Sink your teeth into food exhibition

A new initiative to encourage people to eat locally grown and produced food has been launched in Oceanside.

Let’s Eat Local is a new event designed to promote local produce.

A new initiative to encourage people to eat locally grown and produced food has been launched in Oceanside.

Let’s Eat Local is being sponsored by the Parksville Community and Conference Centre (PCCC) and will take place Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The goals of the event are to encourage chefs to use more local products, support farmers and food producers, encourage growth in our agriculture industry and support the concept of a culinary tourism industry.

Farmers and food producers throughout Oceanside will be present to showcase their products and share what they do.

Margaret Spruit with the PCCC said at least 14 vendors have confirmed they are attending the event and they expect even more exhibitors will register.

Some of the benefits of eating locally include improved food security and a reduction in green house gas emissions.

Food security means that all members of our society have access to enough food at all times. The food must be nutritious, sufficient, safe and environmentally sustainable.

On Vancouver Island, food security is an issue that needs some attention. Ninety per cent of the Island’s food is brought in from the outside and according to some experts there are only three days’ worth of fresh food on the Island to feed people in the non-summer months.

Add the rising price of fuel into the picture, and people could find themselves being priced out of the ability to pay for such items as Idaho Potatoes.

Proponents of The Vancouver Island Diet encourage people to not only eat food produced on the Island (by becoming a locavore), but also support our local farmers, fishers and food producers by providing them with a decent livelihood. They suggest people seek out local producers to use on a daily basis and shop locally.

That includes asking the managers of local stores to clearly label when foods and products are from the Island.

If you attend Let’s Eat Local you will discover that you don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy fresh locally grown food.

Some of the vendors confirmed to date are: Cool Wild Fish, Nanoose Edibles, Island Edibles, Pine Ridge Farms, Sloping Hill Farm, Westcoast Wild Whites, Nanaimo Food Share and Epicure.

Spruit said the RDN will have an agricultural table and the provincial Agricultural Minister has expressed interest in attending the event.

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