Tag Archives: food politics

a word on goals

In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t agree with the writer of the article on food tribalism that all of our tribes share the same goal of health.

I was asked a good question in response.

What IS my goal?

I’ve been thinking about it this morning and realizing that my answer isn’t as straight-forward as I thought.

My goals in my writing and my efforts at home range from the practical to the political to the philosophical. My goals are rooted in the present, as a mother of a small child, and look forward – to his children and their children’s future.

If I can sum them up I’d say my goals are sanity, security, independence and joy.

I’d like my son’s children to have a sane food system that serves them and their children, not large corporations. I’d like that system to be in line with Slow Food values – good, clean and fair.

I want my son’s children to have food-security. To have access to clean, safe, nourishing foods that don’t cost an arm and a leg AND the earth. I do not want them to have a food system that relies on harmful chemicals, or is ecologically and socially destructive.

I want my family, now and in the future, to have the knowledge, skills and seeds to feed ourselves. I want them to know and value the independence that comes from a meal grown close to home and prepared with care by loving hands. I do not want them to rely on corporations to put food on the table. I want them to be producers, to take pride and empowerment from that.

Last, but perhaps most importantly, I want my family to live a joyful life. A life full of rich experiences, fresh air and hard work. Good food enjoyed around a table with family and friends is one of life’s simplest pleasures. To have an intimate understanding of one’s dinner, having nourished and tended it from seed to table is one of the most joyful experiences in life.

The family table is a celebration of life, the seasons, our time together, the bounty of our garden and our skills in the kitchen.

I can’t think of anything more joyful, or of a more worthwhile goal for my family.


Let’s Put an End to Dietary Tribalism

What an interesting piece. No matter what camp of food philosophy (or non-philosophy, as one reader astutely named my views on food) you should read this.

At the end of the day, we may not have exactly the same goals (I don’t agree with the writer that our shared goal is health) but I think we do have a lot of common enemies . . .

Isn’t that a terrible thing to say?

But its true.

And frankly, they’re a lot bigger and more powerful than we are, even than our individual tribes are. I’m sure nothing makes them happier than watching us squabble amongst ourselves while they continue with business as usual.

Reading the comments pretty much proves the author’s point. The discourse IMMEDIATELY descended into the kind of tribalism the author is warning against. I would have laughed if it weren’t so sad.

We would all be better off to accept our differences and get down to work dismantling our broken food system so we can build something better that serves all of us, not just a chosen few.

the push-back against “urban” farming

I burst out laughing when I saw this headline on Twitter:

Are urban chickens a gateway drug for urban cows and pigs?

Of course, I had to click through to the article on treehugger.com.

And when I did I laughed even harder.

The article is about my hubby’s hometown of Campbellford, Ontario.

You probably don’t know where that is.

It’s ok.

Before I met Jeff, neither did I.

Continue reading

ten ways to be more food secure now

10. Keep Bees

Squash. Tomatoes. Berries. Apples. Cherries. Plums . . . So many food plants rely on bees for pollination. No bees = no food. It’s that simple.

You can become a full-blown urban bee keeper, join a bee co-op or set up a home for native mason bees. Stop using harmful pesticides and grow lots of bee-friendly plants and you will be well on your way to helping save this important population. Continue reading

joel salatin, you rock my world.

WOW. What an amazing weekend.

I have to say, what with all the morning sickness, anxiety around quitting my job and all that fun stuff – I haven’t exactly been spending my time being excited about gardening and food security and changing the world.

This weekend was a booster-shot of optimism. We were lucky enough to score tickets to see Joel Salatin in Courtenay, BC on Sunday. He was here in Vancouver the next day at UBC, but we thought seeing him in the tiny town of Courtenay would provide a much more intimate experience than in some huge lecture hall at UBC. WAS IT EVER!!

So despite the 2 hour ferry ride and 2 hour drive to get there – off we went! For our travels we were rewarded with the opportunity to participate in a 2 1/2 hour round table discussion with Joel and maybe only 35 or so other folks followed by an evening lecture and Q&A. I had a hard time expressing the enormity of this opportunity to my friends . . . Ah, It’s like getting to sit down and chat with your favourite rockstar!! But he’s a farmer. Um ya. So maybe some of my friends weren’t as excited for me as we were . . . but that’s ok.

It was an interesting mix of people; chefs, food activists, permaculture educators, high school home-ec teachers, a sheep farmer, backyard gardeners, seed-savers, back-to-the land hippies, far-out left-wing airy-fairy-types, food scientists, stay-at-home renegade mums, you name it.

Joel, despite his lack of coveralls (everyone was thrown off by his suit jacket – whispers of “Where’s his straw hat?” rippled through the room) was his adjective-spewing,  pontificiating, chuckel-inducing, no-holds-barred self that we’ve all come to know and love from Food Inc. and YouTube. I spend the entire day madly scribbling down pearls of wisdom, laughing, nodding my head and feeling the circulation slowly returning to the parts of my brain responsible for inspiration.