environment

Cooking Up Better Food Policy in Canada

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This week on Terra Informa, we discuss the ongoing consultations about Canada’s food policy with master food strategists Juanita Gnanapragasam and Kathryn Lennon.

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Canada’s Food Policy

The federal government explains on their website that “A Food Policy for Canada will set a long-term vision for the health, environmental, social, and economic goals related to food, while identifying actions we can take in the short-term. A food policy is a way to address issues related to the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food.”

Consultations about the policy are being carried out by the federal government across Canada. Although they didn’t organize one in Alberta, luckily our AB food organizations have our backs and organized their own consultation event called “What’s Your Recipe for a Better Food System? Towards a National Food Policy…” This event will be happening on Wednesday September 13, 2017 from 6-9 pm at the Edmonton Food Bank (Annex) 11434-120 Street. If you’re not in Edmonton or you’ve missed the 13th – no need to worry! You can contact your local MP or email the federal government at foodpolicy-politiquealimentaire@canada.ca. The hashtag being used for this discussion is #Foodpolicy4Canada.

Terra Informer Amanda Rooney spoke with representatives from two organizations present at the upcoming event on Wednesday; the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group and the City of Edmonton. 

Juanita Gnanapragasam talks about her work on making food culturally inclusive and what she believes a food policy could bring to Canada. Ms. Gnanapragasam is a student at large member of the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group.

Terra Informa alumni Kathryn Lennon also weighs in on what a national food policy might entail and the role of federal government in our food systems. Kathryn now works for the City of Edmonton as a Principal Planner in Policy Development working on the city’s food strategy alongside the Edmonton Food Council.  

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Photo by Lou Stejskal on Flickr

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People’s Social Forum and Greenland Ice Sheet Melt

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This week on Terra Informa, we have two gems from our archives for you. First, we look back on the 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum and how that event brought diverse groups of people together to collaborate on building strategies to create social change. Next up, we have a story on the massive Greenland ice sheet melt of summer 2012, when 97% of the ice sheet melted in just four days.

 

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Messy, Loud, and Joyous (2014 People’s Social Forum)

We see all kinds of groups fighting for their own unique and equally worthy causes every day. In one corner you’ve got people defending refugee rights. In another you’ve got a group bringing down the cost of healthy food in Nunavut. Over by the door you’ve got an activist fighting against mining in her community. Often this is how civil society works in Canada. You’ve got a room full of people in NGOs, unions, Facebook groups, all fighting for their own cause, without seeing how they could support each other.

2014’s Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa brought together thousands of people from across Canada who want to shift the direction the country is going. And it basically said, to have the future any of us want, we’ve got to build a future together. Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was in Ottawa at the 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum a few years ago. Here’s his take on the messy, loud, and joyous business of bringing all these groups together.

Greenland ice sheet melt

In July 2012, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Son Nghiem noticed that 97 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet surface melted in just four days. Since Greenland’s Arctic ice sheet is massive – covering almost the entire island, and kilometres thick in most places. NASA estimates that if it all melted, global sea level would rise by about twenty feet. Son Nghiem’s first instinct was to double-check the data.  Chris Chang-Yen Phillips reached Son Nghiem in California for this story that summer, and with ice on our minds after the 2,240 square miles, trillion-ton piece of the Larson-C ice shelf broke off last month in Antartica, we thought we would re-air his piece.

 

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Photo by NASA

Finding Meaning in Nature

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This week on Terra Informa, we bring from the archives a piece on positive psychology. Last year, Terra Informer Dylan Hall spoke with PhD student Holli-Anne Passmore about how connecting with nature enhances our well-being and helps us find meaning in life. Holli-Anne’s work has reached international audiences as well as psychology lectures at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna and MacEwan University in Edmonton.

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For more information on Holli-Anne Passmore: https://people.ok.ubc.ca/hapassmo

Download the program log here.

Photo by: Mitchell Joyce (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hckyso/)

There is no Planet B

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This week we explore the origins of Earth Day with an ecobabble that spans the decades from 1970 to the March for Science of 2017. Next, we’re revisiting an interview with Chris Hadfield from our archives.

 

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Earth Day: Cause For Protest or Celebration?

Lauren Carter and Dylan Hall hit the streets to find out what the public thinks about Earth Day and the March for Science. You’ll be hearing some of those interviews throughout this ecobabble on the origins of Earth Day.  Earth Day began as the environmentalist movement was making its voice heard with protests and educational teach-ins. Today, Earth Day is celebrated across the planet, although its focus has largely turned from political issues to small-scale individual action. Find out how this transition happened, and how the March for Science is changing that with this ecobabble produced by Lauren Carter.

Chris Hadfield Interview From 2013

Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar glowing green and blue orb from the viewpoint of a spaceship. We have rich imaginations and age-long fascinations of what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does it smell like? What does it really feel like to be out there? From the 2013 archives, our own Matt Hirji talked to Commander Chris Hadfield about questions like these.

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Photo by NASA

Do It Yourself! A Tool Library Adventure.

Have a DIY project you’ve been itching to do but just don’t have the supplies? Striving to reduce consumerism and waste? The Edmonton Tool Library has got you covered. We dive into what it’s all about and how you can volunteer or become a member!

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Edmonton Tool Library

This week on Terra Informa, we take a trip to the Edmonton Tool Library, a non-profit that launched in January 2017 and it’s located in the Bellevue Community League. The library shelves are full of donated tools, some well-loved and well-worn, while others barely touched. Members can borrow the tools for their art projects, home renovations, yard clean-ups and more. Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Lauren Carter explored the tool library and interviewed two of the board members, Robyn Webb and Leslie Bush. They’ll tell you what a tool library is and how it can save you money, reduce your environmental impact and empower you to take on a do-it-yourself project.

Check out their website where you can view the tool catalogue and sign up for volunteer opportunities. You can also follow them on Facebook and on, Instagram, and Twitter.

Download program log here.

Photos by: Shelley Jodoin

Sustainability Inspiration Wherever You Go

 

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You can find sustainability inspiration wherever you go. This episode looks at bioremediation as a sustainable alternative for cleaning up oil spills and heavy metals. We also look at sustainability initiatives in two schools in Alberta.

 

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The Ability to Inspire

Think back to a time when you were in school (you might even be a student right now!). How much did you know about sustainability? Did you know what the phrase meant? Did you care? Right now, sustainability education is becoming more and more prevalent in schools, but we still have a long way to go. Listen in this week as Nicole Richard and Paula Daza explore the ways that teachers and students in Edmonton are working on making their schools more sustainable.

At the time of original airing, Nicole and Paula were students at the University of Alberta,  incorporating community service and community learning into their degrees. To learn more about their project We the Future, click here.

Leila Darwish on Bioremediation

In a time when spills, leaks, and environmental disasters are becoming more and more common, how do we clean up in a way that’s both reasonable and responsible? Prevention, of course, is always the best policy, but even the best laid plans go awry, and when they do, one answer is often overlooked: bioremediation. Tasmia Nishat speaks with Leila Darwish, author of Earth Repair, about the healing potential of sunflowers and oyster mushrooms backyard contamination, big spills, and everything in between.

Leila Darwish is also a founding member of Terra Informa and at the time of original airing was the Council of Canadians’ Pacific regional organizer. You can read her blog here.

Headlines

If you would like to learn more about any of the headlines you heard, please click the links below.

Evidence For Democracy Report on B.C. Government Science Confidentiality

Edmonton Farmer Fundraises to Conserve Land for Community Agriculture; Donate here

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Photo by Christopher Down.

The Re-Re-Re-Return of Misinforma

 

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Fake news! Trump’s Green House! Eco-amnesia: the terrifying new condition that’s gripping the nation! Terra Misinforma is back (again!) for an April Fool’s celebration. As well, from an archive, we ask the questions that are too controversial for you to ask yourself—like what to do with Iceland? Do we really need water? Plus a special investigative feature on Canada’s radical, extremist environmentalists.

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National Headlines

Were you upset when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he plans to revoke the transit tax credit? Well, good news! Listen to hear Trudeau’s newest reasonable proposals to help out transit-riders that may be considering a change in their commute. Additionally, Parks Canada has a new idea to boost tourism.

Trumps Corner: Newest Executive Orders

Think Donald Trump only cares about locker room talk and private email servers? Think again! We discuss Trump’s latest environmental policies, including new plans for the military budget, a fresh way to protect National Parks, and a policy aimed at lowering carbon emissions.

Ecobabble: Environmental Amnesia- A Troubling Disorder

This week we discuss Environmental Amnesia with world-renowned neuroscientist and psychologist, Dr. Lafaque. Learn more about this concerning condition that affects millions of people everyday, and if we are getting any closer to finding a cure.

Reflections on Water: A Debate

What’s water really good for besides hockey, hosing down activists, and raining on parades? As far as natural resources go, water’s just a drop in the bucket, and we’ve decided to wash our hands of it. But unlike most media outlets, we try to get you both sides of every story, even if the other is patently wrong. So, to stand up for the big blue—or green, or whatever colour gets you hippies out of bed these days—eco-conscious Canadian Nelly von Hoser joined us in studio for a short and shallow conservation—errr—conversation on the merits of water.

Spawns of Seitan: Canada’s Terrifying Ecoterrorists

You hear news on Terra Misinforma all the time about the misguided misdeeds of Canada’s environmentalists. Fortunately, our great government is starting to catch on. In recent years, politicians, pundits and police have all identified environmentalists as the leading threat to the nation. To tell us more, we’ve got Trevor Chow-Fraser, who went undercover in his fight to remain vigilant against domestic extremism in the name of environmentalism.

What’s Pissed Off Chris

Terra Misinforma’s regular shock columnist Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has an idea he’d like to get off his chest. It’s about a certain Scandinavian nation that’s become a hot tourist destination for those in search of a union of lava fields and icy slopes.

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Farmtastic Food and Amazing Animals

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This week on Terra Informa, we discuss what makes an animal a pet and what makes them food, what makes a free range egg, and opportunities abroad beyond simply propagating the English language.

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Farm and the Country

Many young people in the English-speaking world choose to travel abroad and teach English in a foreign country. However, the enriching experience of extended cultural travel does not have to be restricted to the realm of teaching English. Terra Informa’s Miro Radovic sat down with young Edmontonian Nicholas Mickelsen to discuss a program that enabled him to spend almost a year on an organic farm in Europe as a WWOOFer with the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms network.

Pet vs Food

About this time back in 2013 Terra Informer Nicole Wiart talked to Alberta Micro Pigs’ Angela Hardy and Irvings Farm Fresh’s Nicola Irving. The two of them both raise and breed pigs in the Edmonton area, one for food… the other for pets. Throughout the interviews, Nicole noticed strange similarities between both women and the way they viewed the pigs, despite raising, breeding, and feeding them for incredibly different purposes.

Ecobabble: What does it mean to be a free range egg?

Scrambled, poached, sunny side up. Whether they came before the chicken, or the chicken before them, eggs are a breakfast staple. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart brings us an EcoBabble – where she enlists some local farmers to try to break down the term “free range.” It’s just one of the many terms that you can find on a carton of eggs – but as you’ll soon find out, defining free range is not as simple as it sounds.

Download program log here.

Photo by: Zach Baranowski Flickr here.