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Alaska Dispatch. May 31, 2012 article by Heather Exner-Pirot | Eye on the Arctic.   Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, issued a somewhat scathing statement of Canada's ability to provide food security to all of it residents, especially aboriginal and northern ones. Nunavut MP and federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq rejected the Rapporteur's findings, calling De Schutter "an ill-informed and patronizing academic." Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, had a different perspective, saying that the assessment was especially important for "us Inuit living in the Arctic." (Ouch.)  Of course it won’t be of surprise to those Canadians paying even cursory attention to national affairs that aboriginal and northern peoples face significant food insecurity. Obesity and diabetes rates are high and climbing, country foods are playing a smaller part in local diets, and perishable goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables are usually expensive and of poor quality.

Are greenhouses the answer? One significant opportunity that has yet to be seized is the development of northern greenhouses that can grow fresh produce locally. There doesn’t appear to be a single, economically viable greenhouse producing food commercially in any of the three territories, or throughout the provincial north. Greenhouses in Inuvik, Iqaluit and Kujuuaq have been notable for their community spirit but not for their commercial success. Other greenhouses, such as in Whitehorse and Devon Island, have been funded by research dollars. Read full article at http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/greenhouses-can-help-food-security-canadas-vulnerable-north

Posted by Valoree Walker – 6/12/12; 8:04:30 AM – Permalink –   –

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