A Report Stirs the Agriculture Pot


Farms occupy half the landmass of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe, and are the foundation of the biggest employment sector in the province – food, beverage and agriculture – a highly effective cluster that rates third in North America in terms of output. The central role that agriculture plays in society, the economy and environment rarely [...]

Food and Community: Complete Works


David Crombie was known as Toronto’s “tiny perfect mayor” during the 1970s, when he started turning the international reputation of a bickering place renowned as Toronto the Good into “the city that worked” — at a time when few did. Now a veteran elder statesman, he’s just served as the tiny perfect commissioner for Ontario’s [...]



One of many problems caused by global warming is that fewer people know what it means to say something “snowballs.” How will people understand how food works? When I was a kid, all of my friends loved starting with a small fistfull of snow and rolling it along as it gathered enough snow to become [...]

Food Meditations: Food Democracy Is All Greek to Me


Food and city policy advocates owe a lot to ancient Athens. Even someone as ill-informed as me knows we owe them the root word of policy, politics and metropolis, and the first example of city states. Most people also refer to Athens as the birthplace of democracy, at least for Greek males. But I just [...]

THOUGHT FOR FOOD: Bigger Than Both Of Us


The basic math of food advocacy is to put two and two together, and come up with at least 5. The secret of effective policy is to turn the solution to 2 + 2 problems into at least 5 benefits. That way, any quantitative efficiencies we lose by not binging out on scale and specialization, [...]

THOUGHT FOR FOOD: Finding Space for Food


In this digital age, our respect for the world we can’t see is greatly increased. We talk of the value of a company’s brand, not just its assets, for example, or we discuss soft power, as well as hard power. I think that applies to food in two ways. First, most of the important things [...]

THOUGHT FOR FOOD: Big Food Gets Bigger


The latest on food monopoly trends is that  2015′s merger and acquisition deals added up to $516.5 billion — 54.7 per cent more than in 2014, according to a report in Merger Sector Trend Report. This trend is hard on farmers and rural communities, according to a recent study by senior academic watchdogs of food [...]

THOUGHT FOR FOOD: Vote Food Democracy


If I say “food” and ask you to say the first word that comes into your mind, I expect it might be agriculture, or maybe health, or hungry, or yummy, or water, or maybe even diet. But I’ll bet you a dollar to donuts (notwithstanding donuts are probably worth more than dollars now, so I [...]

Food Meditations: Taking the Pulse of a New Food Trend


My dad often said he ate enough beans and rice pudding during the 1930s Depression and 1940s World War to last him a lifetime. If I never see them again, it will be too soon, he’d tell anyone thinking of serving them to him. Those habits have carried over until today across North America and [...]

Food Meditations: A Mysterious Object Lesson in Food

I often wonder about the mystery of the modern food movement, at least in the urbanized Global North. Why did it emerge so late in history — so long after the labor movement or women’s movement, for instance? And why do people care so much more about local food than about local cars or clothes [...]

Trudeau’s government to grab right end of the food stick


If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s instructions to his new Minister of Agriculture are followed, Canada will soon lead the pack of G20 economically powerful countries when it comes to food policy. Among the duties listed in Trudeau’s public mandate letter to Minister Lawrence MacAulay is one to “develop a food policy that promotes healthy living [...]

VIDEO: Winter Market at The Montgomery Inn


Wayne Roberts presents on Winter Markets at the historic Montgomery Inn. Click on the link below to watch the full video: Wayne Roberts on Winter Markets at The Montgomery Inn

USC Canada VIDEO: Seeds Grow More than Food

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Wayne Roberts — a widely respected Toronto food policy analyst and practitioner — visited USC Canada’s Honduras program in August 2012 with Tim Baker — the lead singer of Juno-nominated band, Hey Rosetta! This video features Wayne’s experience with the farmers there, and highlights the lessons he took away from this beautiful but challenging country. [...]

VIDEO: Wayne Roberts on Food

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Wayne asserts that the potential of food for solving societal problems can only be unlocked if viewed as a Rubik’s cube. You have to view all 6 sides of the cube at the same time, which demands integral thinking and working. Very helpful then is not asking the classical question ‘how do we make food [...]

Don’t jump to rasher conclusions. Pigs offer bacon of hope to sustainable food systems


Bacon may not be all it’s sizzled up to be, but it does explain a whole rasher of things about today’s food scene. I got to experience the bacon back story on August 8, as one of four judges at a BaconFest2015 celebration at east-end Toronto’s neighbourhood-based Leslieville Farmers Market. I was the spoilsport, asking [...]