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Action of the Month: 10 great ways to strengthen our food security!

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Improving our food security is possible at both the individual and the collective levels, as we focus more on where our food comes from and support our local farmers and producers. Simple actions, like talking about it with those around you, trying to eat local as much as possible, asking your daycare, school, cégep, university, hospital or residence to feature local organic items on the menu… all of these small steps can add up to make a big difference!

Discussions about buying local, the “panier bleu” and sourcing our food directly from local farmers and producers is becoming increasingly common, eliciting more and more interest among Quebecers.

All around us people are becoming more conscious of the need to rethink our food systems and our purchasing habits – especially at this crucial time when agriculture is facing considerable external challenges from climate change and the complexities and uncertainties of world markets.

Because we all have the power to help reinforce our food security and increase our autonomy, here are some ideas of different actions and approaches you can take in your daily life to develop good habits over the long haul.
 

 WHAT CAN WE DO?

 

AT HOME

  • Grow your own fruits and veggies: Plant a garden or rearrange your garden. This year, many people have discovered the pleasure of gardening - for those who haven’t yet, this is a great time to plan a garden for next year - it's even possible even with minimal space! You can also visit local farms that allow you to pick your own produce.
  • Rethink your menus: Plan your menu around what’s available right now instead of using a recipe in which you’ll have to replace certain ingredients.
  • Use preserving techniques when harvests are plentiful: Preserve, can or freeze produce when it’s in season. You can do it at home, or you can even visit certain producers who offer food preserving and storage services right on site. You can then visit them year-round!
  • Take the 100% local challenge: Throughout September and across the province, stock up on local food and support the Quebec economy, while connecting with regional producers.

 

AT THE MARKET

  • Buy directly from producers and processors: Farm stands, local markets, baskets of organic produce, producer or buying collectives, small local artisans… there are many options!
  • Look for these labels: At the grocery store, look for the AQ (Aliments du Québec) and APQ (Aliments préparés au Québec) logos, as well as the Aliments bio du Québec and Aliments bio préparés au Québec designations.
  • Rediscover locally grown food and the seasonal produce calendar: When you look closely, it’s often surprising to see the sheer variety of food we manage to grow here in Quebec!

 

AT WORK AND IN SCHOOL

  • Encourage the institutions around you to take part in the "Institutions Eat Local" days, an event held across Quebec on September 21, 22 and 23, which showcases and celebrates local food in daycare centres, schools, health establishments and workplaces.

  • Participate in Schools Take Root: An exciting fundraising activity for schools and daycares featuring the sale of baskets of local organic produce. A chance for youth to discover the marvels of Quebec’s organic fruits and vegetables!

Let’s make the most of harvest time

A slew of activities and initiatives are held across the province this month for the start of the harvest season, making it a perfect time to rethink our consumption habits.

So get involved! Share these ideas with your friends and family. Participate in campaigns to support our farmers. And help ensure that local products make it to our plates.

The fields of possibilities are endless!

To take it further

Murielle Vrins, Équiterre’s Sustainable Food Program Manager, will be sharing her expertise regularly on a show called Moi j'mange (in French) this fall. It’s must-see TV! The season debuts on October 6 at 7:30 pm on Télé-Québec, or here: ICI TOU.TV.