By Farrah Khan, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
No matter who leads our province after the October 6th election, we need to send a message to our politicians about the importance of promoting locally grown, sustainable food.
Our government can easily legislate policies for local and sustainable food procurement targets for government agencies and can also make it easier for all Ontarians to buy organic food grown nearby. Doing so will be a boon to this industry and will also help in our battle against climate change and illness.
Food and the Economy:
Buying fresh local apples instead of imports is an obvious benefit for Ontario’s economy. It’s in the best interest of our government to encourage the purchase of local food to promote Ontario’s businesses and create jobs.
Food and the Planet
Buying produce grown closer to home uses less fuel and saves on transportation costs, while at the same time spewing fewer greenhouse gases and noxious chemicals into the air. Reductions in water, pesticides and energy use in ecological farming practices ensure we are making efficient choices with our provinces treasured resources, which further reduces our impact on the planet.
Food and Health
Certain agricultural pesticides are linked to neurological illness and cancer and are a threat to wildlife and human health. Organic farmers use non-toxic pest control methods, so when buying local sustainable food, we can be confident about serving safe and nutritious meals to our families.
Local, sustainable food policies will boost our economy, improve our health and save our planet. Let your local candidates know why food should be on the agenda this election and be sure to keep the discussion going even after the polls close.
Farrah Khan is a Campaigner for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Help doctors protect the planet – visit us at www.cape.ca,www.twitter.com/cape_doctors, www.facebook.com/capedoctors