How Canada Can Address Its Farming Needs With Urban Agriculture
Harvesting a Crisis
By Hilary Sinclair
Dec 4, 2012
“Try and think of something that food doesn’t affect in our society and in our lives,” said Sheedy. “It affects our social relationships. It affects our environment. It affects our health. It’s fundamental.”
Separation is perhaps the biggest problem in our food system — we are geographically separated from what we eat.
According to June Komisar, associate professor in the department of Architecture Science at Ryerson University, who specializes in designing for urban agriculture, our current system presents two problems.
“One, you’re not contributing to the local economy and two, there’s a lot of energy expended in bringing that food thousands of miles to the consumer,” said Komisar.
Delivery from farm to plate is responsible for between 30 and 50 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, Sheedy said.
But an explosion in the popularity of people calling themselves “locavores” and following “100 mile diets,” would suggest that urban dwellers crave that connection.
“I think that there’s a new crop of young farmers. There’s always these articles that I’ve been seeing in the last couple of years—that I think are very heartening—that young people are really interested in farming again.”
Yet despite that interest, Statistics Canada reports only 8.2 per cent of farm operators are under 35.