As slaughter plants in Canada and the United States reduce line speeds, shifts or effect temporary closures to deal with COVID-19 concerns, analysts say supplies are likely to be affected. | File photo

Will the wild changes in the grocery, food and farming systems survive the pandemic?

What will create lasting changes and what is transitory?

The food, farming and grocery sectors have been shocked by the coronavirus crisis. Packing plants have been temporarily shuttered, creating crises on hog farms and cattle feedlots that can’t move animals they have no space for. Food products that everybody has taken for granted for decades, such as flour and yeast, have become suddenly scarce, […] Read more

Artificial lighting gives green peppers a purple or red hue. It’s early days for the lighting pepper research at the Agriculture Canada research centre in Harrow, Ont. It is felt specific lighting can improve production and even optimize the level of antioxidants in mature fruit. | Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario greenhouses light up

HARROW, Ont. — Ontario’s greenhouses are lighting up. There are 100 acres of tomatoes and cucumbers in the province with supplemental lighting, and researchers are now turning their attention to peppers. “We’ve done some preliminary work on peppers, and last year the results were promising, and so we’ve expanded our research,” said Shalin Khosla, the […] Read more

Michael Horsch, right, says farmers need to brace for more production demands, not necessarily by consumers but from large supermarket chains.   |  Ron Lyseng photo

‘Honest food’ new buzzword in ag sector

Big supermarkets are driving food production, highlighting importance of traceability, management practices: consultant

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — Contrary to what most North American farmers believe, finicky European food trends are not driven by consumer demand or ivory tower agencies. Instead, supermarkets pull the strings, says Michael Horsch. Horsch is best known in Western Canada for his Maestro corn planter and zero till drills, but back home in […] Read more

Farming in the city has its challenges with soil, shade and even traffic at times, but Josh Hellawell said it helps reconnect people with their food when they see it growing around them.  |  Barb Glen photo

Urban farming a growing trend

Food production within city limits becoming more popular as producers seek new sustainable food sources to feed growing population

Josh Hellawell farms 18 plots of land. His largest piece of equipment is a Toyota Forerunner, and he doesn’t use any synthetic chemicals or fertilizers. His farm, all told, is just short of one acre in size, but it is spread out among various yards and boulevards within the City of Lethbridge. Hellawell is an […] Read more

Global annual food waste is pegged at $940 billion.  |  File photo

Food loss measured to reduce waste, malnourishment

BARCELONA, Spain (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — A new global standard for measuring food loss and waste will help countries and companies step up efforts to store, transport and consume food more efficiently, its backers said June 6. One-third of all food, by weight, is spoiled or thrown away worldwide as it moves from where it […] Read more

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity will be a division of Farm & Food Care, specializing in research studying consumer opinions and developing strategies that build trust in agriculture and food. It will be an affiliate of the U.S. Center for Food Integrity (website pictured above) a Missouri based organization. | screencap

New food centre aims to build consumer trust

Public opinion polls can be misleading, but it’s hard to ignore a survey that produces the same result year after year. For instance, a majority of Canadians consistently say they are worried about hormones in food. “We’ve known since 2006 that almost two-thirds of Canadians have concerns about hormones in their food. That’s not just […] Read more

Urban foodies like to think the food in their supermarket has been grown chemical-free and fresh picked by a farmer.  |  File photo

Rural romanticism and ‘natural’ food

The proliferation on our grocery shelves of food with “natural” claims shows no sign of abating. With the growing recognition that organic food is not any safer, tastier, more nutritious or more sustainable, despite the higher price, consumers now want food that is produced the old-fashioned way on the small family farm. That’s because consumers […] Read more