connects us all. Or DOES food
connect us all?
From the 100 Mile Diet to organic to local to free range, we are
starting to learn more, and care more, about how we eat – but
why? What's the difference between a large industrial farm and
a small-scale one? Does shopping at farmers' markets actually
make a difference? Is organic food really tastier and
better for our planet? What does it means to “Eat Smart” in the
21st century? Well, eating smart
isn’t just about choosing the healthiest option based on
nutritional content anymore (if it ever was), but it is
part of a bigger, more complex picture.
In this factsheet we’ll expose you to some of these issues, and
you’ll learn how simple things like how you shop, cook, and eat
can be acts of innovative conservation. We’ll give you some
examples of what you can do, what others’ are doing, and how to
approach the big picture.
*Here is a great introductory video from USC Canada that
provides an excellent platform to think about what impact
“eating smart” can have on the world:
USC Canada’s short, animated film.
*The Big Picture is complex. If you haven’t heard of The
Alphabet City series, you should check it out. It provides a
good overview of how people are thinking and acting on this
challenges us to rethink ideas central to our lives and their
FOOD addition is a good introduction to the issues. Check it
1. Individual Actions
There are a number of people who have a lot to say about
this topic. Michael Pollan is one of them. Having recently
Food Inc., his
articles are a good place to start to get some quick facts
and to understand what actions you can start taking
immediately. His mantra? “Eat
too much. Mostly plants.” That’s a start!
If you’ve ever wondered how you can take action in school
– either as student or as a parent – there are a number of
organizations have developed formal and informal curriculum for
The Edible Schoolyard is a great (and much celebrated)
example of this, and they have an excellent
resource section that will feed ideas for ways to take
The Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. (OAFE) also has a
rich library of
resources that would be adaptable to your school, community
centre, or workplace.
In Toronto, FoodShare has developed great strategies for
community engagement with food projects both in city and
beyond. Check out their comprehensive online
food security resource centre.
The Stop’s “link”
section is also one not to miss for actions you can take!
Turn your backyard into an urban garden! Click
here for an inspirational video!
2. Community Projects and Campaigns
Share Project” - Evergreen
to Table” – Schools without Borders (SWB)
Initiatives for Food Security (CIFS)” – Agriteam Canada
Picking Project” – Not Far From the Tree
projects are found by searching the great people/places listed
under “Key Organizations/Networks
Carrot City is a “traveling exhibit” that shows how the
design of buildings and cities can enable the production of food
in the city. It explores the relationships between design and
urban food systems, as well as the impact that agricultural
issues have on the design of urban spaces and buildings. The
exhibit is broken up into “City, Community, Home & Work, and
Products” – which aligns with our approach to taking action!
Check it out!
person, everywhere in the world, has a basic right to an
adequate standard of living and the right to food, housing,
health and education.” This is Amnesty International’s new
Put Food in the Budget:
The Stop is
leading a campaign with the Association of Local Public Health
Agencies and the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction to ask
the Ontario government to "put food in the budget" and introduce
a $100 Healthy Food Supplement for adults on social assistance.
uses strong advocacy work to earn the Canadian government to
label GMO Foods in the country. Check out the
campaign and take action!
3. Key Organizations/Networks
The Stop Community Food Centre: community gardens,
sustainable food systems education, civic engagement and
YouthVoices: Food4Heath: using photography and system’s
thinking to “eat smart”
Meal Exchange: addressing issues of hunger by mobilizing the
talent and passion of students across Canada
Toronto Food Policy Council: bringing it to the policy level
ChocoSol: an action-oriented learning-community and social
enterprise that uses chocolate as the point of entry for making
Second Harvest: an innovative approach to the issue of food
Sustain Ontario: an alliance for healthy food and farming
4. More Resources
Delicious – to see articles and websites that CCO has
recently tagged with “food”, please visit this link
Great Green Directory –
Great Green Directory for products, services, programs,
financial incentives, and resources specific to the “Eat Smart”
your ECOscore is! Take five minutes to rate yourself and find
out where you want to improve as a conserver.