This good food conversation needs to be sprinkled with words that name the dominant food system characteristic – control by dominant corporations. “Struggling against” needs to become as much part of the food ethos as “collaborating toward.”
What would this mean practically?
We would laugh out loud at the mention of, and criticize Ontario’s Local Food Act, which has not provided a dime for public purchasing of local and sustainable food, nor a penny for urban agriculture, or new and young farmers.
We would denounce the governing Trudeau Liberals for giving the kiss of death to a national food policy by handing the file to the department of agriculture, which has no officials or staff who are knowledgeable about food security or public health and which is controlled by agribusiness interests. We would also denounce the Ministry of Finance project, led by private consultant Dominic Barton of McKinsey and Company, to make factory farms and food exports the engine of Canada’s emerging economy – as well as the nearly billion dollars in so-called super-cluster grants to big corporations.
Woodlanders is an online film series that seeks to document the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world.
Even among today’s progressive movements of local economy and food systems, the vast global knowledge of forest livelihoods and economies are mostly undervalued and undocumented. From woodcraft and nut tree cultures of ancient Europe, to mushroom and forest medicines of Asia, there many fascinating ways of creating sustainable economies from the forests while maintaining their ecological health and complexity. While filming Inhabit - A Permaculture Perspective I fell in love with woodland cultures and felt called to research further. Over the past year I began to create an accessible archive of these stories and I hope to share this inspiring world with you. Sustainable relationships with forests regenerate and protect these wild places while also offering livelihoods to humans. Each episode will focus on a person or culture who has a sustainable relationship and/or livelihood with a forest. Join me on the journey and learn how much forests can offer.
Chronic disease is the biggest epidemic ever faced. Yet, even though it touches almost every family, people are not tuned into this epidemic, as such, nor are the causes fully understood by the general public. It haunts society; it’s everywhere; it deforms, debilitates, and incapacitates. Is this the normal course of life or is something in the environment seriously amiss?
A recent Rand Corporation study says that 60% of Americans have one and 40% have multiple chronic conditions: “Nearly 150 million Americans are living with at least one chronic condition; around 100 million of them have more than one. And nearly 30 million are living, day in and day out, with five chronic conditions or more.”1
An exploration of a new paradigm of health, science, and medicine, based on the interconnections between us and nature.
At a genetic level, humans are literally connected to the rest of the natural world through our DNA. But today’s highly processed foods, pesticide based mono-culture farming methods, increasing urbanization, obsession with technology and destruction of the natural environment distance us further and further from the world we co-evolved with. We are out of balance with nature and the reductionist philosophy of modern western medicine, once immensely powerful, seems inadequate to answer today’s challenges.
Modern agricultural practices have led to ever-increasing amounts of chemicals being used on our food, and whether we’re talking about pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, most have deleterious effects on health.
According to the latest report on pesticide residues in food by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a mere 15 percent of all the food samples tested in 2015 were free from pesticide residues. In 2014, over 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues on them. 
That just goes to show how quickly our food is being poisoned. At that trajectory, we may eventually find out none of the non-organic food sold in 2016 or 2017 was pesticide-free.
Recent news has highlighted a number of problems associated with this out-of-control use of agricultural chemicals, starting with atrazine.