Posts Tagged ‘Good Food Box’

Great reads about food and farming

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Food safety, sustainable food, urban farming, food security, food justice: they’re all getting media attention these days. Starting with this post, Earthward will round up some of the most compelling stories about the food system in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world. While the round-ups will only represent a fraction of what’s out there, my goal will be to include a range of stories that reflect the varied ideas, people and initiatives that make up the sustainable food movement.

Access to food key to good health. The Ottawa Citizen’s Joanne Chianello looks at the possible link between health and the distance to the nearest grocery store in her coverage of the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. Ottawa Public Health wants to help with poor food access and is already doing so by assisting programs such as the Good Food Box and Good Food Markets for underserved areas. In the meantime, the Ottawa Board of Health has approved a strategy to help overcome obstacles to accessing healthy food.

Grass-fed, natural beef? It’s likely no safer. In her November 21 feature in The Globe and Mail, author and locavore Sarah Elton explodes the myth that grass-fed, naturally-raised, local beef is necessarily safer than mass-produced hamburger meat. While there are lots of great reasons for buying meat raised without antibiotics and using low-impact farm methods, the risks of contamination remain, Elton says.

Large urban farm to take root in Windsor. In this latest example of farms transforming decayed urban space, Windsor, Ontario businessman Van Niforos plans to turn an old trolley yard into an integrated urban farm and restaurant. Already a restaurant owner, Niforos and his business partners will build a 3,000 square-foot greenhouse to grow tomatoes and other produce for the restaurant. In the longer term, they hope to expand and include an outdoor farm and a rooftop orchard.

Obama’s Game of Chicken. The November-December issue of Washington Monthly features an outstanding piece of journalism by Lina Khan on how the Obama administration tried to stand up for independent poultry, cattle and dairy producers but retreated in the face of Big Agriculture.  As the article shows, weakened anti-trust laws and the return of monopolies in food production and processing have reduced independent farmers to the status of sharecroppers – if that. The story focuses on the U.S., but similar forces are at work in Canada.  A long article, but worth it.

CIW vs Publix: Remembering Farmworkers on Thanksgiving. This year, Thanksgiving in the U.S. was marked by a week of grassroots action to urge grocery chains such as Publix to work towards a Fair Food Agreement. Fair Food activists, along with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based organization working with immigrants in low-wage jobs, want the abolition of field slavery (yes, it still exists), payment of a living wage and fair treatment for tomato farmers in Florida. The CIW and Fair Food have made big strides since they began more than a decade ago, signing agreements with brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Whole Foods Market, Aramark and others. As a major buyer of Florida tomatoes, Publix has refused to work with the CIW on an agreement that would pay farmworkers a penny more per pound and establish fair labour practices.

 

Have you read any stories about food you’d like to share?