For the past 11 years, ReFrame Film Festival has served us an amazing platter of engaging, insightful, moving and tasty stories. Every year the Festival helps us gain a deeper understanding of critical issues related to human rights, the arts, environment and social justice, all framed through the lens of the best film-makers in Canada and beyond. This time, festival organizers sprinkled an extra dosage of delicious offerings: nine food films! Truly a bumper crop!
Do you know how much it costs to follow a healthy diet in Ontario? If you are not sure and want to find out, you can ask your local health unit, they have the answers. In fact, they have been gathering answers to this question for the past 6 years throughout the province, and for close to 25 years here in Peterborough.
Canada is negotiating a trade agreement which could have serious negative consequences for food production and procurement in the country - and you've probably never heard of it. Or if you have, you don't know much about it. Because it's being negotiated behind close doors, in secret.
I mentioned in my last post that most of the seeds sold and/or exchanged at Seedy Sunday were heirloom ones. You may wonder what is meant by that. In general, heirloom seeds are defined as old, open-pollinated cultivars. In other words, these seeds were introduced before the 1950s and when planted they should grow 'true to type.'
On March 4th, Food Secure Canada organized 50 events where Canadians were able to listen to the Canadian report prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Now Food Secure Canada is seeking to engage Canadians in asking the federal government to put food in the budget. Check this link and join thousands of others in advocating for a National Food Policy.
In the past nine years, I've come to greatly anticipate the last weekend in January. It's the weekend of the ReFrame Film Festival and I know I'm going to be challenged, moved, questioned, propelled to act about something that had escaped my awareness previously. I feel very grateful to the amazing team of staff and volunteers who pull this event together. Without their commitment and hard work, I would never be able to enjoy the incredible diversity of socially engaged documentaries that the festival brings to our community.
Kitchen Literacy illustrates that our relationship with food has undergone radical changes in the past 150 years. Nothing is static... which means that everything can always change. Indeed, we are seeing lots of new changes taking place in the food system. By joining community gardens, shopping at farmers' markets, enrolling in CSAs or food box programs, people are starting to alter how they consume food or connect to it.
In this second instalment of Kitchen Literacy, Ann Vileisis focuses on the industrialization of the food system. From that point forward, mechanization and food sciences come to radically alter our relationship to food. The food stories that were so integral to the pre-industrial era are slowly forgotten and replaced by stories of loyalty to brand names, which, through advertising, promise us a life filled with love, joy and convenience - as long as we shop at the supermarket, of course...
I often wonder how we can create a healthy and equitable food system that feeds not only our body but our health, our relationships with one another and our environment. What will spur this food revolution? Some say it can't be done, we are too far gone. I disagree. In fact, this moving quote from novelist Arundhati Roy resonates with me:
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.