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November-December 2014

Return to our roots

Wayne Roberts

How agribusiness erased our food culture—and why it’s time to start fighting back Once taken for granted in most societies, including North American ones, the lively and dynamic connections between the sheer physicality of food and the imaginative realm of culture were thrown under the food truck in 1954. That’s when Harvard University and the […] More »

Friday FTW: American farmer sues Monsanto for gross negligence

Espe Currie

GMO-giant Monsanto made headlines this week when genetically modified wheat was found in an Oregon crop. Genetically modified (GM) wheat is not approved for production or consumption, even in the U.S., though the company tested the strain in 10 states in the ’90s. Scientists speculate the plants found in Oregon may be the result of […] More »
November-December 2011

How Engineers Without Borders learned to embrace failure (and learn from it, too)

Denise DebyWebsite@DeniseDeby

Engineers Without Borders Canada has made a few mistakes—and it’s not afraid to admit them. After three years of publishing its own annual “Failure Report” the organization launched AdmittingFailure.com, a website where it and other aid organizations can post flawed ventures. Already featured: EWB’s project to strengthen local farmers’ organizations in Burkina Faso that neglected […] More »
November-December 2011

Ontario risks losing a huge swath of prime farmland to the Melancthon quarry

Matthew Strader

Carl Cosack wonders who is standing on guard for his piece of Ontario. The 52-year-old rancher manages a herd of black angus cows and 30 horses, making him one of Ontario’s last traditional trail hands and proud owner of one of the province’s few remaining amateur ranches (don’t call it a “dude ranch”). Thanks to […] More »
July-August 2011

How Ontario’s Greenbelt is failing farmers—and the local food movement

Chelsea Murray@chelsea_murray

The greenbelt saved 1.8 million acres of green space from urban sprawl. So why are the farmers who live and work there moving away? Photos by Ian Willms Robert Beynon’s dairy farm sits just north of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, on one of the southernmost edges of Ontario’s greenbelt. It’s a small operation […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Ron Nurwisah on ultra-local food co-op Not Far From the Tree

Graham F. Scott

When it comes to eating locally, it’s tough to beat food that’s growing literally in your own backyard. Since 2008, Not Far From the Tree, a volunteer group in Toronto, has been helping people do just that. Founded by New Brunswicker-turned-Torontonian Laura Reinsborough, the group picked more than 19,000 pounds of fruit from some 200 […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Andrea Curtis on local food innovators The New Farm

Andrea CurtisWebsite

The first time I visited The New Farm, Brent Preston and Gillian Flies’ bucolic 100-acre spread near Creemore, Ontario, the barn was kitted up with twinkle lights. Bundles of hay provided seating for a play and, later, for listening to the foot-stomping tunes of the Sunparlour Players. Professional chefs cooked up a delicious dinner with […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Sarah Elton on community-supported fishery Off the Hook

Sarah EltonWebsite

It’s hard to find fresh fish to buy in Canada. Even in Halifax, in view of the ocean, it takes at least six days for local fillets to make it from the fishing boats to the supermarket. Now, a group of five fishers are changing the way fish are caught and sold. They’ve founded Off […] More »
March-April 2011

Why your so-called “organic” farmed salmon probably isn’t

Kapil Khatter

The Claim Last June, the governmental Canadian General Standards Board released proposed standards for organic salmon farming. The goal: to overcome trade barriers and help develop niche markets. But will that organic sticker really mean organic-quality farmed fish, or is it just covering up some nasty production practices? The Investigation Though the standards board is […] More »
September-October 2010

Out of the media glare, the honeybee die-off still threatens the food chain

Claudia CalabroWebsite

Stories of Colony Collapse Disorder swarmed the mainstream media in 2006. Report after report claimed pollinating bees were dying en masse, abandoning their hives, and putting our entire modern food system at risk. Today we rarely hear about CCD, even though the number of bee colonies that survive each winter continue to drop at abnormal rates. […] More »
September-October 2010

Guerrilla Gardening video game sows digital seeds of change

Andrew WebsterWebsite

Can a gardening video game change the world for the better? In a medium that features an overwhelming focus on war-themed shoot-’em-ups, a video game about social change through gardening is a definite change of pace. And if the duo behind Guerrilla Gardening have their way, it will also inspire players to raise a trowel […] More »