Canola Connect Community Summit 2017

April27

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I am blessed to be a part of a special community. Canola Alumni events take place on a regular basis so that the community can reconnect and share our passion for food and the farmers and scientists that are supporting the effort of producing a nutritious product for our families.  If you think that listening to futurists, sustainability excerpts and policy writers is boring, think again! The presentations were dynamic and they were interspersed with delicious food samplings and (new this year) progressive craft making sessions.  All this along with a mindfulness session and team-building drumming opportunity!

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This was our mid-morning snack as we commenced our first crafting session.

What I appreciate the most about attneding a Canola Connect event is having the opportunity to speak directly to Manitoba’s farmers. They answer my questions carefully but with passion. I met Pat and Paul Orsak a number of years ago when I visited their farm with Canola Camp. Paul spoke again at the recent Canola Community Summit. He got me thinking….

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Inventory for our crafts.

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Lunch of raw vegetable salads and tuna bowls with rice or spiraled zucchini.

I was reminded that organic standards leading to certified organic are NOT about nutritional value, food safety, or end use quality. Organic standards are about production methods and marketing. The setting of those standards is led and designed by the organic industry itself NOT by independent health regulators or science based third parties. Does this seem reasonable?

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Our afternoon snack of parsnip, carrot, beet and lotus chips with sweet potato hummus.

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Bruschetta made from three cold-pressed canola oils: Prairie Sky, Northern Lights and Heartland-all delicious in their distinct ways.

Innovations in plant genetics and precision farming practices ensures that land use is optimized. Natural wilderness areas can be preserved. Harmful tillage can be avoided, reducing the amount of silt going into rivers and streams. We should all be for this, shouldn’t we?

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Meat + Bread appetizers.

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Three salads for our salad course.

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Chicken with a fruit sauce and a savouring potato patty.

So if farmers want to produce the same amount of food organically, where are they going to get the extra land? Should farmers choose a production method that would require using more land? What do we think about deforestation? Clearing wilderness?

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The gang called these snowmen, I didn’t sample them…two desserts was enough!

Do we want to knowingly and willingly price food out of reach of some consumers? Are we concerned about food prices for those less privileged here at home, or for those who live in the third world?

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A cream puff filled with a chunky chocolate.

Can the global agriculture and food industry afford not to use all the tools in the tool box while still trying to feed a growing world population?

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Lemon Meringue Tarts

Farmers like Paul want to be sustainable. They  want to leave a legacy. They don’t want to squander the land resource they’ve been entrusted with and they want to leave the land in better condition than they got it. The farmers I have met through Canola Connect want to produce food that is affordable, safe, and abundant.

A couple of weeks later I am still rolling these questions over in my mind. The thing is, I know Paul, I know his wife, I know his daughter. I make decisions with my heart (that is pretty obvious if you spend any time on my blog space) and I know that Paul wants what is best for his family and ultimately for us all. Do I trust what I read on line? Do I trust the scare tactics that are promoted by extremists? Or do I trust Paul to make the best choices for his family and the world? I think that you know my answer to this…

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I was so proud that the beer poured that evening was son J1’s 1919 from Little Brown Jug.

Kath’s quote: “I love food. Farmers love food. I love farmers“. -Me

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Love never fails.

 

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