+ Foodie Drinks East-end Edition!
Working, volunteering or interested in local, sustainable, healthy, ethical food initiatives & businesses in the City? Come learn from our panel of Toronto food innovators. We all make mistakes, but do we learn from them? How can business and non-profit programs grow facing after strumbling blocks? What challenges face our sector? Come join the discussion with folks who've had plenty of success:
- Tony Sabherwal, Owner of Magic Oven
- Grace Yogaretnam, Co-Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council
- Laura Reinsborough, Founder & Director of Not Far From The Tree
Sign-in at 7:00-7:15... Stay post-panel around 8:30 for Foodie Drinks, to mingle and learn about some initiatives and businesses in Beaches-East York and Toronto-Danforth. Join foodie Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon and others to learn more about what's happening and how to get involved. Let friends know you're coming by Tweeting with #FoodieDrinks and sharing this invitation. Always the best opportunity to connect.
Thank you to the Big Carrot for their support of this event!
Place: Toronto Naval Club, 1910 Gerrard St. East, just south of Woodbine Station. Accessible space.
Time & Date: Tuesday, June 19, 7:00PM-10:00PM
Cost: $5 bucks for Food Forward members, $10 for guests, or $15+ to attend & become a Food Forward member! Free for Supporting Members/monthly donors. (Pay/register at the door or in advance)
Thx for the contribution - it helps put on this event and sustain our work.
Food Forward will be participating in the Urban Gardening and Food Forum hosted by Councillor Michelle Beradinetti in Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest. We'd like to thank her for the information and for prioritizing food solutions in her ward. Here's more info - can you join us?
Date: Saturday April 28, 10am-2pm
Location: Access Point on the Danforth, 3079 Danforth Avenue (at Victoria Park Avenue)
Details: The event will include workshops on Container/Balcony Gardening (including FREE compost and containers), seed planting for kids, information on the downspout disconnection program, rain barrels and face painting!
Talk with Sharing Backyards and you might find a “growing” partner! Get help with your “green ideas” from Live Green Toronto. Share your information and recipes on Seeds of the World.
Tour of the rooftop garden area – the only one in Scarborough!
Starting at 1pm:
Interested in issues of food security in your neighbourhood and doing something about it, or want to learn more? Join Food Forward in this workshop to learn more about some of the problems in our food system and think about solutions for Scarborough Southwest!
Special thanks to Access Point and Access Alliance
Toronto and its City Council are at a food movement crossroads. We have the choice, which I'm sure we'll take, to go the local, delicious route, and choose to create dynamic and innovative food culture by allowing diverse street food in the City.
After failed rules and programs, the time is right to allow entrepreneurs more room to create exciting dishes throughout the City and ending silly rules that prevent good things from happening.
That's why we're partnering with some of Toronto's street food stars to bring you the Toronto Street Food Project. This campaign launches a website which lets you send a letter and a tweet, quick & easy, to your Mayor and Councillor with a simple message: change the outdated rules - we've waited long enough!
As the letter says, Toronto's food sector provides 58,000 jobs. Street food has been cut back time and time again in Toronto, while a growing movement want to see good, safe and exciting food more available.
Please check the site, share it, and check back. Time and time again, people doing community food projects and businesses are hitting barriers at City Hall. Support the Toronto Street Food Project and let's get a start on making this a more food friendly City.
(Stay tuned for more from us on bringing this issue to City Hall.)
It is often impossible to get authentic ethnic cuisine that's also locally grown or organic, so my food purchases are a bit of a hodge-podge.
I have shopped at the Big Carrot for years. I also like to support Rowe Farms, though as a vegetarian, I can only enjoy a small portion of what they offer. One of the places that always makes me feel virtuous is the St. John's Bakery, which has delicious bread, much of it baked with locally-grown organic heritage flour. Not only is it yummy, but the bakery provides an opportunity for Toronto's homeless to learn a valued skill.
We live just a couple blocks away from East Chinatown, and I'm continually amazed at the incredible variety, economy and quality of produce available. In the mornings, I stand in awe as produce is neatly stacked at superhuman speed. I enjoy pretty much every ethnic restaurant - Ethiopian, Indian, Greek, Thai, Chinese, you name it.
One focus is insisting on a fair cost for the impacts of farming, both for food grown here and for food imports. There is an environmental cost to the use of pesticides and other agricultural toxins that filter through our soils and into our rivers and lakes. There is a cost to using emissions-intensive energy in farming. If food reflected its true cost, we would naturally see a shift to more energy efficient farming, local production and a reduction in pollutants.
Another focus is the diversification of local production. Ontario used to produce almost all the food that was grown here. Now we import most of what we eat and grow select crops for export. Meanwhile, Ontario's population now actually represents more global diversity. We should not only get back to growing the diversity of foods we used to have, we should encourage growing bok choy right here in Ontario.
Bahman Yazdanfar, Independent candidate
Q1. Definitely, anything that can promote a healthy life should be considered seriously and without political interference. Not only should local, affordable, and accessible produce be utilized, mandatory training and education should be provided for those who purchase and resell food to the public, as well as advertising through media for public awareness.
Income disparity is also central to issues of food insecurity. Study after study shows that health and poverty are inter-linked. The NDP`s commitment to lifting Canadians out of poverty, particularly children, seniors, and new immigrants, would help the most vulnerable and isolated afford healthy food. I think these structural issues are particularly the responsibility of the Federal Government, and the NDP will work to make these issues front and centre on the national stage.
The great thing about local food jobs is they provide a tangible and direct service while building community. I think that the more we can develop supports for community projects and small-scale entrepreneurs, the more successful these initiatives will be. On a business level, the NDP`s small business tax credit is one example. Successful businesses are also dependent on broader market development, ensuring that there are enough spaces for community residents to interact with different kinds of farmers and businesses. This ties in to transportation, having lots of foot traffic and making things easy and accessible. Personally, I think local food should be everywhere, not just at the farmer`s market once a week.
On a national level, we need to develop and implement an alternative and appropriate food safety regulatory regime for small, farm-gate operations. The Federal Government must ensure that we have a food safety regime that is thorough and protects the health of Canadians. But it shouldn’t be tailored to suit the needs of only the biggest producers. Smart regulations can keep our food safe while making room for small-scale local production and farm-gate sales.
Finally we need to ensure there are no impediments in international trade deals to promoting buy local initiatives at municipal or provincial levels. We want to ensure international commerce and investment is a motor for job growth in Canada, and does not handcuff the ability of municipalities or other levels of government from ensuring local spinoffs and benefits from Canadian or foreign investment.
In brief, I think we need a comprehensive approach to dealing with food issues. We need to create a dialogue between health, agriculture, social welfare, business and housing sectors, to name a few, to better combat the complex issues that make up problems like hunger in Canada. I have seen this referred to as a `joined-up` approach in documents like the People`s Food Policy. This is the direction I would advocate for.
While the direct regulation and funding of local food production and markets falls largely to the municipal and provincial level, the people of Toronto Danforth can count on me as a committed ally to supporting local food initiatives in our community and helping them to grow in the future. I will ensure that your voices are heard at the national table.