Interview: Sustainable Food With Food Forward

Food Forward Logo
Food Forward Logo

Food Forward is a non-profit organization in Toronto that reaches out to citizens, politicians, and the food sector to improve the current food system. Here's an interview with Darcy Higgins, Executive Director of Food Forward, that introduces the organization, explains what its goals are, and explains why Torontonians should get involved.

What is Food Forward? What actions or plans does it have for the near future?

Food Forward is an organization that provides a people's voice for a better food system in Toronto. We work with the public, politicians, and those involved in the food sector to educate and advocate for food that is healthy, local, sustainable, ethically produced, and accessible for all. Practically speaking, we support groups and individuals engaged in community food projects to advocate for the changes needed to see their work succeed and benefit the city. We host panel discussions, social events, and conferences, great for newcomers to these issues, to help build Toronto's food movement. We'll be focusing further on supporting policies and practices that help new food ventures to bloom and grow good jobs.

Why is there a need to analyze and change the current food system?

Currently, from farm to table, most of our food is being grown and processed in ways that make it less nutritious, less ethical and less green. People lack control of food production and access to healthy food for a number of reasons. Documentaries are a great place to find out more about the system as it stands. Luckily, something is happening in Toronto. Our food sector is being revolutionized step by step by businesses creating culturally diverse dishes, supporting local, sustainable, ethical and urban farming, and focusing on healthy foods. People are doing projects like gardens and kitchens in their neighbourhood that are bringing together communities in growing, sharing and enjoying good food, and they're advocating to
their politicians to make change.

What can Torontonians do to help, both in terms of food buying habits and political action?

Entrepreneurs and food innovators are working hard to make it in a world that doesn't yet put enough value on healthy, local food. You can make an impact on equity and the planet by choosing more from businesses that sell sustainable, vegan and ethical options and by discussing these issues with friends and family. You can get involved in an organization like ours, working to make change and learning more about issues so you can write to your councillor about them. Businesses and developers can think about how they can get food to areas of the city that don't have a lot of healthy, affordable options.

The provincial election is coming up, which is a great time to attend an all-candidates meeting or ask in writing what politicians will do to create good food jobs and to make healthy food more accessible. Our website, Twitter, and Facebook group have great information to learn more about these issues, or find a business you'd like to support or an event to attend.

To find out more about the need to improve the current food system, the food entrepreneurs making a difference, and the upcoming events organized by Food Forward, contact the organization at:

Phone: 416-459-9975
Twitter: @pushfoodforward

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