Friday, June 24, 2011

Your Family's Food Security

There is no food strategy in Canada that links what we grow with what we eat - there is no comprehensive National Food Policy. Apparently, Canada is not alone in this. Are you surprised? I have to admit that I am. According to Wayne Roberts, author of 'The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food', less than five per cent of Canadian farmer's produce the fruits and vegetables Canadian citizens need in their diet. That means that the bulk of our fruits and vegetables are being imported from abroad. With world food prices on the rise and the threat of food scarcity due to unpredictable weather, how does the Canadian government plan on feeding its population during times of uncertainty?

Photo by John McGarvy
The majority of Canadians live in urban centers, meaning we are food consumers, not producers. But, I believe that this can change and there are several growing movements that reinforce this thinking - locavores, 100 mile diet, urban homesteading, urban farming, urban chicken keeping - the list of local, urban food movements goes on and on! There are so many inspiring people out there encouraging each of us to take the issue of food security into our own hands, instead of waiting for the government to step up. I believe this is the right place to start - with ourselves.

Which leads me to ask the following questions: Have you given any thought to how you would feed your family should the world food supply become unpredictable? Do you have any short term or long term goals in regards to your own family's food security? We are encouraged to plan for all sorts of emergencies, but what about food shortages? A national food policy may not be in place when we need it and the skills needed to grow and preserve food aren't learned overnight. While I don't think we need to start panicking, I do think it is something we should all start thinking a little more about.


Linked to Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Preparedness Challenge, Weekend Gourmet Carnival, Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth & Soul, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday,


HolleyGarden said...

I actually think about this. Not only production, but also supply. The US grocery stores are all on 'just in time' ordering, which means they receive it just in the nick of time before they run out. (my explanation)

Anyway, if things were to get kinked up (and it doesn't have to be a world shortage, just a computer malfunction), we might be out of groceries at the stores for a couple of weeks. In addition, I've read that urbanites are advised to keep two months food supply for emergencies!

Since I read that, I've pondered this quite a bit. I'm starting to put some aside for any emergencies. I think the growth in grow-your-own is wonderful! I will probably never become self-sufficient, but I am much more aware than in the past, and that is a good start.

Shanon Hilton said...

That's a good point about the JIT system. I think that our food supply system is more fragile than we realize and that any number of things could cause short term shortages, which would affect the majority of us. I think it's very hard to become truly self-sufficient, but like you say, a two or three month food supply on hand is probably a smart idea.

Lori said...

I think the government (I live in the US) would tell us to eat more rice and would focus on that!

That said, I think you make a really good point, but our government has so separated us from food production that I think a lot of people would struggle.

The best thing to do is to start with yourself, I think, and learn all you can about preservation, growing food, etc, and to start educating others. That's why I think these blogs are so great. I'm learning a lot from others and we are all resources for each least until the computers crash! : )

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Good things to consider! It puts our food supply into perspective when you consider the facts. Definitely motivates one to contemplate reasonable alternatives.

Thanks for linking up!

Kara said...

This is something I am very concerned about. I'm working on my gardening and preserving skills. We also have backyard chickens. I wish this was something more people thought about.

Great blog! I just found it.

Swathi said...

That always concerns me. Nice to putting it here. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul hop.

Rae of Sunshine said...

My gardening originally came from boredom. I wanted a garden for fresh carrots (not the tasteless, boring kind the store sells). But since then, its turned into something completely different. I've learned now that by making or growing things at home, I can save money, and as we live on a single income, my contribution is to reduce our spending. Then it turned into more. Security in the food we eat. I know what goes into the food, how fresh it is and am full of pride when I serve food that I produced. I'm still a ways off of my food producing goal (90% of our veggie needs), but I'm getting closer.