Messing with dinner

A report lumping Canadian food production into a basket of global warming worries does not address the real problem of food distribution.


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We want more choice and we want it now. That seems to be the direction that our North American breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time appetites are taking us.

Why? Because it’s good for us? Or because we can?

What did you have for breakfast, or lunch? What about the evening meal?

Our ideas around food have changed a whole lot over the last 50 years. For one thing, we used to call the evening meal “supper”. Dinner was at dinnertime – noon.

Now we may have a mango as a snack, sushi as an appetiser. An appetiser?  Since when did we need to pique our appetites? And for supper, or dinner - fresh (I question how fresh) cucumbers and green beans in mid-winter. That’s what we expect and that’s what we transport and serve these days.

According to an announcement generated through the United Nations on Thursday, Aug. 8, a panel on climate change says we need to manage land differently and produce our food differently.

What does that mean?

On CBC morning news the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated that food production is linked with global warming.

Written by Reuters news agency, it suggests that “plant based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food” makes more efficient use of land and in 30 years from now, it could save our atmosphere from up to eight gigatonnes per year of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Again, what does this actually mean?

It’s important to know what scientists around the world are working on, and what they are saying. But this sort of extrapolation requires a vast amount of world-wide data and, as in the nature of guessing the future, it means we think we know what other conditions throughout the world will be like.

So, should we swallow this news and make plans to swap out the herds of Simmental, Angus, etc. for goats, chickens, farmed fish and … more wheat or fields of peas? Maybe learn to love dandelion salad (which has many healthful properties)?

The implication is that the world is running out land and water needed to grow our food. Yikes! The sky is falling.

When I look around our beautiful province, this report makes no sense. Certainly, other parts of the world are very different from Canada. But what about the distribution of the food we do have. What about fair prices for hardworking farmers?

Consider this: a CBC news report out of Toronto on January 17, said we waste more than half of the food we produce.

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