EPISODE 7: Changing Canadian Food Policy From the Ground Up: Cathleen Kneen and the People’s Food Policy Project

In this episode, Stef McLachlan and Troy Stozek take on food policy, talking to Cathleen Kneen of Food Secure Canada and the People’s Food Policy Project. The People’s Food Policy Project is a pan-Canadian network of citizens and organizations that is creating Canada’s first comprehensive food sovereignty policy.

Cathleen Kneen discusses the history of food system issues and recognition of difficulties, and poverties of people that was in part a result of governmental agricultural policy.  She talks about the removal of authority of people over the food system into the corporate model it has become today and how this new food system does not nourish the population in the way that a proper food system should.

In terms of food sovereignty, the People’s Food Policy Project has been building the capacity of people and communities to have control over their own food. Cathleen talks about how 30 years ago a group of activists created the People’s Food Commission, that toured the country and held hearings in 75 communities about the barriers to people accessing food that fits into their personal food policies. Tune in to this week’s podcast and check out these websites for more information:

People’s food policy: http://peoplesfoodpolicy.ca/welcome
Food Matters Manitoba: http://food.cimnet.ca/cim/43.dhtm
Manitoba Alternative Food Research Alliance: http://www.localandjust.ca/

One Response to “EPISODE 7: Changing Canadian Food Policy From the Ground Up: Cathleen Kneen and the People’s Food Policy Project”

  1. Great episode. Seems that there are social movement organizations like MAFRA, Manitoba Food Matters on a Provincial level and the Peoples Food Policy Project on a National Level. These social movement organizations are the mobilizing structures that are formalizing a collective consciousness of food system failure. These organizations are the pivot points and the vehicles through which citizens can formalize their discontent with public policy around food and farming. It seems that the missing link is the political opportunities – the cleavages opened within dominant political systems that render it vulnerable to challenges by movements with alternative visions of progress. But, many feel as though there is a shift in consciousness amongst the citizenry that desire sane agro-food policy in the wake of food crises – the challenge will be for social movement organizations such as the People’s Food Policy Project, to use this momentum to open cracks in the system and then to negotiate the food policy shift(s) that match up with the cultural/cognitive shift occurring amongst the citizenry. Maybe I’ve been reading too much social movement theory these days…

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