Local Food, Closer to Home
We were inspired by Vandana’s passionate fight to preserve heritage seeds, protecting small farmers who rely on the renewal of their seeds year after year, often times fighting off GMOs (genetically modified organisms) from large corporations.
In Canada, there’s a rally to support Bill C-474, which would support Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”
The bill would stop GE (genetically engineered) wheat and alfalfa from being produced, because it cannot be sold in certain markets, such as those in Europe, which are world leaders in banning GE products.
It’s timely, then, that we get to hear from Bob Wildfong, Executive Director of Seeds of Diversity Canada, who recognizes the importance of keeping seeds local, natural and diverse. Feeling inspired? Plant the seed in your local community.
By Bob Wildfong
Seeds of Diversity Canada
We have to take notice that there’s a crucial missing piece in the growing local food movement. It makes sense to grow our food close to home, but we also need to grow our seeds close to home.
Just after World War 2, there was a strong desire to create domestic self-sufficiency because people remembered bad times when they couldn’t get food across borders and worldwide shipping was disrupted. Our federal government spent millions of dollars developing Canadian-bred varieties of fruits and vegetables, but most of those are now just relegated to seed banks.
During the past 50 years, our food system has shifted to a massive export-import system and seed production has globalized too.
Now, most of the seed varieties that are sold and grown in Canada are actually bred and produced in other parts of the world. Canadian varieties are not easy to find, because we’re too small a market in the global wholesale system. So our local food is mostly grown of non-local varieties.
We can support Canadian local food and local seeds by supporting Canadian seed growers, home-grown Canadian seed companies, and rekindling our identity as a land of abundant food choices. See a complete list of Canadian seed companies, and the fruit and vegetable varieties that they sell at www.seeds.ca
– Bob Wildfong, Executive Director, Seeds of Diversity Canada
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can plant the first seed: Share your story of how you’re planting seeds for change in your community, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.