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The way we grow, market, process, manufacture, and distribute our food here in Ontario reveals connections across the global village. Ontario’s working landscapes, farms, rural communities, and cities are linked in a web of complex exchanges. But our food policies to date have usually ignored that web, dividing rather than connecting. If we are going to build a healthy and sustainable village, we have to make the connections.
Food is connected to every major problem we face as a society – declining farm incomes, the paving-over of farmland, wildlife protection, rising medical costs, poverty and hunger, urban sprawl, youth unemployment, and communities at risk.
These problems will only be solved when we connect the dots.
Local farmers’ markets, community and school gardens, food co-ops, urban gardens, farmer training programs, Alternative Land Use Services, new certification regimes – all of these emerging possibilities support healthier, tastier food for all villagers. As this happens, everyone benefits and communities become stronger and more inclusive.