One of the more reassuring aspects of the almost endless amount of readily available information resources in this digital day and age is that you can find reliable and intelligent news about just about anything. Nowhere is this more evident than the information we have access to about our food, where it comes from, the revolutions that are going on in the farming and food procurement societies.
True, there is a glut of mainstream dreck, the same old crap being pushed down our throats by huge corporate interests whose bottom line caters to that most nebulous yet ubiquitous money crunching phantom, the insatiable shareholder, who seems to be the scapegoat that justifies all manner of big business perversion defending everything from factory farming status quo to spending billions doling out misinformation and lobbying all levels of government.
But the internet is full of inspiring, forward thinking movements that are doing good; connecting people and communities, challenging the way we engage with food, sharing stories, educating and “incubating hope.”
In vast urban communities such as Toronto, we are sometimes resigned to feeling disconnected to our food, to farmers, to farms. This is somewhat understandable when many of us have never seen a pig on a farm, or eaten a carrot right out of the ground.
As the crow flies, we may consider ourselves to be miles away from this experience. This is slightly ironic when one considers how close we actually are to some of the best farms and foodbelt in the country, when driving in a few clicks of insane traffic on the 401 throws us into Ontario’s famed Greenbelt.
As the crow flies, you may be miles away from feeling connected, but the fact is, as the binary code swims, you are connected right now, in fact, you are only a few clicks away.
Sustain Ontario is an amazing organization, and they have one of the most interesting websites around, featuring videos and virtual tours, stories and initiatives ranging from groups dedicated to saving small meat processing facilities, to inititaives promoting the use of vouchers for low-income persons to be used at farmers markets. This is from their website:
Sustain Ontario is a province-wide, cross-sectoral alliance that promotes healthy food and farming. Sustain Ontario takes a collaborative approach to research, policy development and action by addressing the intersecting issues related to healthy food and local sustainable agriculture. Sustain Ontario is working towards a food system that is healthy, ecological, equitable and financially viable.