Monthly Archives: February 2013

why food matters

Why Food Matters
By Amanda Sheppard
As a young girl growing up in rural North
Grand Pre, I spent my days running through
corn fields and chasing after chickens. I
picked apples from our orchard, and spent
hours excitedly looking at all of the
vegetables that sprouted up from the
gardens. Food was a celebration for our
family. My mother cooked elaborate meals
everyday. Roast chicken with mashed
potatoes and gravy, home made chocolate
cake and fresh fruit pies…I spent my time
in the kitchen with her, carefully chopping
apples, kneading dough and rolling out pie
crust with my own tiny rolling pin.
Cookbooks were my favourite picture
books. When I learned to read, I poured
through them like novels. I still have the
tattered yellow scribbler that contained my
grandmother’s neatly penciled recipes:
things like maritime brown bread and old
fashioned boiled icing. I still use her recipes
I remember being excited everyday to open
up my lunch box and see what my mother
had made for me. Egg salad, fresh banana
bread and granola bars that we made
together. It was different in the outside
world, though. I can remember kids at
school making fun of my lunch, and I would
tearfully throw it away. I wanted fruit rollups and mini pizzas like them. I soon
became embarrassed of my home made
lunches. I began to resent our way of life.
I can still remember the first time we
slaughtered our chickens and my mother
cooked a big batch of chicken stew. I threw
my fork down and screamed. “I’m not
eating my friends! I can see their feathers in
here!” I dramatically ran to my bedroom
and slammed the door. I’d grown quite
attached to the chickens, checking their
nests for eggs, and naming each one of
them. I didn’t understand. I declared myself
a vegetarian for a short while, but I couldn’t
bear to watch the rest of the family eating
chicken and biscuits without me. I caved. I
would later become a vegetarian as a teen,
but could only convince myself that I liked
soy wieners for so long. Needless to say, it
didn’t last.
As I grew older and developed my own
sense of self, I embraced the food culture
again. I realized that food was the tie that
bound our family together.I collected
dozens of cookbooks. I cooked and baked
everyday. Out on my own, I looked forward
to the family dinners that brought us
together again. As soon as I could have
wine I became fascinated with it. I loved to
walk through the local vineyards and touch
the beautiful bunches of grapes. I knew I
would always be part of the food industry. It
was where I belonged.
Living in the Annapolis Valley is the greatest
gift I could have ever received. A food
lover’s paradise, we have access to some of
the best, safest and healthiest organic food
in the world. Just Us! recently had the
wonderful opportunity to come together as
friends for an evening of delicious, locally
sourced food, music and laughter, and it
was a huge success.
Food brings people together in a way that
nothing else can. It nourishes the body and
the soul. Thank you to those who worked so
hard to show us why our commitment to
the new food movement matters. We are
well fed and full of gratitude.
Thinkin’ About Food – Members Retreat
Just Us! Co-op Members and invited guests
spent two days simply thinking about food –
its politics, its justice, its values. Facilitated
by Amy and Av, members were asked to
share their motivations and habits around
food purchases as individuals and as
members of Just Us! Overwhelmingly
members agreed that food purchasing
decisions for Just Us! were made based on
quality and marketability and that the social
and environmental factors behind the
products were added value that aid in
making a stronger product. Just Us!
members agreed that forming direct
relationships with the producers and
processors from whom they purchase is
invaluable and that these relationships help
foster a “story” which is integral to the
messages that Just Us! wants to convey to
its consumers. The Social Responsibility
Committee has been tasked to create a
Values-based Procurement philosophy and
checklist to help ensure purchases are in
line with the ideals of Just Us!
Despite a bleak look into the current
(dysfunctional) food system (check out the
NUMBERS), Just Us! members visioned a
food secure future with many small-scale
farms, regional processing facilities, cooperative and alternative housing strategies,
and different means of energy and financial
transactions. Most importantly, members
redefined “wealth” – healthy land, healthy
people, and a healthy community. ~Av
8 – percentage of income the
average Canadian spends on food
56 – the percentage of meals
Atlantic Canadians eat outside of
the home
11- the average number of minutes
to prepare a meal at home
8 – the average number of minutes
to consume a meal at home
3000 – the number of kilometres
the average Canadian meal travels
3200 – the number of Calories the
average Canadian consumes in
one day
27 – billion dollars is the amount of
food wasted each year in Canada
1000+ – the number of Food Banks
in Canada
80 – percentage of processed foods
that contain Genetically Modified
?? – the real cost of a “cheap” food
From the
Speaker’s Corner
By Andrea Woolaver
Below is the message of solidarity the
CCDA sends to Idle No More:
We feel very deeply about what is
happening in Canada to our brother native
people. We condemn the pillaging of which
they continue to be victims. We urge you to
continue your acts of just resistance to
defend Nature, our Mother Earth and
Humanity, despite the ambition of
governments and corporations to place
their interests above the rights of the
millenarian peoples.
We call on the (Canadian) government to
respect the lives and territories of our
brothers and sisters and to respond to their
To resist is to defend the territories!
In solidarity.
Leocadio Juracan,
General Coordinator, Comite Campesino
del Altiplano CCDA
If you are what you eat, you might
be having an identity crisis.
A new study on food fraud was released
Wednesday m

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized