Archive for July, 2009

Rafting the Ottawa River.

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Edible Action – Sally Miller

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Book Cover : Edible Action

Good Book

Wow. This book is a solid compendium of research quite relevant to anyone interested in developing Canadian food policy and to those interested in attempting to relocalize a global economy.

A few things made clear to me in this book:

  • The whole “vote with your fork”/”vote with your dollar” concept is certainly not the most democratic way of determining what we eat.    Many have few dollars to vote with and should we really be letting those with the most dollars cast the most votes?

  • In the 1990’s a municipality in Brazil (Belo Horizonte) delared food a human right [ref: Wikipedia] and Brazil later followed suit.

  • Read Miller’s chapters on Fair Trade certification & Starbucks. Then read The Rebel Sell. Then realize that if the fair trade certification really wants to make the world a better place, it better shy away from certifying large plantations  and stick to supporting small, local farmers.

Finally, I found this paragraph about paying farmers a fair share rather eloquent:

…the corporate messages claim that [they won’t do something] due to consumer demand (which is said to be insufficent — we don’t “want” it). We just aren’t “willing to pay” for a better deal for farmers. If the company instead posed the real question — are we willing to trade Starbucks’ obscene profits for a better deal for the farmers? — most of us would probably say “yes”

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. That’s exactly what bothers me about bank “service” fees too: “Sorry sir, we could wave the $1.50 transaction fee for this withdrawal but have decided not to since it we would prefer to add it to our $12 billion dollar profit so we can make $12,000,000,001.50 this fiscal year.”

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