the naked politics of food policy


Photo by quiet professional on Flickr Creative Commons

Watching Jamie’s Return to School Dinners on Netflix this Easter Weekend (why, oh why would we torture ourselves watching more food onscreen than we’d already ingested the weekend past?!) got me thinking. You know, the UK and Canada are similar countries in a lot of ways. We’re both ruled by WASPy dudes. We both have some major wealth disparity. And the UK’s got their food policy all set up now… but what about Canada’s?

My pondering conveniently timed, it turns out this is a quiet election issue in Canada—all five major parties are currently developing national strategies or policies for food, and it sounds as if we’ll have a policy in place over the next few years. As for now, we’re the only G8 country without a national school meal program, and while that might not sound a problem in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, it is when close to 2.5 million Canadians are “food insecure”—that is, regularly concerned about having enough food to eat.

Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada” is Canada’s first citizen-led national food policy, the most comprehensive food policy our country has had, created over two years with hundreds of people working directly in the industry, little and big. And, hint hint, both the Liberals and NDPs were involved in the creation and development of this policy project (no mention of Harper).

Something needs to give when 67 farms crumble each week nationwide, and when what we eat and the way we transport it is a leading contributor to climate change, accountable for as much as half of global greenhouse emissions (don’t believe that the cow’s farts have anything to do with the methane tearing apart our ozone? yeah, it’s that bad). May 2 is election day—think about supporting a party who’s got the tummies of your country on their mind, yeah?


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