Alphabet City Discussion Three: Food as a Right

Is access to good food a human right?
Health, location, and food availability are issues not only for the dinner table but beyond. Is this a political issue, an urban planning issue, or just something to be left alone? As a rich society, how can we ensure availability and quality of food for everyone across the country? After all, diet has been proven to affect development, education, long-term health and more. And what does availability mean? Is it Tim Hortons for all? Locally sourced cabbage on the cheap? What can we afford, and how does eating local, organic, and/or imported factor in?

To help fuel our discussion, we’ve assembled a basket of goods for which we’d like to know: Are they readily available? Are they costly? Does where you live affect what you can buy?

1 litre of two percent, non-organic milk
1 bag of potatoes
4 organic tomatoes
1 package of four free-range chicken breasts
1 package of four regular chicken breasts
1 loaf of Wonder Bread
1 freshly baked loaf of bread
1 dozen organic eggs
1 bag of apples

4 kiwis
1 pomegranate
1 jar of marmalade
Previous · Page 2 of 2 · Home

5 comment(s)

ChrisOctober 19, 2007 10:38 EST

The one issue that I have noticed within this stream is food as a right for the end users (well eaters). Taking this from the other side, non-local farmers produce goods primarily for an export based local and national economy. How would they see or react to the eat local movement? It is understood that North American big business is involved in most these markets, say bananas. In the end the money (what small amount of it the farmer actually gets) does provide a livelihood for someone far away. By our own changing tastes or food politics we are not only changes our own local economies but are changing others around the world.

RickWOctober 24, 2007 19:49 EST

Food might well be a right, but is unrestricted reproduction of the human race also a right?

LynnOctober 26, 2007 13:38 EST

RickW, isn't that why we're here. That whole survival instinct thing- to me, that's not about rights, that's about species survival. If we all ran around worrying about our right to reproduce, humanity would have died out long ago and you wouldn't be here. For better or worse, that's the fundamental drive underlying our presence here on earth. It ain't pretty or glamourous or even a particularly mighty pursuit, but it's all we've got.

RickWNovember 01, 2007 19:50 EST

Unrestricted reproduction AND unrestricted access to food? 'Tis a very fine (and scary) path one treads with those two requisites.....

Culinary travel guideDecember 23, 2009 19:55 EST

eating organic is an new idea and sound interesting

Add a comment

I agree to’s comments policy.

Canada & its place in the world. Published by
the non-profit charitable Walrus Foundation
The Walrus SoapBox
The Walrus Laughs
Walrus TV