World Food Day was first organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979 to bring public awareness concerning global food issues and the importance in supporting agriculture. World Food Day is now celebrated on October 16th in 150 countires.
I’m giving a short 30 minute presentation tomorrow evening (Tuesday) for the University of Toronto Community Garden Group as a part of “Alternative Frosh Week.” As a former poor university student I just love the fact that University campuses now have community gardens. Homegrown, fresh food sure beats kraft dinner.
I’ll be speaking about my experiences and love for gardening, and why I want to see everyone taking up the trowel. I’ve spoken to many groups about this over the last year and realize I should probably post something here for the site.
University of Toronto Community Garden Group
When: Tuesday, September 26, 2006. 4-6:00pm
Where: University of Toronto Campus, SAC building (2 Hart House Circle)
I spent yesterday afternoon multi-tasking between a series of deadlines and making fall treats: pumpkin pie, and green tomato chutney. The chutney recipe can be found on page 154 of the You Grow Girl book. Since the oven was blazing, I also threw in an assortment of tomatoes for roasting, and an over-sized zucchini.
My spouse Davin took over late afternoon, making the pie crust and assembling the pie since I have complained umpteen times that I am always stuck with the task. Of course he had to go all out and raise the bar on pie presentation by shaping and assembling the top crust by hand. Until this point, cutting leaves with a cookie cutter and slapping them on top has been considered above standard.
Ann Slater of the Ecological Farming Association of Ontario takes on CropLife Canada, a trade association for the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pesticide and GMO products that has been working on a smear campaign targeting organic food production.
Why is CropLife Canada so keen to smear organic? According to their survey of Canadian women, 77% sometimes buy or consider buying organically grown fruits and vegetables. Twenty-one percent say they buy organic because they are concerned about pesticides on their food and 22% believe organic produce is more nutritious. On top of that, 14% say they sometimes feel guilty about buying cheaper conventional produce when organic is available.
- Full article here
Her argument references this article by two market farmers from Oklahoma who carried out an experiment to tackle the question: “Are supermarkets cheaper than farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets?” Their results are interesting.
The results reveal that perceptions rather than facts influence the false assumptions that grocery store food is always cheapest.
…grocery store food is not as cheap as some customers believe it to be. Nor is local simply for the wealthyÃ¢â‚¬â€œit is competitively priced since our research showed grocery storesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ low posted prices tend to hide lower weight and quality.
What: Knit or crochet up beautiful, warm woolies for charity. Mittens, arm warmers, hats, and scarves are all fantastic. A YGG forum member suggests keyhole scarves as anything that wraps around the neck can be uncomfortable and even unsafe for women coming from violent experiences.
New items made by you only please.
To Support: Redwood Women’s Shelter, a terrific shelter located in Toronto, Canada that supports battered women and their families. They run primarily on support from the community.
When: Please mail your items by Dec 1. Email me at gaylaatyougrowgirldotcom for details.
UPDATE: I just spoke with a contact at the shelter and she provided a Wish List:
- Long Scarves – So I was wrong (above). Winters have been cold here in Toronto and they have need of warm scarves that can wrap around twice for bundling up.
- Women’s Mittens – They recieve plenty of mittens for children but need larger mittens for adult women.
- Baby Blankets – For bundling babies inside strollers.
- Larger Items – If you were planning to make a couple of scarves, make one large item instead. She said they have need for shawls and ponchos.
I want to add that she was very enthusiastic and appreciative. They support a lot of women and children so the need is great.