OMAFRA – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:50:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 EOLFC – de-colonizing the food system http://www.ngtimes.ca/eolfc-de-colonizing-food-system/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/eolfc-de-colonizing-food-system/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:46:39 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9372 This year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference [EOLFC] was held this past weekend at the University of Ottawa. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs [OMAFRA] is the organizing body behind EOLFC. For this year’s conference, OMAFRA combined forces with Sustain Ontario, an incorporated non-profit organization created to become “the unifying voice for […]

The post EOLFC – de-colonizing the food system appeared first on The North Grenville Times.

]]>
This year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference [EOLFC] was held this past weekend at the University of Ottawa. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs [OMAFRA] is the organizing body behind EOLFC. For this year’s conference, OMAFRA combined forces with Sustain Ontario, an incorporated non-profit organization created to become “the unifying voice for food and farming interests across the province”, to host an even larger four-day event named “Bring Food Home – Upstream Collaboration”.

On the second day of the conference, (the first day consisted of local food tours around Eastern Ontario), there was a panel discussion on “De-colonizing Land and Food: What That Looks Like In Ontario”. The focus of the discussion was to explore the relationship and interconnectedness of land and food from an indigenous food sovereignty perspective. The panel was made up of five indigenous people from various First Nations in Ontario who shared stories of the challenges they face in their respective communities.

Food appears to be a very complicated matter for indigenous peoples. When settlers from other areas of the world started arriving in Ontario, they brought their food traditions, food methods and ingredients with them. Four ingredients that the settlers brought to Ontario that one member of the panel referred as “poison” were: sugar, salt, lard, and wheat. None of these four ingredients were part of the diet of the indigenous people of Ontario. Over the last two centuries, these ingredients began to work their way into the food system of First Nations. Not only for indigenous peoples, these ingredients have come to create health concerns for all Canadians.

Many of the traditional food habitats for indigenous peoples have been disturbed by settlers, to the point where they no longer provide the food sources that were relied upon in the past. Consider that Rice Lake was so named because the lake was an important habitat for wild rice, which was an important part of the local indigenous diet, according to indigenous panellist Larry McDermott. Today, one member of the panel observed, they can no longer find any wild rice growing around the lake.

Modern agricultural practices, expansion of residential and commercial activities, and even current regulations around food handling and preparation, can have negative impacts on indigenous food systems. The attendees heard a story from Perry McLeod-Shabogesic about how, in order to continue to use some of the food traditions in his community, at times they’ve taken a “don’t ask permission, go ahead and do it” approach with food. He said that, by asking permission of government agencies or organizations to do something, you have given away your power. He stated that, before doing any new food-related activity, his community does their research into the safety of the activity and possible health outcomes. They then decide whether to go forward. If they do, Perry noted that, after they’ve been performing the activity for a while “under the radar”, they’ll be approached about it and, quite often left, to continue. Occasionally, they’ll even be asked to demonstrate what they’re doing, so that others can learn.

The goal of the discussion was to inform attendees about the challenges faced by indigenous peoples surrounding their food system through stories and knowledge-sharing. Rather than an atmosphere of blame, or scapegoating of settlers, this discussion was intended to move forward and seek new allies to help reconcile the Ontario food system in a just and meaningful way.

The post EOLFC – de-colonizing the food system appeared first on The North Grenville Times.

]]>
http://www.ngtimes.ca/eolfc-de-colonizing-food-system/feed/ 0
Selling Food to Ontario workshop at Two Rivers http://www.ngtimes.ca/selling-food-to-ontario-workshop-at-two-rivers/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/selling-food-to-ontario-workshop-at-two-rivers/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:21:52 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=3630 Farmers and small food processors are invited to the Two Rivers Food Hub on March 8 to learn how to access buyers for their products. The low-cost, one-day Selling Food to Ontario workshop, created by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is designed to help existing local food growers and producers […]

The post Selling Food to Ontario workshop at Two Rivers appeared first on The North Grenville Times.

]]>
Farmers and small food processors are invited to the Two Rivers Food Hub on March 8 to learn how to access buyers for their products. The low-cost, one-day Selling Food to Ontario workshop, created by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is designed to help existing local food growers and producers reach untapped sales channels.
The Two Rivers Food Hub and OMAFRA collaborated on a similar event last year; popular segments from that session will be returning (with updates) and several new modules have been added to make sure there is value for both new and returning participants.
“Grocery retailers, chefs, and other food buyers are looking for local product and they want to buy local,” says Jessica Kelly, a direct farm marketing specialist at OMAFRA. “Yet, when it comes to buying from farmers and small food processors, they say there’s often a gap between what they need, when they need it, and how they do business.”
Specialists in business management, business development, food regulation and food safety will guide business owners and managers through topics ranging from market channel opportunities, food regulations, food safety, pricing for profit, packaging and labelling. Participants will also learn where to get more information and support.
Space is limited for this low-cost workshop ($15 registration fee includes coffee, snacks and a local foods lunch), register today at www.ontario.ca/chbi.
The Two Rivers Food Hub is a connection point for buyers and sellers of local foods. Its mandate is to support the small farm agricultural community around the two rivers that run through Lanark, Leeds and Grenville counties. The food hub is well positioned to service the tri-county area from its physical location in the Gallipeau Centre on County Road 43 in Smiths Falls. For general information, visit www.tworiversfoodhub.com.

The post Selling Food to Ontario workshop at Two Rivers appeared first on The North Grenville Times.

]]>
http://www.ngtimes.ca/selling-food-to-ontario-workshop-at-two-rivers/feed/ 0