PCs Add Food Literacy to Local Food Act

QUEEN’S PARK – Today Lisa MacLeod, Nepean-Carleton MPP and PC Education Critic, and Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced they are putting forward an amendment to add the important area of food literacy into the Local Food Act.

“We believe food literacy is an essential part of a Food Act because it is vital for our children to have a knowledge of healthy food and understand where it comes from,” said MacLeod “By ensuring proper food education for our children we encourage them to use more local food by making sure they understand the benefits and have the skills to cook healthy meals.”

The PC amendment would require that the curriculum guidelines issued by the Minister of Education include food education as a mandatory component of instruction for pupils in every grade. MacLeod made the announcement during second reading debate on the Local Food Act.

As the Education Act is not currently addressed in the Local Food Act the amendment will require unanimous consent from all parties.

“Food education addresses not only nutrition but also gives children knowledge of farming and processing,” Hardeman said. “Teaching students where food comes from encourages them to consider careers in the fields of agriculture and food manufacturing.”

A recent study by Farmers Feed Cities found that only 41% of 18-34 year olds said they knew where their food comes from.

The PC Caucus previously announced their commitment to food literacy in their white paper Paths to Prosperity: Respect for Rural Ontario which is available at www.pccaucus.com.

“Ontario needs a comprehensive Food Act that will address the challenges our food system is facing from field to fork,” said Hardeman. “The amendment to add food literacy is the first of a number of amendments that we will be putting forward to address areas we believe should have been included in the Local Food Act.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford Lisa MacLeod, MPP Nepean-Carleton
(416) 325-1239 (416) 325-6351