Food Security

Click here to download Isabelle’s PowerPoint presentation from the Northern Ontario Food Symposium which took place in Sudbury on September 30, 2011 and was organized by le Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario (CCO). She was asked to speak of the issues surrounding local food access in the North Bay region as well as identify solutions to address these issues. Lead by Christian Howald, the next phase of the project is to assemble those who were present at the conference and showed interest in being part of a steering committee which will be in charge of choosing the most effective methods for improving local food access in Northern Ontario.

If there is one movie you absolutely must watch it’s Food Inc.! Some people claim that ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to the intimate act of eating, something most North Americans do at least 3x daily, we believe that it’s better to know!

We love TED talks, and this is no exception. Watch this particular recording from Asheville where Birke Baehr, an eloquant 11 year-old boy, talks about “What’s Wrong With Our Food System”. If you have kids at home, maybe think about inviting them to watch this five-and-a-half minute video and perhaps have a related discussion with them after it’s done? It’s surprising how easily kids understand this issue. We really don’t give them enough credit sometimes!

Fresh! A movie that celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

Links to visit if you have time:

What’s On My Food? Description: ”At Pesticide Action Network (PAN), we believe that pesticides are a public health problem requiring public engagement to solve. We want you to have the information you need to take action based on a solid understanding of the issues. What’s On My Food? builds on PAN’s 28-year tradition of making pesticide science accessible.” It’s an American site, but it gives a great overview of imported fruits and vegetables! After years of drinking smoothies for breakfast, it was sad to find out that even organic bananas could be bad for us and for the environment… until we realized that Northeastern Ontario berries can be frozen and stored for months at a time and are just as tasty!

Canadian Food Inspection Agency – High Risk Recalls Description: The following website contains a list of the most recent public advisories for high-risk food recalls. The CFIA issues public advisories for all food products where consumption of the food could cause serious health consequences. It’s good to check once in awhile, especially if you want to avoid yummy jalapeno peppers a la salmonella and sliced mushrooms packed with delicious Listeria.

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Description: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has taken lab information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration and compiled it to form two lists. One includes the cleanest produce you can find at the grocery store (ie has the least amount of chemical pesticide residue, etc.) which you can choose to buy organic or not, and the other includes the dirtiest produce, which you should always buy organic and preferably local.