Five food resolutions for 2020 (that aren’t about dieting)

January 13, 2020
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What are your resolutions for 2020? We have a few!

Do you do New Year’s resolutions? For 2020, we’re setting some goals for our relationship with food. When it comes to food and the way its grown, there are a few things we can all work on – whether we started this journey decades ago or we are just beginning to think about these issues.

Know where your food comes from

Denise and Phil from Flat Earth Farm (Photo: Kath Clark/SeedChange)

Often by the time food makes it to our plates, it has travelled far from where it was grown. We don’t know who grew it, nor do we know the whereabouts of the land that gave it life.

This year, (re)connect with food by getting to know the local folks who grow it: farmers! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Look into getting a community supported agriculture (CSA) share.
  2. Shop at your local farmers’ market.
  3. Buy seeds for your garden directly from a farmer. A local Seedy Saturday or Sunday is the perfect place to start. Check out Seeds of Diversity Canada’s list of all the seed events across the country to find one in your area.
  4. Volunteer at a farm near you. Organic farmers always need people to pull weeds!

Let’s all learn a bit more about where our food comes from and make 2020 the year of (re)connection!

Minimize your carbon foodprint

There are lots of ways to take small steps toward eating climate-friendly food. But keep in mind that the globalized, industrialized, corporate food system wasn’t built to make it easy or affordable to get sustainable food. So be kind to yourself. Not all these suggestions are realistic for everyone. Only do what works for you!

Here are some things to try this year:

  1. Buy produce when it’s in season.
  2. Support farmers in your region and buy local. Your fruits and veggies will have travelled less distance to get to your plate, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
  3. Add more vegetarian meals to your diet.
  4. Source humanely raised meat from local, organic farmers. Good grazing techniques can contribute to a sustainably run farm that mimics nature, builds soil health, and sequesters carbon.
  5. Choose organic and ecological food when you’re able to.
  6. Grow your own food!

Buy seeds from local farmers who use sustainable growing practices

Not all seeds are created equal. Some are grown in Earth-friendly ways, some are not. Some seeds will grow into plants that can handle drought, some will not. Some are free to save and share, and some for legal or biological reasons, aren’t.

This 2020 resolution challenges us to source seeds while keeping these things in mind.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  1. Check out the Ecological Seed Finder tool to find the best locally adapted seeds in your region.
  2. Meet your seed farmer in person at your local Seedy Saturday. Seeds of Diversity Canada has an up to date list of the events coming up from coast to coast to coast.

Save your own seeds

Seeds are powerful packets of potential. A good seed doesn’t just produce good food; it also grows more good seeds you can save, share and replant. Saving your own seeds can be tricky and take a bit of extra time. But seed saving can also extend your time in the garden, introduce you to a new part of a plant’s life cycle, and ensure you have seeds from your favourite crop varieties for the next growing season.

Not sure where to start? The Community Seed Network (our project with Seed Savers Exchange) has resources available for beginners and experienced seed savers alike.

To try your hand at seed saving for the first time, easy crops to start with are beans. Sign up for step-by-step bean planting, growing and saving tips and we’ll send you gardening help starting this spring.

Sign up now!

Do you already save your own seeds? Then these seedy resolutions from farmer, seed producer and friend of SeedChange, Daniel Brisebois, might just be for you.

Support farmers

Farmers’ rights are under threat. Multinational corporations increasingly control access to seeds and land. Women and Indigenous farmers face added discrimination. Opportunities for young farmers are hard to come by.

We need a shift in the way we grow our food. Industrial agriculture is a major contributor the climate crisis, which ultimately, is making it harder for farmers everywhere to do their jobs. Plus, large-scale industrial agriculture accelerates biodiversity loss and contaminates our soil and water with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Luckily, there are farmers working to make this shift happen. But if you aren’t growing food yourself, how can you help?

  1. Use your purchasing power: buy local and organic when it’s possible.
  2. Get a CSA share.
  3. Source your seeds from a local, ecological farmer.
  4. Support organizations, like SeedChange, working with farmers around the world to shift the way we grow our food.
  5. Donate to SeedChange today!