Welcome to Food Forward


Good news, bad news, hope

When it comes to Canadian eating choices, a new market research study has shown that Canadians are choosing fruits first for snacks, but junk food is up too. Potato chips as snack time events have risen 22% in three years.

Interestingly in a Toronto Star article this week, Pepsico/Frito Lay has linked this increase to the economy, along with successful marketing.

“Additionally, as consumers faced the recent financial downturn, we saw an increase in consumption occasions as consumers spent more time dining and entertaining at home."
See article: http://www.healthzone.ca/health/dietfitness/diet/article/861247--canadia...

Is it also possible that junk food is becoming more accessible?

Produce stores in Toronto are leaving many neighbourhoods because of the high cost of rent. Meanwhile the price of fresh produce has gone way up in many cases.

According to study by the Martin Prosperity Institute this year, "access to good quality and affordable food is a growing challenge," particularly in Priority Neighbourhoods. In fact, one half of all Torontonians live over one kilometre from a grocery store. This makes it difficult to buy healthy food, especially when the amount of drivers is decreasing.

As the study finds, "Unable to easily access good quality food, those living in many inner suburbs are served instead by an army of corner, convenience and fast food outlets that offer an assortment of unhealthy foods high in fats, sugars and salts."

This may be another reason why chips are up.

Let's support Toronto's Food Strategy and bring food into urban planning. We have the ability to plan our neighbourhoods for healthy food by bringing urban planners together with developers, funding food animators and supporting community-based food projects and centres. Let's get to work!


HOME Screening & Discussion

Tune in on Thursday September 9 at 8:00PM to join our live screening and discussion of HOME with Food Forward Executive Director, Darcy Higgins. Participate and ask questions and think about local solutions.

Just click here at 8:00:

"The film HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a beautifully shot panorama of the Earth and the damage done to it by modern humanity. It includes a moving narration about the evolution of the Earth, nature, agriculture, humans, and the crises of habitat destruction, energy depletion, climate disruption, degradation... of the environment, health, economic disparity, and more."


Toronto's ready for healthy food

With the passing of a comprehensive Food Strategy by the City of Toronto's Board of Health this summer, it's time to push food forward at City Hall. In an election in which some commentators are dividing Toronto neighbourhoods, the issues of food security, sustainability and local jobs unite us all.

You can continue to make food an issue in this election by asking candidates for their thoughts on purchasing local sustainable food, providing land for urban agriculture, or whatever food issues are important to you. Now is the best time. See our policy priorities for some ideas.

Let's help bring the next Council into 21st Century food ideas. Councillors have an important say, so write your ward candidates as well as leading mayoral candidates, their contacts here:

George Smitherman: info@georgesmitherman.ca
Rocco Rossi: rocco@roccorossi.com
Joe Pantalone: info@mayorjoe.ca
Rob Ford: councillor_ford@toronto.ca
Sarah Thomson: sarah@sarahthomson.ca

If you don't know your ward candidates or contacts, try Torontoist's election guide at: http://torontoist.com/politics, or email us and we'll find them for you.
Email: darcy@pushfoodforward.com


Food security tops youth interest in St. James Town

Last night saw the launch of an exciting new project and website called Youth4Health in St. James Town (downtown Toronto). Youth have been busy working on a photo exhibition describing issues and solutions of health relating to food security in their community.

People were asked to review the multimedia and website, and share their own thoughts about needs in the neighbourhood. Community gardens, more access to healthy local foods in stores, balcony gardening and student education were all described as solutions, many of which are already underway there.

Click here to explore their new site to read the stories and interact: