How we grow our food matters–USC Canada

I just received this email from the USC to share:

Dear Eldy,

Happy Canada Day Weekend

What better way to celebrate than to eat Canadian! In most places in the country you’ll find a bounty of fresh produce in season at your local farmer’s market: lettuce, sweet peas, baby potatoes, Swiss chard, kale, radishes, arugula, garlic scapes, early carrots and beets, some broccoli, and strawberries!
We’re delighted to have officially launched our new Canadian seeds program – The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security – in partnership with Seeds of Diversity and with the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. This program will help provide Canadian farmers with high quality, biodiverse, Canadian seed – building a food system that is local and sustainable from seed to table. Take a look at the brand new website (also available in French) to learn more!
Interestingly enough, it’s the farmers we work with in the global South who helped identify the need for this program in Canada. They’ve been saving a diversity of their best seeds for centuries – a critical resource to draw upon to help adapt to changing climates. But it’s a practice we Canadians have largely let lapse here at home. The Bauta program will build on the dedication of the few who have tirelessly maintained their own small seed saving networks.
So make a Canadian salad or strawberry shortcake this weekend, put your feet up, read this latest issue of CyberSprout (with summer reading list!), and have yourself a great Canada Day weekend!

Sheila Petzold

Communications Director

USC Canada

 

Spotlight on…
Nepal: Riverbanks Rehabilitation

After a particularly heavy season of floods ten years ago, our Nepalese partner, Parivartan, began work with communities on a long-term plan to rehabilitate and stabilize riverbanks, reducing risks associated with landslides and flash floods.

 

Ten years later, the risk has all but disappeared. Farmers have increased biodiversity and reclaimed farmland once thought lost. Read more in this brief photo essay by our Nepal Program Manager, Kate Green.

Global Leaders:
Choice of Monsanto Betrays World Food Prize
This year’s World Food Prize – to many, the most prestigious prize in food and agriculture – has gone to three agribusiness executives responsible for the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

A statement by members of the World Future Council and laureates of the Right Livelihood Award say this choice betrays the award’s mandate to emphasize “the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people.” Read more in this opinion piece by Frances Moore Lappé – renowned author of Diet for a Small Planet.

 

She and global seed activist Vandana Shiva have also voiced their anger in a powerful video message.

Must Read

Summer Reading List

Food Tank has shared a summer reading list for eaters and food activists. The list features 13 books (some new, some old) specially selected for people like you who want to change the food system! The list is great, but it’s a little short on Canadian content, so we thought we’d add a few extra titles:

  • Consumed by award-winning Canadian writer Sarah Elton looks at potential threats to our food and the challenge of feeding the planet.
  • Le Jardinier maraîcher by Jean-Martin Fortier is a thorough farming manual that lays out a human-scale farming system centred on good growing practices and appropriate technology. (Available in French Only)
  • How to Save Your Own Seeds is a handbook for small-scale seed production from Seeds of Diversity Canada that includes detailed, step-by-step seed saving and storage instructions, beautiful illustrations, and separate instructions for beginners and experts. You can order a copy for $15 at www.seeds.ca/store.

Fundraising
How are we doing?
We want to hear from you

Brian and Teresa from our Fundraising team.

Fundraising often gets a bad rap, and sometimes it’s well deserved. The truth is, though, that none of the work we do would be possible without generous donations from thousands of Canadians every year. We know we can always improve, though, and we’d like your feedback.

  • Is there something our fundraisers do that really ticks you off?
  • Any questions about how donations are being used?
  • Do you have suggestions for how we could do things better?

Please send us an email! with your thoughts!

Canadian Demand for Organic Food Triples

There’s strong, fast-growing demand for organic food in Canada.The latest data indicates organic sales in Canada has TRIPLED since 2006! Read More.

Negating Nutrition

The New York Times reports that our food system has essentially been breeding the nutrition out of our food – especially in the last decades. Read More.
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