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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Do Food and Health Policy Have Anything to do with the Arizona Murders?

danger

There’s something a tad self-absorbed about the outpouring of media grief and analysis over a shooting rampage that left six dead in Arizona. Analysis is normally reserved for things that have larger numbers attached to them, like the uneventful and painfully slow death from starvation each day of at least 16,000 children (some reputable agencies [...]

PRACTICING FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: PUTTING LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY ON THE BONES OF A RENEWED FOOD SYSTEM

Here is the text of my keynote address to Food Secure Canada conference in Montreal, Saturday, November 27. It can be discouraging to learn how far we need to go in such a short time to set the world right, and the the world’s burdens can weigh heavily on our puny shoulders. It can also [...]

A Raging Bull in a Tea Party Shop: What Foodies Can Learn from a City Election in Toronto that Foretold U.S. Mid-term Elections

I wrote most of this as an assessment of Toronto’s election during the day of October 25, before the polls were closed and any votes counted in Toronto’s city elections. I didn’t know who won, but I already knew what lost — Toronto’s longstanding consensus around the “radical middle” of city responsibilities for social belonging [...]

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 [...]

The Four Rs: Retooling Schools as Community Hubs

By sheer luck, I got a quick taste of the linked future of food and schooling last week. At the last minute, I was invited to fill an empty seat on a charter plane and come see a meal program in a First Nations Cree community of a thousand people in Fort Albany, near where [...]

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 [...]

Canadian Conservatives Scrapping of Long-Form Census Prevents Food Planning

It’s a pretty strong sign that we live in an information economy and society when the Conservative cancellation of the longform census became one of the hot button political issues of the summer season. I was stupefied when the Harper Conservatives dug in their heels, refusing to budge despite a chorus of harsh criticisms from [...]

Labor Day Lesson: Coalition of Immokalee Workers Turn Tables For Migrant Workers

With Labor Day just a few weeks away and badly in need of an event to celebrate, an historic agreement was signed on August 24. Written in legalese, the statement commits Sodexo, a gigantic global food service company employing some 500,000 workers to partner with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a tiny organization of [...]

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 [...]

Feast & Famine: Shifting to a Sustainable Food System

The Canadian International Council, Toronto Branch & The Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto present Feast Famine: Shifting to a Sustainable Food System. Featured Panelists: Professor Harriet Friedmann, Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto Rosemary McCarney, President & CEO, Plan Canada Dr. Wayne Roberts, Toronto Food Policy Council Margaret Webb, author of Apples [...]

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.