The local food access puzzle

ON THE GARDEN PATH by Carolyn Herriot

The conclusion of another fast-paced year approaches, one in which I have been immersed in discussions about food security issues and also witnessed many inspiring initiatives to jumpstart a local food revolution. It’s no wonder so many British Columbians are concerned about food security; you only have to read the daily papers to realize that the situation has sunk to an all time low. Below are some key facts I gleaned from newspapers recently, which shed further light on the current puzzle about access to local food.

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Inside Job a horror story


The face of the financial crisis has taken many forms, from people lining up outside banks desperate to get at their savings to the dilapidation of newly built suburban homes that have been foreclosed on. Inside Job, a punch-packing documentary by Charles Ferguson, the director who previously picked through the wreckage of US Iraq policy in No End in Sight, goes straight to the top. It homes in on the architects of the unfinished credit crisis and asks how such a precarious financial edifice came into being and why its collapse reverberated around the world causing widespread grief and mayhem.

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Shady growing good for coffee

SCIENCE MATTERS by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil. And as with oil, the massive scale of production necessary to meet our insatiable demand for coffee results in an enormous ecological footprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, more than seven million tonnes of coffee will be produced worldwide this year.

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NEWSBYTES – consumers paying more for food

Consumers are paying more for food at the grocery store with a sizeable percentage going to processors, marketers and other middlemen. That’s the finding of a study commissioned by three Prairie farm organizations: Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and Wild Rose Agricultural Producers of Alberta.

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Banned no more – George Galloway speaks in Vancouver

by James Clark

Eighteen months ago, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney blocked then-British MP George Galloway from Canada, labelling him a terror supporter and a national security risk. At the time, Galloway was scheduled to appear in four Canadian cities on a speaking tour called “Resisting War: From Gaza to Afghanistan.”

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Trade agreement with Europe threatens Canada’s farmers

by Terry Boehm

The fourth round of negotiations over a new trade agreement between Canada and Europe – CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) – took place in Ottawa last month and yet few Canadians have even heard of this trade deal. Many Canadians might expect a trade deal with Europe to be a progressive step forward, but, in this case, the opposite is true. The trade deal threatens to give biotech, pharmaceutical, pesticide and seed and grain companies powerful new tools to force farmers to buy gene-patented seeds at high prices. Worse, it will almost entirely eliminate the rights of farmers to save, reuse, exchange and sell seed.

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A neural pathway to peace – The Saltspring Centre

by Bruce Burnett

Your cell phone won’t stop ringing and those emails, each demanding an immediate response, keep piling up. You become an adrenaline and cortisol factory and that malevolent duo of stress hormones is further fuelled by that double-double you gulped in the car. “The brain is a wonderful organ,” wrote American poet Robert Frost. “It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”

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