In today's Globe and Mail newspaper, there is an article about Andrea Bellamy's Lawns to Loaves Project that examines the impact of city food production and the politics of supporting local food. Andrea is growing wheat in the city - it's not much: enough to make a few hyper local loaves of bread. What I find fascinating is how radical such a project seems to some.
There was a point in time that growing food was just a part of daily life, like taking out the trash and making dinner. It says a lot about the world we live in that we are examining "the point" of growing food and that some in local politics could think of such a project as "goofy". That our mayor could be ridiculed for caring about local food and not city "basics" shows me that we have lost our way. Feeding ourselves is basic. Without a healthy food supply, our city would wither away and the exciting fabric of creativity and innovation and culture that our city stands for would cease to exist. While it is reasonable to argue that those of sufficient income will never starve, eating a diet that is filled with manufactured food starves our cells and the result is disease, which is not exactly an ideal outcome. And, while not an inevitability, food crisis is always a threat as mother nature doesn't always grace us with the ideal growing conditions to feed a ballooning population.
If we are to reconnect to food and make it meaningful, getting serious about growing within the city limits is vital. As a new mom, I do not want my child to think that food is a sterile commodity. I grew up knowing that blackberry bushes could prick, dirt was good for you and that salt and slugs were a particularly entertaining combination. Food knowledge is fundamental for an evolved society. Our children should be able to see food around them, whether they live in the city, suburbs or country.
Let's spend less time in debate and more time growing, eating and sharing.
Get Growing, Vancouver.
Read the full article on Globe and Mail