Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Canadian Food Summit 2012 Summary #FS2012

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Now that the Canadian Food Summit 2012 is all over I’ve gotten a little bit of fodder for my blog. To be honest, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being enraged by some of the comments by some of the presenters. I also enjoyed hearing from some like-minded presenters. I think that my favorite part of the Summit was getting to meet so many people from so many different sectors that I don’t normally get to interact with, even though I probably should! I met people from the supplier side of the food industry, farmers, the CFIA, TWO food lawyers (how cool is that, I didn’t even know it was a “thing” before this conference), students, authors, bloggers, fellow public health dietitians, NGOs, and the list goes on. I also really liked the level of engagement via twitter. How great was it to be able to see what others were saying by checking #FS2012? And to be able to have dialogue with the presenters via twitter. I started following 14 new people because of this conference, and I look forward to continuing to hear their perspectives in the future. But I digress…

I mentioned that there were many people at this conference that I should be interacting with and I’m not. One of the presenters I saw, Gaëtan Lussier, mentioned that we often work in silos. This is something that I’m all too aware of and that I hear all too often. I feel like it was a little bit of a missed opportunity that this Summit brought such a diversity of delegates together and yet we didn’t do anything in the way of starting to actually work towards a national food policy together. Perhaps learning from each other was useful. However, I worry that in many of the breakout sessions people stuck to their usual areas of interest. I know that I did for the most part. I think that they should have switched us all around. Everyone in industry should have attended Kim Raine’s presentation on obesity and chronic disease. While people like me should have been made to attend Agri-food industry viability through policy with the GM of Dairy Farmers of Ontario. I really hope that the result of this Summit will be a coming together of many people, from many areas, as citizens of Canada to develop a Canadian food policy that will be in the best interest of the majority of Canadians. As long as we continue with the “us” versus “them” mindset we’re never going to be able to develop a successful food strategy for Canada. The People’s Food Policy  is the product of a huge amount of work and it’s a great read. However, until we have industry and government support it’s going to remain a work of fiction.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

2 thoughts on “Canadian Food Summit 2012 Summary #FS2012

  1. Thoroughly enjoying your postings Di. Learned about your work via #fs2012 and began to follow and subscribe. I wonder how many others did the same? I’m striving to be a voice promoting Local Food Matters awareness and Community Gardening in Burlington, ON. By following the 2012 Food Summit I began following at least 15 folk/orgs and even better about 10 or so started following me. A hash tag is needed for Ontario local food (or something like that) to help get us all in one reference spot.

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    • Thanks Michelle. It’s always good to get feedback, especially positive feedback. I agree about the hash tag. I was looking to see if there had been any posts since the Summit concluded and it seems that FS2012 has been commandeered by some fashion event. Hopefully the organizers will provide us with opportunities to continue relationships and joint efforts in the future.

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