Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who writes on local and global social and environmental issues.
It’s food, glorious food in Ottawa for the next couple of weeks. It’s harvest season, and October 16 is World Food Day, resulting in some appetizing as well as thought-provoking events locally.
World Food Day Forum
USC Canada is hosting a World Food Day Forum called From Field to Fork: Building a Better Food System. It’s on Thursday, October 13 and features a great line-up of speakers: journalist, activist and Locavore author Sarah Elton, chef and 42 Fine Foods owner Susan Jessup, and organic farmer and National Farmers’ Union leader Colleen Ross. 7 p.m. at St. Paul University Amphitheatre, 223 Main St.; free admission.
At 6 p.m., before the Forum starts, there’ll be a Marketplace where people can try local cheeses and fair trade beverages, check out Octopus Books’ display, and meet representatives of Just Food and Canadian Organic Growers. You can also register for a Seed-Saving Workshop taking place from 5-6 p.m. with organic farmer Daniel Brisebois from Le Ferme Coopérative Tourne-sol. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food for Thought
Oxfam Canada is calling October 15-22 GROW Week – a week to celebrate food and encourage food justice and equitable access to food. On Thursday, October 13, Oxfam will host Food for Thought, a discussion about food and the international food system. Speakers include Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, and Courtney-Anne Craft from Oxfam Canada. It’s at the University of Ottawa, 7-9 p.m. at Café Alternatif (Simard Building basement). Contact email@example.com for information.
Author and food system expert Pat Kerans will launch his book A Pessimist’s Hope: Food and the Ecological Crisis on Tuesday, October 18, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch. Kerans’ book sheds light on our unsustainable food system and how we might improve it.
Reel Food Film Festival
The Reel Food Film Festival is back. On Thursday, October 20, see Our Daily Bread, a film about Europe’s industrial agriculture, by Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria, 2006). (The organizers advise viewer discretion as some scenes are difficult to watch.) Then on Thursday, October 27, see Fresh: The Movie, by ana Sofia joanes (USA, 2009), a film about some of the people who are re-inventing the American food system, moving away from unhealthy and unsustainable food production toward healthier, sustainable alternatives.
Both films take place at the Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, Main Branch, at 6:30 p.m. Free admission ($5 donation appreciated); contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Harvest Noir is billed as “Ottawa’s secret picnic feast and black tie dance party” – kind of a flash mob picnic in which attendees find out the location only just before the event. Guests bring their own picnic, with emphasis on locally-harvested seasonal fresh food; the evening will include a DJ and live dance music. Saturday, October 15 at 4 p.m. Admission $37 plus tax.
World Food Day – [insert your own event here!] – at your convenience
Another option: you can celebrate the UN’s World Food Day your own way, with a local twist. USC Canada suggests hosting your own event. They have tips for organizing things like a potluck supper using local ingredients and movie night, a seed-saving workshop or a local-food challenge. Similarly, Oxfam’s World Food Challenge suggests people share a meal by organizing dinners that use local, fair trade and organic food – they have a number of ideas and resources on their site.