Raising a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it



Today is Canada’s Agriculture Day – a day to celebrate Canadian agriculture and food. And celebrate we should as we live in a country where farmers are often the unsung heroes who work very hard to bring us wholesome, nutritious eats.

When was the last time you met a farmer – or for that matter, have you ever met one? Have you ever visited a farm? If not, it is something you need to do (not now in the middle of winter!) but definitely when you can.

Until you have met a farmer, it’s hard to believe the passion they have. If they weren’t so passionate, there is no way they could go through the trials and tribulations they do to bring us safe and affordable food to our tables.

Learning about where our food comes from and how it gets to our plates is key to understanding many of the issues we hear about day after day. Appreciating their commitments to the environment and sustainability can help you sort through the fact and fiction about our food – news that we are constantly bombarded with.

Part of the problem is that we hear news from south of the border where agricultural practices may differ by leaps and bounds. For example, while American dairy farmers can use hormones (bovine somatotropin -bST) in cows to increase milk production, Canadian farmers do not. (It’s not legal to do so here in Canada.) Yet many Canadians worry about our milk.

Another myth is that the family farm in Canada is dying. In fact, though, the family farm is not – it’s just changing. Technology is being used more and more to help farmers – from planting, fertilizing and harvesting. But the equipment needed is unbelievably expensive so farmers need to be committed to make these investments.

While ideally a visit to a farm would be incredibly informative, not everyone can do it. But nowadays you can learn about farming from farmers virtually. You can follow them on social media and see videos or commentaries that they post.

Check out Clinton Monchuk on Instagram or Farmer Tim on Facebook and you’ll see and feel the passion. Read about Canadian food on Canadian Food Focus.

No matter how you meet a farmer, whether virtually or in person, they are deserving of our attention and admiration.

So why not raise a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it today and everyday?

Tags: , ,

Categories: Holidays, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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