Megaphone associate editor Elecia Chrunik has started a food securitiy blog for Megaphone. Below is her first instalment. Send questions, tips, feedback to email@example.com.
One thing that makes Vancouver unique is that a lot of people care about how and where their food grows. Since the municipal government set the goal of becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020, a couple of branches of the 10-part plan focus on food awareness, since reducing the impact around food is necessarily a major part of going green.
The many steps of food production—growing, inspecting, harvesting, packaging, transporting, preparing and disposing—all use major amounts of resources so the city, in keeping with its green goal, is taking steps to reduce the impact of the process. The city is focusing on waste reduction in landfills and has set up a composting program for people who live in houses or duplexes and is planning to extend the program to apartment dwellers and all businesses and institutions by 2015.
This is an exciting step, and I am personally very grateful for a place to send my food scraps, which make up the large majority of my garbage. I have kept a worm compost before but found that the worms couldn’t keep up with the amount of scraps I was feeding them. Trapping food scraps in a plastic garbage bag rather than getting those nutrients back into the soil breaks my heart so it’s a relief to have easy access to composting.
The city has appointed a committee, the Vancouver Food Policy Council, to guide city councilors and the mayor on what issues matter to Vancouver’s residents and how they can fit into the greenest city plan. They meet monthly and the next meeting is tonight so if you have any concerns or opinions on how to make Vancouver more food friendly, here’s your chance. (I’m still waiting for the Council to post the meeting minutes from the other meetings this year…)