All posts by Clive Dency

WHY IS FOOD IMPORTANT: AN OUTLOOK OF FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ON DAWSON COLLEGE CAMPUS

 

The objective of this essay is to present to the readers the concept of food sovereignty. This objective will be achieved by stating the importance of food sovereignty in a society, through the impact food has on you, the producers and the people in a community. To illustrate what will be written, the 7 major concepts of food sovereignty would be used to show what makes a community food sovereign. An example of a possible way of implementing the concepts of food sovereignty would be used, with Dawson college being the field to operate.

Food is important! Everyone can tell. It is an important way to preserve our culture, our identity, but other than that, it drives economies. However, the most significant importance stays that food is an essential requirement for survival. People buy and consume food products every day to achieve their various tasks, but if the quality of the food they consume is not good, their lives are in danger. This brings us to consider the importance of Food security, which is the accessibility of people to healthy food, in order to be well and active (4, Food sovereignty in Canada). For people to get access to healthy food, a good food system is needed. That is its five main components which are production, distribution, access, consumption and disposal need to work effectively. This food system has three major tasks to be effective. From the Food Security Network of Newfoundland & Labrador (FSN), A good food network protects the land, water, and air so we can keep producing food, support the people and businesses to make enough money to keep working in the food system and also, it makes sure that everyone can get enough healthy food.

October 16th 2016, was “La Via Campesina’s International Day of Action for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs)”. This movement of farmer organizations from all over the world founded in 1993, is one of the main ways by which small farmers make hear their voices. The concept of Food sovereignty was first presented at the World Food Summit in 1996 by La Via Campesina. The idea behind this concept, which is widely used today is basically giving the right to the people to control or manage their own food system making decisive food policies, and keep it ecological sustainable. To effectively fight against injustice in the food system, and the spread of GMOs, seven (7) guidelines or pillars were defined by la via Campesina. The six pillars are based on the fact that Food sovereignty;

  1. Focuses on Food for people,
  2. Values food providers
  3. Localises food systems
  4. Puts control locally
  5. Builds knowledge and skills
  6. Works with nature
  7. Recognises food is sacred

Today, food is perceived as a commodity like various essential natural resources like water. Because of this, the food system, has taken the design of a business, and the food system has been controlled by a handful of Multinational companies that use any kind of ways that would permit the production of food at the lowest cost possible. The reason why this is so bad, is because overtime people get used to food produced by these companies. The way of producing food becomes unique, and food diversity becomes more and more rare, because only the products with high sales potential get selected for production. Another important disadvantage includes the harmful practices such as the broad use of GMOs, pesticides, hormones, and many more that are bad for our health and cause illnesses. Overall, the combined practices used by multinationals cause harm to the consumers, but also to the environment.

To bring it into context, Dawson college experiences a monopoly from its food provider Chadwell. Dawson cafeteria, the main food provider on campus includes a Tim Horton, sandwiches and pizzas. The ingredients used for the food production are all bought and managed by Chadwells, which charges prices that would ensure them high returns because of their monopolistic status. Dawson college has aloud some programs on campus which reflect their envy of being food sovereign. These programs are mainly separated in two which are Dawson Gardens, and Dawson Dinners.

Implementing a food sovereign system in Dawson college, will help the campus be more food secure. To do so, implementing the 7 pillars of food sovereignty is capital. The food system policies to be made must primarily reflect the need for food of Dawson students. That is integrating healthy food options that would probably cost less to produce if we link the Dawson gardens products. The Dawson food gardens particularly is a very interesting way of building knowledge and skills of participating Dawson students. The food produced is Organic and little or no technology that could contaminate the production is used. Given Food sovereignty implies that the people in the locality obtain the power to make their own decisions, a food sovereign campus should put control in the hands of local food providers. An example to follow can be found at Concordia University. The Hive café is led by students, who surely do know their food needs more than corporations. Dawson college can follow the example of Concordia, and let Dawson college students to make decisions of what they will want to sell, produce and consume. This can be overseen by a board that can be created or related to the Dawson student Union (DSU). The combination of different initiatives that will value food more than just a commodity, but a sacred product, will lead to the establishment of a food sovereign institutions.

To conclude, it is important to recall that the root problem today in our food system today is the fact that “food is being treated as a commodity rather than a necessity of life” (Food sovereignty in Canada, 93). The best initiative on a campus that is not necessarily aware of the importance of the concept of food sovereignty, would be to put more and more of emphasis on the importance of healthy food consumption, and the competitiveness of prices comparatively to other food businesses around.

Work cited

Wiebe, Nettie, Annette Aurélie. Desmarais, and Hannah Wittman. Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood Pub., 2011. Print.

Chevrier, Erik. “Concordia Student-Run Food Groups Research Project.” Erik Chevrier. N.p., 2016. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

Gregory, P. J., J. S. I. Ingram, and M. Brklacich. “Climate Change and Food Security.” Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 2005: 2139. JSTOR Journals. Web. 4 Dec. 2016.

Clive Dency Nya

MISLEADING FOOD LABELS IN CANADA

Do you ever choose some products over others because of the healthy label posted on it? This post is not meant for you to lose confidence in buying food products, but to help understand exactly what is meant by the various food label products, and which terms they should look at, in order to get exactly what they need. The reality of the huge marketing claims made in order to attract buyers is a main driver in the increase of the level of malnutrition these days because people don’t know what to eat and how to eat in a proper way anymore. An example of this Food companies include Pepsi, who offers a real demonstration of marketing performances promising consumers a whole lot of benefits in some of their products while a lot of them are misleading. For example, Pepsi came up with the Health check label, put on Pepsi diet cans, which should basically bring consumers to think what they consume is 100% good for their heart, meanwhile studies showed a strong correlation between diet sodas and metabolic syndromes such as weight gain, heart attacks and Cardiovascular diseases.

The most important part of an advertisement was to tell the consumer what is exactly in the products. Today, the marketing strategies used by many companies almost look like a sort of game. The more impressive the Ad looks like, the more the product gets popular, thus more attention. In this impressive ads. You’ll probably find the same terms coming around again and again. And particularly for the food industry, some specific terms to be discussed are mentioned almost every time.

Most of the labels listed here, are very common in the foods we consume today, and are deceptive most of the times in the same way.

Whole Grain: The reason the whole grains label would attract some consumers is because whole grain products have more fiber and other nutrients than those that have been refined. So in looking for the full benefits of whole grains, go for the ones labelled 100% whole grains.

No Sugar added: Many of those who would choose this option would do it because they are aware of the effects of sugar in the body. For diabetics, this is an important issue because of their situation. But it is important to know that most of the products mentioned to be sugar free actually have natural sugar. So technically there’s always an amount of sugar also in carbohydrates.

Sugar Free: Sugar-free products have less than 0.5 grams of sugars per serving, but they still contain calories and carbohydrates from other sources. Also, sugar-free products could be loaded with fat, which doesn’t make of it any better.

Fat free: Some products could say they are fat free, but be full of sugar. To be sure about the overall benefits of the product, check the label for calorie content, and compare it to the full-fat version.

Zero Trans-fat: Many products that say are labelled “no trans-fat” can actually contain Trans fats, which are very bad for your heart. This is because reglementations aloud the No trans-fat label if a product contain less than 0.5 grams per serving. So to control your trans-fat intake, look up for words such as hydrogenated oils and shortening

Made with real fruit: Products that claim to be made with real fruit may contain very little proportion, or might not contain any actually. This is because companies don’t have to mention the proportion of fruits present in their products according to the CSPI.

Clive Dency Nya

Work Cited 

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20599288,00.html#cholesterol-free-0

Caswell, Julie A., and Daniel L. Padberg. “Toward a More Comprehensive Theory of Food Labels.” Toward a More Comprehensive Theory of Food Labels. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Sept. 1992. Web. 17 Nov. 20

Tapioca Preparation

Recipes:

Peanuts,

Tapioca  (From African stores)

water,

sugar

Preparations:

put the quantity required of tapioca in a bowl

put water in the bowl, and rinse the tapioca.

do that again 2 or 3 times,

add sugar to the tapioca to your satisfaction, and add some

groundnuts 🙂

 

Food Inc.

food_inc_quad

               Most of us already know of course the food industry is a bag of complete trash (No offense). It uses a lot of unethical ways in order to produce the food they sell. Most of the food we will purchase today in stores are obviously products of this unethical production. A Netflix documentary called Food. Inc. produced in 2009 by Robert Kenner, covers the issue of Food sovereignty.


But what is food sovereignity?

It is basically the right of nations to control their own food system, including their own markets, and production modes. Watching this documentary to me, was objectively because it was part of a homework. But honestly, getting knowledge, or information about the transformation process of most product you’ll eat, is important. seeing the truth about how the food system is really like, you can only wish this was better.

The Food Inc. documentary, covers issues such as the impact of the effects of the  food produced on our health, food diversity, food sovereignty, and of course the way food’s produced. An example consists of chickens, grown in 48 days instead of the normal 70, and products being given to these chickens in order to make them bigger, with more flesh, (what everyone would like right), in order to satisfy the current way food is been distributed (fast foods and already prepared food). Today, the companies responsible for food production, are so big and powerful, the effect of their decisions are so broad, they affect not only the way food is being produced, but also people’s jobs, thus lives. Farmers working under the influence of these companies don’t really have a say in how they produce food. Many illegal workers”, Afro-Americans, Latinos, illegal immigrants do the ugly jobs in this sector, and fall under the oppression of these big corporations.

I was aware of the fact the food system is not as good as it says, but truly speaking, I would say we are far from picturing what is going on. Still, you can be aware of these ways of production, but you still tell your self the final product is worth it. But, the consequences of you buying that food are far broader than what will be in your plate. Every food you purchase today, is a vote either to support the current multinationals like Monsanto, or the local producers, who produce, being mindful of their production ways.

Clive Dency Nya