Good food reads 02/15/2019

Four Million Canadians Struggle to Eat Every Day. Should Food Be a Human Right?
In it’s March cover story, the Walrus takes a deep dive into food insecurity in Canada, and the four million Canadians who are food insecure. Citing the latest research and data, they say it’s a national crisis and will get worse, especially as economic trends continue to chip away at good, stable jobs and social assistance reveals that it’s no longer up to the task. While Canada has ratified numerous international agreements affirming the right to food, they write, Canada hasn’t really addressed food insecurity on a national scale — instead offloading the problem to the charitable food sector. Ultimately they argue, Canada needs a food policy that can ensure an adequate standard of living so everyone can put healthy food on the table. 

Ontario Health Care Reform Success Depends On Social Assistance System
In the Huffington Post, Garima Talwar Kapoor from Maytree writes that the success of the Ford government’s newly-announced healthcare reforms depends on the successful transformation of the province’s social assistance system. She writes, “e need to break the cycle of low-income Ontarians ending up in our health care system because other supports and services, that could and should have better addressed their needs, failed to do so. By investing in, and strengthening Ontario's social assistance system, we can ensure that low-income Ontarians receive the supports they need to improve their health and well-being.”

Study suggests the new Canada’s Food Guide is more affordable only under specific conditions
A new study from researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph finds that the new Canada’s Food Guide is more affordable, but with some important caveats. For one thing, it assumes that every meal is prepared and eaten at home — something that isn’t realistic for all families. It also assumes that no food is wasted. Professor Sylvain Charlebois says criticisms about the affordability of the new guide are still relevant. In fact, 26 per cent of participants cited affordability as a barrier to adopting the new guide recommendations.

Opinion: Reducing poverty is a matter of political will
In the Montreal Gazette, a McGill Social Work professor reflects on the federal government's announcement about reducing poverty, arguing that it's very easy to reduce poverty when there's political will.

It’s time to bring food marketing bill to a vote in the Senate
On iPolitics, Tony Dean argues that the Senate has considered and debated Bill S228 enough and it's time to set a date for the final vote to get it passed. He writes, "This bill is important because Canada is in the midst of a health crisis caused by consumption of foods and beverages high in sugar, salt and saturated fat. Our children are at special risk because so many have spent their lives eating highly processed foods and are vulnerable to certain types of advertising."