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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Canadians Warned of Increasing Food Prices

On the heels on a recession and skyrocketing electricity prices combined with the federal and provincial governments' heavy handed taxation, Canadians are now facing inflated food prices.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported its food price index increased 2.2% in February, the eighth straight month of food price increases.  George Weston, owner of Weston Foods Ltd. and Loblaw (parent company of several grocery store chains) announced the first week of March that there would be a 5% price increase in all of their stores to offset rising commodity prices.  Fifteen percent of the average household spending is on food so even this seemingly small increase will have a large impact. 

Food prices are predicted to continue to rise as a result global effects including economic and weather conditions.  The unrest in the Middle East has resulted in huge increases in transportation costs and that will certainly be reflected in the cost of food in the grocery stores.  Global bad weather has resulted in wheat and corn prices doubling.  Rapidly emerging markets in India and China are using resources we once considered our.  Britons were warned last week that food riots may be part of their future as food insecurity increases.  It is unsure what effects the recent events in Japan will have on food prices as well.

From this Canadian's perspective, the issue of food insecurity in Canada is an ever growing one.  It is not one that is going to be helped by the ever rising cost of food.  It is time for Canadians to get back to basics.  Canadians must get into the mindset of growing whatever they can to help supplement their food, much the same as the war time efforts of Victory Gardens.  A small plot of land about 6' x 8' or the same sized balcony can produce an amazing amount of produce.  Municipalities should encourage community gardens as well as pass bylaws allowing backyard chickens with restrictions.  Seed banks should be established in each community with home gardeners contributing extra seeds to be made available for those who cannot afford to buy seeds.  Each community should have at minimum weekend farmer's markets where local farmers can sell their produce.  Supporting local growers is good for the economy and it's cheaper for the consumer when food is bought locally.  Finally, Canadians need to take responsibility for their own food supply.  This means that in addition to growing what you can and buying local, in season produce, learn how to preserve the extra for low cost food during the winter months.


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