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Posts Tagged ‘food security’

Love Food Hate Waste Online Game

July 28, 2012 1 comment

Food waste is one of my biggest pet peeves. I’ve always hated wasting food. Even before I really got into Health Promotion, I usually always opted for getting stuffed so that the food goes to something good (tantalizing my tastebuds, for example) than to contribute to landfills. I could never work in catering!

But since I’ve become more involved with food security issues, (and perhaps because I’m reading the Hunger Games series?) it’s become a much more important issue for me.

Listening to an old episode of Age of Persuasion on CBC, Terry O’Reilly tells me about UK clothing store, Marks & Spencer that has come up with a 5 year initiative to help the earth, called Plan A, because “there is no Plan B.”

Their 5 focuses are climate change, waste, sustainable raw materials, fair partner and health. I decided to focus on waste and ended up playing their game, Love Food Hate Waste.

The game is set up so that you are asked by someone to cook a meal. They tell you what is in it and you cook it using the ingredients in the fridge. The game ends with the garbage is full. Food in the fridge goes to waste after some time if you don’t use it and it adds to the garbage.

My only critique from a gaming standpoint is that it’s not that fun of a game. It takes some time to figure out, and when you’re preparing the food (chopping vegetables, grating cheese, etc.) it’s a little tedious. Plus while you are preparing the food, you are losing other foods that you can’t save. If you add in a wrong ingredient, then the person you made it for doesn’t eat it, adding to your waste.

I think ultimately, you’re not meant to save all the food but it lays in the point that you shouldn’t buy more than you can eat… or you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. So while it’s not the most fun game in the world, I do love it for the message it sends.

Further, they include excellent tips to help reduce food waste.

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Bayshore Park Community Garden

Urgent Evoke Mission 002 Food Security Act:

For the last month or so, I have been volunteering at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre. One of the projects we have been working on is a community garden in the Bayshore area of Ottawa. I have been doing a variety of administration tasks throughout the month, but the biggest day of all was our build day. It was a hot day, with some breeze, but we managed to build 21 boxes, and with some of the donated sand and soil from Just Food, we were able to fill 3 of them.

Even though by the bus ride home I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I was really proud of that day. I was proud of what we got done and the effort that everyone put in to improve their community and their lives. On a very personal level, I was also very proud of myself because I expected to but just a follower in our little groups, and I ended up taking on a leadership role. I enjoyed guiding some of the young children, who very much wanted to help out too. Overall, it was a very successful day.

I’m the one on the bottom left in the yellow shirt holding the drill.

To see more photos from the Build Day, please visit my website.

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Urgent Evoke Mission 002 Food Security Learn:

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic
access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs, as well
as to culturally acceptable food preferences for an active and healthy life. As
well, foods are produced as locally as possible, and their production and
distribution are environmentally, socially and economically just.

Definition of Food Security, Just Food.

According to Furthering Food Security in Ottawa, the determinants of food security are cost, access, income, cultural acceptance, food quality, as well as knowledge and understanding of food and nutrition. The groups at risk are ones who are in/have/are: low-income households, minimum wages, social assistance, immigrants, people with disabilities, First Nations, seniors, children, homeless people, and housing issues.

In Ottawa, however, there are solutions and interventions already taking place.

1. Charitable Food Sectors: Includes the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club, Buns in the Oven, Foster Farm Family House, the Good Food Box and the Ottawa Food Bank, just to name a few. For more information on charitable food sectors, click here and here.

2. Government and Non-Government Community Initiatives: Includes community gardens, collective kitchens, breakfast programs. For more information, click here.

3. Increase Promotion of Local Food (Production, Retailers, and Suppliers): Production meaning local farming, and community supported farming. Retailers and Suppliers meaning farmers’s markets, in grocery stores, wholesalers, etc.

4. Community Economic Development (CED): Includes Backyard Bonanza, Co-op Jana, Krackers Katering, and People First Vegetarian Catering Group. For more information on what a CED is and a description of each of these initiatives, click here.

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