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Green Living Blog: What you can do about rising food prices

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Green Living Blog: What you can do about rising food prices

Green Living Blog logo After reading this post, don't forget to enter our contest – you could win a new dishwasher. Plus, do you have your own story to tell? Send it to greenchallenge@canadianliving.com (no more than 300 words, please), and you could win one of 30 daily prizes. Global food prices are rising dramatically, according to news sources such as cbc.ca and the New York Times, due to a number of factors including drought, high oil prices and the transfer of many crops to produce biofuels rather than food. How big of a problem is it? Well, for most of us in Canada, the percentage increase in our food bills will likely be small – after all, we spend a very low percentage of our income on food, something around 10%. But in poorer countries, where people can spend half or more of their money on food, it's a real crisis. There have been protests and riots recently – even deaths – in countries as diverse as Egypt, the Philippines and Haiti. It's a tough question whether anything we do in our daily lives can make a big impact. But there are definitely many things you can do to lessen your dependence on the global food chain, and to help others in need. Donate to your local food bank. Even if you can afford a 20-cent rise in bread or milk prices, it's a lot harder on someone struggling to make ends meet. Consider making a monetary donation instead of nonperishable goods so that they can purchase fresh food and other groceries for families in need. • Grow your own food. You'll save money and the food will be fresher. And don't take an all-or-nothing approach – start with a pot of herbs, and maybe something easy like Swiss chard. • Play a game. By playing the word game at freerice.com, you're helping raise funds for the UN World Food Programme – and boosting your vocabulary at the same time. (You can donate directly to the UN WFP as well.) • Eat less meat. Meat production consumes far more resources than the production of plant food. By cutting back, you're helping save water and electricity and reducing the need for animal feed. (Read more at davidsuzuki.org.) • Eat what you buy. Throwing food away doesn't help anyone. Analyze your shopping and fridge-clean-out patterns and figure out what changes you can make, and make good use of your freezer. Diet Blog has some good suggestions on how to prevent having to throw away produce. • Click your mouse. At thehungersite.com, a daily click of a button will contribute toward feeding people in need. • Buy local. Canada doesn't produce nearly enough food to support its population – we rely heavily on food imports. By choosing to eat more locally grown and produced foods, you're supporting local farmers and the local economy while freeing up worldwide food supplies for countries who need the imports. What do you think about rising food prices? How are you taking action? Today's code word: world Read more: • Green Living Blog: New book on eating locally in CanadaExcerpt: The 100-Mile Diet10 ways to pest-proof your garden organicallyFood and the environment: Make your grocery shopping greener
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Green Living Blog: What you can do about rising food prices

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