Food Freedom Day

Today is Food Freedom Day in Canada.

That means the average Canadian has now earned enough disposable income to pay for his or her individual grocery bill — food and alcohol only — for the entire year.

And yes, it’s only February 12.

This is the third year in a row that Food Freedom Day has fallen on this date, and only slightly later than in previous years. The recession and an increase in the price of food have helped push the date back. The calculation is made by comparing Canadians’ disposable income and the amount we spend on food.

According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, in 2010 the average Canadian spent approximately 11.9 per cent of personal disposable income on food.

Beth Densmore, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture points out that even though we enjoy reasonably priced food in Nova Scotia and the rest of the country, Canadian farmers “continue to be challenged with gaining a fair return of the food dollar.”
 
Consumers want cheap food that is reliably safe. Farmers want to get paid fairly for the food they produce. Should Canadians spend more than 11.9 per cent of disposable income on food? What’s the value of a safe food supply? Is enough money getting back to farmers?
 
Food Freedom Day may be a good time to take pause to reflect on these types of questions.
 
More on Food Freedom Day.
 

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