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.

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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.

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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 www.terracefood.ca 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.

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