August 21st, 2007

Working together to promote local food
FOOD AND FARMING in Nova Scotia have been making headlines lately. The provincial government is promoting local food with the Select Nova Scotia campaign. In Kings County, council voted to reject a condominium proposal in favour of conserving farmland. And the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and the Ecology Action Centre have launched the Food Miles project, an initiative that will examine social, economic and environmental impacts of a primarily imported diet compared to a more locally based one. As the Food Miles project co-ordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, I am getting more and more queries about eating locally grown products and making sustainable food choices. Nova Scotians want to know where they can purchase local food and why there isn’t more of it around. Farmers’ markets are great places to look for local food. There are 10 farmers’ markets that belong to the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Co-operative, plus a number of smaller farmers’ markets throughout the province. However, if you do not live near one of these markets or if your schedule doesn’t allow for Saturday morning market shopping, there are other options. There are farm markets and roadside stands, farmer co-ops that supply buying groups, and businesses that offer weekly food box deliveries. You can also support restaurants and caterers that use local, ecologically produced food and encourage your other favourite restaurants to use these ingredients.

Co-op brothel proposed to help street prostitutes
Two Victoria women are exploring the possibility of opening a co-operative brothel whose profits would help fund programs for addicted and impoverished women selling sex on city streets. Jody Paterson, former executive director of Prostitutes Empowerment Education and Resource Society, and Lauren Casey, a former sex-trade worker and a past director of PEERS, envision a "social enterprise" that would offer employees all the benefits of a modern workplace, including wages, medical leave, vacation pay, workers' compensation and regular shifts. Any profits would be used to finance addiction treatment, housing, detox services and other programs for less fortunate women in the sex trade. "It's using the business of the indoor sex trade to fund the programs for the 10-to-20 per cent of sex workers who are very disadvantaged and working the streets in dangerous conditions and really need support and services," Paterson, who writes a weekly column for the Times Colonist, said yesterday.