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: Twitter
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.
#TasteofIndia, #IndiaFoodfest, #SchoolofFlavours, #FoodfestToronto, #TorontoFoodfestToronto
Aug. 8 (Canadian-Media): Taste of India Food Festival was celebrated in Nathans Philips Square, Toronto, Ontario on September 5, 2018 between 10 am to 10 pm.
Organized by the Young Canadian Alliances and School of Flavours, the festival this year had about 100 + different Indian cuisines with all the participants food vendors offering a sample plate of their most popular dishes for just under $10.
From biryani to Dosas, samosas to hakka noodles, you name it, they had it.
Inspite of the sizzling heat and the sun the spirit of the festival was in no way dampened. People young and old, of all nationalities colourfully attired, filled the festive place with joy, with everyone busy eating their favorite dishes.
People were not discouraged by the long lines to get to their turn with each vendor. Children were seen singing and dancing with joy to have different items of their likings. The whole atmosphere was filled with the hustle and bustle of the laughters, with a number of babies crying due to the unbearable heat.
But undaunted food lovers marched in line for their turn to get the food of their choice and off they went to another vendor to try the food items and so on.
Then there were interactive street performers and activities that lent fun and charm to the atmosphere filled with smell and flavours of your favourite street food.
The unique feature of this festival is that it was a street food festival. Street food culture, is reportedly a relatively fresh idea in Canada. This factor, to a large extent, contributes to the economic, social and environmental fabric of the country as it blends the joyful celebration with a bustling bazaar.
Consul General of India, Toronto Dinesh Bhatia lit the ceremonial lamp and greeted the crowd and asked everyone to be present at the India Day parade on August 19.
In a relaxed, happy, and joyful environment producers, manufacturers, food vendors and restaurants showcase what they have with an opportunity for interaction, communication and shared experiences, the keys to understanding different cultures.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj and Sayantan Banerjee with Satarupa Biswas)
#Toronto, #Ontario, #Canada; #Summerlicious; #JohnTory; #MichaelThompson; #Winterlicious
Toronto, Jul 16 (Canadian-Media): Delicious meals of Summerlicious, produced by the City of Toronto, at some of Toronto's favourite restaurants can be enjoyed during the final week, media reports said.
Summerlicious offers three-course, prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at exceptional value until July 22.
Mouth-watering meals with lunch menus priced at $23, $28 and $33 and dinner menus priced at $33, $43 and $53 are being served this year by 200 Toronto restaurants.
The list of participating restaurants and menus is available at http://www.toronto.ca/summerlicious. Visitors to the website can locate and sort restaurants by price, neighbourhood and cuisine.
"Summerlicious is one of the city's most popular annual events," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "With 200 participating restaurants to choose from, and a week to go until this year's Summerlicious is over, there is still time to enjoy this opportunity to try something new."
"Summerlicious is a special opportunity for people to experience the breadth and depth of the city's extraordinary, diverse cuisine," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City's Economic Development Committee. "By bringing more people to the table across the city, the program has generated over $311 million for the local restaurant industry."
Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made directly with the participating restaurants with reservation availability updated daily at the Today's Reservations tab on the Summerlicious webpage: https://bit.ly/2L09pan.
Summerlicious can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LiciousTO, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LiciousTO and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/LiciousTO. The event hashtag is #LiciousTO.
The Summerlicious and Winterlicious programs are produced by the City of Toronto. In order to boost Toronto's restaurant industry during typically slow periods of business, the Licious programs began in 2003.
Since then over seven million meals have been served by participating restaurants during the promotion which have generated more than $311 million in economic activity for the local restaurant industry.
The Licious programs were ranked in the top three all-time favourite festivals, fairs and events in Field Day's sixth annual Toronto entertainment survey.
Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#Healthbenefitsofchocolate, #PubMed, #RanaDaoud, #AlexMarangoni, #Guelph, #ontario, #Canada
Ottawa, Apr 4 (Canadian-Media): More than 4,000 studies have been conducted on the health benefits of chocolate since the 1970s, according to a quick search of the online medical database PubMed, with more coming out every year, media reports said.
PubMed is reportedly a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics.
Registered dietitian Rana Daoud believes chocolates, do not have any health benefits.
A 2017 systematic review of 35 studies on chocolate and blood pressure found a “small but statistically significant” lowering of blood pressure in otherwise healthy people.
These studies being of short duration, none of them measured the effects of chocolate on the health consequences of blood pressure like heart attacks or strokes, were considered unreliable.
Chocolate contains flavanols which have antioxidant properties, but Daoud and the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science (affiliated with the Mars chocolate company) said many of those can be destroyed in the manufacturing process.
The same compounds are also found in ordinary foods like tea and blueberries.
Dark chocolate is not that much better, from a calorie point of view. In the labels for dark chocolate versus milk chocolate, the calories are the same.
The health benefits of chocolate’s flavanols could be had by adding cacao powder to a skim milk latte rather than eating a chocolate bar, said Daoud and added that it can be enjoyed as a treat.
The main reason for researching on chocolates is reportedly due to its marketing tool.
“Really, you could argue that people are using the health side of it as a marketing tool. To tell you, ‘Hey, buy our chocolate because it’s also healthy for you,’” said Alex Marangoni, a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph’s department of food science.
An analysis by Vox found that of 100 studies sponsored by Mars, 98 of them had positive results. “Industry-funded studies tend to come out with results favouring the sponsor’s interests,” said Marion Nestle, a professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University in an email.
“Everybody LOVES chocolate. Wouldn’t it be great if it were a health food, not a guilty pleasure?” she said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)