Sharp rise in food prices

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I am not sure we could stave of starvation in a modern urban Canada. We lack the knowledge of growing enough crops and live stock in my opinion.

If there is shipping issues affecting us what other effects will be hampering us. 


lagatta wrote:

At least for the moment there's no WINE shortage...


Lol, wine is easy to make. Now if there was a Rye shortage I would be worried.


No there are other strategies to consider...aside from building collectives, within the context of greater regional autonomy and self reliance...building alliances with rural and grower oriented land based movements likewise working within the ideals of autonomy and self reliance and of course ecology...We must reorient ourselves as population centres to greater regions which include land based communities...that is what regional autonomy or bioregionalism implies...and why not working at an internationalist scale....

I suggest the problem of shipping as it is a problem of capitalism, not necessarily a problem of alliance between partner bioregional organizations...


"greater regions" sounds like suburban sprawl, one of the worst problems in our society. Yes, we need to support local farming communities. But non-farmers should not be living on great tracts of arable land. Intensive urban farming also produces a surprisingly large percentage of food. No, not wheat or lentils, but vegetables, yes.

Mr. Magoo

I am not sure we could stave of starvation in a modern urban Canada. We lack the knowledge of growing enough crops and live stock in my opinion.

I wonder if maybe land is also a problem.

I have maybe 50 square feet of backyard.  I've grown tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumers and herbs on it, but not nearly enough to get me "off the grid" on anything.  I can only assume that someone who lives on the the 10th floor somewhere has it much, much worse.

It's not that I lacked the knowledge to raise a few dozen bushels of wheat.  Or a steer.


Mr. Magoo

I am thinking in percentages of people that can grow, harvest or forage for food. It is likely over 40% of the population of the country that can't sustain themselves nor is the country designed to do so at the current moment.


I think you will find building alliances between urban and rural comminutes very difficult considering the current problems between them. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Unionist wrote:

I really need people to confirm that no one likes cauliflower - please.

EXCEPTION (and this is the ONLY exception) - subzi.

We all like cauliflower here. My kid especially likes raw cauliflower in her school lunches.



Demonstrators protesting high food prices in Northern Canada pledged to boycott the North West Company today, and there were also signs of support on social media, though many shoppers were still out and about.

Earlier this month, a Facebook food security group, Feeding My Family, called for customers to stay away from North West Company stores for Jan. 31 to protest prices in remote communities.

"We're making a stand together," says Leesee Papatsie, the group's organizer. "We're asking for prices to be lowered a bit and we're asking the food be edible."


"We're making a stand together," says Leesee Papatsie, the group's organizer....

what ought to happen, if there were a radical political movement around, would be to build organization and movement amongst the food security groups nationwide, and to arrange independent transport of foods up north.....


Some people have started initiatives to deal with this ongoing problem, though I wouldn't assume a "radical political movement" could magically make that happen where other efforts are dealing in part with the problem.




We remember our late friend Boom Boom's problems with the supply ship before the road was finally pushed through from Natashquan to Kegaska. Yes, much more must be done, especially for the Indigenous communities, but there are logistical issues as well as the matter of political will.


An article in Le Devoir, about the impact on declining donations and the increasing cost of bulk food purchases on food banks (which have many working "customers" nowadays), but also on shoppers in general:

Basement Dweller

I was passing by a produce store yesterday, in suburban Vancouver, and noticed cauliflower prominently on display. It was two heads for five dollars. Doesn't seem too out of the ordinary and it was from the USA.

Mr. Magoo

The cauliflower market is volatile right now, probably as a result of the excess attention that cauliflower is getting.  :)

Here in Toronto, my local Metro -- rarely a source of great deals on produce -- has big, clean, lovely cauliflower for $1.99.

On the flip side, a fairly unimpressive stalk of celery is $4.49

The woman in front of me at the checkout bought a single, pale, orange-ish hothouse tomato for $2.42.

I bought a box of fettucine for a buck and a half, and a litre of cream.  Might be pasta night.  It's certainly not anything-that-needs-celery night.


Yeah, screw fresh food.  Dry, dehydrated, or frozen.  Or root veggies like carrots and potatoes. 

Mr. Magoo

I hear you.  We love frozen peas, and frozen corn, and there's still plenty of value to be had there.  I wouldn't be surprised if frozen cauliflower were cheaper, pound for pound, when cauliflower was through the roof (and as Lagatta noted, would be fine for most cauliflower dishes).

So I had a change of mind, and I think we'll be having Burmese Pork Curry tonight instead.

It's a ridiculously easy recipe, and the only fresh veg you need are onions, garlic and ginger, all of which have kept their modest cost.  It's also totally mild, unless you choose to add some chilis or whatever.

I get pork butt in Chinatown for $2.19/lb, and when I remove the blade bone I usually end up with one nice big hunk (kept for a roast) and one or two smaller hunks that are great for cutting up like this.  You can use any pork that's not too lean -- rib loin would work too, but I'd shy away from cutting up any cheap pork chops -- the meat itself would be suitable, but this works best with larger hunks, and lots of cheap chops are sliced too thin. 

Sidebar: pork "butt" is really the shoulder, not the ass, so don't get weirded out. :)

I've got a baby napa that I'll saute up with that, and plenty of rice to sop up the curry stuff.


The sales are regional: the GTA doesn't necessarily have the same items on sale as Western Québec (and perhaps Eastern Ontario), but this week Metro here has the Sélection frozen vegetables for $2 a bag. These include a mix of broccoli and cauliflower. The soup and spaghetti mixes both contain celery. Frozen celery would be fine for stock or soup. Another option is celery root. That is still cheap here, as it is still local. As long as you wash it first, you can use all the rugged hide on the celery root to enrich stock - freeze it. A bag of edible parings is useful for stock.

I've almost always found some kind of affordable green at the Vietnamese superette.

When I say "western and eastern", I'm not including the northern regions - I don't know about supermarket pricing, but imagine that the prices are higher.

By the way, thanks for the Asian Grandmothers. There is never enough home, or "family-style" cooking - people in any culture don't spend their time eating restaurant or banquet meals, except for an élite, and even they tire of that.  I note that non-pork eaters can use other protein sources for this curry. And this one is even more dirt-cheap, though I think it involves careful technique to avoid either glop or scrambled eggs:

Mr. Magoo

By the way, thanks for the Asian Grandmothers. There is never enough home, or "family-style" cooking - people in any culture don't spend their time eating restaurant or banquet meals, except for an élite, and even they tire of that.

Many years ago my wife and I took part in a weekend of fun for old university friends, at the "cottage" (really, just a pretty big house) of the family of one of those friends in Creemore, ON.  We were all asked to bring up one meal that could serve all -- IIRC, we brought up chili -- but one couple brought up some Chinese food.  The "he" of the couple had lived and worked in China for a while, as an ESL teacher, and he assured us that their contribution -- cabbage and carrots -- was authentic Chinese food such as someone Chinese might actually eat. 

It was plain, rustic, cheap and (we figured) the real deal -- and it was good stuff!  And it totally laid to rest any imaginations I might have had of actual Chinese sitting around a spread of Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Balls, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and fortune cookies.  And maybe even more interesting to me, I could imagine any of my Irish ancestors eating pretty much the same thing, minus the soy sauce.


I think just about everyone eats cabbage and carrots (though the Chinese and their neighbours are the champions for cabbage varieties - almost all those "Chinese greens" are cabbages). Indeed, just the seasoning (if any) and preparation would vary. The Salvadorian cortido I described IIRC here is also cabbage and carrots, slightly fermented. Of course Germans and Slavs eat those, but so do Italians and Greeks.

I want to try the stir-fried cabbage with eggs, but really don't know how I'd achieve the correct texture. If the eggs were scrambled, I don't think it would be very good; in that case I'd do the eggs on the side.

At the research centre in Amsterdam, participants come from many parts of the world, so one picks up those simple, cheap meal ideas. One thing westerners learn quickly is that there MUST be rice at all meals, even breakfast, for the Asians - East, South or Southeast.

Mr. Magoo

It does sound like you'd want to keep those eggs a little "wet", and I know that some people find that a horrible idea.

Personally, I prefer my scrambled eggs a bit on the wet side, and my sunny-side-ups a bit on the "snotty" side, but I've been informed by right-thinking people that that's not normal.  :)

One of these days real soon I plan to make up a bunch of pasta carbonara, which -- if done right -- also features some slightly wet eggs.  If they curdle you're eating bacon and eggs with noodles.


Yes, but even if they don't curdle they are thoroughly cooked by the hot pasta. I often make a simple carbonara - usually without any meat, though I'm not a vegetarian.



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