Spent the morning at our local taking part in a 100-mile brunch hosted by the MPP for the riding, Peggy Nash. I’m still not sure why Ms. Nash decided to put together such an event (we’ve got a Provincial election coming up, not a Federal one), but as the $25 price went to FoodShare, and as it was a 5-minute walk from home, we figured why not.
The event went off okay, but it wasn’t perfect. Food-wise, it appears that the primary food produced within a 100-mile radius is pork. Pretty much every part of the pig was accounted for, to the detriment of the vegetarians in the room. Vegans were completely SOL unless they stuck to the fruit plate. I loaded up on salad, cheese panini and a slice of Spanish potato omelet. While all the food was good, and was created by area chefs, the overall menu lacked cohesiveness. It felt like a potluck where no one consulted anyone else on what they were bringing.
Technical issues kept the coffee lukewarm for the first while and when I mentioned aloud that there was cream and milk but no sugar, some woman wagged a finger at me. “Sugar is not grown within 100 miles.” She came really close to wearing a cup of non-local coffee.
And this brings me again to my regular ranting about how truly **stupid** the 100-mile diet actually is. I get local. I’ve made a point of eating locally-grown food, when it is available, all my life. Yet the same people who preach what is really an unsustainable, elitist, racist diet when you take our climate and population into consideration are more than happy to make exceptions for the foods they cannot live without.
Fortunately, Debbie Field of FoodShare spoke at the event and it pleases me to see that someone else sees beyond the trendiness of the local food movement. She pointed out that we need to focus on feeding the poor, giving them access to healthy food, regardless of how far away it was grown, and that in a city with such a large immigrant population, it’s not at all appropriate to dictate that everyone must eat food grown in this region.
Thanks to Field’s involvement in the event, funds were directed to three local drop-in centres that offer meals to those in need. Which is a cause that I can totally get behind, even if it means some finger-wagging from the elitists.