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The Politics of Food

7:00-7:30 p.m. (Displays in Lobby)
7:30 - 9:30 p.m. (Panel Discussion)
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East (2 blocks east of Union Station)
Free Admission

The idea that our global food system needs to be changed is taking hold in a very local way. Farmers are protesting high costs and low prices, health conscious restaurants are increasingly popular, some supermarkets are displaying local produce, lean and additive free meat and organic produce is being sold in outdoor markets, people from all cultures are planting gardens, and citizens are demanding more from their governments and agri-corporations to protect the environment and human health.

Many of us, though, can't avoid the quick fix of convenience foods and the high calorie, low nutrition diet of food court fare. French fries are the number one vegetable consumed in Canada at an average of 115 lbs per person a year! If we know that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and less meat are what our bodies need for basic good health, why are we not all eating better? And what about our children? We can encourage good habits at home but how do we compete with the mass marketing of junk food messages?


  • California based Michele Simon, author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back.
  • Bill Jeffery, LLB, National Coordinator of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group focussing on nutrition and food safety which also publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter.
  • Patrick Habamenshi, development economist of FarmStart an organization that integrates new Canadian farmers, and a former Minister of Agriculture for Rwanda.
  • Elbert van Donkersgoed, Executive Director of the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee which is a partnership of municipal, farm and diverse agencies in the food chain focused on a vibrant farm sector in the GTA.
  • Moderator: Mary Ito, Host of Living in Toronto, CBC Television.
  • First line of questioners including FoodShare, Scadding Court Community Centre, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, The Stop Community Food Centre, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, Jeffrey Alford an award-winning cookbook author and Mary Luz Mejia a freelance food writer.

Capacity 500. First come, first seated.

For more information contact (416) 366-1656.

Organized by the St. Lawrence Centre FORUM and Toronto Public Health.