Thursday, November 10, 2016

Saanich News: Celebrating sustainable food

OPINION - MLA REPORT
by Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, Nov 9, 2016

I’m very active on Facebook – but I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The technology can be complicated and distancing. And we all have our own expectations of privacy.
So for those of you who aren’t on Facebook, I would like to share a personal post and photograph that I put up on my birthday last week.
It will give you insight into a big part of what inspires and motivates me every day, and a little context for how I set my priorities as Opposition spokesperson for agriculture and food.
Today I turned 48 years old. Yikes. I was so very fortunate to have been given a gift to dine at Chez Pannise (in Berkeley, Calif.) this weekend.
This restaurant and owner,  Alice Waters,  have been in business since 1971, almost as long as I’ve been alive. It’s been a centre of a food revolution and the influence Ms. Waters has had over her lifetime is remarkable. The things Alice Waters has dedicated her life to fighting for are an inspiration for me and allow me to know that food is worth the fight.
The idea of sustainable, regional, fresh, nutritious food may seem like a luxury, even trendy to some, but in reality I think it’s the way our world works best.
Sustainably scaled production, respect for our environment, fair treatment of workers, fair prices for food, a community that is educated on eating seasonally, kids who know where their food comes from and how to prepare it, chefs who have relationships with their farmers, universal access to nutritious food, a health care system that uses food as medicine – it’s all part of a healthy, diversified economy.
I am passionate about all of this and have dedicated my life and career to trying to find a way forward to this reality at a provincial level in B.C. I stand strong with so many of you who are on the same quest.
So, at 48 years old, I am checking Chez Panisse off my bucket list, and in doing so I celebrate all you farmers, producers, processors, chefs, eaters, consumers, teachers and farmland protectors who feel the same way I do: that we can change the world by the way we eat.
I look forward to continuing this fight for the rest of my life.
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South.