April 9, 2013
Canada desperately needs a national food strategy.
Our food system is broken.
Farmers are now making less money off their farms than they did during the Great Depression. Our national food guide tells us to load up on fruit and vegetables, but we don’t grow them any more — 80 per cent of produce is imported. Just four companies control more than 70 per cent of food sales in the country! Around 2.5 million Canadians are constantly hungry, and a quarter of us are obese. Canada is the only G8 country without a nationally funded school meal plan ….
These are big problems. So I’m glad the Conference Board of Canada is hosting its second Food Summit at the Metro Convention Centre this Tuesday and Wednesday to hammer out a national food strategy.
But I have concerns. The tickets are around $1,000 a person. And most of the speakers represent Big Industry: Nestle, Cargill, Maple Leaf Foods.
Shouldn’t a national food strategy include all voices, including the majority who can’t afford a $1,000 ticket to the table?