Our food choices are shaped by a wide range of factors – everything from personal and family preferences, dietary needs, our values, what we can afford, and what’s available. A commonly held perception is that if we “vote” with our dollars, then food retailers will respond. Our market system is much more complex, however, and this belief masks the complex and multiple ways in which … Continue reading When Food Sovereignty is the Answer
Generally, farmers are not big fans of increased regulations and are always pushing for a streamlining and reduction of regulations. Some farmers and operators in Canada have more influence over this effort than others. And that really shows up in the proposed Safe Food for Canadians regulations. The Safe Food regulations will streamline food safety regulations for producers who are required to be Canada GAP … Continue reading Do Regulations Make Food Safe?
Livestock produce 14.5% of human caused greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane gas (Rupp, 2016). Methane is a by-product of digestion in cattle that packs a powerful punch. When compared to its carbon dioxide counterpart methane emissions are 21 times more potent (OECD, 2013). Each year global livestock produce seven billion metric tons of CO2 equivalents. These gas particles trap solar radiation in … Continue reading Seaweed Supplements: The Solution to Livestock Methane Emissions
The local food movement is growing! Increased involvement in community gardens and attendance at farmers’ markets has demonstrated our collective desire to eat local. All this discussion about local food got me thinking: is it physically possible for everyone in Halifax to eat local? How much land does it take to feed our growing city? These questions became the foundation for my honours thesis project, … Continue reading Big Shoes to Fill: An Honours Thesis Investigation into the Halifax Food Footprint