Agroecology at New: World Food Days, Part 3


This year, several United Nations identified agroecology as a strategy of food production that is central to dealing with hunger, human rights and environmental crises. This October, New College added to this discussion by hosting a mini-conference to celebrate World Food Day and ask if agroecology is pushing out agriculture as “the next new thing” in food [...]

VIDEO: Planet in Focus eco-hero Wayne Roberts

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Wayne Roberts took part in the  Planet in Focus 2014 Permaculture Panel following the screening of The Chikukwa Project, directed by Gillian Leahy and Terry Leahy. Watch the video here: PIF Eco-Hero Wayne Roberts

Agroecology at New: World Food Days, Part 2


Dr. Filiberto Penados gives new meaning to the term, “visiting professor”. He travels regularly from his Central American home in Belize to lecture at New College and elsewhere at U of T for the Equity Studies, Aboriginal Studies, Caribbean Studies, Human Biology and New One: Learning Without Borders programs. In Belize, he directs the Institute [...]

Rejoice! Toronto’s civic system may yet save the city from itself


On October 27, Toronto voters reverted to type by electing one middle-of-the-road (or is it subway?) mayor, and a grand total of seven fresh faces on a City Council of 44 members. Some candidates lose elections, but the government always wins, cynics may be tempted to say. But the deeper causes of such political stability [...]

Collaborating On Food: An Interview With Wayne Roberts


Sustain Ontario spoke to Wayne Roberts, food policy expert and author of The No Nonsense Guide to World Food and Food for City Building: A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists & Entrepreneurs (2014). For 10 years, Wayne was the chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council, a group internationally renowned for being the first food policy council embedded within a major [...]

Agroecology at New: World Food Days, Part 1


Agroecology doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but there’s no doubting it’s this year’s buzz word at conferences and publications from multiple UN agencies dealing with food, hunger, human rights and the environment. Lori Stahlbrand, New College Food Systems Coordinator and organizer of the College’s World Food Days events, held  from October 15-17, says this fall [...]

Wayne ROBERTS – Fixing food not only solves food problems


On July 5th, 2014 International Urban Food Network (IUFN) interviewed Wayne Roberts about his latest book Food for city Building, A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists & Entrepreneurs. The original article can be found here: Part memoir, part manual, part manifesto, Wayne’s latest book Food for city Building, A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists & Entrepreneurs, [...]

Wayne Roberts on the Food Movement 2.0


On June 27th, 2014 Colleen Kimmett interviewd Wayne Roberts for Farm to Cafeteria Canada.  Wayne Roberts  describes himself as the “Mr. Magoo” of municipal food policy; often stumbling and frequently saved by luck (the kind that comes from years of practice.) Roberts has decades of experience as a community organizer, and from 2000 to 2010 served [...]

A Q&A with Food Policy Analyst, Writer and Visiting Scholar Dr. Wayne Roberts


There is no denying it: New College cares about food equity and sustainability. Food equity has long been a theme in our course offerings; our Audrey Taylor Dining Hall offers local and sustainable fare; and during the most recent academic year we hired a Food Systems Coordinator, Lori Stahlbrand, to promote food scholarship and plan related [...]

Sharing the School Meal Potluck

potluck wayne

Before I knew what was happening, an information-sharing meeting of 50 people that I was moderating at FoodShare, Say Yes! to Good Healthy Food in Schools,on November 28 turned into an info potluck – the best thing to happen to my understanding of school meals in a long time and an example of what a [...]

MealExchange asks: How can you summarize Wayne Roberts?


By: Sarah Archibald How can you summarize Wayne Roberts? With great difficulty - Wayne is a wealth of information about all things food. But I’ll try to relay the highlights of last week’sFoodShare event that also featured speakers and inspiration from food movement leaders and thinkers Debbie Field of FoodShare, Jeff Westman of California Farmlink, and Tony Winson from [...]

‘The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food’ is Food Tank’s “must read” books of Fall 2013


Four times a year, Food Tank handpicks a selection of books that have recently educated, inspired, and informed their organization.  This fall, Food Tank chose my latest publication, the second edition of the No-Nonsense Guide to World Food, to be on their ‘must read’ list! Check out their insight into my book as well as [...]

Whose land? The displacement of the Mississauga has left Toronto with a major cultural deficit

Toronto is developing a new tagline that’s much more appealing than Hogtown, Toronto the Good or the big smoke. Now we have “Toronto, traditional territory of the Mississauga,” a phrase that opens political meetings these days as speakers remind participants whose land and legacy we are standing on. Even Premier Wynne says it. But new [...]

The Case for Food Hubs


By Wayne Roberts and Lori Stahlbrand Each week during the school year, students and staff at the Palgrave Public School dig into a lunch of fresh, healthy food. On a recent Thursday this past June, the $5 “healthy crunch” salad bar featured an array of lettuce, carrots, zucchini, orange slices, sweet potato quesadillas and strawberry [...]

Quebec City Uses Food as Pioneer Species of Urban Revival

Quebec CIty

By sheer luck, our family stumbled on a little-known urban success story while looking for a place to crash in Quebec City that offered direct access to the throughway to northern Quebec, where our daughter was going to learn French. Right next to Quebec City’s famous central core, preserved as a walled monument of an [...]

Getting to the Right Question on the Nutrient Benefits of Organic Food

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The international media had a field day headlining a Stanford university study dissing the nutritional benefits of organic food. I hope it’s not too late for me to ask a few questions that might steer the debate in a more useful direction. I would like the media to explain why a study that was not [...]

Green Infrastructure and Food


I started my research by typing “crumbling” into Google, and as soon as I hit the first letter in the second word,  up popped “crumbling infrastructure.” I think that shows a lot of people are tracking what is often called a silent crisis of aging sewage and water pipes, bridges, filtration plants and the like. [...]

My dirty secret

dirty little secret

Weird as it seems, this summer’s scary news stories about drought and global water crisis took a load off my shoulders – and allowed me to come clean with a dirty secret I’ve kept from neighbours and friends for almost 20 years. It goes back to an article I wrote during the early 1990s about [...]

No water, no crops: how this year’s North American drought will impact you


I can’t figure out why Mark Twain is considered such a smarty pants for noticing that people always talk about the weather but never do anything about it. If people talk about the weather – this summer’s drought, and its likely impact on runaway food prices and forest fires – that’s deep folk wisdom recognizing [...]

Forest Gardens in Honduras make the best of two worlds


The drought parching harvests in several of the world’s most productive food baskets is the summer’s hottest global food story. Eerily, it’s matched by the season’s hottest archeological finding, which comes across as a cautionary tale. Benjamin Cook, who sifts through mountains of computerized data rather than dusting off shards of pottery like old-fashioned archeologists, [...]

Book Reviews: Avant Gardeners Awake! Food systems affect everything from pollution to mental health.


Food pairs well with writing. Writerly minds are attracted to the food and agriculture scene, and the food and ag scene comes across well on the printed page. It may be because food, agriculture and writing occupations all rely on compulsive-obsessive passion as the substitute for a financial motive for staying in the—pardon the pun—field. [...]

Can Main Street shops stop the traffic jam blues?

Main Street Sign

Going for a drive along a nearby street isn’t my usual idea of a good conversation starter or a way to get to know someone, but it was all for a good cause, so I gave it a try—and ended up seeing the internal workings of my main street for the first time. My assignment [...]

How Food Will Make Edmonton: check out a recent talk I gave in Edmonton, Alberta

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I recently had the pleasure of giving a presentation at Edmonton’s Food in the City Conference.  Check out my video below! 

New City Moves Help Wipe Away Tears After Rio +20


Suppose they held a United Nations  conference on sustainability and nobody came? As much as leaders of global citizen groups have tried to rally world opinion around the June 20-22 Rio + 20 conference with a petition called The World We Don’t Want — a cute slam at the official declaration called The World We [...]

Mental Health Report Shows Need for Screening Questions on Food


Crazy as it sounds, the Mental Health Commission of Canada – appointed in 2007 by Canada’s Conservatives and received respectfully when its report was released last week – has just tabled Canada’s first- ever mental health strategy. There’s a good chance that a prominent group’s rethink on  mental illness can also provoke some public discussions on how [...]

Human Rights Investigator Hits Sore Point in Review of Canada’s Food Scene

Oliver De Shutter

Nothing befit Olivier de Schutter’s tour of Canada’s food security situation as his leaving it. Two senior federal cabinet ministers heaped scorn on this soft-spoken, mild-mannered and unfailingly-polite Belgian law professor’s May 16 report on inadequate human rights protection in Canadian food policy. The insulting and dismissive response galvanized Canada’s typically localized and health-focused food [...]

Japan’s Earthquake

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The world is still reeling and shaking from afterthoughts of what happened in March, 2011 when Japan was hit by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, which exposed how vulnerable all basic institutions have become when Nature acts up—something bound to happen anywhere or anytime in this era of climate change and global transmission of hard-to-treat [...]

Mental Health Report Shows Need for Screening Questions on Food


Crazy as it sounds, the Mental Health Commission of Canada – appointed in 2007 by Canada’s Conservatives and received respectfully when its report was released last week – has just tabled Canada’s first- ever mental health strategy. There’s a good chance that bringing that a prominent group’s rethink on  mental illness can also provoke some [...]

Green Roof Schools


The conflict between sound financial axiom and ludicrous financial dogma will hit the roof at Toronto city council sometime between May 11 and 13  — appropriately enough on the issue of whether schools will be exempted from the city’s much-celebrated green roof bylaw – the first in North America. As with any roof, there’s a [...]

Cities May Look Left to Protect Their Future as Centers of Innovations and Development


It was called “re-imagining our cities,” but the summit was just as much about re-imagining Canada’s social democrats — the New Democratic Party, now positioning itself as a national government in waiting. At one of its first public events since electing Tom Mulcair federal leader, an invitation-only conference hosted by the federal NDP and York [...]