Big Powers Missing in Action on Food Price Crisis but New Leaders Emerge

food_safety

Find Wayne’s article Here Featured On the WorldWatch Institute website.

How government food policy got in your face but not in your heart

Trimming the fat, but how about those sevices?

Cuts to Government Services, But not to Double Standards By Wayne Roberts Politicians at all levels are promising more cuts to government expenses without any cut to services. For politicians, this is better than a gift that keeps on giving. It’s a promise they can keep on promising. For most of the past 40 years, [...]

Thoroughly Modern Dorothy: Why I Remember Mealtime on Mother’s Day

Mom's Cooking

My Mom and Dad came of age in Toronto dur­ing the “Dirty Thirties,” but even by the stan­dards of that era, they had more than their share of bad breaks. Mom was given up for adop­tion as a baby, lost her adop­tive mom at 14, and was res­cued from the streets by a warm and [...]

Foods of Locality: Food With a Place in Your Heart

Syrup in the City

Food is a many-splendored thing, so the more we learn about it, the more we discover new ways to look for it, and come to appreciate why the centre of gravity for food thinking keeps lurching in different directions. This year’s Earth Day is time to name and celebrate a signpost on the latest lurch [...]

The Pillars of Cheap Food are Cracking

World Food Crisis

The worldwide price level of food is taking a great leap upward for the second time in less than five years. My bet is that this food price hike will match a rise in oil prices for wrenching impact on geopolitics, especially as the two are intimately connected. Food cannot be fertilized and shipped without [...]

The First and Most Important Thing to Know About Food

The First Thing You Need To Know About Food

Check out my lead-in to a special issue of Alternatives magazine on food; I give away the first and most important thing to know about food. Read More…

Wayne Roberts at Alberta Pathways 2 Sustainability Conference

The Road to Sustainability

Wayne’s spoke in Red Deer, Alberta, at their exciting Pathways2Sustainability conference; a reporter’s preview of the talk is available here: http://permaculturebc.com/Wayne-Roberts-Food-Security-Organic Watch Wayne’s Keynote:

Are We Seeing the End of Supermarkets?

The end of the supermarket and begining of the superstore

I grew up with the habit of Thursday nights as the time when family shopped together at the local supermarket, and I always assumed, for good or ill, that supermarkets were permanent. It’s now clear that old style super-markets are on their way out. Beginning this month, Wal-Mart Canada kicks off its one-year agenda to [...]

Is being vegan the only green option?

To be or not to be (vegan)?

Join the discussion on how green and vegan issues relate; see my intro to the issues in this debate with PETA member Bruce Friedrich: http://www.newint.org/argument/2011/01/01/vegan-green-debate/

RESPECTING VOLUNTEERS OF THE GAIA CITY

Politics has changed so much since I grew up that I still have trouble coping with modern conservatives who are usually outraged by the way things are going and are very militant and venomous about the need for abrupt changes. I find today’s radicals equally out of character with my memories. Many old-time Toronto activists [...]

It’s An Ill Wind That Shows Local Food Is No Longer Debatable

Driving from Toronto to Halifax last week to help move my daughter Anika into King’s College, I had a lot of quiet time to rehearse a rant against a recent flurry of attacks against local food systems by right-wing extremists across North America. I was pretty happy with some of my vitriolic lines until we [...]

Northwest Territories Gardeners and Farmers Work Together For Local Food

Yellowknife and Hay River “We’re so far behind up here that we’re ahead,” Evellyn Coleman told me, explaining why her Territorial Farmers Association, the first in North America to consider accepting backyard and community gardeners as full members, was inviting me up to speak in the Northwest Territories. Just south of the Arctic tundra, where [...]

Agro-Ecology Is the Oldest and Newest Form of Bio-Mimicry: Count the F Words

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and the intricate form of food production practiced by peasants through much of Asia and South America still express that flattery in relation to Nature. In the Global North, all food production except hunting and gathering is commonly referred to as agriculture. But in the Global South, the [...]

The Stress of Food Bank Food

I was  fully prepared for several days of poor eats when I took part in the Stop Community Food Centre’s Do the Math media stunt earlier this April, when ten well-known Torontonians signed on to stretch a three day ration of food bank grub for as long as possible. But I was shocked by how [...]

“If Id Known You Were Comin…” The Role of Food and Hospitality in Community Development

Here is a great presentation by Wayne regarding the role of food and hospitality in community development. He talks about the role food policy experts can take in understanding the global tradition of “breaking bread” and how  food bolsters connection and community with each other and other species.

The Problem Behind the Obesity Problem Keeps Getting Bigger

I went to school at a time when overweight was much rarer than sensitivity. We used to play a prank where we asked newcomers if they knew a way to lose ten pounds of ugly fat. Cut off your head, we’d roar. The error in scientific method that underlies this feeble joke is called “the [...]

Video: Food Policy and the New Urban Vision

Here is a video of Wayne speaking about food policy at the Toledo Public Library, from September 28, 2009.  Thanks to the WGTE-TV (PBS) and Knowledge Stream for making it possible.

TIME FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TO CHEAP FOOD

…what we eat – how it’s raised and how it gets to us – has consequences that can’t be ignored any longer.”

Let me be the first to say it: I think it might be okay for you to eat that mango?

I’m out on this limb because, when it comes to making green food choices, the beginning of wisdom is knowing how complex the whole matter has become. While the 100-mile diet makes for a dramatic storyline and expresses the green aspirations of today’s shoppers, it doesn’t necessarily say a great deal about sustainable or equitable [...]

LOCAL FARMERS HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THEIR CHAINS

A crack lets the light in, the song goes, and a first crack has just appeared in the corporate walls of Canada’s top food retailers. Sobeys — a chain that flies the banner “the Hometown Advantage,” and which ten years ago took over a chain that called itself “Hometown Proud”– now confronts nine formerly locked-in [...]

Flic This! What Farmers and Food Artisans Can learn From Hollywood North

If only food were like the movies. If anyone in the Ontario government should ever want to do something to encourage quality jobs in local food production, there’s no need to look any further than the government’s own Ontario Media Development Corporation and its Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, which has just boosted the [...]

Red Ink: A Canadian View of Food Inc.

I read about Chef Jamie Kennedy possibly going broke on the front-page news (not bad profile for someone who’s not a banker or carmaker getting bailed out by the government) at the same time I got an invite to see the preview of Food Inc. So the chance to think about the two food happenings [...]

Feed the economy by eating locally and sustainably

A ten dollar a month per-person government incentive program to eat nutritiously and sustainably would pay for itself in avoided medical and pollution clean-up costs and also create jobs in hardhit local economies.

Video: Interview with Wayne at Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

I was asked to speak to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in April 2009. IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems and I was pleased to speak to them about local food systems and policy building. Wayne’s presentation [...]

Stimulate This! Whole New Field of Vision for Farm Environmental Services

There’s no shortage of recession-proofing job creation re-life after the collapse of banks, steel and auto plants collapse. Restoring natural capital is a better business opportunity than restoring antique furniture, cars, paintings or historic buildings.

Fusion Power

From Wayne’s archives. Fall 2008. I’m hanging out in the crowded back yard of a community recreation centre in Toronto’s west end on a warm and sunny fall day, listening to the reggae/funk/country sounds of a local band called Nine Mile, getting ready to cheer on two cooking teams in an Iron Chef competition featuring [...]

Buycotting

On the occasion of its 40th birthday in November 2006, This Magazine asked 40 past and present contributors—and some distinguished guests—for a big idea whose time has come. This is my idea. In a knowledge economy, few people know how to make things that can actually be used. That’s why shopping has a bright future, [...]

Changing the Food System is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Read this report, and call me in the morning.

Sharing Food and Work Creates an Upside to the Economic Down

Hang in for the introductory lecture on Chaos Theory 101, and you’ll be able to follow and lead the economics debate in fresh ways.

Hopeless Romantics Do Valentine’s Day Chocolate One Better

Traipsing through the jungles of Mexico in January with Michael Sacco, a Toronto-based fair trader partnering with Indigenous people in Oaxaca, I got a taste of the bittersweet romantic adventure behind the romantic and sweet treat recently branded to symbolize Valentine’s Day. Chocolate goes to the heart of the Indigenous experience in Mexico, a testimony [...]