#FAO; #SustainableGlobalEconomy; #Bioeconomy; #FoodLoss; #plasticPollution;
FAO/Canadian-Media: Wasted food. Polluted seas. Landfill sites full to bursting. After years of using our precious natural resources as if they were limitless, the outcomes of our behaviours are making it clear that it is time to change our ways. And the answer? Well, a no-waste, environmentally and socially considerate bioeconomy is an excellent place to start.
So, what is a sustainable, circular bioeconomy?
Essentially, a sustainable, circular bioeconomy is a system that is groundbreaking and restorative, one that boosts industry and the economy but also protects our planet for future generations. This includes shifting towards bio-based alternatives to plastics and fossil fuels, eliminating the use of toxic chemicals and cutting down on waste through innovative materials, products, systems and business models. It also means harnessing the power of bioscience and biotechnology to address the challenges we face, like providing food, feed, fibres, wood-products and bio-based chemicals, including alternatives to plastics, for a growing population while preserving our natural resources.
Here are five ways that FAO is helping the transition to a sustainable and circular bioeconomy for better food production, better nutrition and livelihoods and a better environment:
1) Reducing food loss and waste
We know that a growing population and rising incomes will lead to increased demand for food and agricultural products, putting more pressure on natural resources. Alleviating problems related to intensive crop and livestock farming or overfishing means being more responsible in our food production and consumption, reusing food that would ordinarily end up in landfills and increasing food production in a sustainable way.
FAO is working with countries around the world to analyse food value chains and reduce food loss at various stages. Currently, 14 percent of all food produced is lost from harvest up to retail. A substantial amount is also lost at consumer level. A circular bioeconomy means reducing food loss and waste by strengthening value chains but also by finding new uses for lost or wasted food.
With their expanding populations, cities have a big part to play in consuming more responsibly. FAO has helped the municipality of Lima, Peru to create a food waste taskforce that has established a composting centre for managing biomass waste. As a result, the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills and city drainage has been cut dramatically.
2) Tackling plastic pollution
One major goal of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy is to use more materials made from natural, biodegradable resources, cutting down on plastic waste and CO2 emissions.
Reducing plastic used on farms is a big part of this. These plastics can be especially hard to recycle because many are contaminated with pesticides and fertilisers. Consequently, FAO is launching a new Agricultural Plastics Initiative to assess the magnitude, fate and impacts of plastic products used in agri-food systems globally. The initiative will offer alternatives to plastics and promote the use of biopesticides and organic fertilizers to reduce contaminated plastic waste.
Other innovative examples for cutting down on plastics are also in place elsewhere. For example, in Mexico, a partnership between a prominent adult beverage company and a car manufacturing company aims to produce bio-based materials with by-products from the processing of agave. Often, much of the residue is burnt or sent to landfills. Now, the two companies are developing a lightweight, bioplastic from the agave residues. These bioplastics will be used in the car company’s Mexican assembly plants.
Two major goals of a sustainable, circular bioeconomy are increasing the use of biodegradable resources to cut down on plastic waste and diversifying our food production to help protect and promote biodiversity.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Image credit: Facebook page
3) Diversifying our diets and moving our reliance away from only a few crops
Of over 6 000 plant species that have been cultivated worldwide for food, we rely on only 9 crops for 66 percent of our food production.
FAO’s work on increasing biodiversity, particularly in agri-food systems, focuses on enhancing the number of foods and species on which we rely. This can help promote crop diversification, moving away from the economic benefits of monocropping.
Moreover, diversification boosts nutrition. In many agricultural communities, people rely on one staple crop whose seasonality implies a period of food shortage. Boosting promotion of local, lesser known globally but highly nutritious crops, such as cassava or millet, can help communities better fulfil their dietary needs and support the biodiversity of crops grown.
4) Promoting bio-based products as alternatives to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides
The overuse of chemical fertilisers and pesticides already leads to problems of water and soil pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Finding bio-based solutions to these chemicals is that much more important with a growing population to feed.
One innovative example of bio-based solutions comes from China where the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance are currently carrying out a programme that explores using straw as a fertiliser. Straw is a common by-product of wheat and grain production and using it as a fertiliser solves two problems in one: cutting down on the use of chemical fertilisers and giving farmers an alternative to burning the left-over straw, which is a common practice but a large source of pollution.
FAO’s climate-smart livestock project helps farmers adopt methods like rotational grazing and composting for pastures, which helps prevent land degradation and makes livestock farming more sustainable. ©FAO
5) Restoring degraded lands and improving livestock management
Many people around the world rely on livestock farming for their livelihoods but doing so in unsustainable ways can lead to land degradation. FAO’s Climate-Smart Livestock project promotes sustainable livestock management in many parts of the world. For example, in Ecuador, an initiative implemented with the support of Global Environment Facility and the Ecuadorian government provides farmers with practical training such as how to install irrigation systems, drinking fountains and milking infrastructure. Farmers also learn new production methods like rotational grazing, composting for pastures and producing their own animal feed, which helps prevent land degradation and makes livestock farming more sustainable.
There is no single path for establishing a bioeconomy and sustainability does not happen automatically. However, with successful examples already in place, FAO, together with the International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group, is building on this momentum by working towards the creation of Sustainable Bioeconomy Guidelines. These will include good practices, tools and guidance on how to develop monitoring frameworks, helping countries implement national bioeconomy strategies, policies and programmes in a sustainable way.
A sustainable, circular bioeconomy makes sense, not only environmentally but also socially and economically. Sustainability is an opportunity, one that we need to take to protect our planet and secure a better future.
#Toronto, #LiveCookOffContinentsApart; #WinnipegAjayChopra; #SherFlourMills; #MDHSpices; #MumbaiAjayChopra;
Toronto, Oct 18 (Canadian-Media): Winnipeg's Ajay Chopra's passion for public and government relations, his entrepreneurship with strong work ethics to provides solution-oriented strategies that create mutually beneficial collaborations across a wide range of industries led him to participate in First Live Cook-Off Continents Apart! with celebrity Chef Ajay Chopra of Mumbai.
Asha Bajaj, Editorial-Director of Canadian-Media catches up with Winnipeg's Ajay Chopra over the phone to discuss First Live Cook-Off Continents Apart!
Ajay Chopra. Image credit: Twitter handle
Asha Bajaj: What inspired you to do this live event?
Ajay Chopra: I have a great passion for public and government relations to assists clients across a wide range of industries to provides solution-oriented strategies to create mutually beneficial collaborations. One of my hobbies is cooking at home. I am very fond of making butter chicken. During these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has adversely affected the whole of the universe, I had plenty of time at home. It was then that I thought of improving my butter chicken recipe. I had come across the name of my namesake Ajay Chopra, from Mumbai, an acclaimed culinarian and one of the most celebrated chefs in the Indian television and food industry with hundreds and thousands of followers on his social media account. He is also well known for his butter chicken recipe. Butter chicken is one of the most sought after dish not only in Canada but also across the globe. The Canadians lack the talent to make the butter chicken as delicious as Indians do. I connected with my namesake and learned that he used 12 ingredients to make this dish. I tried it but was still not satisfied. It was then that I got in touch with my namesake in India and asked how can the recipe of this dish become popular in Canada. My namesake then suggested that I introduce him to Canadians and it will create a larger audience for his signature dish of Butter Chicken. He came up with the idea of a live presentation of his signature recipe of Butter chicken, a favorite cuisine across the globe. The event was sponsored by SHER Flour Mills and MDH Spices and further supported by Growing Pathways to Immigration, and by Imagebuilderz, Canada’s foremost PR experts, who will be Media partners for this unique event.
Image credit: Image: Special Live Insta.
To Ajay Chopra: How do you think this live event would be beneficial to the audience?
I felt it my honor to collaborate with India’s leading Celebrity Chef, my namesake with whom I’ve forged a friendship to present a live performance of the online cooking lesson. Chef Ajay Chopra from Mumbai was interested that many of his Indian fans and chefs should come to Canada and teach the people about the recipe. His business would grow and many Indian chefs would find employment in Canada. I could foresee the prosperity of Indo-Canadian relations, one of the main aims of my entrepreneurship. With a goal to create a diversion during these challenging times, viewers would be able to see not only how butter chicken is cooked from scratch, but also to learn during this live performance in an Instagram session
To Ajay Chopra: Do you plan to hold such live events in the future also?
I would love to but it all depends on the response to this event from the audience. We would come to know about the outcome of this presentation after the event. And if there is a demand for such shows we would definitely go forward with this idea. Being an entrepreneur, and with a desire to help communities across the world, I am also open to adopting other innovative ideas for success.
(Compiled by Asha Bajaj)
A special Live Cookoff by Chef Ajay Chopra of Mumbai, India, & Ajay Chopra of Winnipeg, Canada to kick off Oct 17
#Toronto; #SherFlourMills; #MDHSpices; #AjayChopra; #Mumbai; #India; #Winnipeg; #Canada; #LiveCookoff
Toronto, Oct 14 (Canadian-Media): Sponsored by SHER & MDH, an exciting special COVID Cook-off, continents apart, presents SHER FLour Mills and MDH Spices showcasing India’s world famous Master Chef, the Big Daddy, Ajay Chopra from Mumbai and his namesake local entrepreneur, Ajay Chopra from Winnipeg, Canada's special Live Cookoff on Saturday, October 17 on Instagram Mumbai 8:30 IST, Winnipeg 10 AM EST, and Toronto 11 AM EST.
“Ajay Chopra from Winnipeg and I connected online, and I was thrilled to learn that I had a Canadian namesake. The Canadian Chopra is a successful community-minded entrepreneur with connections to politics and business. We started chatting, and I really appreciated his warmth and his zaniness. We decided that a Cookoff with my namesake would be fun and cool, while allowing me to introduce my fans to Canada. And it will create a larger audience for my signature dish of Butter Chicken,” said Mumbai's Chef Ajay Chopra an acclaimed culinarian as well as one of the most celebrated chefs in the Indian television and food industry.
Chef Chopra will present his signature recipe of Butter chicken Live which is a favourite cuisine across the globe.
“Butter Chicken is a staple of Indian cuisine, and we felt this was an amazing concept to bring to people Live while learning direct from a master chef and my friend Ajay Chopra. We are proud to sponsor this very unique and rare special COVID cookoff,” says Hari Brar, CEO, SHER Flour Mills.
“It’s a great honour and gift to collaborate for this rare online cooking lesson with India’s leading Celebrity Chef, my namesake and a wonderful person with whom I’ve forged a friendship. In this Live Instagram session, we will be cooking butter chicken from scratch together for viewers to follow and learn. Our goal is to create a diversion during these challenging times,” says Ajay Chopra from Winnipeg, Canada.
With a passion for public and government relations that grew from a series of internships while still a student, first at the Canadian Embassy in Paris and then at the Canadian High Commission in London, England, Ajay Chopra from Winnipeg also possesses strategies that create mutually beneficial collaborations for clients and their target audience.
Join him Live on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/ajaychopra99/
The event is further supported by Growing Pathways to Immigration and also by Imagebuilderz, Canada’s foremost PR experts, who will be Media partners for this unique event.
"We are delighted to come on board as a media partner and look forward to the culinary experience and partnership between Canada's Ajay Chopra and India's Ajay Chopra," says Renu Mehta, CEO, Imagebuilderz in Toronto.
More than 3 million people facing acute food insecurity as Burkina Faso grapples with COVID-19 and conflict
#UN; #WFP; #FoodInsecurity;#BurkimaFaso; #Covid19; #FAO
UN/WorldFoodProgram, Aug 23 (Canadian-Media): Urgent and sustained action is needed to address worsening food and nutrition insecurity in Burkina Faso, say the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), citing alarming new data. Some 3.3 million people are estimated to be facing acute food insecurity during the current lean season, that period which precedes the harvest in September.
Workers offloading flour at a WFP warehouse in Kaya, north of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Image credit: WFP/Marwa Awad
The latest analysis by the Cadre Harmonisé indicates an increase in acute food insecurity of more than 50 percent since the situation in Burkina Faso was last assessed in March.Experts say the crisis has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 on people’s ability to earn money to cover their daily needs in a country already reeling from conflict and climate change.
Two provinces in the Sahel region – Oudalan and Soum – have been driven into the Emergency phase of food insecurity, as defined by the Cadre Harmonisé. Some 3 percent of people in these northern areas are said to be experiencing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity and facing extreme food consumption gaps, also resulting in alarming levels of acute malnutrition. Many of those worst affected have been displaced from their homes by fighting in the region.
“We’re seeing an alarming deterioration in food security across the worst-hit parts of the country,” said David Bulman, WFP Country Director and Representative in Burkina Faso. “We need to take immediate action to reverse this trend in the two provinces. It would be nothing short of a disaster were a whole generation to be crushed by conflict, displacement and hunger.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating a crisis that was already deteriorating at a worrying pace, pushing more and more people into severe food crisis and acute food insecurity,” said Dauda Sau, FAO Representative in Burkina Faso. ”We can reverse this trend if we act now by supporting the Government to protect livelihoods, rapidly increase local food production and availability, and support rural populations to access food.”
Many of those most at risk are subsistence farmers and livestock herders. While urgent humanitarian life-and livelihood-saving assistance is needed to address immediate needs, so too is longer-term investment in rural livelihoods and social services which, say experts, can help reinforce social cohesion and contribute to peace.
FAO and WFP have been responding to the crisis in Burkina Faso by providing food assistance coupled with livelihood protection and support for displaced people and the host communities that receive them.
#Canada; #Taiwan; #CanadianOrganicProducers
Ottawa, Aug 14 (Canadian-Media): An interim arrangement reached between the governments of Canada and Taiwan facilitates Canadian organic producers to export their products to Taiwan, and Canadian families shopping for organic food will have more choices, Govt of Canada reports said.
Canada Organic Trade. Image credit: Twitter handle
On May 30, 2020 Canada and Taiwan signed letters recognizing the two national organic systems as equivalent. The recognitions apply to agricultural products of plant origin, and processed foods of plant origin, livestock and livestock products as well as aquaculture products grown or produced in each jurisdiction or whose final processing or packaging occurs within each jurisdiction.
Canadian certified organic products may be sold as organic in Taiwan, as long as the terms of the Taiwan's recognition letter are met.
For one year, the Canada-Taiwan Organic Equivalency Arrangement (CTOEA) means certain organic products may be sold as organic in Canada or Taiwan while the equivalency of the organic production and certification systems are finalized.
This arrangement promotes ongoing Government of Canada initiatives to eliminate trade barriers and increase consumer access to organic foods that meet Canadian organic standards.
The interim arrangement applies to agricultural and processed products of plant origin, livestock and livestock products as well as aquaculture products. This includes products grown or produced within either territory or whose final processing or packaging occurs within either territory.
The interim arrangement further facilitates the import and export of organic food products between Canada and Taiwan by reducing industry certification costs and administrative processes.
The organic food equivalency arrangement which came into effect May 30, 2020, will remain valid for one year or until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is able to travel outside Canada to conduct an on-site assessment and finalize the equivalency determination.
#Alberta; #LethbridgeNorthernIrrigationDistrict; #IrrigationRehabilitationProgram
Alberta, Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): Almost $1.1 million has been granted to the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District by Alberta government as part of the province’s $10-million Irrigation Rehabilitation Program, media reports said.
Irrigation Rehabilitation Program. Image credit: Twitter handle
This funding will ensure the improvement of province’s water infrastructure in the irrigation districts and agricultural operations, municipal use, recreation, wildlife and habitat enhancement.
“Irrigation infrastructure is critical to economic stability in southern Alberta. This grant will increase great-producing irrigated farmland by conserving water and increasing water efficiency through pipelines. We were elected to deliver on jobs, the economy and pipelines and this project supports all three,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta's Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a new release.
Started in 1969, the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program provides cost-shared funds to rehabilitate irrigation infrastructure, with Alberta government contributing 75 percent of the cost while 25 percent of the cost is contributed by the district.
BritishColumbia; #CenturyFarmAward; ArdillRanch; #Agriculture
British Columbia, Aug 1 (Canadian-Media): Ardill family is celebrating 100 years of ranching in British Columbia (B.C) in 2020 and would be receiving a Century Farm Award (CFA) for its contribution and dedication to B.C. agriculture, media reports said.
Ardill's Ranch. Image credit: Flickr
Agricultural organizations that have been active for a century or longer, as well as pioneers whose farms and ranches have been in families for 100 years or more, are honored with CFAs.
Each CFA celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in B.C.
Lana Popham, B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture said in a news release that the Ardill family has been an integral part of farming in the Peace region for multiple generations in B.C.'s rich history of agricultural industry and added,
“I’ve had the incredible pleasure of visiting the ranch, touring the land with Renee and Karen, and sharing a coffee with the family in their home. My heart was full after a day at the Ardill Ranch and I look forward to a day when I can visit again. I wish everyone at Ardill Ranch, and the members of the Ardill family the best and congratulations on 100 years of farming in B.C."
Lana Popham. Image credit: Twitter handle
Born in Ireland, Jack Ardill immigrated to Canada in 1909 at the age of 19 met his future wife, Betty, while in Holland as a prisoner of war.
The newlyweds, Jack and Betty, returned to Canada in 1919 moved to Edmonton where their first son, John, was born in February 1920.
In May 1920, a Homestead and Soldiers Grant for the ranch location in the Peace River District by Jack and Betty was filed and brought with them a team of horses, a cow and calf, some chickens, a plow, a mowing machine and rake, some furniture, a tent and a year’s grubstake, essential for homesteading.
With passing of time, the ranch boundaries grew and more parcels of land were accumulated. The cattle population also grew as more land was put under cultivation. During those busy days, Jack and Betty’s family also grew, welcoming their daughter Betty, and sons Richard (Dick) and Tom.
After 100 years, the ranch is still family-run and is almost entirely self-sufficient for gardening and food – both for home and for livestock.
Today, the area is home to about 400 head of commercial Hereford cattle, who spend their summers on the range and winters in the valley. Grain and hay silage form approximately 60 percent of the total feed supply, while the rest is put up as round bales.
As an important part of life on the ranch, horses, some of which were brought to the ranch from the Edmonton area, are still the main access to summer range, used for salt packing, range patrol, cattle work, rodeoing and pleasure riding.
A successful cow-calf operation, the ranch is a place where hard work and fun go hand in hand.
Proud to be part of the community, Ardill's Ranch participates in community events, such as high-school work-experience programs, forage tours, annual Hudson’s Hope preschool tours, rodeo and rodeo sponsorships, hockey sponsorships and Hudson’s Hope Fall Fair.
#CanadaBenefits; #CEBAUpdates; #Farmers; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, May 23 (Canadian-Media): Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food issued the following statement regarding the benefits offered to Canadian farmers due to updates on The Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
Marie-Claude Bibeau. Image credit: Twitter handle
"CEBA has potential to provide up to $670 million directly to farmers from the forgivable portion of Canadian Emergency Business Account interest-free loans.
It is estimated that the expanded eligibility to the CEBA announced on May 19 more than doubled the amount of farmers eligible for the CEBA benefits.
The changes allow an estimated additional 36,566 farms nation-wide to access the CEBA, for a total of over 67,000 eligible farms across Canada. This equates to up to $2.68 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian farmers, 25% of which is forgivable. Each farmer can access up to $40,000 in interest-free loans, which, if paid off by the end of 2022, entitles the farmer up to $10,000 of that amount to be forgiven.
“The announced expansion of the eligibility to the Canada Emergency Business Account is a big deal for farmers across the country.
We heard from many farmers that the Canada Emergency Business Account did not work for them, because many did not meet the payroll criteria. We listened to their concerns, and changed the eligibility to ensure a total of 67 000 farm operations without payroll, 36,500 more, can now access the program.
In dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, our Government has consistently said that we are prioritizing speed, and we continue to fill the gaps.
For those farmers who are still unable to access CEBA, they can turn towards the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.
Farmers can be assured that we have their back, and we are continuing to roll-out supports for our agriculture sector.”
#High-ProteinDiet; #WeightLoss; #CardiovascularDisease; #Plaques; #Atherosclerosis
New York, Feb 15 (Canadian-Media): Although high-protein diets are useful for more weight loss, but recent research published in Nat. Metab. 2, 110 (2020) suggests increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis is associated with high dietary protein, science.sciencemag.org news reports said.
High-protein diet. Image credit: pixaby
When Zhang et al. fed a high-protein diet to pro-atherogenic mice by, they found that more atherosclerotic plaques formed.
It was also observed by them that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) were activated due to the high concentrations of amino acids in the blood of and resulted in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Numerous amino acid–sensing pathways are integrated by mTOR, and its activation in macrophages leads to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and apoptosis.
Important mechanistic insight into how dietary nutrients can influence systemic homeostasis is provided by this research.
Young Canadian Alliance & School of Flavours present 3rd Annual Taste of India Food Festival in Toronto
Toronto, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): 3rd Annual “TASTE OF INDIA FOOD FESTIVAL” presented by Young Canadian Alliance & School of Flavours was held on August 4, 2019 at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto from 12:00 Noon to 10:00 pm, media reports said.
More than over 65,000 people from all the multi-cultural communities were attracted to this family-friendly event which had more than 85 vendors. The day was bright and it being the long week-end, people - young and old, children in colourful dresses-accompanied by their parents, enjoyed the delicacies presented by the food festival. More than 500 different Indian dishes were there representing each and every state of India and more than 50 percent of vendors were sold out 2-3 times.
Some people were enjoying the food and others were also watching the classical dances, bhangra, music, musical melodies by singers. Then there was a live DJ from 12:00 noon to 10:00 PM nonstop. The festival was a true example of multiculturalism and attracted diverse communities.
There were raffle draw for audiences including travel credit vouchers, dinner vouchers, smart watches and lots giveaways by Sponsors and Vendors. Several local businesses and artists donated money, time, and talent to support the community and and the Festival.
University of Toronto Indian Students dance team were present and entertained the audience and the spectators with their dance performance.
Due to Public Demand this year and with the Community Support Funding of Flower City Brampton, Taste of India Food Festival, will also be hosted on August 17, 2019 at Sheridan College Campus 7899 McLaughlin Rd, Brampton, ON.