Why I love local sustainable food

Seventeen years ago I came to Guelph and found the inspiration and connections I needed to start one of Ontario’s first home delivery businesses for local organic food. So attending the 32nd annual Guelph Organics Conference at the Guelph University Centre is kind of like a homecoming to me.  
I love local sustainable food, and Ontario has some of the best in the world. You can’t find better strawberries, carrots or sweet corn than we grow here in Ontario. I love our grains, dairy and free-range meats.
But local sustainable food is not just about the food. It’s also about community. It’s about getting to know each other at the farmers’ market, the CSA or the neighbourhood grocer. It’s about being aware of where the food on our tables comes from and who grew it. And it’s about supporting a local economy where family farmers can thrive.
I’m really looking forward to seeing so many old friends and sampling delicious local food at the organic conference this weekend. The energy and vitality of the local organic food community is reflected in the dozens of activities on offer. There are workshops and sessions on a huge range of issues and questions. Find more information at guelphorganicconf.ca. It’s amazing to see how much local organic food has grown in the 17 years since I started my business. This weekend’s expo showcases food and farms from around the province and is free to attend. 
I left the business and non-profit world to enter politics so that I could push for policies to support the economic, social and environmental solutions on display this weekend. I chose the Green party because it has the most progressive and comprehensive set of policies to support local sustainable food and farmers. Together we can put food and water first — supporting the beautiful rural communities and landscapes in our great province.
I’ve invited people attending the organics conference to drop by the Grand Office Opening for the Campaign to elect Mike Schreiner at 34 Gordon from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Please come by if you can. I’d love to meet new friends and reconnect with old friends.