News & Events

Happy Holidays from FLEdGE

In a year like no other, we’d like to take a moment to thank your for your continued interest in and support of the FLEdGE research network. We are delighted to continue to share the excellent work of our Canadian and international research collaborations through our FLEdGE Newsletter, Twitter, and our Resources and Results webpage.

From all of us at FLEdGE, we wish you a very happy and restful holiday season and hope that the New Year brings you health, joy, and good, sustainable food.

Happy Holidays!

Supportive policy environments key to regional food system resilience—collaboration, innovation already happening in communities

By Dr. Irena Knezevic, Carleton University

The networking and knowledge-sharing aspect of FLEdGE is an essential part of how the FLEdGE team thinks about research and community engagement. In the past, we held big in-person meetings that were informative and convivial. That was not possible this year. Instead, we decided that a webinar series would be a great opportunity to share our research, but also a chance to engage a broader audience. The series centres on the FLEdGE Good Food Principles and is an opportunity for the many FLEdGE partners and collaborators to share their experiences and outcomes. Moderating the first in the Good Food Solutions by FLEdGE webinar series was both humbling and inspiring, and I was thrilled to help guide the discussion. The webinar, “Shaping Food Policies for Resilient Regions,” took place on October 30th and featured tremendous expertise from panelists Sandra Mark (Small-Scale Food Processors Association), Anna-Liisa Aunio (Dawson College), Anne Marie Aubert (C-SAM), and Johanna Wilkes (Balsillie School of International Affairs).

The Good Food Solutions by FLEdGE webinar series centres on the FLEdGE Good Food Principles and is an opportunity for the many FLEdGE partners and collaborators to share their experiences and outcomes.

Johanna Wilkes began the webinar by providing an overview of various municipal food policy initiatives across Canada and arguing that local work is “a site of reform” – food policies at a local level are more sensitive to context, easier to adopt and adapt, and can have more immediate impact than higher-level policy. Collectively, they add up to a veritable pathway to food systems transformation at regional, provincial, national, and international levels. Local scale allows policy, food businesses and organizations to be more nimble, innovative, and adaptable, which are traits that are becoming even more visible and more important this year with the COVID-19-related disruptions. Johanna called for sound regional and sectoral planning, integrated with the policy efforts required for true systems’ change. She also noted that food policy councils are a useful tool as they “are a nexus between global and local [and] can be collaborative, strategic, and engage with citizens in meaningful ways.” Moreover, food policy councils create channels for information sharing and serve as valuable examples that can inform action at various scales of governance.

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Survey finds COVID-19 has Canadians asking for better food systems and food access

FLEdGE researchers participate in inter-provincial project to assess the impact of the pandemic on food security, behaviour, and food system understanding

KPU PRESS RELEASE PUBLISHED: MON, DEC 14, 2020

Shopping anxiety, higher food prices and individual income limitations are some of the factors making access to food challenging for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests.

Researchers conducted an online inter-provincial survey with residents of B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces during the first wave of COVID-19. The survey assessed how the pandemic affected food access and behaviour in each region and how perceptions regarding the food systems may have been altered.

The study revealed that while most Canadians have not found it difficult to access food during the pandemic, many consumers are worried about shopping in grocery stores. In Quebec, about one in five respondents said their income was too limited or food was too expensive, and 15 per cent said they were too worried or anxious to go out and purchase food. For respondents in Ontario and Alberta, anxiety about going out to purchase food was the biggest limiting factor (28 per cent), while limited income or food being too expensive was an issue for 21 per cent of Albertan and 18 per cent of Ontarian respondents.

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Funded Graduate Student Positions with the Lake Superior Living Labs Network at Lakehead University

(funded PhD and Masters positions available)

To Begin September 2020

The Lake Superior Living Labs Network is bringing sustainability solutions to life through community-engaged teaching, research, and action across the Lake Superior watershed

Lakehead University is seeking exceptional candidates to undertake graduate level research relating to community-campus engagement, sustainability, and social and ecological justice funded through the Lake Superior Living Labs Network (LSLLN). Students with backgrounds and interest in social-ecological health, food studies, climate change, critical theory and/or community-based research are encouraged to apply. 

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FLEdGE: Works Cited

November 2020

Select Publications from Summer/Fall 2020

Academic Journal Articles

*Free-to-access journal articles

*Brimblecome, J., McMahon, E., Ferguson, M., De Silva, K., Peeters, A., Miles, E., Wycherley, T., Minaker, L., Greenacre, L., Gunther, A., Chappel, E., Chatfield, M. D., & Mah, C. L. (2020). Effect of restricted retail merchandising of discretionary food and beverages on population diet: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Planetary Health, 4(10), p. e463-e473. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30202-3

*Clark, J.K., Lowitt, K., Levkoe, C.Z., Andrée, P. (2020). The Power to Convene: Making Sense of the Power of Food Movement Organizations in Governance Processes in the Global North. Agriculture Food and Human Values, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10146-1

Laforge, J.M., Dale, B., Levkoe, C.Z., Ahmed, F. (2020). The future of agroecology in Canada: Embracing the politics of food sovereignty. Journal of Rural Studies, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.10.025

*Hammelman, C., Levkoe C.Z., Agyeman, J., Kharod, S., Moragues-Faus, A., Munoz, E., Oliva, J., & Wilson, A. (2020). Integrated Food Systems Governance: Scaling Equitable and Transformative Food Projects through Activist-Scholar Engagement. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, 9(2), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.092.003

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Webinar: “Shaping Food Policies for Resilient Regions”

October 30th, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

Join FLEdGE researchers for the first webinar in our Good Food Solutions by FLEdGE webinar series, which will take place over the next several months and feature our Good Food Principles.

To kick off the series, FLEdGE researchers and community partners will discuss the importance of innovative food policy for resilient regional food systems. Moderated by Irena Knezevic and featuring Sandra Mark, Anna-Liisa Aunio, Anne Marie Aubert, and Johanna Wilkes, this webinar will explore the intersections of regional infrastructure, municipal policies, and local food networks. Panelists will consider how practitioners can work across scales to imagine regional food systems that are more just, equitable, and resilient. 
The webinar will be followed by an optional informal coffee chat with the panelists.  

This webinar will be in English with French materials available afterwards.

Moderator
Irena Knezevic, Carleton University

Panelists
Sandra Mark, Small Scale Food Processor Association
Anna-Liisa Aunio, Dawson College
Anne Marie Aubert, Système Alimentaire Montréalais, Montréal – Métropole en santé
Johanna Wilkes, Balsillie School of International Affairs