Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a retail subsidy program implemented in 2012 and designed to reduce the cost of nutritious food for residents living in Canada's remote, northern communities. The present study evaluates the extent to which NNC provides access to perishable, nutritious food for residents of remote northern communities.
Program documents, including fiscal and food cost reports for the period 2011-2015, retailer compliance reports, audits of the program, and the program's performance measurement strategy are examined for evidence that the subsidy is meeting its objectives in a manner both comprehensive and equitable across regions and communities.
NNC lacks price caps or other means of ensuring food is affordable and equitably priced in communities. Gaps in food cost reporting constrain the program's accountability. From 2011-15, no adjustments were made to community eligibility, subsidy rates, or the list of eligible foods in response to information provided by community members, critics, the Auditor General of Canada, and the program's own Advisory Board. Measures to increase program accountability, such as increasing subsidy information on point-of-sale receipts, make NNC more visible but do nothing to address underlying accountability issues Conclusions: The current structure and regulatory framework of NNC are insufficient to ensure the program meets its goal. Both the volume and cost of nutritious food delivered to communities is highly variable and dependent on factors such as retailers' pricing practices, over which the program has no control. It may be necessary to consider alternative forms of policy in order to produce sustainable improvements to food security in remote, northern communities.
Cites: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2016 Jul 05;75:31127 PMID 27388896
Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social-ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources.
Cites: Science. 2010 May 14;328(5980):876-8 PMID 20466926
The United States' environment and economy have been severely impacted by unintentionally introduced biological organisms for the last 100 years. Our ecosystems and biological reserves of conservation importance are regularly invaded by non-indigenous species. To help prevent future invaders from entering the ports, this project undertaken at the Port of Elizabeth proposed to: 1. Catalog the different vegetable and fruit crops entering this country; 2. Evaluate the potential risk to New Jersey crops that an introduced exotic pest might pose; and 3. Evaluate the potential that imported crops entering the U.S. have for harboring exotic pests. The New Jersey IMPORT report, or Invasive Management Promoting Open and Responsible Trade project, details a newly designed ecological risk assessment tool to evaluate entry potential of invasive pests at the Port of Elizabeth. Risk designations were assigned to shipments of four fruits; seven vegetables; and two field/forage crops based on: i) Country of origin; ii) Amounts of commodities imported; and iii) Endemic pests present in exporting countries. Between 5,000 and 180,000 tons of crops were imported into the Port of Elizabeth from October 2001 to 2003. Pest risk analyses were drafted for twenty-five intercepted insects taken from the Port Information Network. In addition, eighteen pest risk analyses were drafted for invasive fungi, bacteria, and viruses of global concern as alerted by ProMed Digest. It was concluded that three crops imported remain at high risk: apples, peppers, and tomatoes. Peaches, soybeans, lettuce, sweet corn, potatoes, squash, and eggplant imported were considered moderate risk. Blueberries, cranberries, and alfalfa were considered low risk.
Few authors have investigated the institutional character of charitable food programs and their capacity to address food security in Canada.
We surveyed food program managers at charitable agencies in Greater Victoria, British Columbia. We discuss the structure of the "system" of charitable food provision, the value of sourced food, types of services provided, clients' demographic profile, and the estimated healthfulness of meals served. We also describe the proportion of major food types purchased and donated to agencies.
Thirty-six agencies served approximately 20,000 meals a week to about 17,000 people. Food valued at $3.2 million was purchased or donated; approximately 50% was donated, mainly by corporations. The largest value of food purchased and donated was from meat and alternatives (40.9%) and nonperishable food items (16%). Dairy products made up the smallest share of donated foods.
Charitable food programs in Victoria depend on food donations. The proportion of dairy products and produce is low, which raises questions about the healthfulness of foods currently fed to homeless and poor people in the city.
Food insecurity affected over 2.3 million Canadians in 2004. To date, the food security literature has not considered the potential impact of economic abuse on food security, but there are three ways in which these two important public health issues may be related: 1) victims of economic abuse are at risk of food insecurity when they are denied access to adequate financial resources; 2) the conditions that give rise to food insecurity may also precipitate intimate partner violence in all its forms; 3) women who leave economically abusive intimate heterosexual relationships are more likely to live in poverty and thus are at risk of food insecurity. This paper presents a case of one woman who, during a qualitative research interview, spontaneously reported economic abuse and heterosexual interpersonal violence. The economic abuse suffered by this participant appears to have affected her food security and that of her children, while her husband's was apparently unaffected. There is an urgent need to better understand the nature of intra-household food distribution in food-insecure households and the impact of economic abuse on its victims' food security. Such an understanding may lead to improved food security measurement tools and social policies to reduce food insecurity.
Higher growing season temperatures can have dramatic impacts on agricultural productivity, farm incomes, and food security. We used observational data and output from 23 global climate models to show a high probability (>90%) that growing season temperatures in the tropics and subtropics by the end of the 21st century will exceed the most extreme seasonal temperatures recorded from 1900 to 2006. In temperate regions, the hottest seasons on record will represent the future norm in many locations. We used historical examples to illustrate the magnitude of damage to food systems caused by extreme seasonal heat and show that these short-run events could become long-term trends without sufficient investments in adaptation.
This paper uses a mixed methods approach to characterise the experience of food insecurity among Inuit community members in Igloolik, Nunavut, and examine the conditions and processes that constrain access, availability, and quality of food. We conducted semi-structured interviews (n= 66) and focus groups (n= 10) with community members, and key informant interviews with local and territorial health professionals and policymakers (n= 19). The study indicates widespread experience of food insecurity. Even individuals and households who were food secure at the time of the research had experienced food insecurity in the recent past, with food insecurity largely transitory in nature. Multiple determinants of food insecurity operating over different spatial-temporal scales are identified, including food affordability and budgeting, food knowledge and preferences, food quality and availability, environmental stress, declining hunting activity, and the cost of harvesting. These determinants are operating in the context of changing livelihoods and climate change, which in many cases are exacerbating food insecurity, although high-order manifestations of food insecurity (that is, starvation) are no longer experienced.
Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment and School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
To evaluate correlates of food insecurity among Inuit preschoolers. Study design. Cross-sectional health survey.
Correlates of food insecurity were assessed in 3-5 year old children (n=388) residing in 16 Nunavut communities (2007-2008) in whom a high prevalence of child food insecurity (56%) has been documented. A bilingual team conducted interviews, including 24-hour dietary recalls and past-year food security assessment involving monetary access to market foods.
Children residing in child food insecure homes were more likely to have consumed traditional food (TF) (51.7% vs. 39.9%, p = 0.01), and less likely to have consumed any milk (52.2% vs. 73.2%, p = 0.001) compared to children in child food secure homes. Median healthy eating index scores were significantly lower (77.1 vs. 79.9, p = 0.01) and sugar drink intake higher (429 vs. 377 g/day, p = 0.05) in children from child food insecure than food secure households. Children that consumed TF had higher protein and lower carbohydrate intake (p = 0.05) and tendencies for a lower prevalence of iron deficiency (plasma ferritin
The aim of the present study was to examine to what extent children and adolescents in Greenland comply with the national dietary guidelines, and to analyse the influence of habitation and family affluence on the compliance with dietary guidelines.
Data were from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey in Greenland. The 2006 survey included 2462 students aged 11 to 17 years.
The proportion of students complying with the national dietary guidelines varied from 14 % to 87 % depending on the food item. Sweets and soft drinks had the lowest compliance. The oldest children had the following characteristics compared with the younger children: fewer ate traditional Greenlandic foods, fewer ate fruit, fewer ate breakfast daily on school days and more drank soft drinks frequently. More boys than girls ate traditional Greenlandic foods often, while more girls ate vegetables daily. The least favourable eating habits in general were found among children from low affluent families and children in villages.
Many Greenlandic schoolchildren did not comply with the national dietary guidelines. Despite a higher intake of traditional foods as a whole, children in villages and less affluent children were less likely to comply with guidelines. A strong relationship between diet, family affluence and availability was found. The study findings indicate that factors such as availability, cost and seasonal variation are important to the intake of both imported and traditional Greenlandic foods. The findings should be taken into consideration when promoting the national guidelines.