Off the hook

Food Security Special

This week Terra Informa comes to you from the kitchen! As we cook up our dinner we look into the origins of the ingredients we’re using and the environmental impacts of our food choices. But that’s not all! We will also look into the debate over community supported agriculture as well as delving deeper into the People’s Food Policy Project.

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Dave, Steve, Rebecca, and Kathryn gather for their home cooked sustainable meal.

Stone Soup Recipe!

Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cups onions, 3 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 2 cups sweet potato, 2 tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 stalk celery, 1 cup corn, 1/2 cup dry quinoia, 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, 1 pinch cinnamon, 1 pinch cayenne, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp paprika, 1 bay leaf, 4 cups water

Directions: 1. Chop the veggies, 2. Heat the oil and add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potato to saute for 5-7 minutes, 3. Add salt and saute another 5 minutes, 4. Add herbs and spices, quinoia and water and simmer for 15 minutes, 5. Add tomato, bell pepper, corn and chickpeas and simmer covered for 10 more minutes or until veggies are tender, 6. Adjust herbs and spices to taste and serve warm!

Community Supported Agriculture: Under the CSA model of farming, community members buy shares in a farm’s crop at the beginning of the season. Then throughout the summer, usually once a week, they receive a basket of produce, and what comes in that basket just depends on what happens to be in season. Members of the CSA get food that’s incredibly fresh, it many cases organically grown, and which has a small carbon footprint because it’s grown close to where they live. Plus they’re supporting their local economy.

Today we talk to a group which has taken the CSA model and put a bit of a different spin on it. David Adler works with Off the Hook, a community supported fishery in Halifax, and he tells us why community support is so important to the local fishery.

People’s Food Policy Project: “When Canadians sit down to their evening meal tonight, two key ingredients will be missing: a coherent national food policy in the public interest, and active participation in the food system.” (from “Resetting the Table: A People’ Food Policy for Canada”)

The People’s Food Policy is the first Canadian policy to be advanced based on food sovereignty principles — an approach where food is viewed as a foundation for healthy lives, communities, economies and ecosystems. Over the course of two years, over 3500 Canadians participated in answering the questions:  what would you like to see changed about the food system, and what recommendations would you make to the federal government? Their ideas and opinions were combined with documentation backed up by research, and distilled down to ten themes, to create a final document called  “Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada”. Correspondent Kathryn Lennon speaks with Susan Roberts about food sovereignty, food systems change, and the need for a national food policy. Susan is a coordinator for Growing Food Security in Alberta, and a steering committee member of Food Secure Canada.

More on this story:Via Campesina, The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food (a book by Wayne Roberts)


Salmon virus spreads to four species in British Columbia: Several different species of salmon in B.C. have tested positive for an infectious salmon anemia. Alexandra Morton, a biologist in B.C. who collected the fish from the Harrison River, has stated that the nature of the discovery is concerning. Certain strains of infectious salmon anemia are capable of killing around 90% of infected fish.

More on this story: CTV, Vancouver Sun

Green belt around Montreal: Experts in environmental and urban planning issues signed a declaration which demands creation of a protected green belt around the Montreal region. These experts were aiming their message at Montreal Metropolitan Community politicians who will be amending the Land Use and Development Plan for greater Montreal soon.

More on this story: Montreal Gazette

Alberta to hold discussions on scarce water resources: In Alberta, StatOil, a Norwegian based energy company, has been fined $190,000 for breaking the terms of its water license issued under the Alberta Water Act. StatOil’s license allowed for the diversion of up to 10,000 cubic meters, but provincial estimates show that the project likely used upwards of 13,500 cubic meters.

More on this story: MSN Video, Edmonton Journal, CBC, Canoe

Improvements to wastewater treatment plant in Ontario: Plans to improve a wastewater treatment plant in the Halton region have been announced which will help protect Lake Ontario. These plans will ensure that the wastewater reaching the lake will continue to meet high standards, while still maintaining safe and efficient treatment of wastewater.

More on this story: Inside Halton

Canadian Wheat Board versus Harper government: The Canadian Wheat Board has ramped up efforts recently to combat the Harper government’s attempts to abolish the Board. On Friday, the Wheat Board announed a $1.4 million television ad campaign to entice supporters of the Prairie Provinces sole marketer of wheat and barley. The federal government says that by next summer farmers will be able to sell their own wheat and barley to which ever market they choose.

More on this story: CTV, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun