Columnist Margo Peill talks about the importance of understanding what’s on your plate. (File Photo)

Columnist Margo Peill talks about the importance of understanding what’s on your plate. (File Photo)

COLUMN | Learning how to understand food beyond our plate

Food Matters by columnist Margo Peill

By Margo Peill

Food literacy is one of those phrases that means something a little differently to everyone.

It’s often defined as the knowledge and skills around how to source, prepare, produce, afford and consume food. I would even argue that in 2019, this definition could be broadened to include how we enjoy food as well as the social, cultural and emotional connections food provides and often instigates.

Food literacy helps us to understand why we make the decisions we make around food and acts as a platform on which we can expand skills, thoughts, practices and ideas.

This seems a little overwhelming for some,but just learning how to read nutrition labels in the grocery store or baking your own bread are both considered food literacy.

And that’s really what makes it exciting: you can follow your passions and choose to build on the skill sets you are interested in or feel are valuable for you and your family.

READ MORE: COLUMN | Relationships require a rule for fair fighting

Beyond the beauty of being able to learn almost anything from a Google search or YouTube channel, here in Terrace, we have some really amazing food literacy opportunities: many of them coming up over the winter season:

If you’re keen to learn more about cooking, then Skeena Diversity on a Friday evening is the place for you. Each Friday around 5 p.m. they host an International Cooking night, where local community members come together to share each others company, recipes, and of course food! Absolutely everyone is welcome, no registration is required and everything is supplied! Drop in to their space on Lazelle during the week or check out the Skeena Diversity Society Facebook page to find out more.

The Skeena Valley Winter Farmers Market will also be hosting a series of workshops over the winter at the Winter Markets happening in the Sherwood Brewery Warehouse.

The first workshop, coming up at the next Winter Farmers Market on December 7 is ‘Winter Wellness’ and will cover everyday food choices you can incorporate throughout the winter for strong immune systems and general good health.

Other workshops throughout the winter include: Seeds 101, Plastic-Free Holidays, International Cooking with Winter’s Bounty, Perennial Herbs and Composting.

Thanks to the Terrace Community Foundation, all these workshops are free and open to anyone keen to learn! Check out the Winter Farmers Market event on the Skeena Valley Farmers Market Facebook Page for more details.

READ MORE: COLUMN | Too dull-witted to read the warning signs?

If it’s growing your own food that lights your passion then on February 1, the all-day workshop being held by the Terrace Food Association is one you won’t want to miss.

This workshop, which runs from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex is described by the organizers as ‘an educational event designed to connect local food producers, backyard farmers and community members while exploring alternative methods of growing food.

It’ll also be a great opportunity to network and think spring and also enjoy some lunch with some local treats’!

The Ministry of Agriculture and the City of Terrace help to make this event accessible to everyone with admission by donation. Keep an eye out for posters going up around town and be sure to RSVP at if you’re interested in attending.

Margaret Peill is the Skeena Valley Farmers Market manager with a B.Sc in Health Promotion, working to improve sustainable food systems in Northwest B.C.

Food Matters is one of four columns by local writers exploring Northwest food, music, art and mental wellness.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

The Nisga’a Nation activated its pandemic safety protocols Nov. 20 after a positive COVID-19 case in the Terrace area was identified. (Nisga’a Lisims Government photo)
Nisga’a Nation reverts to phase one pandemic restrictions

Tightening of precautions follows discovery of positive case in Terrace

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

New COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the in-person portion of the second annual Festival of Trees event scheduled for Nov. 20 -21 in Terrace. (Pexels)
In-person event cancelled, online auction still a go for Terrace’s Festival of Trees

Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation was planning to host the event at Heritage Park

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read