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[lofo List] article about lofo.uregina.ca for Regina Ecoliving Guide (short notice)
The following is something I put together quickly from some
other things that have been written. If you have the opportunity,
please send your comments. I know that it has my name on it, but
I didn't mean to give the impression that this something that I
am doing. Because of haste, that message might not be clear
enough -- I will try to address that on my own, but as always your
comments are WELCOME.
Finding information about local food in Saskatchewan
by Daryl Hepting, Ph.D.
There is growing interest in local food production and consumption
for its many benefits, including economic and environmental.
Saskatchewan consumers who wish to follow this trend do not have a
comprehensive resource that they may consult to find this local
produce. Internationally, there has been a great deal of work to
identify and develop best practices to both increase supply and
demand of local food and to streamline procurement practices to
permit locally grown food to fill institutional contracts.
Adaptation of these practices to Saskatchewan can mean sustainable
additional income and employment opportunities for farmers, a higher
dollar return per acre for these producers, and stronger rural
communities and regions in Saskatchewan.
Hosted at the University of Regina, a community site for people
interested in buying or selling locally produced food is a first
step to help make connections between producers and consumers,
and to educate the public about the economic, environmental, health
and social benefits of local food:
* economic: dollars spent locally have a multiplier effect and those
dollars support people who want to stay on the land and care for it,
and they encourage the development and maintenance of communities
around and embedded in this food production.
* environmental: a great deal of greenhouse gas emissions are tied
to food production, storage, and transportation. Industrial food
production also depletes the soil. The concept of food kilometers
refers to the distance food travels to get to the dinner table. The
average number of food kilometers for a North American meal is
* health: food safety, quality, and nutrition are increasingly
important issues. If you know and trust the people who are
producing your food according to high standards, you can gain
assurance about all these factors. All eggs (substitute whatever
food you like here) are not equal, despite the claims we hear
to the contrary.
* social: community-based, civic agriculture can be an effective
antidote to globally-traded food commodities and the destruction
of family farms and rural infrastructure. Food security and
sovreignty are important concerns in this day and age.
The site is available at http://lofo.uregina.ca/, lofo is short for
"local food." The site came online over the summer and it is still a
work-in-progress. Your support is requested. Free of charge, you
may go to
the website and create a profile for yourself, specifying what you'd
like to buy or sell. Through the "geoindex" feature on the site, you
can see where other producers and consumers, for any particular food
item, are located in the province. Look around the site and please
give us your comments and ideas either through the forums on the
website or by e-mail to email@example.com. Make a link to the
site and tell your friends about it.
In time, we hope to provide the means to facilitate connections
between producers and institutional as well as individual consumers,
create an international inventory of best practices for local food
production, consumption, and procurement - adapted to Saskatchewan;
and create a software environment that allows producers and other
interested parties to contribute and maintain information in the
directory. Right now, the site is based on the open source software
Daryl H. Hepting, Ph.D.
Associate Professor * Computer Science Department * CW 308.22
University of Regina * Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A2
firstname.lastname@example.org * http://www.cs.uregina.ca/~hepting
tel: (306) 585-5210 * fax: (306) 585-4745 * cell: (306) 596-6312
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