Lately I have been reading some interesting articles regarding the disconnect consumers now have from their food and the social repercussions of this. A century ago, over half of Canada’s population were farmers. Today, it’s down to two per cent, with most people more than three generations removed from their farming ancestors. This shift means that most Canadians have lost touch with farming and food production. People often don’t understand how their food is grown or how agriculture has changed. With this being said, I feel as though the best way to combat this lack of knowledge surrounding food production is by having the producers/farmers educate the public about what they do. Like many issues, education and is an important step towards understanding and appreciation.
Farm & Food Care Ontario was launched in January, 2012. This Canadian organization brings together tens of thousands of livestock, crop and horticulture farmers and related businesses with a mandate to provide credible information on food and farming in Ontario. This new organization represents the people who are passionate about food and farming in Ontario – caring for the land, the animals, and growing our food. This organization helps the public make the connection from farm to table.
Farm and food care represents Ontario’s farm families. While today’s farmers have to be experts in animal care, agronomy, environmental management, computer technology, mechanics and much, much more, they still share the same pride and passion for their land and animals that their ancestors showed generations ago. 98% of Ontario’s farms are still family owned and operated with most farmers coming from generations of proud, hardworking farm families. Get to know them – to know a farmer is to know your food.
Growing numbers of people have inaccurate perceptions of farming and food production. Whether these notions are nostalgic and romantic or negative and disconcerting, the realities of farming often come as a real surprise. There are many advances that have been made which help farmers use fewer resources, less land and newer, better technologies to produce more food. Farming is an ever evolving profession and professionals work daily to ensure farming sustainability. This is great for all of us – especially as we strive to find ways to do better in feeding our country and a growing world population.
Check out this link to the Farm & Food Care Ontario webpage, where you can learn more about where your food comes. http://www.farmfoodcare.org/