New Report by Ontario Nature on Forest and Freshwater Foods

Hot of the press this month is a long anticipated report titled Beyond the Fields: The Importance of Forest and Freshwater Foods in northern Ontario. The report was a joint undertaking of Ontario Nature, the True North Community Co-operative, and Environment North. Beyond the Fields demonstrates that forest and freshwater foods--including plants, animals and fungi--are integral parts of northern cultures, ecosystems, and food security. Several thought provoking recommendations are included in the report for how these ecosystem resources can be protected and enhanced over the long-term.

Beyond the Fields is part of a larger project Ontario Nature is undertaking thanks to a 2 year Local Food Fund grant it was awarded in 2013 for its pioneering Forage North program. The Forage North program has three goals:

  1. Provide plant identification and sustainable harvest information to local people in northern communities
  2. Foster successful and resilient forest and freshwater food economies
  3. Encourage the development of new markets for edible wild plants

 The Food Strategy is excited to see this project unfold as forest and freshwater foods is one of the seven pillars of the strategy.

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