Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Feel Good News

Happy Earth Day! Not only that, it's Friday, which means it's time to set aside the doom-and-gloom stories for a moment and focus on some good news!


The People's Food Policy for Canada was launched on Monday!

The People's Food Policy Project (PFPP) is a pan-Canadian network of citizens and organizations that has created Canada's first food sovereignty policy. Created thirty years ago, the PFPP's roots can be traced back to a group of activists touring the country to meet with farmers, academics, stay-at-home moms, the poor, and many others, holding hearings in 75 communities to explore how food systems affected ordinary Canadians.

Fuelled by a desire to place decision-making power about food systems in the hands of the people (which is what food sovereignty is all about), the PFPP is finally ready to propose ways to reclaim and rebuild our food system. If you're unfamiliar with the issues around our current system and the ideals to strive for in a better system, read the PFPP's rationale for a good primer!

So what does the Policy say? These are some key elements:
  • Food should be eaten as close as possible to where it is produced; this can be accomplished by establishing purchasing policies for institutions and large food retailers, by starting CSAs, by creating more farmers' markets, etc.
  • Food providers need to be supported in shifting to ecological production, i.e. organic agriculture, community-managed fisheries, indigenous food systems, etc.
  • Poverty must be eliminated and prevented with the help of federal programs that have measurable targets and timelines so that all Canadians can afford healthy food.
  • All children should have access to nutritious food: a nationally-funded Children and Food strategy should be created to introduce school meal programs, school gardens, and food literacy programs nationwide.
  • The public, and in particular the most marginalized communities, must be actively involved in discussions around the food system.

I strongly encourage you to sign the pledge to show your support of a fair, healthy, and ecological food system. You may also be interested in signing up for the PFPP mailing list. Don't forget that food has become an election issue - for the first time in history, all five federal parties have included food in their platforms! Now is the time to ask your candidates hard-hitting food questions.

Naturally, taking back control over the food system also means growing your own food. What are your green thumbed plans for this year?

Photo credits: carrots; tomatoes.

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