Farmers feed cities. A hundred years ago, over half of Ontario’s population were farmers. Today, while only 1.4% of Ontarians are farmers, we have taken great leaps in productivity. In the early 1900s, a farmer could produce enough food for 10 people. Today’s farmer can feed 120.
Persistent innovation, specialization and research in agriculture, food, and technology has Improved the production of safe, healthy, high-quality products that Ontario farmers are proud of. However, this demographic shift has put no small distance between the entrepreneurs who grow our food, and the people who eat it.
What are the trends in Ontario
Canada has one of the best economic growth rates in the world. We by and large consider ourselves a just society yet many of us live in hunger. Nearly one million Canadians use food banks alone every month. This number has remained unchanged for many years. Food banks were once a temporary bandaid but are now fixed as one of our broadest solutions to fighting hunger. In this presentation we will explore the benefactors of food banks and thier counter parts, the reasons people give and why the status quo is not only failing to fight hunger but is likely
Global food security is recognized as one of the most important issues of the 21st century and takes many forms, including sustainable production, equitable distribution and reducing food waste. Within this overarching framework, defending the food supply from various threats requires a variety of tools. One of the most promising includes genomics, which is seeing diverse applications in crop improvements (e.g. increased crop yield, drought tolerance and pest resistance) but also has a central role to play in the surveillance of pathogens and the detection of food fraud. This talk will discuss the emergence of biodiversity genomics and its broad
It has been estimated that we waste between 30-40% of all food in North America between the field and the final consumer. The generation of food waste is a “wicked problem”: it has many causes, and will require diverse solutions across the value chain. This presentation will address the broader context of garbage in contemporary societies (who wastes what and why), as well as the social and environmental issues associated with waste. It will then elaborate on food waste as an emerging topic of attention across sectors in Canada, including government, industry, and NGOs. An in-depth look at the household
Farms have come a long way since the days when rotation crops, a few chickens and a few beef or pigs was the standard of the day on every farm. Today, farms tilt towards an industrialized model of mono-crops driven by technological innovation, all in the name of efficiency. But does this model have unintended consequences, implications external to the actual operation on the environment and our social cohesiveness?
New models have emerged based on a fundamental notion that sustainable agriculture would not only value farms’ economic impact, but their positive contributions to social well being and producing
The public, or: the non-existent average citizen is exposed to an enormous amount of information about food production daily. Agriculture, as the basis of food has changed rapidly in past decades and seen the introduction of many new technologies and practices. One the most contentious – and complex – technologies is genetic engineering of microbes, plants and animals. While numerous articles and reports have presented arguments for (benefits) and against (risks, costs) the technology, the context of all the other developments in food, agriculture and related sectors has usually been left out. This talk aims to provide this context as
An illustrated lecture that explores how developments in food technology and cooking equipment, our growing understanding of the science of nutrition and the availability of ingredients have influenced what Canadians have eaten since the early days of European settlement.
It will briefly cover scurvy and starvation, Canada’s increasing self-sufficiency, military rations and the foundation of some beloved food manufacturers. It will also offer a more detailed look at food trends of the past 60 years gained from contemporary recipes, advertising, government publications and secondary sources.
Food is an exceptionally complex and diverse topic, as it encompasses science and technology, culture, social organization, markets and economics, health and wellness, personal taste and preference, and personal philosophy and ethics. In very different ways, people often define themselves in an intimate connection with food- whether as farmers, vegetarians, environmentalists, or social justice advocates- each with deeply held perspectives on the food system.
The purpose of this presentation will be to introduce the broad context for Canadian agriculture and food that frames the series of lectures focused on more specific topics. Participants will come away with an