Now is the time to build sustainable food system resilience –

Jul 15, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our globalized food systems. Many families are experiencing food insecurity, there is pressure on the well-being of food industry workers as indoor farming and processing facilities have experienced some of Canada’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks, and just-in-time food chains are vulnerable to disruptions. These struggles point to ways we could pivot our infrastructure to build sustainable food system resilience that not only improves health but also benefits biodiversity and ecosystems.

Ready, equitable access to good quality food keeps everyone more resistant to disease and reduces the burden on the health care system. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. The pandemic adds to concerns about the cost of diet related disease. For example, it was estimated that by 2022, 2.16 million new cases of diabetes are expected, corresponding to $15.36 billion in health care costs i. Additionally, we know that crises such as COVID-19 put people that are most vulnerable at greater risk, in particular First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of Black and racialized communities, including newcomers, women, low-income individuals, youth, children and the elderly.

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