Food security is
a term that is gaining every increasing attention. What does it mean
to be "food secure"? What would constitute "food insecurity"?
There are many
issues that connect to this very basic human need. With globalization
of world trade, with major changes to the system of food production,
distribution and processing around this planet, the way we eat and
how we get our food has changed radically in recent years. No longer
is the food consumer also the food producer. No longer does the food
consumer obtain his food from a neighbourhood grocery or meat market
or local farmer. No longer does the large supermarket grocery chain
store warehouse food in the local city. Food reserve stocks for most
communities is measured in days, not weeks or months.
The entire system
relies on rapid transportation of foods over long distances. That
presumes low cost and uninterrupted food delivery. Even the events
of September 11 , 2001 and the resulting disruption to transportation
and border commerce should have alerted us that things are not as
secure as we have been led to believe.
If oil costs rise
sharply, or oil becomes unavailable, the large-scale transportation
of foods from producer to consumer will be severely affected. Canada
is likely to be impacted more than nearly any other country in that
we have placed a very high reliance on importation of our foods.
In this section
I will place links to articles that explore these issues and links
to other sites that will be of interest to the reader who has actually
sought out this page.
I am also placing
a link at the botton of this page to a file which gives a proposed
Food Charter for the city of Prince Albert. Currently the city of
Toronto and the city of Saskatoon had adopted Food Charters which
declare the right of all citizens to effective food security and
the things that are required to ensure that security.
A coalition of
Prince Albert organizations has been working on getting community
input for the purpose of drafting a similar document for this community.
I have been privileged to have worked with this group over the past
months. Currently this Proposed Charter is being discussed with various
community groups and with School Boards to establish a broader community
awareness and a broader community support for the elements of this
Charter. then it will go for consideration to the City's Race Relations
and Social Issues Committee and after that, to the full City Council.
take the time to become more familiar with these issues and check
to see if there is something happening in your community. if you
find that there is, let me know so that I can add a link to information
or a link to a contact person.
Feedback on these
issues will be appreciated.