This is a guest post from Jessica Lai, the community food action developer in New Westminster. She is currently working on a feasibility study on starting a Harvest Box Program in New West where people can order a box of fresh produce that costs 2-3 times less than the retail price.
We are what we eat, and there are a lot us in New West that are really trying to have more say in what we put in our mouths.
On October 7th at 7pm, you can be part of that change where you can sit down, relax and watch a film on our current food industry. FRESH! is a film on the American food industry and how individual farmers, educators, urban agriculturists and also business people are doing to change their food system into a more sustainable, self-reliant system. Although it is an American film, the fundamental issues are still local in our community. There are many lessons that we can learn from the examples set in the film.
This free film screening event is co-hosted by the New Westminster Community Food Action Committee. Not only is it a mouthful to say, the committee is also a diverse group of people who are really trying to help our community become more self sufficient in our food system. Committee members include community developers, advocates, educators, environmentalists, health professionals, community service agency representatives and concerned citizens who are all interested in food security issues.
Food security is a buzzword right now in the media, governments and also academia, however, many community members are still confused about what it means. Simply put, food security is when all people have access to nutritious, healthy food that is culturally acceptable at all times. Another way to think about it is that no one goes to bed hungry. It is important, though, that the food we consume is both nutritious and local.
It is easier to understand the benefits of healthy and local food. Better food choices prevent many diseases while helping people feel satisfied and full (no more sugar crashes). Buying local food means that we are supporting our local farmers, and also our local economy. Local food also means that your peaches did not travel from California, but Summerland: less pollution in our air, and also the farmers don’t need to pick the peaches until ripe! Locally produced food is easier to monitor to ensure the farm is farming according to appropriate health regulations. Can you really say that you know what kind of herbicides and pesticides farmers use in the States and in China?
The New West Food Action Committee has hired me as a food action developer, and what we’re trying to do here is to spread the word and hopefully develop programs where all citizens can have access to healthy, local and fresh food. My position as the New West food action developer is relatively new (started in June) but it has been a wonderful experience. My degree in Geography and Sustainable Community development was mostly books, theories, and papers, but working here in New West with the Hospitality Project and NW Food Action Committee has given me the chance to translate these theories into real projects.
I am always looking for seasonal recipes and creative ways to cook, so if you’re reading this now and you’re dying to share a few seasonal recipes with me, come by the film event and we can talk then!
- Film: Fresh!
- Date: October 7th, 7pm-9pm
- Venue: Shiloh-Sixth United Church’s GYM, 1111 6th Avenue, New West (6th Ave @ 12th Street)
- Venue is wheelchair accessible!