From Colin Anderson, on Sustain Ontario:
“…Agriculture policy in Manitoba has historically focused on large-scale export commodity production. However, the growing popular interest in local, sustainable food is prompting the province to take a second look at supporting local food systems to improve economy, health and food security.
The message coming from the grassroots is clear: farmers, fishers, processors and citizens are demanding a say in policy-making and have formed a coalition under the banner of FEAST (Farmers and Eaters Sharing the Table) to encourage the Province to support local sustainable food.
From Common Ground blog:
“In the midst of the federal election campaign, a radical citizen-led plan to address some of our most pressing health, hunger, climate and agricultural-related issues was launched. The plan, called the People’s Food Policy (PFP), is all about food. The sweeping proposals come from communities across the country and call for an overhaul of federal policies governing all aspects of food: where it comes from, how it is produced and how all Canadians can have access to safe, nutritious food at all times.
The People’s Food Policy Project set out two years ago to identify policies needed to support Canadians as they work to create a food system “based on care and respect for humans and the natural world,” where food is viewed as a primary foundation for healthy lives, communities, economies and eco-systems. This goal contrasts sharply with our current industrial system, which has built a complex, centralized infrastructure to treat food as a market commodity. Through the People’s Food Policy, we now have a suite of policy proposals that, if implemented, would connect food, health, agriculture, the environment and social justice. The plan details the specific policies that we need to support the food system we want. Continue reading
From Jessica Leeder, in the Globe and Mail:
“For the first time in Canadian electoral history, the edible is political.
Each of the country’s federal parties have included strategies in their electoral platforms that, to varying degrees, highlight food as a distinct priority separate from agriculture.
The Conservative policy, announced Sunday, most closely resembles a traditional agriculture policy, with its focus on efforts to sustain the family farm and boost exports, while the Liberals and New Democrats aim to foster unprecedented co-operation between government departments dealing with the production, distribution, sale and consumption of food. Continue reading
Excerpts from a Sunday May 2nd editorial in the Toronto Star newspaper:
“….Last week, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff proposed a national food policy with the goal of putting “more homegrown food on Canadian tables because our health and our economy depend on it.”
The four-year initiative would include $80 million to promote farmers’ markets and local food; $50 million to improve food inspections and safety; and $40 million to help 250,000 low-income children access healthy foods.
Given that Ontario alone plans to spend $40 million over the next two years promoting Ontario’s farm products, the spending that Ignatieff proposes is really quite limited. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from a significant story by Tom Laskawy at Grist.org:
Will Michele Obama become the first lady of real food reform?
“With all the talk of Michael Pollan and Jamie Oliver lately, it’s easy to ignore the person who right now is, given her current address, the most influential voice on food policy in the country. Naturally, I’m talking about First Lady Michelle Obama. While she’s been exercising what diplomats would call her “soft power” for a while, i.e. planting a garden, making speeches on healthy eating, and so on, indications are that she’s quietly developing a set of policy recommendations to reform the food system. Obama Foodorama has been tirelessly reporting on these maneuvers, which have remained under the radar—even to the point of Mrs. Obama holding “secret meetings” between her policy team and USDA officials.
The speeches continue—she gave another one just the other day at the Department of Health and Human Services. But according to Ob Fo, the First Lady’s policy team—White House Food Initiatives Coordinator Sam Kass and Policy Director Jocelyn Frye—are currently fleshing out a new set of national food and health initiatives. And while nothing is imminent, it now appears that the White House is embracing the “addiction model” of food consumption as portrayed in former FDA chief David Kessler’s new book The End of Overeating: Continue reading
Michael Pollan, who is author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” talks to Bill Moyers in this series of videos about some of his ideas for a forward-thinking American national food policy. This discussion with PBS host Bill Moyers was a followup to Michael Pollan’s earlier article in the New York Times, which was an open letter to the next Farmer in Chief. We found these videos on the Community Farm Alliance blog. Here’s part of what they say on that blog by way of introduction:
“…..In this series of videos, Pollan sits down with Bill Moyers to discuss what direction the U.S. should pursue in the often-overlooked question of food policy. The insights are incredibly relevant to the work of restoring our food system to one that preserves the health and wealth of Kentuckians that CFA members are so deeply engaged in. There’s even reference to our own Wendell Berry at the end. Enjoy!…”