What do a half-billion eggs have to do with democracy? The massive recall of salmonella-infected eggs, the largest egg recall in U.S. history, opens a window on the power of large corporations over not only our health, but over our government.
While scores of brands have been recalled, they all can be traced back to just two egg farms. Our food supply is increasingly in the hands of larger and larger companies, which wield enormous power in our political process. As with the food industry, so, too, is it with oil and with banks: Giant corporations, some with budgets larger than most nations, are controlling our health, our environment, our economy and increasingly, our elections.
It's an unusual Friday night at Grinder, a small coffee shop in Toronto. There is an alien in someone's cup, hearts in another and someone else sees their face in their mug.
What's even stranger is how local artists replaced paintbrushes and pencils with milk and cinnamon powder. The cause of this madness is an event called "Medium: Coffee Live Latte Art for Non-Latte Artists."
What these five artists did is part of the MakerCulture movement, the idea of taking things into your own hands, and producing new objects.
"It was different," says Abra Dolman, a participating artist. "I can't say I've ever used coffee, espresso, or milk as a medium before."
Every time the most everyday kind of people make the most modest kind of change for the better in their food habits, they have a triple-whammy effect that the cognoscenti of global warming are unaware of.
The Annual Trudeau Foundation Conference on weathering the change of impending climate chaos, held in Toronto from November 20-22, distinguished itself by defining food as a crucial factor in global warming.
That represents progress in a field dominated by organizations -- be it Greenpeace or Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change or be they organizations promoting left-wing analysis -- who talk almost exclusively about greenhouse gases coming from car-based transportation and inefficiently-designed buildings.
One of the oldest of essential human needs, food energizes Canada's newest social movement, which entered the scene long after the labour, human rights and women's movements -- all of which predated the global rise of neoliberalism.
If the 500 food advocates attending six plenaries and 50 workshops at the Halifax conference of Food Secure Canada are any indication, the poorly resourced movement is also among the youngest (me being about the only exception), most excited and accomplished of new social movements.
Major, albeit unsung, victories are being scored in school and health fields -- long the most debated, progressive and impactful bastions of Canadian public policy .
During the past 20 years the food scene in Ottawa has changed from a landscape of pub grub-driven dining to a vibrant environment for trendy eateries and forward-thinking chefs. The once bland and mundane culinary culture has been transformed, and the result is an array of destination restaurants and purveyors of high-quality food and drink products. Many of these new and successful players leverage the nearby farms — nearly 2,000 in total — and artisan food makers that can provide a huge range of ingredients and possibilities.
The Sunday in the Park Festival is the longest running annual event in Regent Park and this year is even more special. We are celebrating our 23rd Anniversary on Sunday in the recently reopened New Regent Park.
This year's event will bring an impressive line-up of local entertainers, performers, food vendors, marketplace and a large community barbecue.
The Yonge Street Mission and other amazing partner agencies, local businesses and residents coordinate and run this annual event with the help of many wonderful volunteers.
For more information, please contact:
The Yonge Street Mission
416-929-9614 ext 3250