Eating Local is Better for Everything!

The Co-op Connection
by Huguette Allen
Vancouver plans to become a global leader in urban food systems and this includes increasing city-wide and neighbourhood food assets by a minimum of 50% over 2010 levels by 2020. They are already at 36%!

There are many reasons why cities create local food systems and not least among them is the economic gains that come with growing, selling and eating local. Money spent locally creates a multiplier effect, meaning it circulates three times in our own community instead of being given out into the global sphere.

Eating local also informs growers about gaps and availability in the local market. At the Monashee Community Co-op, we pay serious attention to what people are demanding and pass this information on to our local suppliers. We also inform suppliers about opportunities so that farmers raising sheep for example can contact knitters, thereby increasing their potential revenues.

There are many reasons why the global food system can fail us. Epidemics, weather events, wars, etc. can make many of the foods we take for granted unavailable. Eating local builds resilience by encouraging the production of more local food.

MCC sells sustainably produced foods to encourage healthy agriculture which in turn benefits our community, our health, and our environment. Sustainably produced foods means that no Roundup or damaging pesticides gets into our air and water. Roundup's active ingredient is Glyphosate which has been patented as an antibiotic that kills fish and amphibians in streams and wreaks havoc with the bacteria in our gut. Just this week, Taiwan recalled Quaker Oat products because it contained Glyphosate residues. Taiwan has a zero tolerance policy for Glyphosate; Australia allows .1 ppm (part per million), as compared to Canada, which allows 15 ppm!

There is no better time than now, when so much is already plentiful, to eat local and help build a community where our children can grow up healthy; where the salmon that still come to spawn here can survive, and where farmers can continue to proudly say "Produced Locally and Sustainably"!