Good Food Reads | October 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sugar tax isn’t an easy fix to obesity problem (André Picard) + Why Canada needs a tax on sugary drinks — now (Jamie Oliver), both in the Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail ran two competing opinion pieces about the benefits, and limits, of a tax on sugary drinks. It's clear we need clear action from the government to improve access to healthy food. From the pieces: “We also can't ignore that soda taxes are regressive. They disproportionately affect the poor, who would be much better served by subsidies that make healthy foods affordable. ” - André Picard |The cost of obesity and diet-related disease is a true cost in tax to every Canadian – obesity costs Canada between $4.6-billion to $7.1-billion annually in health costs and lost productivity.” - Jamie Oliver


Cooking with conscience (Jill Wilson, Winnipeg Free Press)

Ben Kramer, a 2017 Restaurants for Change chef ambassador, sat down with the Free Press to discuss his activism and how others can give back. From the piece: “Some people call Ben Kramer a pioneer. Others probably refer to him as a pain in the butt. The Regina-born chef is happy with either designation.”


'Food being used as a weapon': The lasting effects of colonialism on Indigenous food (Rosanna Deerchild, Unreserved on CBC Radio)

This powerful radio piece looks at how food preparation, distribution, cultivation, and more, was and is used as a weapon against Canada’s Indigenous population - and the activists working to reclaim it.  From the piece: Colonization not only deprived Indigenous people of food and ceremony, but traditional knowledge of food and its preparation were also lost along the way. Everything from the loss of teachings about wild plants, to the ongoing controversy around hunting and eating seal.”


Homegrown health (Corey Mintz, the Globe and Mail)

A great look at the life changing power of cooking and nutritional programs, especially for young people. Focus is on a program in Toronto’s Thistletown neighbourhood. From the piece: But the first and most immediately noticeable benefit of Hoare's class is the health of his students, who learn how to feed themselves. And this approach is front and centre to fighting obesity.”


Unscrupulous recruiters keep migrant workers in ‘debt bondage’ (Jim Rankin, the Toronto Star)

An excellent long read look at how Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers’ Program, which account for many of the workers in Canada’s food industry, is hurting so many of its participants. From the piece: Roughly 54,000 migrant farm workers came to Canada last year. The number of migrant farm workers in the country has more than doubled since 2000… [Outside Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia] reactive complaint-driven enforcement, exorbitant illegal fees and a program that ties workers to employers have left workers open to abuse”


Milwaukee is Showing How Urban Gardening Can Heal a City (Laurie Mazur, CivilEats)

An in-depth look at urban agriculture in Wisconsin's largest city and how it reflect, but is also helping to mend, the city’s troubled recent history. From the piece: Outside those gates, we’re still a long way from a just and sustainable world. Given that reality, community gardening, on its own, can’t make us whole. But, as [urban farmer] Williams observes, “When you cultivate community along with food, any context can be transformed.”

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