Category: Food Safety

The Seduction of Organic Production & the Mystery of Science: A CropSphere Preview

Have you met someone with a degree from the University of Google? Perhaps you’ve even boasted those credentials when arguing your case over a contentious issue about food or agriculture. But if you’re frustrated that everyone is suddenly an expert on science without actually understanding it, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Dr. Joe Schwarcz, director… Read more »

British Columbians Still Enjoying Eggs, Chicken and Turkey Through Avian Flu Outbreak

The number of people in British Columbia enjoying chicken or turkey for a Christmas dinner this week likely won’t be impacted by the outbreak of avian influenza in the province, according to survey results released by Chicken Farmers of Canada on behalf of the poultry and egg industries today. The results show that British Columbians realize the… Read more »

Open, Honest Conversations Can Sway the “Moveable Middle”

I remember reading an interesting quote that, paraphrased, said society was losing touch with where food came from and that the increase in urbanization was a death knell for rural life. The quote was from the 1920s. Shocking? A little, but it’s also an excellent bit of perspective for where we sit now, nearly 100… Read more »

Get Your Learning On — Workshops Help You Move the Farm Business Forward

Your farm is your business and your career, and just like any other line of work, professional development is important. How do you make sure your farm is running at its most profitable? How do you get up-to-speed on rules and regulations? How to do you keep track of where your farm is at? The… Read more »

Julie Borlaug Kicks Off International Biotechnology Conference in Saskatoon

On the heels of Canada’s National Biotechnology Week, the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is taking place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this week. ABIC, hosted this year by Ag-West Bio, was initiated in 1996 in Saskatoon, and has grown to include delegates from over 60 countries, promoting and discussing the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The conference started on… Read more »

The Dangers of Working with Mycotoxin-Contaminated Feed

The hazards to feeding livestock mycotoxin-contaminated feed seem to be on everyone’s radar, with some very recent issues of ergot poisoning occurring across the prairies. But perhaps some of the lesser communicated risks are those that endanger the health of the very people who work with these feeds. Related: The Feed Industry’s Challenge with Mycotoxins… Read more »

Don’t Ship Treated Seed!

There’s a right way and a wrong way to get rid of treated seed. Using up most of what you have is a logical first step, but even the few kernels left in bins, trucks or augers could cause you major headaches down the line. Canada’s grain handling system has a zero tolerance level for… Read more »

Does “Gluten Sensitivity” Even Exist? Perhaps not

For people with celiac disease, avoiding gluten — a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale — is a medical necessity. Even small amounts of the protein can trigger bloating, gas and diarrhea, and can lead to eventual weight-loss and fatigue. Yet diagnosed celiac disease accounts for only roughly 1% of the population. Another… Read more »

Real Talk, Real Action: Raw Milk is Not Worth the Risk

Some of you reading this have likely either consumed unpasteurized milk, or know someone who has, and been perfectly fine for the experience. Ditto for University of Guelph food scientist Prof. Art Hill, a leading authority on milk safety. Some 50 years ago on the family dairy farm on Manitoulin Island, he drank unpasteurized milk… Read more »

Conference Board of Canada Cries Over Supply-Managed Milk

In the last week, discussions surrounding supply management in the Canadian dairy sector have lit up again, thanks largely to the Conference Board of Canada’s recent report entitled “Reforming Dairy Supply Management: The Case for Growth.” In it, the Conference Board, a not-for-profit research organization, argues for a three-point reform and, ultimately, the demise of… Read more »

Connecting the Dots From Farm to Table: A Conversation with John Gilchrist

Combine living and working in the “information age” with the greatest variety of choice the consumer has ever seen and you’ve got yourself a unique set of first-world problems. For the farmer, that essentially boils down to marketing problems. There is not only a large volume of information available to the consumer, but a demand… Read more »

Science vs. Perception: Why Are So Many Opposed to GMOs?

“It’s an atrocity to block the humanitarian gesture of improved nutrition,” says Kevin Folta, scientist and associate professor at the University of Florida, referring to opposition towards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We saw incredible public interest in food in 2013, with polarizing discussions often centred around biotechnology. Many, including Folta, argue the current debates are largely… Read more »

Beef Advocacy Program to be Launched Early 2014

Inspired by the Masters of Beef Advocacy program offered in the United States, Canada’s Beef Advocacy Program will be available to the public in the new year, and will be comprised of two levels. The first level will be for anyone with interest in the beef industry, providing information “right from genetics and breeding all… Read more »

The Lancet, Animal Agriculture and Antibiotic Awareness Week

The Lancet Infectious Diseases published an editorial entitled Antibiotic resistance—the need for global solutions to mark Antibiotic Awareness Week (which is this week, FYI). The article is as long as the situation is complicated. With twenty-six contributors and nearly 400 references, it looks to address the concerns around antibiotic resistance, factors that cause resistance, and recommended strategies… Read more »

Farming Choices are Rarely an Either/Or Decision

“There are no facts, only interpretations,” is a common quote I refer to from poet Friedrich Nietzsche. Modernizing the language, I take it as, “Facts don’t matter, only the perception.” The struggle for perception in food is at an all time high. I talked last month about A&W’s perception of what ‘Better Beef’ represents, despite… Read more »