Getting to the root of the issue

    Kelly Bronson (Megan Cooke/AQ)
    Kelly Bronson (Megan Cooke/AQ)
    Kelly Bronson (Megan Cooke/AQ)

    A small room in Tilley Hall held a talk about big ideas on Sept. 24. Campus Food Strategy Group presented a FredTalk about food security and food sovereignty in hopes to spread awareness of these two issues.

    Kelly Bronson, part of STU’s science and technology studies department amd food activist said food security is ensuring that “all people at all times have access to adequate amounts of safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food” while food sovereignty is security combined with food being “produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods.”

    “Food matters, and it matters to you individually,” said Amanda Cavanagh of Campus Food Strategy.

    Cavanagh and Bronson encouraged the audience to be in touch with our food – where it comes from, how to use it and how to grow it. The sad truth is some people don’t realize tomato sauce comes from tomatoes and that they can grow their own tomatoes easily and make their own sauce. Consumers need to turn into producers so that they can be engaged with their food and not just participate in it, said Cavanagh.

    Speakers at the event said food sovereignty and security is not difficult to achieve. It’s as easy as buying local, and with Fredericton’s weekly farmer’s market, local food is simple to find. Food served at the FredTalk—from fresh apples to purple velour beans with baba ganoush to vegan cookies—all came from the farmer’s market.

    It can also be achieved by getting involved in community kitchens and gardens and by planting community gardens or gardens of your own.

    “There’s lots of green space and empty green space that we could be utilizing,” said Cavanaugh.

    During the discussion panel the topic of the university’s lack of local and sustainable food was brought up.

    Sarah-Jane Thiessen, a member of Campus Food Strategy, said students and administration are apathetic about the idea.

    “We need to change the policy that food needs to come from a certain supplier,” said Madeleine Berrevoets of Community Harvest Gardens.

    An environmentalist, Vadini Mahabir, thinks through participation and the spreading of awareness, we can become food secure.

    “We have to start solving the problem.”

    Cavanaugh encourages everyone to “engage with us, talk with us, eat with us.”