In her role as the chair of Just Food, a local not-for-profit organization that advocates for vibrant, just, and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region (and also a Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) Community Food Security hub partner organization), Patricia Ballamingie spoke this week with Ottawa Magazine on the implications of North America’s reliance on monoculture food production. Here is a snippet from the article:

A hand holds freshly-picked radishes.“Like many places in Canada, Ottawa is taking a hit from the high price of vegetables and fruit, especially cauliflower. In part, this is due to the plummeting Loonie, but it’s also caused by a drought that’s affected California during the past four years.

For Ontarians, California represents one of the largest growers of fruit and vegetables. In particular, it is estimated that the province sources 84 percent of its broccoli and cauliflower, 76 percent of its fresh strawberries, 68 percent of its lettuce, 89 percent of its almonds, and 69 percent of its carrots, turnips and other root vegetables from this state —the latter may surprise some, since Ontario has always been thought of as being able to plentifully grow root vegetables, as they are hardier and are easier to grow in Canada’s cooler growing climes. That this drought should be having such an impact highlights problems with North American food security, as well as the consequences of monocultures.”

Read the full article.