After years of policy development through the Food 2002 process, FoodShare has launched the Eat it, Grow it, Share it Campaign. We hope the Campaign makes food policy something that allows us to change the world while we’re changing ourselves. It promotes a growing consciousness about the importance of what and how we eat. We invite you to take action on the ten key points that add up to putting food first – in our social policy, in our neighbourhoods and in our lives.
Taste ten fruits and veggies every day…Eat local, organic and fair-trade food…Share sit-down home-cooked meals
1. We feel better when we increase the amount and diversity of fresh vegetables and fruits we eat every day. Research continues to build the case for higher consumption of fruits and vegetables for better health and the prevention of chronic disease.
2. Wherever you have a choice, eat locally produced, organic and fair-trade food. Eating locally does a lot at once – the miles food travels are reduced which is good for the environment, local food is fresher and tastier, and you also support local farmers so they can stay on the land.
3. Sitting down for a home-cooked meal helps us to slow down the pace and enjoy the people around us. It’s a good way to build a sense of connectedness to one another.
Know where your food comes from…Grow food in your community…Don’t truck it in or out – compost!
4. Buy local at farmers’ markets and stores who make it a priority to buy from Ontario famers, or through Good Food Box or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects. Buying from your local farmer lets you know how and where your food is grown.
5. You can grow food close to home – on your balcony, in your backyard, on your windowsill, at a community garden, on a rooftop… Choose seeds of heritage varieties that aren’t genetically modified. Grow sprouts during the winter.
6. Complete the growing cycle by composting — in your backyard, commmunity garden, apartment or offices. Close to a third of all garbage is wet waste, so everything from air quality to waste management to food production improves when we compost.
Ensure everybody can afford good food…Invest in our children and their nutrition…Sustain our farmers and rural communities
7. It’s a scandal that so many people live in poverty in Canada and go hungry right here in Toronto. How much suffering and illness could we prevent if we fulfilled the basic human right to affordable nutritious food? More social housing, a living wage and decent welfare rates would go a long way towards ensuring that people can afford good food.
8. Is it too much to ask that school children should be getting their calories from a balanced lunch rather than a can of liquid sugar? Canada needs a universal children’s nutrition strategy.
9. Should we squeeze out the small farmers who set such high standards of quality and diversity in our food system? We need to ensure that government policies support small and organic farmers who grow food for the local market.
10. PUT FOOD FIRST: Putting it all together
The world is facing a food crisis of staggering proportions. The World Watch Institute has alerted us to the global catastrophe that 1.1 billion people go to sleep hungry every night and 1.1 billion suffer from obesity, diabetes, anorexia and diet-related illnesses. These aren’t just “social” problems that start and end somewhere else. The crisis of food insecurity and food risk is systemic. Each individual problem is connected to all the others. We paraphrase this complexity as Field to Table. Field to Table encompasses all the steps in which food travels from the field to the table: the way food is grown, how it is distributed and sold, the way it is purchased, cooked and shared. Each step is important to think about as we change the way we eat and how we all get our food.
Because food is a personal issue as well as a social and political one, the Field to Table Campaign is about individual choice as well as the ways in which we can help to change the system by putting food first.