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Food Freedom Day

This Magazine Staff

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Today is “Food Freedom Day,” February 12th, which marks the day of the year in 2009 on which the average Canadian will have earned enough dough to pay their grocery bill for the year. The day is certainly one of celebration and gratitude for the affordable and safe food that we can access across the country. It’s also a day to mark the awareness that Canadians pay substantially less for their food than many other nations and that farmers take home a measly portion of the money that their products earn. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture writes, “Member countries within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on average, spend 8.3% more of their disposable income on food than Canadians.” They also say, for example that “in 2005, a grain farmer received $0.07 for the corn in a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and $0.11 for the wheat in a loaf of bread.”

One way to ensure that more money goes into the pockets of local farmers to buy seeds and tools for next season is to buy from your local farmer’s market. Alternatively, joining a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) group means that your pre-paid groceries are helping farmers with their start-up costs. This kind of arrangement can also have the added benefit of getting more connected to your food system by helping out with the harvest.

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