Title:Every bite counts: climate justice and BC’s food system.
Author(s):Lee, Marc|split|Barbolet, Herb|split|Adams, Tegan|split|Thomson, Matt
Corporate Author: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC office
Subject:Food security – local food systems|split|Environmental issues – climate change
Publisher:Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC office
Place of Publication:Vancouver
Date of Publication:2010
The abundance of the modern supermarket is the ultimate product of a post-WWII food system based on industrial-scale agriculture, cheap fossil fuels and global trade. Examining our food through a climate change lens, however, suggests a rethink is in order — from reducing the greenhouse gases produced throughout the food system, to making the food system resilient to supply disruptions. BC also needs to develop a more just distribution of food, better support farmers, farmworkers and fishers, and seek healthier nutritional outcomes from our food system. This is not a task that can be left to market forces alone. It calls for a more coherent planning framework at all levels of the food system. The supermarket cannot ensure food security, which according to the Community Nutritionists Council of BC, “exists when all community residents obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance and equal access for everyone.” Such a systems approach to food is becoming widespread in BC and other jurisdictions. BC is starting in an excellent position to move forward, with most domestic food production occurring on small farms, while ties to local markets have been strengthening through initiatives like weekly farmers’ markets, community shared agriculture projects, and home delivery services. BC also has the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), although its erosion in recent years is cause for concern. These ingredients point towards a food system that could be, with strong public policy actions, just and sustainable.