N.S. Local-Food Movement Faces Trouble


HALIFAX — Just as the slow-food movement seems to be gaining steam in Canada, a recent report out of Halifax indicates local food is on the decline in Nova Scotia.

“We do have a pretty good idea that at most, 13 per cent of our food dollars spent in this province go back to Nova Scotia farms. Unfortunately, this percentage has dropped by four per cent in the last 11 years,” reads the joint report released by the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and the Ecology Action Centre. “The good news is, at 13 per cent, we could be eating a lot more locally grown food than we are now — a potential boon for producers.”

In fact, it was estimated that the average distance of a food item from the country’s “National Nutritious Food Basket” — which reflects Canuck eating habits — travels almost 4,000 km before it reaches Halifax. And, although the transportation costs associated with mass distribution isn’t the biggest issue, the study points out the economic and social benefits of supporting local agriculture.

A dreary picture is painted, but there is room to grow and study authors, Jen Scott and Marla MacLeod, are hopeful. “It has become increasingly clear that the food system in Nova Scotia is in crisis,” the authors write. “It is our hope that the groundswell of support for local agriculture will result in concrete solutions for our food system before it is too late.

To read the complete report, Is Nova Scotia Eating Local? and If Not…Where Is Our Food Coming From?, click here.



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