Good Food Reads | August 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

 “Access to ‘ethical’ food often available only to the wealthy, study says” (Ann Hui, the Globe and Mail)
Researchers from the University of Guelph find that often ethical food, especially farmers markets, is inaccessible to those in poverty by geography, class stigma and price. From the piece: "[These places are] sort of being rarefied or romanticized as the cure-all," said [University of Guelph researcher Kelly Hodgins] of farmer's markets and specialty shops. "But when we look a little deeper, we recognize that social justice is lacking."

"Poor Ontario families getting poorer: new report" (Trevor Dunn, CBC News)
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' latest report looking at income inequality in Ontario has only gotten worse since the turn of the century. From the piece: ""Really there are two different labour markets in Ontario," the report's author and CCPA senior economist Sheila Block said in an interview."

When the Prescription is a Recipe” (Donna De La Cruz, the New York Times)
A look at how medical professionals are increasingly turning to more robust nutritional education to help keep their patients healthy. From the piece: “I needed to do more than just give patients a pamphlet. I had to have a kitchen in my office,” Dr. Fernando said. “I try to give a lot of prescriptions that are just recipes to see if we can fix an issue with food.”

"Globe Editorial: How to get people to eat their vegetables" (the Globe and Mail)
The Globe comes out in support of lowering costs for healthier food. From the piece: "The idea that lower costs might stimulate healthier eating is not an especially novel one... What’s new is robust statistical evidence that it might actually work. Maybe we should give it a try."

“A Different Type of Union: Indigenous Farm Workers Land New Contract” (Foodtank)
The first successful union drive in the American agricultural sector in twenty-five years took place on a Washington state berry farm, what could it mean for future organizing in the sector? From the piece:Among the union’s gains in the new contract are the establishment, in effect, of a piece-rate system designed by the workers so that an average worker can make the equivalent of at least US$12 per hour.”

“The Secret Life of the City Banana” (Annie Correal, the New York Times magazine)
This in-depth look at how these long yellow tropical fruits makes their way to the Big Apple is a great slice to see how our food system works and impacts us directly. From the piece: “If you ever saw what it took …,” said Joe Palumbo, the owner of Top Banana, a wholesaler in the Bronx.

A Fresh Idea to Improve Food Access” (Jodi Helmer, CivilEats)
A look at the Boston-area organization Fresh Truck, which uses its big white school bus to help get fresh produce to neighbourhoods and communities that sorely lack it. From the piece:Betty Akpan says her diet has improved since she started receiving weekly $10 vouchers from South End Community Health Center in 2016. “I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income and the vouchers help a lot,” she said.”

“L’agriculture à petite échelle règle les problèmes de l’industrie alimentaire” [Small-scale agriculture tackles the problems of industrial food] (Marianne Desautels-Marissal, Radio-Canada)
Part of Radio-Canada’s series on imagining what life will look like in 50 years, this installment looks at how urban agriculture will increasingly help fill in gaps in our food system. From the piece: « Dans les maisons et appartements, on assiste à un retour des méthodes de culture traditionnelles, comme le potager, mais qui ont été améliorées grâce à la science et à la technologie d'aujourd'hui » [“In homes and apartments, we are seeing a return to traditional growing methods, like vegetable gardens, but improved by modern science and technology.”] (Link is in French)

“Variety of programs aim to help boost east Toronto food security” (Justin Skinner, A quick look at some of the work being done in Toronto’s east end to tackle food insecurity. From the piece: “According to Toronto Public Health, (only) 13 per cent of kids in Grade 7 to 12 are eating enough vegetables and fruits,” [Shannon Wiens of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre] said. “In our survey, 40 per cent of respondents said access to healthy food and fruits and vegetables was a barrier for them.”

“Food insecurity linked to 10 major chronic diseases” (Susan Perry, MinnPost) A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study showed that there is a correlation between a number of diseases from high blood pressure to arthritis. From the piece: It’s clear from this and other research that we need to stop blaming people for being sick and start finding ways — on the societal, not just on the individual level — to help them be healthier.”

“More Calgarians struggle to feed their families over the summer months” (Bryan Labby, CBC)Tougher times in Alberta are putting greater pressure of emergency food systems in Canada’s fourth largest city, where many are pushes for a basic income plan in the province. From the piece: 11.4 per cent of all households in Alberta — approximately 169,000 — experienced some level of food insecurity in 2014, and that's when Alberta's economy was booming and jobs were plentiful.”

“Indian politicians consider universal basic income following successful trials” (Rachel Roberts, the Independent) India’s government is analysing the outcomes of a basic income pilot project and figuring out how it could be rolled out to their over 1.3 billion citizens. From the piece: “Short-term UBI was associated with many positive effects, including better nutrition, a decrease in serious health problems, higher rates of school attendance, lower debt, and greater job opportunities, especially for women, researchers claimed.”

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