Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hunger and Food Insecurity in Canada

Canada is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture there are five major agricultural sectors in Canada. These sectors are: grains and oilseeds; wheat, durum, oats, barley, rye, flax seed, canola, soybeans, and corn; red meats (beef cattle, hogs, veal, and lamb); dairy; horticulture; and poultry and eggs. This primary agriculture accounts for over 24% of the $70 billion generated by the agri-food industry representing 2.2% of Canada's GDP and accounting for 62% of employment in all resource industries. According to Statistics Canada $16.8 billion worth of processed food products were exported and $12.6 billion food products were imported. In a nation where food is so abundantly available it is hard to comprehend that in our great country there are those going hungry because they can't afford food. The reality is that poverty and hunger are a reality for many Canadians.

According to Food Banks Canada certain groups are at more risk for food insecurity. The largest group of food bank users are those receiving social assistance at 51.5% of the total users. The working poor are the second largest users of Canadian food banks at 13.6%. The third largest group are persons with disabilities. Families with children make up 50% of the food bank users and of that group 25% are single parent households. Senior citizens comprise 5.5% of the food bank users and an estimated tens of thousands of rural residents use food banks. If you consider these are just the numbers from food banks and do not include numbers from other agencies helping Canada's hungry, the number of those experiencing food insecurity and hunger in Canada are significant!

This video was made as a University term project for a Community Food Security class towards completion of the producer's Geography degree. The video talks about hunger, poverty, and food security in Canada as well as highlights some of the possible solutions to the food insecurity and hunger problem in Canada.

Across Canada household gardens have always been rather popular. Part of the solution to food insecurity and hunger in Canada is a resurgence of household gardens (Victory Gardens) similar to those during times of war. Urban gardening of any kind should be encouraged and municipalities should allow backyard chickens with restrictions as a way for those facing food insecurity and hunger to help themselves. Municipalities should also encourage and support community gardens for those wanting to grow some of their own foods who do not have any available growing space. Most importantly get involved as an individual to help stamp out hunger in Canada.


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