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Durham region gets $35K to support local eating Food Charter

Ever since the 2007 publication of The 100-mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, locavorism has become an ever-growing trend across North America. You can't read a Queen Street West restaurant menu these days without learning which farm your cow grew up on, and you can hardly navigate a city park amid the bugaboo strollers and bulging reusable designer bags crowded around the Farmers' Markets and the plots of community gardens.

While the conscious eating trend is more than local, much of the groundwork for the city's network of conscious food infrastructure was laid with the adoption of the Toronto Food Charter (pdf) in 2001.

And now, in a part of the 905 where farming is actually still a thriving industry, sustainable eating is taking on a similar practical force: the non-profit Community Development Council of Durham has secured $35,000 in funding to turn the principles of the Durham Region Food Charter into real action. The Charter has been in development for over three years. It lays out principles for healthy eating, environmental sustainabiltiy and support for local agriculture.

The CDCD initiative, funded by Friends of the Greenbelt, will set up an action plan and working group. According to Friends, 25% of farms in Ontario's greenbelt are located in Durham region.

The charter's goals also received a boost recently with the formation of The Durham Culinary Association, a Pickering-based social networking group of chefs devoted to local eating established by chef Philippe Trepanier and teacher James Blair.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Sources: Friends of the Greenbelt, Community Development Council of Durham, newsdurhamregion.com.
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