Vote ON Food and Farming

The Vote ON Food & Farming campaign has officially launched. (Seems I was a bit premature last week.)

Created by Sustain Ontario, Vote ON Food & Farming aims to raise awareness of key food issues that touch on health, the environment, kids, communities, farmers, and jobs.

All Ontarians, no matter where you live, are asked to promote food and farming as important election issues in the upcoming provincial election (Oct. 6, folks).

The Vote ON site is worth a visit. Take the pledge to vote for a candidate who supports food and farming issues, and then let all the candidates know how you feel.

Curious where each party stands on food and farming? Check out the Report Card to see which parties have policies and which come up dry. The findings might surprise you.

Take the Good Food Quiz to test your own knowledge. It’s a bit of an eye opener how many people rely on food banks in Ontario, and how little income farmers make.

If you’ve got some bright ideas or solutions of your own, submit your Good Food Idea, in writing or video, and let others bask in your genius. (No, really, we need to get the discussion going. Submit your ideas.)

Get informed & get involved. After all, it’s your health – environment – kid – community – job at stake!

What strikes me is that even if you don’t live in Ontario, you know that these same issues affect your province or state just the same.


That said, if you are in Toronto this weekend…

Not Far from the Tree and Spadina Museum are hosting City Cider, an opportunity to sip freshly pressed, local apple cider in a heritage orchard. Music, food, activities too!

When: Sunday, 18 September, 1 pm – 5 pm

Where: 285 Spadina Road

Cost: only $5


Local, yes. Sustainable, no way.

Attending the Royal Winter Fair last Sunday was a rude reminder of the reality of mainstream farming.

Sorry to be a downer, but I saw plenty not to be happy about: University of Guelph food geneticists, pesticide companies claiming environmental stewardship, corn fed beef, (not to mention the usual bad coffee).

Whine whine. Gripe gripe.

At first glance, the Royal Agricultural Show is a great thing. The farm comes to the city and the farmers, at least on the surface, get the recognition they deserve.

But the fair is steeped in traditions (horseshows, auctions, biggest zucchini) that belie the dire situation of the farmers and their absolute dependence on the pharmaceutical companies who lord over them — a tradition in itself, unfortunately.

I came across some slick marketing materials by so-called pest controllers that use clever omissions in their copy to convince us that using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers is not only necessary for plant growth, but actually improves soil quality and preserves wildlife habitats.

Come again?

I have nothing against the farmers. They’re caught in a cycle of chemical dependence that began after WWII and it is bleeding them dry. But seriously, does the Royal Winter Fair have to add insult to injury by having the very same forces that are destroying our food supply, our soil and our waterways claim the high road as saviour of these very things?

I thought this event was for the farmers.

Whine whine. Gripe gripe.