Green Issues - Food Security and Safety



Food security is a term that is gaining every increasing attention. What does it mean to be "food secure"? What would constitute "food insecurity"?

There are many issues that connect to this very basic human need. With globalization of world trade, with major changes to the system of food production, distribution and processing around this planet, the way we eat and how we get our food has changed radically in recent years. No longer is the food consumer also the food producer. No longer does the food consumer obtain his food from a neighbourhood grocery or meat market or local farmer. No longer does the large supermarket grocery chain store warehouse food in the local city. Food reserve stocks for most communities is measured in days, not weeks or months.

The entire system relies on rapid transportation of foods over long distances. That presumes low cost and uninterrupted food delivery. Even the events of September 11 , 2001 and the resulting disruption to transportation and border commerce should have alerted us that things are not as secure as we have been led to believe.

If oil costs rise sharply, or oil becomes unavailable, the large-scale transportation of foods from producer to consumer will be severely affected. Canada is likely to be impacted more than nearly any other country in that we have placed a very high reliance on importation of our foods.

In this section I will place links to articles that explore these issues and links to other sites that will be of interest to the reader who has actually sought out this page.

I am also placing a link at the botton of this page to a file which gives a proposed Food Charter for the city of Prince Albert. Currently the city of Toronto and the city of Saskatoon had adopted Food Charters which declare the right of all citizens to effective food security and the things that are required to ensure that security.

A coalition of Prince Albert organizations has created a similar document for this community. I have been privileged to have worked with this group over the past months. Currently this Charter has been adopted in principle by the Council of the City of Prince Albert

Please take the time to become more familiar with these issues and check to see if there is something happening in your community. if you find that there is, let me know so that I can add a link to information or a link to a contact person.

Feedback on these issues will be appreciated.

Gerald Regnitter at Friendly Forest

The city of Toronto has a Food Charter.

Food Charter for the City of Prince Albert (As a PDF File. right click on this link and with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, click "save target as" to download it to your desktop or other location. then open it from there with your Acrobat Reader program or other program able to open PDF files. 

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it free from this link:

Click here to go to articles on Intensive Livestock Operation (ILO) concerns

Mad Cow Disease Attributed to Broken Food System

and Poorly Enforced Health Policies

Statement by the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)

December 28, 2021

Despite Agriculture Secretary Veneman's statement that the Department of Agriculture "has had an aggressive surveillance program insure detection and a swift response" for mad cow disease, the facts are to the contrary. A broken food system and negligently enforced public health policy are endangering the health of Americans.

In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) made four recommendations to protect the public from an outbreak of the disease, which have yet to be instituted in the United States. The WHO recommended the following:

Ø Stop Feeding Infected Animals to Other Animals. US deer and elk with chronic wasting disease are fed to hogs and chickens.

Ø Test All Sick Animals. Sick animals which are unable to walk on their own power, "downers," like the one found yesterday in Washington state, should be tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease). The US tests fewer than 2% of the downers which are sent to slaughter for human consumption, while Japan, for example, tests 100% of their "downers."

Ø Stop Feeding Bovine Brains, Eyes, Spinal Cords or Intestines to People or Livestock.

In 1997, USDA tests showed that 88% of meat processors sampled were producing beef products which contained unacceptable material.

Ø Stop Weaning Calves on Cow's Blood. Calves in the US are drinking up to three cups of "red cell blood protein" each day to wean them; this protein may contain infected material.

Although in 1997 the FDA issued a final rule banning most mammalian protein in feeds for ruminant animals, as of October 2003, a total of 300 US companies were in violation of federal regulations to control mad cow disease.

Evidence indicates that mad cow disease is the product of an increasingly industrialized food system where parts of deceased animals are routinely fed to live animals to keep costs down. Cattle are fed animal byproducts, implanted with hormones, and are routinely fed antibiotics to promote quick growth and keep them alive. The majority spend most of their lives crowded on feedlots, where they live in a mixture of mud and their own filth, have no shade or protection, and have no freedom of movement. These practices are having a grave impact on the integrity of our food supply.

"Mad Cow Disease is a red flag that exposes the deadly flaws employed by our broken food system," says Karen Hudson of the GRACE Factory Farm Project. "The corporate industrial model of agriculture has brought us to the position we are in today. Grinding up dead farm animals to feed to live animals should be banned worldwide."

Testing animals for Mad Cow is not the solution; the only viable answer to this problem is to change the way animals are raised. Consumers can help create this change by supporting family farmers who raise animals sustainably.

For more information on factory farming and Mad Cow, visit

For more information on how to find sustainable food in your area, visit

For an introduction to the problems with farming, view The Meatrix at