Sustain Ontario – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 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 […]

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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.

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Shopping locally makes sense for everyone http://www.ngtimes.ca/shopping-locally-makes-sense-for-everyone/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/shopping-locally-makes-sense-for-everyone/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 01:34:11 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=1008 Supporting your locally-owned businesses is not just a neighbourly thing to do, it makes really good economic sense. By spending your money in local stores and businesses, you are ensuring that your dollars are staying in the community. Business owners will use that money to hire staff, buy supplies, and even spend it in other […]

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Supporting your locally-owned businesses is not just a neighbourly thing to do, it makes really good economic sense. By spending your money in local stores and businesses, you are ensuring that your dollars are staying in the community. Business owners will use that money to hire staff, buy supplies, and even spend it in other local businesses, keeping the wealth here in North Grenville. Corporate stores and businesses usually send your money away to corporate headquarters, depriving North Grenville of the value and potential that would add more and more to our quality of life here.

Spending your money locally gives a huge boost to the local economy. It is calculated that, if you spent 70% of your money in the local economy, it has an impact of around $400, because it then allows others to buy, donate and add more services. Spending 90% of your money locally, means about $1,200 more will be circulating within North Grenville.

Sustain Ontario has published statistics that show the importance of shopping locally. For example, it is estimated that if every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, we would have an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year and create 10,000 new jobs. Economic impact studies for regions across Ontario have also been conducted finding impressive results. For example in Temiskaming it was found that for every dollar of farm gate sales, $2.80 to $3.30 is generated in the wider local economy.

Shopping locally means supporting your neighbours, adding value to the local economy, which helps all of us. Local businesses respond more efficiently to a community’s desire for more locally-produced goods and products, so the cycle continues, building up our local economy just be deicing to spend some more money within North Grenville. It’s simple, effective and it makes sense. Shop locally.

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