What Can We Do?

As we read the news, witness changing climates, and experience our own daily struggles to access healthy, affordable, good food, we are left wanting to know, what can we do to transform this crazy food system? Or, at the very least, how can we find ways to cope with living within it?? Mark Menjivar‘s blog (from where our earlier refrigerator post originated) offers a starting point for constructive action.

What can one do? Here is a list, probably not definitive:

1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can. If you have a yard or even just a porch box or a pot in a sunny window, grow something to eat in it. Make a little compost of your kitchen scraps and use it for fertilizer. Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again. You will be fully responsible for any food that you grow for yourself, and you will know all about it. You will appreciate it fully, having known it all its life.

2. Prepare your own food. This means reviving in your own mind and life the arts of kitchen and household. This should enable you to eat more cheaply, and it will give you a measure of “quality control”: you will have some reliable knowledge of what has been added to the food you eat.

3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home. The idea that every locality should be, as much as possible, the source of its own food makes several kinds of sense. The locally produced food supply is the most secure, freshest, and the easiest for local consumers to know about and to influence.

4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist. All the reasons listed for the previous suggestion apply here. In addition, by such dealing you eliminate the whole pack of merchants, transporters, processors, packagers, and advertisers who thrive at the expense of both producers and consumers.

5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production. What is added to the food that is not food, and what do you pay for those additions?

6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.

7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible, of the life histories of the food species.

What do you do?

Political Contributions of Food Industry Giants

This wonderfully illustrative infographic from the Good Guide brings a whole new level of meaning to ‘food politics,’ illustrating political leanings of some of the giants in the agro-food industry. Continue reading

UN report bolsters Canada’s right to food movement

“Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet today one in ten families with a child under six is unable to meet their daily food needs. These rates of food insecurity are unacceptable, and it is time for Canada to adopt a national right to food strategy.” – Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Food Secure Canada has been calling on the government to take action. (Photo: http://foodsecurecanada.org)

Yesterday Olivier De Schutter concluded his first official visit to Canada as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, a whirlwind fact-finding mission and tour across the country conducted on the invitation of the Canadian Government.

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A Fork in the Road: Canadian Association for Food Studies

This weekend I have the great pleasure of spending time at the Canadian Association for Food Studies conference, “A Fork in the Road: Crossroads for Food Studies,” where some of Canada’s most respected scholars in food studies gather in collaboration with new and emerging scholars to share ideas, encourage research, and celebrate the work being done in this fascinating, interdisciplinary, and rather new field.

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Food for Thought: Breakfast Energy Crisis

An interesting infographic entitled “When We Eat Matters” from Massive Health stimulated some discussion in the PeaceMeal community this week.

The infographic asserts that for many of us, breakfast is the healthiest meal we eat all day, and as the day goes on, we are more likely to eat unhealthy items like chips, soda, etc. It also talks about how having a good breakfast jump-starts our day, and sets us up for better eating patterns throughout the day, such as making healthier choices and eating smaller portions.

Check out the infographic -do you agree?

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