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Transforming Current Food Systems

Author: Anonymous

Please remember that this is just one person’s opinion and by no means have I even scratched the surface of a solution or the root cause of the problem. These are just some of the initial points that got me interested in our food supply, its environmental and individual health impacts.

How often do we consider how sustainable our food choices are, where our food is coming from, what is it packaged in and how it is processed? While studying Sustainable Agriculture at Fleming College, the topic of food became my biggest interest, after all this is the sustenance that is keeping us alive. Have you ever thought about how dependent we are on the current food supply chain and if the massive companies that run this system have our best interest at heart or if their main goal is capitalist greed? I implore everyone to pay more attention to what we are putting into our bodies and how our choices affect our long term and the health of our precious planet.

Where do you source your food? The majority of people would answer grocery stores. During winter in Canada we are quite limited in our options with the exception of hunting, fishing and indoor growing. This is why I wholeheartedly support vertical farming, which is the growth of fresh produce indoors in controlled environments. This is the only feasible option to have local produce available to Canadians year round. I hope to see Canada become world leaders in vertical farming in the years to come. Until that time comes we have other summer options, farmers markets, gardening and local suppliers. Unfortunately, the majority of farmers markets have set times that aren’t always accessible to everyone. I would love to see farmers markets and local production become viable supplements or alternatives to traditional grocery stores. Imagine, a farmer’s market building where farmers could leave their produce at their stand with attendant to check customers out on a daily basis freeing up farmers to grow their goods. This would allow people to access local goods on their own time, similar to grocery stores.

"We need to add biodiversity back into our Agricultural lands"- Anonymous

Canning and preserving your own goods for winter use is also a ton of fun and a great way to save some of the excess from summer gardens. Even at the grocery store there are things individuals can do in their everyday lives to help make more sustainable choices. Things like bringing produce bags and reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, avoiding goods that are wrapped in single use plastics, bringing glass jars to bulk food supply stores, reading over the ingredients list and checking where the goods are grown. Often bulk food stores are cheaper than grocery store prices because you don’t have to pay for the containers. Places like Bulk Barn will allow you to take personal glass jars (which can be old condiment jars) in and fill them with your staples. Containers made from glass and aluminum can be broken down and reused many times over while their plastic counterparts can only be used once (in most cases). Buying organic can be a better choice than conventional methods, however, organic standards aren’t at the level that I wish they were. Organic seems to be another term that Big Ag companies have latched onto and exploited. In my opinion, what we need to look at is Soil Food Web practices (see Dr. Elaine Ingham’s work), which entails adding biodiversity back into the soil trough the introduction of healthy microbes and no tillage systems. When biodiversity is added back to the soil. This improves the ability of plants to access nutrients naturally (not through synthetic fertilizers) improves, thus making our food more nutrient dense and better tasting, not to mention the environmental benefits to our waterways and soils when we although the land to produce without the introduction of harmful additives.

Interesting sources:

-Dr. Elaine Ingham (credit to @plantopinion for introducing me at college)

-Biggest Little Farm (Netflix documentary)

-Rotten (Netflix Documentary)

*Any questions or want more info please message me and I will pass on to the author*

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