Friday, July 5, 2013

More Friday Food Linkstraveganza

Postmedia is reporting on the latest iteration of a survey done on food purchasing habits of Canadians by BMO:
The third annual BMO Food Survey of consumers’ grocery patterns, released Friday, finds Canadian provinces are true to their respective identities when it comes to the food and drink they source locally. Quebecers like their bread and cheese, Albertans are all about the region’s beef, British Columbians favour newly plucked fruits and veggies, Maritimers dine on fish so fresh you can taste the saltwater, and Ontarians wash it all down with a glass of Niagara wine.
In fact, virtually all Canadians (98 per cent) say they sometimes, frequently or always buy at least one locally sourced product when they grocery shop, with the top motivations being superior freshness and taste; a desire to support the local economy; support of local farmers; and the creation of jobs in the community.
“We’ve been doing comparable studies for years and each time, regardless of the economic circumstances of the day, the responses are pretty stable. Canadians have a consistent desire for food that’s locally produced,” said David Rinneard, director of agriculture and agribusiness for BMO.

So, good news for local producers--we have a base to build from.

CJME in Saskatchewan is reporting:
Despite damage from flooding, hail and disease last week, there is plenty of optimism on the farm. Crops are rated in fair to excellent condition with nearly two thirds at the normal stages of development.
Sixty-eight per cent of pulse crops are on schedule — followed by winter and cereals at 63 per cent, spring cereals at 61 per cent and oilseeds at 60 per cent.Livestock producers are also gearing up for the hay harvest. Producers have six per cent of the perennial hay crop cut and less than one per cent bailed. Northeast producers have three per cent cut.
If the weather this week continues, McLean said haying operations will be going full steam ahead.
“With the warmer dry weather we’ve experienced, and it looks like the next short while, it provides a good opportunity for individuals to advance their haying.”
This is not necessarily good news for producers. farmers want to have bumper crops while everyone else has theirs destroyed in order to maximise returns.  With prices down 1% worldwide according to the UNFAO, it's looking like breathing space for the planet's food supply this yeaar.

There's a heartbreaking bit of video footage from the Star, about bee losses in Ontario.
Like many apiarists in Ontario, the Schuits, who make organic honey in Elmwood, Ont., say their bees have been dying en masse every spring in recent years. They estimate they lost a staggering 37 million bees in 2012 alone, representing more than half their entire brood. The sudden decline forced them to sell their old 40-hectare property in December, and persuaded their eldest son to jump ship on the family industry.
“We just can’t continue on like this,” says Erika, mother of the seven Schuit children. “It’s very stressful as a family, and you need to put food on the table.”
Recent declines in bee populations have been documented around the world, prompting a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder and raising fears over the consequences of losing a species vital to the pollination of many plants. In Canada, the bee population has dropped by an estimated 35 per cent in the past three years, according to the Canadian Honey Council.
Several suspected causes have been studied, including the loss of flower habitat, disease, bee mites and parasites.
The Schuits, however, are convinced widely used “seed treatment” pesticides called neonicotinoids are to blame for the seizure-like deaths of their European honeybees.

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