Home Sections Food Supply What people are saying about food sustainability

What people are saying about food sustainability

Grocery prices are persistently too high | More people are growing their own food

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Wednesday March 29, 2023 | SOOKE, BC [Updated 12:50 pm]

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends

Last weekend Island Social Trends presented an information booth about Vancouver Island food security and sustainability, at the Sooke Seedy Saturday event hosted by Sooke Food CHI.

There was a lot of good discussion at our table about current food supply sustainability and grocery pricing concerns, and where things might go from here. Availability of good food was a common concern, with mention of nutrition levels. People who can manage to do so are growing their own food — whether a little or a lot.

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Information about food security news coverage by Island Social Trends: booth at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023 in Sooke.

Information on display boards and handouts included what various levels of government are doing (e.g. federal on grocery prices, provincial on new $200 million boost to food producing/distribution sector), grocery price increases over the past year (Consumer Price Index), and how part of the solution is for people to grow some of their own food.

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Food price increases over the past year (at Feb 2023). [Consumer Price Index – Statistics Canada]

Federal, provincial & regional:

We provided information on what various levels of government are doing on various aspects of food sustainability, including:

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Premier David Eby announced $200 million for food security initiatives, at a food bank in Vancouver, March 7, 2023.

Royal Roads University (RRU) is also a proponent of addressing food insecurity in BC. “I’m hopeful that BC will be able to develop and maintain sustainable, equitable food sources for generations to come,” says RRU President Philip Steenkamp this week.

Information handouts:

Printed versions of these articles were available at the Island Social Trends booth on March 25:

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Michael Medlne (Empire Company Limited) and Galen G Weston (Loblaw Companies Limited) during their March 8, 2023 presentations in Ottawa. [web]

Where people get their food security news:

As for where people get their food security news, our booth visitors showed that most of that came through online news portals and organizations. That was followed fairly equally by TV, radio, print newspaper, and government news/emails.

What people are saying:

People who submitted written comments at our table said this:

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Top concerns about food sustainability:

  • “So much is imported and that link is tenuous. There is so little emphasis on locally sourced food. ~ A.C., Sooke
  • “Produce quality.” ~ B.R., Sooke
  • “Grown locally. Invasive species.” ~ C.L., Sooke
  • “Food waste from the grocery stores and the food system. Only one-third of food produced is eaten.” ~ E.S., Sooke
  • “Quality.” ~ B.S., Sooke
  • “Different approaches to agriculture (not a one-way road).” ~ K.B., Sooke
  • “Get more people farming. Rent out your back yard. Grown food as a co-op.” ~ C.L., Sooke
  • “Will there be enough?” ~ C.A., Sooke
  • “Loss of agricultural lands, and lands that are good for growing. Wildlife corridors for bees.” ~ R., Sooke
  • “Availability, sustainability, resources.” ~ S.H., Sooke
  • “The economic fall of the restaurant industry.” ~ T.P., Sooke
  • “Food / water security.” ~ S.H., Langford

How people are dealing with food price inflation: (# of people in household)

  • Growing our own, prepping our own. (3)
  • We hope our retirement plan lasts. (2)
  • 75′ x 50′ homegrown garden. (4)
  • By growing my own. I live on a permaculture farm. (9)
  • No children, so okay. (2)
  • Prices are too high. (1)
  • Growing my own garden, encouraging others to do so. (4)
  • Growing my own. (2)
  • Growing as much food as we can. (4)
  • Very carefully. (2)
  • Poorly (1)
  • Carefully. Ridiculous costs. (2)
  • Raising prices at my cafe, and crossing my fingers. (3)
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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is a long-standing publication in the west shore of South Vancouver Island (fourth in a series that began with MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, and West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, which then emerged as Island Social Trends in mid-2020).

Island Social Trends editor is Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR. She is a long-time journalist, delivering news through a socioeconomic lens.

Island Social Trends continues to build the Island Social Trends Food Security Archive with articles about current developments around food sustainability in BC.

IslandSocialTrends.ca covers news of the Greater Victoria area and south Vancouver Island, with insights on BC and national issues.

Ms Brooke has consistently covered progressive politics on Vancouver Island including a focus on food security for the South Vancouver Island region. She has presented detailed coverage of the SD62 School Board and its committees since 2014.