August 30, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB). New this fall on NFB.ca: more than 60 new films can be viewed free of charge as of now, including several recent documentaries that have won awards in Canada and abroad, by renowned filmmakers such as Alanis Obomsawin, Paul Cowan, William D. MacGillivray and Justin Simms.
Conservation groups urge Canada to review a UN submission highlighting human rights and food security impacts of B.C.’s Site C dam.
If the world as you knew it was going to end in 21 days, what would you do? Find shelter, locate a water supply or possibly pull out your SKS assault rifle? Wendy Brown’s Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs takes readers through day-by-day preparations in order to live comfortably after an infrastructure collapse created by cheap oil.
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Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment is a captivating journalistic narrative that follows the stories of three families and their communities as they campaign against concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), more commonly referred to as factory farms. Kirby’s exceptionally well-researched book is a detailed account of the issues that CAFOs cause to both the environment and to the humans who neighbour them.
Kirby’s book is a hybrid, mixing investigative journalism with academic text to create an engrossing storyline that will capture a large reading audience. The reader can take it as a gripping story about community advocates and their struggles with CAFOs, or accept his book as a guide to further their own research, advocacy and consumer decisions. Either way, the power of Kirby’s work lies in his engaging writing.
Manny Howard was commissioned to write an article for New York magazine about attempting to spend a month eating only food grown in his Brooklyn backyard. Like many books based on magazine articles, My Empire of Dirt quickly wears thin…. Howard comes across as egotistical, ignorant, and privileged. He jumps into farming completely unprepared, then is surprised when things don’t work. Lucky for him, the seemingly unlimited resources provided by New York magazine make up for his failings.
Irrigation accounts for 70 per cent of the world’s fresh water use, so it has been evident for many years that food security is considered a greater issue, if less immediately critical, than drinking water. Add climate change into the mix, and what was already a difficult global problem becomes significantly more so. The nexus of water, food, and climate change is the focus of this book. Its central goal is clearly expressed in the preface: “… as the requirement for more equitable access to food for all grows, so too grows the need for best science to under pin the development of more effective food systems.” The 22 chapters in this edited volume provide an excellent compendium of the issues that arise when growing populations, limited availability of water and early impacts of climate change impinge on the world’s food supply.
The Raw Milk Revolution, by David E. Gumpert, would more accurately be entitled “Milk Wars.” Any attempt to sell raw milk creates a froth of such proportions that we must conclude that it is symptomatic of something bigger.
The war is all about politics and ideology – about food control and food beliefs. So when battle lines are outwardly drawn around issues of food safety and the right of citizens to choose the food they want, it takes Gumpert’s sharp journalistic skills to uncover what risks to profits and livelihoods could lie beneath….[Click here to read more!]
Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad
Frances Moore Lappé
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Small Planet Media, 2007, 208 pages
How do you change the world? Where do you start, locally or globally? For inspiration and a way out of the paralysis that stymies so many of us, two remarkable women – Jane Jacobs and Frances Moore Lappé – offer some practical ideas.
Jacobs, the late, great thinker, activist and author, is the subject of a new book written for people aged “10 to 100.” It is the story of how Jacobs’ seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, came to be written, and what shaped and influenced her life.
Younger readers will enjoy meeting Jacobs as an inquisitive, fearless child who never lost her propensity to think independently until the day she died in 2006, just a week shy of turning 90. The book’s title, Genius of Common Sense, is not hyperbole. Jacobs’ observations about what makes cities livable ran counter to urban theorists in New York City, where she lived at the time. Lacking a university degree, she wasn’t taken seriously until she began writing articles and making her voice heard in neighbourhood protests.
Augmented with photographs and pencil illustrations, Genius of Common Sense chronicles Jacobs’ life [Click here to read more!]
In The War in the Country, Thomas Pawlick has done a great service. He documents recent tensions and traumas that have battered every rural community across Ontario. Moreover, he reports in the voice of family farmers, small businesses, native people and back-to-the-landers. These stories are worth keeping in your library to be read from time to time – to be reminded of the countryside that once existed.
Economies of scale sent farmers away from local, independent suppliers to better deals in regional supply centres. Larger livestock barns led to demands that municipalities and provincial regulators set standards for [Click here to read more!]
Do you treat yourself to oysters or salmon from time to time? Are you tempted by tiger shrimp? Is tuna your comfort food?
If you are among the billions of people around the world who enjoy fish and other delicacies from the sea, this book is for you. Depending on which types of seafood you consume, you may be driving a species toward extinction, or contributing unknowingly to the destruction of coastal ecosystems and the local human communities that depend on them. Closer to home, you may be putting your own health at risk…. [Click here to read more!]
Food in Canada has never been cheaper: only 10 per cent of our income is now spent in the grocery store, half of what this number was 40 years ago. Yet for most Canadians, decisions about what to eat have become a matter of high anxiety.
Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine Gary Paul Nabhan, Washington, DC: Island Press 2008, 256 pages AND The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov: The Story of Stalin’s Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century Peter Pringle, New York: Simon and Schuster 2008, 384 pages “Life is…
ased on his analysis of dozens of studies, reports and personal accounts, Smith reveals shocking instances when governments and corporations misled, lied and covered up evidence about the health and safety risks of GM foods. These deceptions allowed the products to be fast-tracked to the market, thereby externalizing the costs of this infant science.