Celebrating & Preserving Seniors Food Skills
Food skills & food literacy play a big role in food security in NL. Knowing what we can grow, hunt, and fish in our province, and how to preserve and prepare these items, makes our people and our province more food secure.
Many of us see grocery stores as the place where our food comes from now, instead of our backyards, farms, and the sea and forests that surround us. We are losing our connection with food, and with it, our food literacy and skills.
Luckily, we can look to our seniors to share what they know, and teach a new generation some old tricks. Seniors food skills, knowledge, and memories of a time when they got much of the food they needed from the land around them provides a great foundation upon which we can build a more vibrant and self-reliant food system in our province once again.
Food First NL has launched a variety of projects over the years that allow our seniors to share what they know. It has been encouraging to see so many modern chefs and food enthusiasts embracing old foodways like pickling, foraging, growing their own produce, or rearing their own livestock.
Scoff Video Series
Food First NL’s SCOFF video series celebrates, preserves, and shares a wealth of traditional food knowledge from seniors in Newfoundland & Labrador, through 8 short, enlightening, and often humourous documentaries. These videos were launched in April of 2018, and provide a bounty of food skill instructions, like how to fillet fish, cellar veggies, build a slug zapper for your garden, maintain a potato patch, and make your own fertilizer from kelp.
All Around the Table Video Series
Vegetable gardens, laying hens, fishing boats, berry grounds: when our grandparents were younger, the grocery store was out the back door. Since then, however, our province has become increasingly dependent upon an uncertain global food system, disruptions to which are being felt more frequently on the tables of families here, leading communities to seek more sustainable and healthy local alternatives. In our search, we can look to the traditional foodways captured in these 12 videos.
Supporting Seniors Food Literacy Programs
Food First NL has funded or hosted countless events geared towards building and sharing food literacy among our seniors. Be it a workshop on bottling or fermenting, or a one-day food fair to introduce folks to all the locally grown food options in their region, these events improved local food security and personal food literacy for those in attendance. Events like these also help relieve the social isolation common among our senior population.