By: Mary Carver, P.H.Ec.
‘For 10 Days Agriculture Comes to the City.’ What an appropriate annual tag-line used by The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF).
Since 1922, Agriculture has brought international attention to Toronto in November, as farmers, producers, commodity groups, and homesteaders arrive, to exhibit their very best agricultural products and livestock.
Competition is steep, but food education is a primary focus at RAWF. Many features meld seamlessly into Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum.
This year, Royal planners invited Professional Home Economists, Registered Dietitians, Food Educators, Researchers, Farmers, Authors and Consumers to discuss food perspectives on Nov. 7th. The invigorating event was promoted as The Royal Food & Nutrition Forum and held on-site.
Hired for her diversified skills and experience, Wendi Hiebert, P.H.Ec. managed and chaired the event, while OHEA handled registration – thanks to the multi-talents of Registrar, Eileen Stanbury, P.H.Ec.
As a Board member, I was honoured to open the Forum and bring greetings from OHEA – one of several sponsors. Canola Eat Well, Dietitians of Canada, Canada Beef -Think Beef, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Bean Growers, Ontario Apple Growers, and others generously provided speakers, exhibits, door prizes, handouts and swag bag contents.
Mary Carver, P.H.Ec. brought greetings from the OHEA Board while a copy of Homegrown was gifted to each Forum presenter. www.ohea.on.ca And, Lucia Weiler, RD, P.H.Ec., brought greetings from Dietitians of Canada www.dieitians.ca
For a bargain $50 fee, Forum registrants could tour The Royal, network with attendees, enjoy a nutritious lunch, shop, participate in a YMCA fun stretch-break led by Carol Harrison, RD and hear the following amazing speakers:
Dr. Alison Duncan, PhD, RD – Beans for Heart Health.
Research is on-going in the hope that beans may someday carry a therapeutic label claim against cholesterol; 1 serving of beans = ¾ c; Need to increase consumption to 4 servings/week.
‘Beans are ALMOST a complete protein - the missing amino acid is lysine, can be obtained from combining with grain’ – www.howtoeat.ca Currently, only 33% of consumers eat beans, regularly. When fiber intake is increased, water intake must also be increased. https://www.uoguelph.ca/hhns/people/dr-alison-m-duncan
Dr. Christian Artuso, PhD – Manitoba – On the Same Side of the Fence: Agriculture and the Environment
While every food system impacts the environment to some degree. Artuso’s research shows that grasslands on which cattle feed have proven to be life-savers for several at-risk bird species in Manitoba. He encourages ranchers to use grasslands rather than cultivating land for crops. A point to offer environmentalists re: beef consumption. www.artusobirds.blogspot.com
Several at-risk Manitoba birds are benefiting from beef grasslands - Western Tanagers, Buff-bellied Pipit, Piping Plover to name a few.
Wendi Hiebert, P.H.Ec. chaired the 2018 Food & Nutrition Forum and Michele McAdoo, P.H.Ec. promoted Homegrown. The book was featured as a gift to presenters and was available for sale throughout the day.
Joyce Parslow, P.H.Ec. brought greetings and sponsorship from Canada Beef (ThinkBeef) along with a fun/interactive game of knowledge-testing Beef Bingo. Photos by Eileen Stanbury, P.H.Ec.
Dr. Jess Haines, PhD, RD, Guelph Family Health Study
The on-going Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS) is a long-term analysis designed to follow families over many years. Researchers from the University of Guelph are working with families of preschool-aged children to learn new ways to help families set good routines for eating, activity, sleep and screen time at home. These habits can help kids be healthy now and in the future.
The GFHS has several partners. My question: Could OHEA be a partner? There is no financial commitment for partners. Noteworthy.
Farmers Panel: Beef Farmer, Sandra Vos, Cow/Calf Operation, Egg Farmer, Tonya Haverkamp (Laying Hens) & Grain Farmer, Jenn Doleman, Cash crops
A most interesting discussion (moderated by Lois Ferguson) on modern farming practices and challenges based on production and location differences from 3 very articulate women who chose exciting and rewarding farming careers. As food educators, we must work to correct mis-information about food production to consumers who may not have visited a farm or have lost touch with modern farming.
Dr. Joe Schwarcz, PhD (McGill) Navigating a World of Fake Nutrition News and Alternative Food Facts
An entertaining and informative look at what some folks believe about food production and health. Separating sense from non-sense has been Dr. Joe’s lifework. Author of 14 books including his latest, A Feast of Science, (which we all took home), Dr. Schwarcz shared popular anecdotes from authors and health advocates and explained how quickly he spots the missing science in many claims. www.mcgill.ca/oss
Pat Crocker, Co-author: ‘Cooking and Healing with Cannabis’
A well known Ontario cookbook author takes on edible cannabis in this timely new book. Pat told how her book came to be, after years of writing about food from her garden and the process by which she prepares cannabis in edible food form. The ‘healing’ benefits of Cannabis were questioned. Cannabis helps promote sleep which in turn promotes healing, was Pat’s reply. Check it out: https://patcrocker.com/
The 2018 Food and Nutrition Forum was a well-attended, busy and enlightening event ending just in time for me to catch my train to Ottawa. Reflecting on the day, I was thrilled to be shoulder-to-shoulder with food professionals whose knowledge, research, and writing inspires and enriches my professional and personal life. What an opportunity! Hope to see even more Food Forums to come and even more PHEcs in attendance, next time. Congratulations RAWF on bringing Agriculture to be City of Toronto for the 98th year!
Mary Carver, P.H.Ec. – is the Ottawa Representative to the OHEA Board