Important press release below from the People’s Food Policy Project
People’s Food Policy Project
The Cross-Country Kitchen Table Talks
Please Visit http://www.peoplesfoodpolicy.ca
September 14, 2010
DO YOU EAT?
Of course you do! But do you know what is in your food? Where it comes from? Why it costs so much? Did you know that Canada has no official Food Policy?
With the recent endorsement by David Suzuki, the People’s Food Policy Project (PFPP) announces a five-day launch, October 12-17, and two subsequent months of national discussions. Our launch coincides with World Food Day on October 16. We are calling these discussions the Cross-Country Kitchen-Table Talks: gatherings of neighbours, friends and family – in short, ordinary Canadians – as well as the media, to dig in and discuss what could be the most important public policy development since Medicare.
“Canada needs a food policy. The development of this policy must include input from its eaters, its citizens,” says PFPP National Coordinator Amanda Sheedy.
The PFPP has captured the voices of citizens from coast to coast to coast in its draft proposals. It will create the only people-focused food policy that ensures Canada’s food system is controlled by Canadians, supports Canadian farmers and delivers healthy, environmentally sustainable and accessible food to its citizens.
“As a longtime farmer, I am experiencing increasing demand from urban folks who want to buy directly from me. They are worried about food security, safety and the ethics of transporting food around the globe,” says Colleen Ross of Iroquois, Ontario. “Canadians need to let decision makers know that they want food grown using environmentally sound practices in a system that provides food security for all.”
We invite you to host or participate in a Kitchen Table Talk to consider our recommendations and discuss how you would like to see our food system improved. This is a chance to participate in developing policy that will shape the future of food in Canada and ensure it is truly sustainable and just.
The PFPP is a broad coalition of eaters, farmers, community and health workers, academics, cooks, small business owners and others engaged in the food system. During a year of extensive consultation, our 70 volunteers heard from more than 1,000 Canadians to develop our proposals on ways we can reclaim and rebuild our food system. Now we would like to hear what you think!
Here are some unappetizing facts that the PFPP will address:
a. Canada is the only G8 country with no school lunch program.
b. Canada’s food exports have increased 400% since the late 80s, but almost 800,000 Canadians needed assistance from food banks in March 2009 alone, an 18% increase from the previous year.
c. Average farm income in Canada is negative $20,000 per year.
d. Obesity is on the rise, yet people don’t have enough food to eat.
If you think these issues and our recipe for improvement are worth talking about, please join us by hosting or attending a Kitchen Table Talk.
For the Media, contact knowledgeable members of the PFPP for revealing and informed interviews and to help you develop talks of your own.
Contact: National Coordinator – Amanda Sheedy