It has been a long time since I actually posted any of my own work on here, so here is a revised thesis abstract.
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
Toronto is simultaneously a city of abundance and ignorance; within its limits urbanites can find essentially any ingredient they desire at any time of the year, but it is placeless food. We don’t know where it came from or how it got here. Even as the city becomes more gastronomically educated, its residents are forgetting the basics about where and how food actually grows and what hidden costs lie behind the exotic or off-season food we have continual access to. How has a city so discerning and knowledgeable about food become so disconnected from the system that we have forgotten the cliché, we are what we eat?
Dependent on global imports and rapid product movement, Toronto’s food system is no longer self-reliant. Fifty years ago the majority of Toronto’s food came from within 350km of the city (Lister 2008, 164). Now over 60 percent comes from the United States, and the rest from a host of countries worldwide. The population of the Greater Toronto Area is projected to grow to 7.45 million by 2031 (Toronto City Council 2000). Will a system dependent on external sources of food be able to handle the population increase? In order to reestablish autonomy and provide for the growing population, the creation of a local infrastructural network able to move food from regional farms into the city is vital. Furthermore, a sustainable, local food system would benefit the city in myriad ways; supporting the local agricultural economy, generating regional jobs in the farming, distribution and retail sectors, and providing a supply of healthy food for city residents.