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Sustainability and the Future of Canadian Food Systems

March 9, 2020

Sustainable eating and sustainable diets have become a hot topic of late. The 2019 EAT-Lancet Report “Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems” makes recommendations for feeding a growing population, without destroying the planet and ourselves. The recommendations suggest that if we change the way we produce, consume, transport and waste food by consuming more plant-based foods and reducing meat consumption, it would be possible for everyone to have a healthy diet and improve the health of our planet. However, this will require major shifts in agriculture and food production. And what about the advances in food production technology, where animal proteins could be made in a lab? How will technology change our food landscape, and what does this mean for environmental sustainability and our health?

We explore these questions and more with Dr. Lenore Newman in this episode. Dr. Newman is an expert in culinary geography and agricultural land use policy, and she holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of Fraser Valley in British Columbia. Dr. Newman is an associate professor in the Geography and the Environment department and is also the Director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at UFV.  Her opinion pieces on the future of farmland use and other food-related issues have been published in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and the Georgia Straight. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College, and holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from York University. She has written two books. Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey was published in 2017 to popular acclaim, and won a Saskatchewan Book Award. Lost Feast was published by ECW Press in 2019.

Dr. Newman will describe her work as a culinary geographer, and share her views on sustainable eating, technological changes in Canadian agriculture and food production and the political and societal disruptions we may face as result, as well as some food for thought about how health promotion professionals can support consumers to moving towards sustainable eating patterns.  

This podcast episode was supported by Sask Canola.

*The views expressed in Food and Health Today do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Public Health Association/ Nutrition Connections (formerly the Nutrition Resource Centre).