Week 11 Main: We all have food insecurity, it lies in every single person and family.

Week 11: We all have food insecurity, it lies in every single person and family.

  1. True fact:

#1: I bought a box of milk, which its expiry date says best before March 30,  I still remember on March 18th, when I drink it, the milk has already gone bad. I stored the milk in the fridge 24/7, why?

#2: A 24 hr grocery store near my place called RABBA, still the milk story, I bought a bag of milk ( it has 3 small bags inside), which on the tag it says best before April 30th, I was happy because it was the last bag of milk with the expiry date till the late april, When I got home and hope the bag, and I noticed on the small bag, it says the expiry date is March 30th. Although I swore to myself at the moment that I would never go to RABBA again, the next day, I went there to purchase fruit. Because it is the most convenient supermarket near my place.

2)The movie we watched during this week’s class impressed me a lot. ‘Food Source’, if we go back to the origin to a huge piece of chicken breast at metro, we might not want to eat any meat anymore. In the movie, one of the owner said “ these chicken has never seen the sunlight till they die” Also when talking about McDonald’s as one of the largest beef consumer in the world, they guaranteed “100% angus beef” I don’t know if that is true or not, but the big mac these days doesn’t even taste like beef. I do not want to trace back to any food source, because that would only disguise me. What can we do? we can do nothing about it. The food system has been running like this for many years, it has been a format that with a limited resource, those firm has to create enough food to make money and fill people’s needs.

3)Costco, as one of the largest wholesale supermarket in the world, has been reported that their beef steaks has bacteria may cause serious life-threatening illnesses. My family happened to do some grocery shopping there on the next day when we see this report. I thought there should be a huge line of people return the beef, and the beef would not be allowed for sale anymore. Surprisingly, I still see there’s a lot of people purchasing beef in the supermarket.

Looking at these fact of our food system, I feel very sad when writing this blog. I’ve never think about that the food in such a developed country has insecurity issue. I trust the food system, and never thought about what I eat, where it is come from, is it healthy…I’ve never thought about why the chicken breast is so huge, I’ve never thought about why the milk has gone bad way before the expiry date.

Well, When I start to think about this issue, what can we do? We still need to eat, food insecurity lies everywhere.

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Week 10: secondary.

http://earthsky.org/human-world/2008-milk-scandal-a-new-twist-in-chinas-toxic-tale

I still remember when I tasted the first sip of milk in Canada, I was so surprised because I was drinking a completely different kind of ‘milk’ in the past 14 years. Physical appearance and description?Something white, more like water.

As we move our topic to the food insecurity, it made me think of this huge scandal happened in china five years ago, someone did a calculation and the results showed that with the milk cows we have in china, it was not possible to make that much milk we currently have on the market. Where does the extra milk come from?

I’m not a huge fan of milk, but I had to drink milk because everyone else was drinking. Elementary teacher told us milk is an important source of protein and it would make you smart. I had to admit when I first saw this article I felt pretty sad because I felt like that I have been poisoned since I was born.

Now the food insecurity issue is everywhere, I felt a little crushed after I know how a chicken was raised. Global north and south, the firms are all making the food that is unnatural, because their eyes’ are more on the profits. We know it, so what? we still need to eat.

week 10 main

When people talking about africa, the first image jumps to my mind is not the lions or leopard, it is actually the poor kids. With so many population and limited resources, the global south is always an area catches people’s attention when talking about the food insecurity in Africa. ‘In urban areas. the main characteristic of food insecurity is not food production but access to food. Accessibility hinges primarily on the individual or household’s ability to purchase foodstuffs, which in turn depends on household income, the price of food and the location of food outlets. Food may be economically accessible but spatially inaccessible. On the other hand, it may be spatially accessible but economically inaccessible.’ (Crush,2011, P.781) In the article, Crush states a fact that the people in the global south uses informal food economy more often than the global north,  I haven’t use any other forms of food source since I was born. My family purchase food from 3 supermarket, Costco, T&T, and Walmart. When the summer comes, we go to one of the local farm and pick up the blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. And that is the only time we do not get food from the supermarket.

Supermarkets play a huge role in my life. It is my main food source, I get most of my food from metro on Yonge/College. If there’s no supermarkets around where I live, honestly, I do not have any idea what to eat, I must ended up eat in the restaurant everyday. Although the food in the supermarket is more expensive than those informal food economy, I would rather pay more to get the food from a formal supermarket. It is safe, well, it is ‘safe’ to most of people in the global north because in our mindset, we are taught that these food are safe. My mom is a huge fan of Costco, she buys almost everything from there, beef, chicken, fruits, eggs, bread, blender, handsoaps, mops, cups…I still remember every weekend, I had to go to costco with her and work as a construction worker to move all the groceries to our fridge. Urban life makes us a believer of the supermarket, therefore, we would only consider supermarket as our only food source, we trust the supermarket, rely on it, and always believe it will have the best quality.

I still remember when I was in China, every morning on my way to school, there’s always lots of street venders selling fruits and vegetables. After moving to Canada, I ‘ve rarely seen it. I know there’s some in the Chinatown, but I never purchase any food from them.

The informal food economy is a main trend in the global south, it is cheap, people with low income would rarely think about what they eat, the first thing they are thinking is how to fill the whole family. The people in the global north purchase everything from the supermarket, they believe its quality because they were taught so.

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Sources:
Crush, J. and Frayne, B. 2011. Supermarket expansion and the informal food economy in Southern African cities: Implications for Urban Food Security. Journal of Southern African Studies, 37 (4), 781-807.

Week 9 secondary blog: street food party

Week 9 secondary blog: street food party

This article is from the spacing magazine, it is about a street food party that gathers a lot of street venders and food trucks. The street food has actually become a culture of toronto, that when people talking about the word ‘street food’ it is not only hotdogs and chips, it is actually street food with diversity. The woman in the video says that we could get the street food at the same level with any popular restaurant in toronto. To be honest, I have never tried any street food before coming to toronto, because my mom doesn’t allow me to eat street food, she thinks street food are always made with expired meat. Actually , it’s not, and I could prove that. The street food here is very clean and surprisingly delicious, and it is convenient and cheap. I hope this culture would keep and we should have more street venders here in toronto!

Week 8 link: thoughts of the guest blog.

Week 8 link: thoughts of the guest blog.

I found that my guest blogger’s topic is extremely interesting to me, therefore I searched it online: ‘The Chinese Ring’, im  sure it is not a compliment.  People have never seen this kind of ring in other countries. The stainless ring is 1/4 of the T shaped copper ring. And it is very hard to remove, because of the birth control , they never want to to get it removed once you have it.

Human rights…sigh…

week 9 link: st patrick’s day parade

week 9 link: st patrick’s day parade

Last sunday, when I was preparing my exam, I heard noises from the streets downstairs which made me very excited. I almost forgot it was St.Patrick’s day parade, haha it is funny because there’s a parade for st.patrick’s day. At least, I’ve never seen one in Vancouver. 

This Irish holiday parade made me stop and watch even i was very busy, I enjoyed the parade. I also went to the bloor street on that day and I was very surprise that the whole town is celebrating this holiday. It is always glad to see the cultures from different country, and Canada have lots of holidays which is celebrating different country. Living in such a welcoming country really makes people feel comfortable.

Week 8 Secondary blog: guest blogger

This is a guest blog from my friend, who’s in her third year in Law of Peking university in China.

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I was surprised to get a request from Karen asking me to write as a guest blogger regarding to a social issue for her course, I was like, ‘wow, how cool is a course writing blogs, we never have that kind of course in China.’ Maybe I should talk about the education in difference between 2 countries? After much thinking, I actually have no idea how canada look like, so I think just talk about a ‘more social justice’ related thing in China, I hope I’m talking about the right thing 😉

Recently i read an article on the ‘IUD’ in china. which is a long term birth control method. I also did some research on this. In canada or US, the IUD is like ‘o-shaped’ or ‘T-shaped’ which the woman would easily get them out from a clinic without any pain. However, the “IUD” in China looks like a grabber, which is not possible to get it out. That article was about a chinese woman went to a clinic in Canada, and ask the doctor to take it out for her. The doctors first made sure what shape that is and decide which tool should use to get it, by the ultrasound, it looks like a ‘T-shape’, so the doctor choose the tool for T shape, usually it only take several minutes to get it out, but this doctor used about an hour. Why? because the Canadian doctor has never seen or imagined there would be an “IUD’ look like a ‘T shaped grabber’. So she assumed it is ‘T shaped’, however, when she tried to take it out, as you could imagine, it is painful.

The doctor ends up to be very angry to the Chinese doctors, she told that woman that the chinese doctors are so mean because they never want you to remove the IUD once they put that in your body.

It is unfair, I can’t imagine this birth control system in my country is that mean and nasty. And the woman who wants to do the IUD surgery doesn’t know it is that hard to take them off. Do we even have human rights in China?

Week 9 main:

Except for the homeless people, it never occurs to me that food is a issue.  There’s 3 different grocery stores near my place in toronto.Even when I was in west vancouver, the grocery stores are in the walking distance. As from last week’s readings, we can see via the maps, that about 800,000 people uses food bank in toronto, also there’s lots of place not in the restaurant and grocery store catchment. Toronto is such a big city,and maybe because it is big, we can’t get enough grocery stores covering every parts of the city. An important statistic shows that the low income family only have $5 left for each person spend on food everyday, that it raise to a question, how much should a people earn each month in order to make a living in toronto. For here make a living i mean have enough money to pay for the rent , also can have a nutritious diet.

Everything here is extremely expensive, and very unsettling. The average rent here in downtown toronto is around $800 per month, people have no other options that they have to do the grocery shoppings in the very expensive supermarkets like metro, sobeys, Loblaw…Lots of people working in the retail, can’t afford it. Saying they earn $12 per hour, 8 hours per day, making it $96 per day, 5 days a week, making it $1920 a month. Here I am setting a best scenario, the fact is lots of people cant get 5 hours per day and 5 days a week.

I’ve never realized how lucky I am till we start this topic, till we look at the people who uses the food bank.

I have to say I am a spoiled kid who take money from parents for granted, who always complaining how hard I suffered from the University, who never appreciate. I am so lucky that I do not need to worry about what to eat, I could cook if I am in the mood, or order take outs, even go to the restaurant whenever I like. My parents always give me enough money to spend. I should appreciate the life I have right now that the only thing I need to focus on is study.

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reference:

Distance to Supermarkets & Income 1500m+ (FINAL) Map

Lister, Nina-Marie. Placing Food. Ryerson University.

Toronto Public Health. 2010. Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Food System for Toronto. Cultivating Food Connections.

 

 

Week 8 Main Blog: food insecurity

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I go to metro every week with my roommate, and each of us end up carry back 4 heavy bags of groceries. We always have my refrigerator full of vegetables, meats, fruits, drinks and ice-creams. Besides that, also a cardboard full of snacks. That is learnt from my mom, my mom would never leave one empty space in the fridge.

I was trying to seek help from my parents for this week’s topic, and they talked a lot about the term ‘food insecurity’, and stories when they were a child.

My dad was born in a very poor family in a village of China, he is the second child in his family, and there are total 4 kids. My dad told me that the life was very hard for them that they can only have meat during the Chinese new year. The meat was a luxury to them, even eggs, my dad told me his mother only cook him eggs when he’s sick. My father left his family at the age of 16 and started to work himself. Life started to get better, but still hungry. At their teenager age, there was a policy to use  ‘food tickets’ to purchase food. Why? Because China was at a time lack of food, the government need to control. I can’t imagine a life in hunger, because when I was on diet, I tried to not eat my dinner, and that was a torture for me. When I was on diet, every minute was like an hour long, and my dad had a life like that for almost 19 years.

I am a well-protected girl that my parents never leave me hungry. Even I’m not with them now, my mom always send me the recipe and when we skype, she always give me a live tutorial of how to make delicious chinese food. As I look at the first few sentence of this week’s reading, ‘Toronto is a fabulous city for eating. In this city-region of 5 million people there is no shortage of food choice, from foie gras to French fries. Comfort foods, exotic ingredients, and traditional fare of all of the city’s myriad ethno-cultural groups abound in local shops and markets year-round. Lyrical menus cater to a global palate: phad thai, tikka masala, tostadas, dim sum, sushi, ceviche.” (Lister, 150) I was like, exactly, I feel the same! I’m familiar with every single restaurant on Yonge street.

However, when Lister started to talk about the ‘food insecurity’ issues of toronto, the fact that in the year 2006 , 894, 017 people in toronto still use the food band, and 73 percent of their income are used on rent, therefore, they only have a $5 budget on their food every day. The number scares me, first I had no knowledge about the food bank, I thought it is for Africa, I’ve never thought that many people use food bank here in toronto, second, $5 per day? what can $5 do? I bought a coffee from Starbucks for $5 this morning.

A definition I found from Wikipedia of ‘food insecurity’ is defined that one is considered as food-secure when on do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.

But in fact, this issue is related to social justice, there’s a fact that many area in toronto are not covered with restaurant and grocery stores. How can the people there get the food if they don’t have a car? And why there’s no grocery stores over there? One of the stats also shown that there’s an significant amount of people over 55 are nutritionally vulnerable. Although im not familiar with the food banks, i remember that people’s donation are mostly canned food, and how could a child get enough nutrition with the canned food?

‘Food insecurity’ seems to be a very huge issue here in toronto, would there be any solutions?

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reference:

Lister, Nina-Marie. Placing Food. Ryerson University.

Toronto Public Health. 2010. Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Food System for Toronto. Cultivating Food Connections.

Week7 secondary post: a trip to Kensington market.

The field trip last week to the kensington market has changed my impression to it comprehensively. This field trip allowed me to discover the kensington market from a different perspective. I also learnt how hard the people of this neighborhood try to keep  its identity.

I was surprised to see this ‘Hainan association of canada’ in the kensington market, because chinatown is just across the street, and this kind of association should be located in Chinatown by common sense.

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I found that if you stand on a random spot of kensington market, and turn around, you could see at least 5 countries.

As David took us go to different parts of the market, I found that some of houses are quite old and lack of  maintenance.  Kensington is a relatively hidden area due to its huge neighbor – Chinatown. The picture below is the outer stairs of the house, it is my fist time to see stairs like this, I’ve once seen that in a japanese cartoon. Personally, I also think that people should use the space more efficiently.

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I love this place, it is such an amazing area that has all the thing you need in walking distance. People living in this place does not even need to take any public transportation.

I know understand it is a hard work to develop the market without breaking its identity, how they try to not bringing in any lob laws and Starbucks in to the market.   thanks to those people who try hard to keep its original.

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I was amazed by its diversity, and I really appreciate this experience that made me know more about Toronto.

I’m gonna take my friends here someday, and proudly tell them what I know about this place.