Change is in the air. The massive wave of technology that we are currently experiencing has connected us in a way that most people did not expect: through being informed. And, ironically, that information is taking us right back to our roots. The concepts of eating healthy, eating fresh and the 100 mile diet are all hot topics in the media these days. Supporting these issues are local farmers’ markets and district charters.
Look at the logistics of eating local produce; it becomes down right practical and sensible. The food is fresher and it does not have to travel that far to the market and eventually our table. This becomes a great bonus to the environment – less distance, less gas. And we all want to save on gas consumption these days! These are all factors contributing to the sustainable food system as promoted by the food charters.
The City of Kawartha Lakes is establishing a new way to look at our eating habits. The Vancouver Food Charter explains that a food charter is…”an important step forward on the path to a just and sustainable food system for the city and its residents…an ambitious, forward thinking document that promotes education, celebration and real projects for a healthy economy, a healthy ecology, and a healthy society.”
As you can see, it is not just the consumption of locally produced fresh food. Food charters, farmers’ markets, eating local produce and eating healthy are facets of embracing the many aspects of humanity. From birth to death and every celebration in between, food is central. Besides eating and celebrating, the very act of bringing fresh produce to a centrally located market place becomes a social act of bringing community together.
Local markets have been around ever since ancient times; ever since there were farmers with produce to sell. The market became the focal point of the community. It was a place to meet, to exchange news and stories, visit with your neighbours and friends as well as make your household purchases. And anyone who has attended a market can testify that these activities still go on today.
Last year our local libraries focused on “The 100 Mile Diet” by Alisa Dawn Smith. A perfect read for those looking for more information on the subject. This winter, it became the TV series, The 100 Mile Diet Challenge, in Hope, B.C.
But the best sign of the health of our communities is the increase in the number of farmers’ markets being created. They in turn contribute to our sustainable food system. This is a sustainable food system for all people, whether it is produced on local farms, backyard gardens, balconies or in community gardens, sold off the farm or in farmers’ markets; it is for everyone in our society.
Before I close, I’d just like to mention that the information for this article was taken from good old fashion newspapers, books, experience as well as the internet. Looking forward to seeing you at the market! And don’t forget…
“Get Fresh at the Bobcaygeon Farmers’ Market!”