Since the World Food Summit in 1996 communities around the world have become more concerned about food security. Though in Canada we often consider ourselves fortunate to have a great and varied food supply there are many reasons for us to be concerned. For example, many farmers are struggling to make a living wage, local food production is not enough to supply demand for local food, food-borne illnesses have been making national news, and monoculture is making our farms ever more reliant on pesticides and fertilizers. These are just a few of the reasons for concern.
While some are waiting for government policies to address these concerns and for corporations to start changing their practices, others have already started developing alternatives to our conventional food system. There are municipal food charters, farmers markets, Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) projects, co-operative food stores, community gardens, Fair Trade organizations, and food security networks. All of these groups are founded on principles of engagement, empowerment, solidarity and mutual self-help – in other words the values embodied by the Social Economy. Social Economy organizations are providing a model for food production, processing, and distribution and are proving that our communities can truly be sustainable.
By Rupert Downing and Matthew Thompson
- Lunchbox Speakers' Series – April 2009. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) Social Economy Centre presented an interactive presentation called Food Security – with Debbie Field from Food Share, Michael Oliphant from Daily Bread Food Bank and Lorie Stahlbrand from Local Plus. Listen and watch this presentation here: sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/webcast.php
- CSEHub Telelearning Session #3: Food Security and the Social Economy. What is meant by the term Food Security? How does it relate to the Social Economy? These questions were discussed by Dr. Heather Myers, from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, and Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare in Toronto, in an engaging telelearning session.
- CSERP Food Security Research Table: CSEHub has created table of all the CSERP food security research happening across the country. Click here to find the table.
- Redesigning Canada’s Food System: The role of the social economy in rebuilding community food security. CSERP Food Security Scan. Making Waves Vol.19 No.3. Click here to find the article.
- Link to the 2008 Food Security Sessions at the Social Sciences and Humanities Congress. Click here.