On this week’s show, we serve up a three-course meal of food for thought. First, Edmontonian Crystal Sherris talks about how she’s bucking the system by raising chickens in the city. Then, Amy Beaith-Johnson debriefs us on the mission of Operation Fruit Rescue. And finally, an edifying conversation with economist, activist, and academic Raj Patel on food justice. Bon appétit!
Crystal Sherris: Chickens in the City
Where does our food really come from? Will it really be there forever? We live in a time when questions like these are moving ever closer to the forefront of our minds. Some of those concerned are even taking measures to control their food, like Crystal Sherris of Edmonton, Alberta, who raises a small flock of chickens in her backyard even though it conflicts with city bylaw. But the city is also at a crossroads when it comes to understanding and strengthening food security. Morgana Folkmann visited Crystal Sherris at her home to get a sense of what it means to keep chickens in an urban environment.
Amy Beaith-Johnson: Operation Fruit Rescue
From June to October, Edmonton is a veritable oasis of fruit: apples, pears, and plums—not to mention succulent strawberries, raspberries and saskatoons—are all sitting there patiently, waiting to be plucked. But what happens to this bounty if nobody is around or able to harvest it? Enter: Operation Fruit Rescue—a non-profit, volunteer driven organization dedicated to reducing food waste and promoting locally grown food in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Amy Beaith-Johnson, the driving force behind Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, about the organization’s origin, its mission, and how it all works. We met with Amy in Edmonton.
Raj Patel: Choosing justice in our food
Most of us want to feel good about where our food comes from; we’d like to think that our food is healthy, that the farmland is worked responsibly, and that the land workers are treated justly. These feelings often translate into decisions we make at the grocery store, but how much choice do we really have when we’re pushing our shopping cart through those aisles? To find out, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke with economist Raj Patel—a visiting scholar in the Center for African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and an honorary research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. We reached him in California.
Also, if you’re in Edmonton, you can hear Raj Patel speak about Food Cultures for Sustainability. He’ll be at Edmonton’s City Hall for The Way We Green Speaker Series on January 30, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. He’s also speaking at the University of Alberta’s International Week that evening at 7:30 pm in Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) Room 1-430.
Master Composter Recycler Program
The City of Edmonton has a course coming up on Composting and Recycling. Master Composter Recyclers are volunteers who know all about composting, recycling and how to reduce waste… and they love to share what they know. To participate in the program, you must complete a 40-hour course, volunteer for at least 35 hours, and then teach friends and neighbors what you’ve learned. Show co-workers how to “grasscycle”, help neighbours start composting, and mentor at a community garden. The application deadline is February 7th so sign up on the City of Edmonton’s website (below)
More information: City of Edmonton
Aboriginal Health Research Grant
Cape Breton University has announced a new national grant for Aboriginal health research based on a Two-Eyed Seeing model. Two-Eyed Seeing encourages collaborators to look at matters with two different world views or paradigms in mind: one grounded in traditional Indigenous knowledge, and the other through the lens of Western knowledge. The funding for the new grant is provided by CIHR’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health.
More information: Cape Breton University
Dig In Challange
The Dig In Challenge is a five-month program by Food Matters Manitoba running February through June. This is a local food initiative and an opportunity for anyone and everyone in Manitoba to get on board with healthy eating while supporting local, sustainable, and fair food. The initiative is open to all ages and income brackets all across the province. Attend fun informative workshops, share recipes, and connect with local farmers. And on top of all that there are some great prizes to be won! You can register as an individual, family, workplace, faith group or school.
More information: Dig In Manitoba