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What are we eating?

Ever wondered about the ins and outs of the food system in Regina?

I, and REACH, have the privilege of being involved in the Regina Community Food Assessment (CFA).  CFAs are collaborative, participatory processes that bring people together from all sectors of the local food system to analyze the local context; identify the assets, gaps, and priorities of the community; and develop an action plan to improve community food security.  Interestingly, Regina has never done this before.

 

 

To help us all understand the local context, the Community Food Assessment recently released its Environmental Scan; an extensive document that gives a snapshot of the food system in Regina. (The full scan can be found at www.foodregina). I’ll share some fascinating tidbits with you over the next few posts.

If we peeked into the average Reginan’s fridge and pantry, we’d probably be unsurprised at the variety of food it held. After all, our grocery stores are a dazzling array of food from all over the world; and that’s just one way we source our food. How would this compare to fridges and pantries fifty years ago? Isn’t that an interesting question?

Of course Statistics Canada has the answer for all of us.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Canadians eat more fresh vegetables than we did 50 years ago: we eat more fresh carrots, cucumbers and lettuce, for example.  The average consumption of fresh cucumbers has increased 227%! We eat less potatoes.  And we LOVE our apple juice: we drink an average of 5.7 L per person per year; an increase of 203% from 1963.

Another thing we love is rice. While it wasn’t that common in Canadian diets fifty years ago, we now eat an average of 4.8 kgs/person/year: that’s an increase of 316%.

Yogurt, which was virtually unknown to Canadian diets in 1963, we currently eat at the astounding rate of 5.8 L/person/year – that’s an increase of nearly 15,000%. In fact, we eat it more than ice cream, ice milk or sherbet (although we eat a fair bit of that too).

We now eat more chicken than we do beef or eggs, and our consumption of salad oils and margarine has left butter in the dust.  Wheat flour, on the other hand, has been holding its own in all of our dietary changes: we still consume just over 40 kg/person/year, which has only changed 5% in the past 50 years.

Doesn’t that make you wonder where we’ll be in another 50 years?

By: Yolanda Hansen

President, REACH Board of Directors

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