This is going to be the busiest year ever for global food movements. Ten issues are ready for prime time.
I already reviewed five of these -- the rebellion of underpaid food producers, empathy for livestock animals, appreciation for the life-force and probiotics behind food, the central role of youth in food movements and a rising swell of food politics.
Today, I rush through the last five.
I have no idea whether cauliflower will send kale back to the farm leagues this year, or if Greek yoghurt is doomed to eat the dust of customers rushing away to kefir, or whether harissa will redefine cool and sriracha will be yesterday's hot sauce.
But I can see some clear trends arising from deep-going changes within our global food system. We are in a moment of greater shift disturbing than any since the modern food movement emerged full-blown from distinct social, cultural, spiritual, ecological and public health organizations during the 1990s.
This is the year we can all look to Brazil's Food Guide for tips on how to consider what we eat in a new light.
The holiday and feasting season in December is the hardest time of the year to be counting calories on a diet. January is a different story as many of us turn to food as a source of our resolutions. This January is probably the easiest time to try out Brazil’s bold dietary guidelines, issued this year and recently made available in English.
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 .