human health

Fruit and veg snack program a no-brainer

We all know diet and nutrition are directly linked to health, and we’re often told we can help make that link by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Yet, as a population, we seem to be getting fatter and unhealthier – a trend that is most alarming in young people as we see childhood obesity […]

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Farmers get some PR pointers

This is a longer version of a post I put up last week – and this article is also printed in the Ontario Farmer this week. *** An episode of Oprah. A film called Food Inc. A hard-hitting Time magazine cover story. A series in the Toronto Star. The last year was not a good […]

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Loblaws chief: global trends will impact food

A series of global trends will change everything about the way we eat, says the head of Canada’s largest grocery chain. And that means both adjustment and opportunity for those involved in food, Galen Weston of Loblaw Companies Limited told attendees at the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s annual meeting in Guelph recently.

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Alberta Pork’s H1N1 challenges, responses

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s H1N1 topic that explored Alberta Pork’s experiences at the centre of the H1N1 media storm earlier this year. The information is based on a presentation I attended by Lee Funke of Torque Communications at the recently held Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation conference in Edmonton. He outlined some of […]

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Inside Alberta Pork’s H1N1 war room

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be at the centre of a media firestorm unless you’ve actually experienced it. For the staff at Alberta Pork and the communications professionals working with them, the spring of 2009 provided more first-hand experience than they could have ever wished for.

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Journalists can help debunk food misconceptions

The relationship many of us have with food is a lot like one we would have with a spouse, family member or friend. It can make us feel joy and inspire great passions – but can also evoke feelings of sadness, disappointment or guilt. We interact with it every day of our lives on many […]

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Swine flu or whine flu? How media covered H1N1

Much has been said about media coverage of the H1N1 outbreak – both by the general public and by those of us in agriculture. And most of what is being said hasn’t been very complimentary. Certainly from farmers’ perspective, the media is to blame for tagging H1N1 with the nickname swine flu and then repeating […]

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From blossom to pie – and beyond

This post is part of an ongoing series about Ontario crops that are in season. I’ve loved cherries all of my life. But as with so many things, I’d never really given a second thought to how they got to my dinner table. I knew they grew on trees but the steps between blossom and […]

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Ending the flu frenzy over pigs and pork

They’ve finally listened. Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that they were re-naming what everyone’s been calling “swine flu” to H1N1 Influenza A. Pandemic frenzy has taken hold as we grapple with this new flu that has emerged. It was quickly dubbed “swine flu” even though it really has nothing to do with pigs or […]

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A cattle vaccine with human health benefit – who should pay?

The following article was first published in Ontario Beef Farmer magazine, July 2008: It sickens thousands of people every year, killing some and leaving others with permanent health damage. But it doesn’t affect the animals that harbour and shed the bacteria, making the disease invisible to farmers. Now, a new, made-in-Canada cattle vaccine to reduce […]

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