Food Security in the 21st Century: Are we prepared?

April  18,  2018.  Fifteen elders from the North Shore ElderCollege Society and the Suzuki Elders sat around paper-strewn tables in the Capilano Library, North Vancouver, and considered a topic of great importance to elders and to everyone else.  How secure is our food supply and what should we be doing to ensure its security in the forthcoming years?

We were guided in the deliberations by three experts on the topic:

  • Grant Rice – Education and Planning Coordinator for Burnaby Food First, a group of community members and local agencies working together to bring food security to Burnaby, B.C.
  • Karen Morton, President of EcoUrbia, a not-for-profit organization advocate for local food and organics, extended producer responsibility, ethical e-waste recycling and waste reduction strategies.
  • Tara Moreau, Associate Director, Sustainability and Community Programs, UBC Botanical Gardens.

After some hours of deliberating and scribbling notes on scratch-pads we found ourselves the proud possessors of a trove of questions,  answers to some of them and, perhaps most significantly, a series of themes on food security which urgently need to be addressed in the coming months and years.

This was the Suzuki Elders second effort at a community deliberation on food security (the first is described at this link).  It has become apparent to us that the subject is complex, multifaceted and often misunderstood.  It urgently needs to be discussed and teased out a lot more.

In the interest of establishing a baseline of questions and items which need to be acknowledged and explored further, we proudly present here…..ta daaaa …. our itemized notes.
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We would much appreciate questions and comments on what we’ve achieved so far.  It is our intention to keep the community focus on the theme of food security.  Without it, we won’t get too far into the future.

 

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One comment

  • Great notes! This workshop has raised so many important points. I’m wondering if it might be useful to organize “Shopping with Elders Outings” where elders and youth spend a couple of hours wandering around grocery stores and local markets while considering what we should think about when choosing our food. There are many points to ponder – buying local foods in season, reducing meat consumption, avoiding waste by planning, and improving health by eating nutritious foods. This could easily move into discussions of food security, agricultural land protection, and trade agreements.

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