The New Canadian Food Guide, Food Security, and Aquaponics

Why the New Canadian Food Guide Means Progress

Canada is seeking to start 2019 off right by introducing a new and improved food guide to the public. It has been widely received with positivity and appreciation. Some people are less enthused, and are pointing towards larger issues that they feel are going unchecked.

Accessibility to healthier food options is and has been a controversial topic for Canadians for generations. The controversial topic was revisited in 2012 when the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Oliver de Schutter, found that Canada was failing to ensure the right to food to all Canadians. The Conservative government, led by Stephan Harper, dismissed the findings of this official UN document, which sparked both national and international outrage.

The Right to Food

What does the right to food actually mean? It doesn’t mean the right to be fed. It doesn’t mean that the government is obligated to give out food to everyone. It actually means: governments have the obligation to allow people to feed themselves as part of living a dignified life.

Canada explorer, Canadian Flag, Dignified Canadian
A Canadian looking dignified.

Canada failed to provide adequate access to food essentials to all Canadians, which resulted in Four-million Canadians unable to afford the food they needed. With the introduction of a new Canadian food guide and the resulting controversy that has come to boil, it is clear that Canada is still failing to meet its peoples’ needs. However, it is important to acknowledge the imperfection of any entity and take stock of the efforts made to improve.

The Future of Agriculture

A pile of vegetables along side a pile of Canadian money.
How much produce can you get for your money?

Agricultural research and development are integral to solving food insecurity. Of the 13 per cent of Canadians struggling with food insecurity, 28 per cent were of households with a black or Indigenous respondent. In 2012, 52 per cent of Inuit in Inuit Nugangat aged 25 years and older had recently lived in a household that was struggling with food insecurity. Access to affordable food is a serious issue in these isolated areas, where a 1-kilogram bag of carrots can cost seven dollars.

The current Canadian government is heavily focused on expanding and simplifying the agriculture industry, and the 2018-19 Canadian budget is allocating three billion dollars towards better agriculture for each province and territory. The Canadian government’s commitment to science and innovation is exemplified further by investing $100 million towards agricultural research in the 2016-17 budget. The 2018 budget strengthens this with almost $4 billion invested in the Canadian research system.   

The Aquaponic Solution

A raft of micro greens growing in an aquaponic system.
Aquaponic grown micro greens.

The ability to grow fresh vegetables close to both cities and isolated areas, regardless the environmental factors, is a goal all Canadians can get behind. With an added food output of Red or Black Nile Tilapia, Rainbow Trout, or Arctic Char, aquaponic growing systems are a smart agriculture solution that the Canadian government is looking to develop. Aquaponic systems can be designed to have consistent crop output 365 days of the year – wherever they are needed.

Aquaponics can Bring Plants and Fish to Food Insecure Areas

Isolated areas face sky-high food prices because food items are transported long distances and often through perilous weather conditions. We posted a blog about this here!

Food Marketing for Better Health

The new Canadian food guide talks about the pitfalls of misleading food marketing. It advocates consumer awareness, but what about when unhealthy options are all that is available? We posted a blog about this here!

Greens are Easy Plant-based Whole-food Options

Greens and salads are easy plant-based whole food options. There are numerous health benefits gained from eating greens. They are also easily grown in aquaponic systems that can be built close to rural and urban areas. We posted a blog about this here!

Aquaponics Brings a Variety of Nutrient-Dense Plant Based Foods to Local Communities

Some things may grow better in aquaponic systems than others, but there is almost no limit to what you can grow. An aquaponic facility can easily bring a variety of plants and fish to the local communities that they are a part of. We posted a blog about this here!

What you Need to Know About Plant-based Protein

Protein is a loaded word that can mean different things to different. This is partially because not all protein is create equal. When it comes to protein what is important for the average consumer to look out for? What kinds of plant based food items are ideal? We posted a blog about this here!