Safe Food and Sustainable Agriculture

Taking a (“Buy Local”) Hike

By Jeff Alan

While passing by a small produce store recently, a random selection of “Ontario” fruits and vegetables caught my eye. Being a person who loves their blueberries, I was pleased to see that there were some (more expensive) of the berry under a sign proclaiming their nearby upbringing. Sitting there in their polite, plain green pints, calling me...

Now, being generally full of distrust I had that nagging feeling that perhaps these were not Ontario berries. “Isn't it a touch early?” Wanting to believe, I fought the doubt, money left the wallet and the berries came home.

A couple days later, an acquaintance of mine watched them pouring freshly-delivered U.S.A. blueberries from their clearly-labeled plastic clamshell containers into those plain-green baskets and putting them in the “Ontario” box. Seems I won't be shopping there anymore; this Little Guy™ is as much (or more) a liar as that Big Guy™.... Read more »

Stop the Mega Quarry in Melancthon Township or Life Will Suffer

By Danny Beaton,

Turtle Clan Mohawk

I am honored to be asked by the farmers of Melancthon/Mulmur Townships to join them in their struggle to protect their water and farmland from the proposed Mega Quarry by the Highland Company privately backed by Boston multi billion dollar hedge fund.  As a native/indigenous man of the Turtle Clan Mohawk Nation I have had a chance to listen to many community citizens of Dufferin County to learn of the concerns to the threat to farmland and clean water supply. ... Read more »

First Nations co-op proposes organic shift

The Muskoday Organic Growers Co-op and Heifer International Canada think Saskatchewan First Nations could sharply reduce on-reserve unemployment by growing Saskatchewan's vegetables organically. At Muskoday First Nation near Prince Albert, organic production is already underway.

In 1999, the community launched an initiative to produce potatoes and harvested about 450 tonnes. The band-managed project obtained sufficient training grants to hire every employable welfare recipient in the community to work on the farm for six months. This was sufficient time to qualify for employment insurance, which in turn opened doors to further training.... Read more »

Experts selected to lead oil sands monitoring

Edmonton... Twelve independent experts from across North America have been chosen to help create a world-class environmental monitoring system for Alberta’s oil sands.

“I am committed to ensuring we have a robust, credible, and transparent environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting system in the province, beginning with the oil sands region,” said Rob Renner, Minister of Environment. “This extremely accomplished group of individuals, who have significant experience and wide-ranging expertise, will deliver on this important initiative.” ... Read more »

Athabasca River contamination affecting traditional hunting, fishing: report

EDMONTON — Falling water levels and contaminants in the Athabasca River are cutting First Nations people off from traditional hunting, fishing and trapping lands and taking away their treaty rights, says a report released Thursday.

The report's main author said this is the first time the river's declining flow and water quality have been studied in the context of aboriginal treaty rights.

"If people cannot move around the territories by boat and by water, then they cannot practise their traditions, their culture, their rights," Craig Candler told a press conference Thursday.

Worries about contaminated fish and meat from animals such as moose "are having direct effects on how people are able to use the land and are able to practise their rights," Candler said.... Read more »


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