90% of Newfoundland & Labrador’s fresh vegetables are grown outside the province.
This statistic comes from a 2007 report from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agrifoods. For many people it’s a surprising one. Some people say this makes our food system vulnerable, and take it as cue that agriculture should be encouraged in the province.
Below are some of the comments we received. Click here to join in on the discussion.
“I think eating seasonally is key -- not expecting fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter, but treating them as a treat from an intensive hothouse or travelling from afar, for example.” — Robert
“[It] seems like you are being generous in your use of the term ‘fresh vegetables’!” — Darroch
“I only moved here a few years ago I am shocked at how vulnerable our food supply is each time the ferries get tied up for days on end due to weather, etc.” — Amy
“There's far more effort, time and money spent on lawns provincially.” — Arch
“Good thing the [St. John’s] farmers market is getting a bigger venue! More room for new farmers to set up shop.” — Jackson
“There is no easy answer to this dilemma, but we would love to see some year-round growing in NL! What do you think is the answer? Winter greenhouses? Hydroponics? Or status quo okay ie. ship in 90% of what we eat?” — Real Food Market
“And we are planning to do something about it! Follow Farm to Cafeteria Canada and the Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador as we grow Farm to School programs in NL. We are starting now — bringing together farmers and food suppliers and school communities to dish up more local foods in up to 23 schools in St John's.” — Joanne (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FarmtocafeteriaCanada/)
For more information: FSN’s fact sheet '10 Ways To Eat Local Food': http://www.foodsecuritynews.com/Publications/FSN_10_Ways_to_Eat_Local_Food.pdf
You can support local farmers by purchasing their produce. Here’s a list of farms compiled by the provincial government: http://www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/publications/agrifoods/nl_farm_guide.pdf
Why not grow your own? Here’s FSN’s Container Gardening Food Skills Workshop: http://rootcellarsrock.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/RCR_1_Container-Gardening-Workshop.pdf
Eager to grow things right away? Make sprouts in your kitchen: http://rootcellarsrock.ca/2011/01/you-make-me-wanna-sprout/
Food miles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_miles
How do I eat vegetables and fruits seasonally and locally if I live somewhere with a long winter and a short growing season? An answer from Michael Pollan: http://michaelpollan.com/resources/sustainable-eating-nutrition/#faqstart