Posts tagged Food Security

Are vegetables and fruit important to good health?


In Wayne Robert’s recent interview on CTV he mentioned that

…there is no food strategy in Canada.  We have lots of strategies for transportation and energy, but we have no strategy that’s coherent and links “what do we grow” to “what do we eat.

For instance, everyone knows that the cornerstone of a healthy diet is fruits and vegetables and yet there are probably less than five percent of the farms in Canada which produce fruit and vegetables…

Wayne brings up an interesting point.  I was interested to see what the situation is like here in Ottawa.   That can’t possibly be true with all of our local farms, CSA and farmer markets… can it?

Let’s google up some StatCan statistics:

Well, there are the facts from four years ago.   I will be interested to see how our local story has changed once the 2011 Census of Agriculture has been published.

Looks like it doesn’t pay to be growing healthy human food either… Proportion of gross farm receipts by farm type for Ottawa-Gatineau’s Fruit & Veg producers was WAYYY below the average for similar producers in Ontario and Quebec.

Book: The Vegetarian Myth


vegetarian-myth-coverAn interesting book from a unique point of view that can certainly help spark some lively conversations amongst friends. Lierre writes about how she moved away from being a vegetarian and has included a few more living things to her diet adding to the billions of creatures she & her vegan friends were accustom to eating.

To support her points, the book is packed full of research and references (The 272 pages contain 603 endnotes).

Three quotes I’ll note:

I’m not asking How many people can be fed? but a very different question: How can people be fed? Not, What feeds the most people? but What feeds people sustainably? We need a full accounting … because nothing else is sustainable. To quote George Draffan, “I’ll repeat the obvious: sustainable systems are the only ones that are sustainable.” p.126

Derick Jensen [writes]: If your experience … is that your food comes from the grocery store (and your water from the tap), from the economic system, from the social system we call civilization, it is to this you will pledge back your life…. If your experience … is that food and water come from your landbase … you will make and keep promises to your landbase in exchange for this food…. You will be responsible to the community that supplies you with food and water. You will defend this community to your very death. p.56

Soy started out as a legume that was rotated with other annual crops throughout Asia. Because it can fix nitrogen, soy was used as a green manure. [not as a food] … Phytoestrogens are produced by more than three hundred plants, but soy is the only one that humans eat. Chapter 4

In fact, after reading Chapter 4, I’m almost convinced that breaking my blender to process my own tofu may not have been worth the effort.

Finally, a question which came up while discussing said book over a corporate Christmas luncheon: What about the millions of healthy vegetarians and vegans who live in places like India and Vancouver?
It did make me realize that the book tended to focus on what I’d consider a “western” veggie diet … lots of soy milk, salad and tofurkey. Vegetarianism has been common in Indian for generations and it might be interesting to contrast & compare some of the health statistics between western & eastern hemispheres.

Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries


With more than half of their food imported, it is interesting to see what the Japanese government has now decided to promote. What’s even more interesting is how well they’ve moved their Social Marketing campaign along by involving a local, ubercool design firm — groovisions — who created the video below:

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