Buy local says panel of politicians and food activists

Terri Donia, left, from the Niagara Region speaks about the policy brief while fellow panelists Lynn Ogryzlo and David Alexander listen.Regional and municipal politicians joined Niagara residents March 18 for a Brock-led discussion on local food initiatives, the challenges faced in the local food industry, and the vast potential to bring people and regional food together.The centrepiece of discussion was the third policy brief released by the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO), a Brock research institute that gathers and disseminates research on issues that impact Niagara.The third brief, authored by Sophia Papastavrou and Fran Chandler, is titled “Niagara Food: It’s Nutritious, Delicious and Available But We’re Not Buying It… Why Not?” David Siegel, Political Science professor and director of the NCO, said while there is usually some criticism against the local food movement, based on greenhouse gas emissions, the benefits and successes could outweigh the concerns.Today’s consumer likes the idea of buying local food, but that same consumer is also looking for semi-prepared or fully prepared meal options, Siegel said.“This could provide a great opportunity for producers and those who are preparing these goods,” he said.David Alexander, a Welland city councillor who teaches rural geography and tourism at Brock, presented food for thought as one of three panelists during the presentation at Thorold’s Keefer Mansion. Alexander challenged those in attendance to “play with their food” by thinking outside today’s established norms and food-buying behaviours and patterns. He challenged government agencies to do the same, noting that Canada is currently the only G20 country without a national food policy.“If you don’t see grape juice on the table, ask for it. Demand it. Why do we still have places that don’t have locally grown grape juice on the table?”Alexander and fellow panelist Lynn Ogryzlo, author and self-described culinary activist, noted the importance of linking education of children and youth with the local food movement. Ogryzlo asked the crowd what item would be considered to be Niagara’s culinary icon. The grape and the peach were the offered answers, but Ogryzlo shook her head. “The donut,” she said.On the one hand, Niagara has an alarmingly high rate of childhood obesity, she said. On the other hand, seasonally available, nutritious options are available from thousands of local farms and producers. The disconnect needs to be addressed, she said.Ogryzlo pointed out the economic impact of buying local as well. According to research from the Niagara Culinary Trail group, if residents spent just $10 per week of the grocery money they already spend on locally produced goods, they would inject $253 million into the local economy every year.Terri Donia, panelist and a project manager with the Niagara Region, made similar points in her presentation. The agricultural potential of Niagara is 600 per cent higher than other places in Ontario, she said. Its assets include: a stellar microclimate and soil the ability to develop agri-tourism hundreds of co-operative agriculture groups already at work in Niagara the proximity to the United States the supporting framework of research and documents developed at Brock and through local governments“It doesn’t have to take a lot of infrastructure for some of the initiatives,” Donia said. One online service, she said, allows consumers to shop for produce over the Internet and have it ready for pickup weekly at a nearby location.In his concluding remarks, Siegel said the Niagara Community Observatory is looking for its next policy brief topic, and welcomes any input on potential areas of research. Previous topics have included attracting and retaining youth, and seniors.Quick links:• Niagara Food: It’s Nutritious, Delicious and Available But We’re Not Buying It… Why Not?• Niagara Community Observatory read more

Adrian Smith International Environmental Mining Award

first_imgDr. Dirk Van Zyl, Director of the Mining Life-Cycle Center and Professor and Chair of Mining Engineering at the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno has been chosen to receive the prestigious Dr. Adrian Smith International Environmental Mining Award. The award will be presented at the Industry Outlook Luncheon on Thursday, December 7, 2006 during the Northwest Mining Association’s (NWMA) 112th Annual Meeting.The award was created by TIMES Limited Managing Director Dr. Terry Mudder in conjunction with the Mining Journal and SRK Consulting, a firm in which Dr. Smith was a partner. The award will be presented by Mudder, along with Dr. Karen Hagelstein of TIMES. The award is for life- time achievement in the advancement of environmental stewardship and sustainability within the global mining industry. Van Zyl has been a pioneer in educating not only the public but consultants, government agencies, NGOs, mining personnel, and students.The award honours Smith’s incredible career and the lifetime achievement of professionals dedicated to the development and application of the principles of environmental stewardship in the mining industry worldwide. Smith pioneered innovative solutions and approaches on many mining projects throughout the world. The award, created in 1996, has only been awarded on three previous occasions. Dirk Van Zyl is the fourth recipient of the award. He has 30 years experience in research, teaching and consulting in tailings and mine waste disposal and heap leach design. He is one of the leading advocates on mining and sustainable development. Dirk was a key player in the Global Mining Initiative and the MMSD project that helped define and clarify the role of the mining industry in contributing to sustainable development in various settings on a global basis.He has more than 70 publications to his credit and has created and directed numerous short courses on heap leach design, mining environmental management and mine closure in the USA and abroad. He was responsible for organizing the first conference on the use of cyanide in the mining industry in the middle 1980s. The three previous recipients of the award were James Scott of Environmental Canada, Fred Fox, Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Quality for Kennecott Minerals, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (that award presented by IM’s John Chadwick) and Gavin Murray of Sydney, Australia, formerly the Director of Environmental and Social Development at the International Finance Corp and Vice President of Sustainability for Placer Dome, Inc.last_img read more