The right to healthy food / by Greg Gallinger

Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur for food, recently visited Canada to speak with people across the country and assess peoples access to food. What he discovered was that despite being one of the world's strongest economies there are still a disproportionate number of people who do not have basic food security.

Olivier De Schutter, via CBC News:

We have in this country more than 800,000 households who are considered food insecure.... This situation is of great concern to me.

The Harper Government was on the defensive, using the opportunity to attack the United Nations rather than admit there is a growing problem here at home. Denying empirical data seems to be the party line for all social, scientific, and environmental issues across the country.

Despite what the current government's policy may be, the fact is that food security is becoming a real global issue. As the people directly affected by poor access to real food it we should take it upon ourselves to solve this issue. Today's print edition of the Globe and Mail1 has a spotlight on the public gardens in Kamloops, British Columbia, and the model of urban public food production. The article mentions the increased popularity of urban gardening projects across North America as a response to the lack of access to good food.

There are a number of documentaries about food politics, one that I've recently become aware of is Edible City, which looks at how urban communities have responded to the food crisis. You can watch Edible City for free on Vimeo.

I know of a couple community gardens and urban farmers in Winnipeg, but perhaps we need something even more ambitious. Instead of the proposed Asper park plan for Parcel 4 maybe the City should use the money to built a community organized public garden.

1This seems to be print only at the moment, I'll try to update the link if it gets posted online.