How should we
think about food? According to new Metcalf Foundation reports edited by
Philippa Campsie, we need to think and act very differently
about how we grow, process, distribute and consume our food. Improved
access to healthy and abundant locally-produced food is a worthy goal
shared by the City of Toronto’s Board of Health, which just adopted “Cultivating
Food Connections: Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Food System for
Toronto” – 29 initiatives that promise to create a culture of “food
systems thinking” within the municipal bureaucracy, linked to the many
players who comprise the urban food supply chain. Dr.McKeown
championed this process.
So with all this positive thinking,
why should food be seen as an issue in the lead-up to Ontario’s
municipal elections in October? One part of the answer can be found in a
report to be issued by the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI). Kevin
Stolarick will address the plight of low-income Toronto residents
living in areas devoid of quality food stores known as “food deserts.”
The MPI report echoes findings raised earlier in this election series by
Professor David Hulchanski (Toronto Divided? Polarizing
Trends that Could Split the City Apart).
Through its trend-setting Toronto
Food Policy Council (TFPC), Toronto’s efforts to promote food security
have won respect internationally. Over a 20 year period, using the
unique convening powers of food, the TFPC has brought together a diverse
range of stakeholders from across Toronto, the Greater Golden
Horseshoe, Canada and beyond. The TFPC has supported initiatives to
bolster food security in places such asScadding Court. Alina
Chatterjee will explain their strategy of developing community
gardens and other innovations.
The TFPC’s recently retired
coordinator, Wayne Roberts, has also been vocal about the
opportunity to realign the vested interests engaged within the food
system. He will discuss moving from the “old” food system to the “new” –
blending the best of both in a series of innovative new partnerships.
Join us at Metro Hall on the 15th to add your thoughts on how
and why food fits in the election agenda.
Special Highlight! The publishers of "The Edible
City: Toronto's Food from Farm to Fork" will be on hand to showcase
this book of essays which explores the role of food in shaping the
character of a metropolis.