Fortnightly Feast

Grow Local! Grow Strong! The 7th Annual Assembly of the LOFC Network

The Assembly is an event in which emerging and established co-operatives explore possibilities for collaboration and affirm aligned visions for sustainability, stewardship and co-operation. Celebration of various co-operative successes, active working sessions and network planning are included in the agenda. Read more
February 23 – February 24, 2016
Loyola House, Ignatius Centre, Guelph, Ontario

preceded by

Fair Financing for Local Food and Farms

The various workshops and plenaries will explore innovative and adaptable forms of finance.  Conversations with lenders and funders will explore various financing sources and how to build meaningful dialogue.  The day will also begin to build the case for sector bench-marking and creating the narrative necessary to prove the economic impact of food systems across Ontario. Read more
February 22, 2016 – 9am – 4pm
Loyola House, Ignatius Centre, Guelph, Ontario

What You Get When You Mix Chickens, China and Climate Change

Every few months, it seems, an invasive virus from a distant land attacks the Americas: dengue, chikungunya and, most recently, Zika. But the pathogens that frighten me most are novel strains of avian influenza. Novel avian influenza viruses are mongrels, born when the influenza viruses that live harmlessly inside the bodies of wild ducks, geese and other waterfowl mix with those of domesticated animals like the ones at Jiangfeng, especially poultry but also pigs. Read more

The Eden Alternative

…He decided to transform the nursing home. Based on a hunch, he persuaded his staff to stock the facility with two dogs, four cats, several hens and rabbits, and 100 parakeets, along with hundreds of plants, a vegetable and flower garden, and a day-care site for staffers’ kids. Read more

George Brown launches fund for nutrition research

Toronto’s George Brown College is launching a new initiative that aims to engage municipalities, universities, schools, health agencies and hospitals in helping to improve the diet, physical health and wellness of people in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Called the Helderleigh Nutrition Application Fund, the new fund will make a total of $400,000 available over a four-year period for nutrition and health-related applied research projects conducted in partnership with the college’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and its food innovation and research studio, FIRSt. Read more

Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production

After learning a little more about the program, Wellington Brewery decided to work with a business advisor – who had successfully worked with other breweries to access funding – to help them through the Growing Forward 2 application process. Read more

From Soil to Table: Eco Farm Day 2016

Workshop topics include soil biology, what to do with soil test analysis, holistic management in practice, organic seed potato production, mob grazing, Hops and brewers, direct marketing grains, and more. Read more
Saturday February 20, 8 am – 5 pm
Ramada Inn Cornwall, 805 Brookdale Ave, Cornwall, Ontario

Land Access Testimonials: Farm Viability Webinar Mini-Series

Looking for creative ways to get farming? Is land the last big piece? Explore different models of land access and ask all your questions as four successful farmers from across Canada recount their “land testimonials”. These sessions will be useful for farmers seeking land, farmland owners seeking farmers, and those interested in new farmer and land use policy. Cost: $25 per session or $80 for the series of 4. Series registration deadline is Monday February 15th. You can register for individual webinars up to 48 hours in advance.  Read more or register…

Growing Hops in Eastern Ontario

With an explosion in craft breweries in Ontario, as well as strong demand for locally sourced ingredients, now is a perfect time to consider the option of growing hops for commercial sale. Read more
March 21, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Two Rivers Food Hub, 361 Queen St, Unit 5000, Smiths Falls, ON

Selling Food to Ontario

Create new opportunities for your farm or food processing business by learning how to expand into new markets such as grocery stores, restaurants, food hubs, schools, universities and other public institutions. Read more

A first-hand account of development assistance gone awry. An important critique of development practices that undermine peasant strategies as well as suggestions for more effective approaches for the future. Read more
February 25th, 2016, 7-9 pm
Wilson Lounge, 40 Willcocks Street, Toronto

The Brazil Food Guide: Look at food differently in 2015

Analysis from Wayne Roberts in Rabble.ca

… Despite the insipid title, Dietary Guideline for the Brazilian Population, this is unquestionably the most down-to-earth yet visionary rethink of food’s role in health promotion since national food guides were introduced during World War II, one of the rare times in history when the physical stamina of munitions workers and soldiers  captured the attention of national governments.

… The preliminary scientific thinking behind Brazil’s guidelines come from a partnership between Carlos Monteiro and Geoffrey Cannon, who published a lengthy series of articles in the magazine World Nutrition culminating in the 2012 publication of a commentary on “ultra-processing” as “the big issue for nutrition, disease, health, well-being.”

The argument there provides the key thread linking the 150 pages of the Brazilian health ministry guidelines, which is a new classification system based on levels of processing, not food groups.  Read more

Upcoming Webinars and Webcasts

Nutrition and Sustainability: A Long-term Vision for Effective Strategies

Tuesday, 12 November 2013, from 09.00 to 18.00 in FAO Headquarters in Rome

3:00 a.m. to 12:00 EST (See agenda for details)

FAO, the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), Bioversity International, and the governments of Malawi and Flanders are co-organizing a seminar to explore practical approaches and solutions to nutrition and sustainability.  The seminar will bring together around 300 scientists, policy makers, experts, students and practitioners to develop responses to countries’ requests about “why?” and “how?” to link nutrition and sustainability, and to discuss the trade offs. Outcomes of this one-day seminar will also feed into the discussions of the ICN2 Preparatory Technical Meeting<http://www.fao.org/food/nutritional-policies-strategies/icn2/en> (13-15 November 2013).

For more details: http://www.unscn.org/en/nutrition_and_climate_change/nutrition_and_sustainability_seminar_12_november.php

 

Is Sustainability Still Possible?

Webinar To Explore Sustainability Vs. “Sustainababble” And The Road Ahead

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 2:00 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST)
The word “sustainable” is increasingly difficult to distinguish between “sustainababble,” with growsing false claims confusing our understanding of what sustainability truly entails. This webinar, based on the 2013 edition of the Worldwatch Institute’s flagship annual report, State of the World (subtitled: Is Sustainability Still Possible?), will help participants to better distinguish between sustainability and sustainababble, discuss the scientific foundations of sustainability, explore how to create a truly sustainable human society, and if that is no longer possible, how to prepare ourselves for the turbulent transition ahead.
Featuring commentary by: Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow, Robert Engelman, President, Worldwatch Institute
Click here to register.

 

How to Feed 9 Billion on a Small Planet

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 12-2 pm EST
Across Canada via webcast

USC Canada:  On November 19th, Miguel Altieri (University of California, Berkeley) – a world leading authority on agroecology – will speak on ecological agriculture as a key solution to food insecurity, hunger, and climate change. He’ll be joined by panelists:

Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener,
Sarah Archibald, Campus Food Systems Project Coordinator, and
Henry Lickers, Environmental Science Officer, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Bob Carty, former top CBC radio journalist, will moderate the webcast.

REGISTER
To register for the webcast or to organize a private or public screening, go to: usc-canada.org/feedingtheworld.

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 6.2 (Sustainable Food Systems)

Does your health insurance company support your local farmer?
CSA wellness rebates boost local food systems and increase sustainable agricultural practices … while giving consumers a little extra pull in shaping our national food supply.  Maybe policymakers will take note. Read more

HUBS

Local Farmers Plant Seeds for Sustainable Food Hub in Central Vermont
The mission of the Farm-to-Table program is to provide universal access of locally grown foods through education, marketing and distribution.  Read more

Value-Added Food at the Mad River Food Hub
What products do local restaurants, retailers, schools and hospitals regularly use? Among these products, where do they value freshness and quality most? Of these products, can we reconstruct them with the local ingredients presented to us from our initial question?
Read more

Simcoe County Feasibility Study: Regional Food Distribution Hub
See the Stakeholder Focus Group Day’s presentation [pdf], including information about the project and feedback provided on barriers and solutions.

Community Infrastructure

Cooperative Groceries: Is this the Future of Community Food Retail?
Imagine shopping at a grocery store that only carries local products with prices set by members of the community, rather than a corporation. Read more

We envision The Mustard Seed becoming a beautiful place to shop, a place that promotes food access, connection between local producers and consumers, and a vibrant sense of community. Read more

The West End food Co-op will: Promote co-operative values and ownership; Act as a catalyst for local food security by coordinating community driven food initiatives; and Provide the local community with a full-service grocery store that focuses on selling products that are ecologically sustainable, local and healthy, such as fair trade and organic. Read more

Food Systems Approaches

First Nations Development Institute Awards $375,000 to 10 Native Food-System Projects under the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), which addresses issues confronting tribes and Native communities as they seek to strengthen the food system in their communities, improve health and nutrition, and build food security. Read more

Bioregion Food System Study
Led by Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, the three-year initiative -the world’s first bio-region study aiming at increasing food security- will lay out a plan for stakeholders and governments in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky Corridor to create a regional food system. Read more

The Sustainable Food Cities Network is an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations that believe in the power of food as a vehicle for driving positive change and that are committed to promoting sustainable food for the benefit of people and the planet. Read more

 

Community Food Project Funding

While the scale of this program is tiny, it’s interesting to see the direction that “local food” funding is taking, south of the border. The USDA / National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECTS COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM was recently announced,  keep reading