Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Where is your food coming from? March 2, 2012

CFN – Is the origin of your food a determining factor when shopping for the food on your table?  I find myself always checking labels to see where my food is produced and processed.  I have found that more and more food on the grocery shelves is from China.  Now this writer has nothing against China.  My concern is that if a major part of the dollars that we spend on food is for items produced out of the country, this cripples the ability of our local food producers and processors to stay in business.  They need our business to stay in business.  They need our support with purchases so that we can insure our own food sovereignty.

Remember the SARS outbreak not long ago?  Remember the line-ups to get flu shots as there was major concern about a world outbreak of a strain of flu that could have dire consequences to world populations?  Well that never happened…but what if it did?  What if the borders were closed to traffic to quarantine a virus or illness?  Can we sustain our population with the local food that we produce?  What would our grocery shelves look like if the borders were closed?  I can only guess that many of the items that we purchase on a regular basis would not be available.

So what can we do to insure that if such an event ever occurred we could nourish ourselves in spite of the limited items available to us?  There are certainly items that will not be available as they do not grow in our climate zone.  Items such as citrus fruit, (although I have heard there is a limited quantity available on the west coast of Canada) bananas, olives, certain spices would simply not be available.  Our climate however supports the growth of many fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts which can easily sustain a body healthfully.   Many of these items however are not grown on the acres of farmlands that surround us.  Seems most of the farmlands are involved in growing miles and miles of corn and Soya beans.  Crops not even grown for human consumption, but for fuel and cattle feed.  What the heck is wrong with this picture?  Although I have seen many signs on farmland that indicate “Farmers Feed Cities”, I fail to see the diversity of crops that actually nourish or provide the diversity of elements required for health.  It would seem that “profit” is in the huge monoculture crops such as corn or Soya although after watching the video “A Ripple Effect Production

on the site and reading the related material, it indicates this assumption is absolutely false.   The site notes that “researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (results published in 2008 in the Agronomy Journal) found that traditional organic farming techniques of planting a variety of plants to ward off pests is more profitable than monocropping”.

So what steps can we take to insure we have the variety of foods necessary for our growth and wellbeing?  Support your local Food Producers with at least $10.00 out of your weekly food budget.  If each of us did this, we can insure our producers have the means to continue to put healthy homegrown options on our table.  From field to fork is a much healthier option for our bodies and the planet.  Cook, can, dry or freeze food in season and pass these vital skills onto your children.  Support or organize activities that promote a sustainable food system.   Consider planting a sustainable garden at your home, office or school.  A great way to have fresh food right at your finger tips.  Consider planting trees or bushes that not only provide habitat for wildlife but food for the table.  Support local food vendors that purchase locally produced organic food.

The above video is available for your viewing, free until Saturday, March 3rd.  It is a powerful video just over an hour in length, urging us to begin to reacquaint ourselves with our food, where it comes from and how it is produced.  It is a real eye opener!

Your commentary is appreciated and always welcome below or to


  1. I urge everyone to take the time to view the video on the above link. Available to view for FREE until this Saturday, March 3rd. Please share with all your friends and family.

  2. If all of our food was produced and processed here in Canada, we couldn’t afford to eat! You know how you feel when you get gouged buying local.

  3. @Cornwall Harry, yes one can expect to pay more for locally produced food, however most often it is nutritionally superior to food being shipped in from overseas. Also Harry, I might ask you to consider this. Can we afford “not to” support our local food producers. Not only does local produce have nutrition benefits, it supports other local economies who supply and are supported by our local producers. The carbon foot print is significantly lower on locally produced goods and IF the supply of food from out of the country is closed off for any number of reasons we can still eat. Sometimes doing the best/right thing for our ourselves and our community means being prepared to pay more. I often do and ask you to consider the many benefits of doing so yourself.

  4. Jacqueline, you are quite right. Unfortunately, so is Cornwall Harry. Why do I have to pay over five dollars for 4 litres of milk here, when I can drive to Aldi’s in Massena, and pay $2.85 for a gallon (which is only a cup less than 4 litres)?
    There’s something wrong with a society when it’s cheaper to buy Coke, including the HST, than it is to buy milk.
    No wonder there are so many malnourished kids here in Canada. In fact, it’s a travesty.

Leave a Reply