Recently, an article came out highlighting how the current COVID-19 crisis has brought fully into the light how food insecure B.C. is. Read more about it here. Admittedly, I have very mixed feelings about this, and wish to speak a little about that. Food security is not an issue that I hear talked about much at all. However as we move through these times of instability due to crises such as the rapidly changing climate and COVID-19, it’s imperative that we ramp up these conversations.
Part of me wants to cheer because this is a very important topic that we need to talk about.
The lower mainland and BC are incredibly food insecure. Modernised towns and cities are hugely reliant on outside sources of food and imported labour to sustain what agriculture remains in the province.
Indigenous communities are having a quiet war waged on their traditional ways of life and territories that would keep them from being reliant on those outside systems of food and nourishment.
And this is also not just in human terms. Our animal brethren throughout the land are being deprived of habitat and food sources at an astounding rate, and what’s left is being poisoned from abandoned mining and forestry projects that are government refuses to hold industry accountable for. For the Wild podcast recently released an excellent account of a northern indigenous land defender speaking about the impacts of delinquent mining companies in the province because of antiquated mining regulations in the province.
Another part of me want to scream and rage because this isn’t something that happened “sooner than we expected”. Those who work within food systems and study them HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS FOR DECADES. We’ve been warning everyone, but no one has listened. The shelves kept magically being stocked, the food trucks kept magically coming, everyone was too busy trying to pay their bills just get that food on their tables and being distracted by the newest shiny toy offered them. Life wasn’t tenuous, at all! Anyone who hasn’t studied systems thinking was completely unaware of the fragile hidden systems that kept them alive.
And why does this appear to be ‘happening sooner than expected?”
This crisis was being kept quiet for a number of reasons…
1) to keep the population in the dark keeps them reliant on the market economy and thus contributing to the most-holy GDP
2) capitalist consumerism has taught every generation since the 50’s that farms are not cool and no way to live your life if you want to afford all the shiny toys, hence inherently devaluing and vastly diminishing our relationship with the very earth that sustains us. Most farm owners are over the age of 50 and it’s incredibly difficult to keep young people on those farms these days.
3) an insistence that our way of life today is ‘just what we do’. To consider any other type of system was too much work, too much sacrifice, too much compromise, too much money.
My feelings about the subject aside, I insist that we NEED to keep talking about this. Things NEED to change. Urban sprawl needs to be controlled, taking care of your natural world needs to become ‘cool’ again, we need to value the very things that give us life, teach kids to nurture and love, to reciprocate and cultivate, and that to live fully in place is the literal best thing you can do for your species.
Wish to talk more about this? Contact me today!