At the last census in 2006, just over 80 percent of Canada's population lived in urban centres. How we feed that population and protect its food sources is an enduring subject of debate in food security circles these days. As consumers and citizens, we all need to take a hard look at the deficiencies in Canada's ability to feed the urban poor; our dependence on imported foods and centralized food processing; our detachment from our food sources; the often problematic solutions to food security devised by governments, municipalities and n-profit groups; and where we are headed if we change thing in these times when change is urgently needed. Many efforts are being made to introduce urban agriculture initiatives all across the country, to address the problems we've created and to protect our cities from real and potential crises in the food supply. With passion and lyricism, Digging the City addresses the problems facing urban omnivores in the 21st century and looks at various policy, grassroots and utopian solutions being developed and implemented, while considering the pros and cons of plans such as vertical farms, urban fish farms, transition-town initiatives, seed banks, permaculture and water conservation projects.
Rhona McAdam is a poet, blogger and food writer. She has a master's in food culture and communications from L'UniversitA degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche (Bra, Italy), writes a food and poetry blog (Iambic Cafe), and for several years taught an online course in urban agriculture and food security for St. Lawrence College. Rhona lives in Victoria, British Columbia.