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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Food For Thought

Food Security Learning Sites: The Day-to-Day and the "Big Picture" 

There are many great websites on all sorts of food security topics. These are some that are definitely worth visiting.

Learn About Food Security in BC

Check out the BC Food Security Gateway site for information on food security projects, groups and “publications, tools, guides, and news – so that you, too, can contribute to building food security in BC.” The site has a map to help people find food security organizations in their area, a “news and stories” section and resources.
From the site, you can subscribe to the Gleaner newsletter. It comes out every 2 weeks and is filled with news and stories about food security in BC and Canada.

Learn Food Tips for Every Day

Practical suggestions for meal planning, reusing leftovers and “how to’s” on drying and canning food. 
Here’s an example from their section on reducing waste when feeding kids that shows just how practical this site is:

Forget the 5-second rule: Place a clean mat below your small child’s high chair before serving food. That way, food that falls (or gets jettisoned) off the tray is still safe to eat and can just be placed back on their plates.

Learn What to Plant and How to Make it Grow Food

Linda Gilkenson's newsletter gives very practical advice on what, when and where to plant, how to manage pests, and other gardening need-to-know topics. She’s a local person, so her tips can always be used in the Lower Mainland. 

Subscribe to her newsletter at gilkeson@shaw.ca and see past gardening tips at http://www.lindagilkeson.ca/gardening_tips.html

Here’s an example of a practical tip from her newsletter.

There is still time to sow hardy winter lettuce and arugula if you do it this week and now is also the perfect time to sow corn salad for winter salads. Pull back mulches and scatter seeds under tomatoes, squash and other plants that will be finished in October. 

Learn About a Local Community Garden
Check out the Burnaby And Region Allotment Garden Association: “If you’re landless, but a peasant at heart, come down and visit us in person. Find out who we are and what we grow.”
BARAGA is the largest community garden in BC, and the individual plots are large too. You can put your name on a waiting list to rent a plot. When you visit the online site, the Seedlings section gives a good idea of what BARAGA is about.

Find Out Who's Fighting Poverty

Poverty is a major source of food insecurity. Simply put, it’s hard to eat well when you’re poor. Did you know that 1 in 5 children in BC lives in poverty?

This site has lots of news about the work being done to reduce poverty in B.C. You can sign up to the BC Poverty Reduction newsletter.

Learn All About Healthy Eating

Interested in tips on healthy eating on a budget, what dietitians have to say about caffeine and chocolate, how to deal with digestive gas? These and many, many other food topics are covered in this website by the Dietitians of Canada. Browse and explore information in articles, fact sheets and videos. You can also sign up for a newsletter.

And did you know you can call ‘811’ and get free help from a dietitian every weekday from 9 to 5? This is a government of BC service mentioned on this site.

Learn About Climate and Food
The Food Climate Research Network is based at the University of Oxford, England. They partner with universities and organizations in other countries to do research that is relevant to food security everywhere. The site is very academic, but if you want to dig deeply into issues such as “livestock, meat and dairy; consumption and sustainable diets; and ideological framings and perspectives on food system issues and concepts,” this is a great resource.
You can subscribe to their weekly newsletter, Fodder, for the latest research, reports, news, job opportunities and events on food sustainability. You can see past issues of Fodder here.

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