We’re more conscious than ever of the food we put on our plates today; there’s a greater curiosity to know who the farmers and food producers are behind the fare that keeps us energized and why they are passionate about their work.
Canadian farming has an impressive story to tell. Did you know Canada is the fifth-largest exporter of agricultural and agri-food products in the world? Roughly half of everything we produce in Canada is exported either as direct commodities or as processed food and beverage products.
With over 90% of farmers in Canada dependent on exports in the same way as around 40% of our food processing sector, there is a clear, high demand for food production. This demand brings forward public interest in topics including food safety, the humane treatment of farm animals, and the environment.
But what if a resource existed that dove right into the biggest issues facing our society? We’re talking about issues connected to food — from healthcare to the cost of living, energy to climate change, and more. Well, we have good news for you — it does, and it’s known as The Real Dirt on Farming.
Now in its fifth edition, the flagship publication is tackling the most significant issues of our society head-on while showing Canadians what our farmers and food producers are doing to feed the nation safely, nutritiously, and sustainably.
Since its launch in 2006, over five million copies of The Real Dirt on Farming have been distributed across the country — to educators, doctors’ offices, political leaders, libraries, and more.
The award-winning, 60-page publication is designed to help connect Canadians with their food and the farmers who produce it, using stories and science to address questions and misconceptions about Canadian food, farming, and other subjects of interest to the general public.
“It’s great to see the interest in reliable information about where Canadian food comes from,” stated Amber Anderson, communications manager for Farm & Food Care Ontario. “New with this edition is a website RealDirtonFarming.ca so that the content of the magazine is searchable, and a teacher’s guide to help educators use this resource in their classrooms.”
Canada’s farming landscape and food production are continuously evolving, and The Real Dirt on Farming ensures its content stays on pace with current trends and changes in the industry.
“The Real Dirt on Farming want the public to clearly see food and the farmers that produce it — who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Using both stories and credible science, it addresses common questions and misconceptions about Canadian food and farming, as well as other subjects that the general public has indicated are important to them,” said Anderson.
“An expert committee comprised of researchers, commodity, and subject matter experts were also involved in reviewing and vetting content which was determined, in part, through questions asked by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity in its annual public trust survey of Canadian consumers.”
The fifth edition of The Real Dirt on Farming came to life thanks to a partnership with Farm & Food Care organizations in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island. The captivating, informative stories found within the publication are written by freelance journalist Lilian Schaer.
“For the first time in this edition, we have included Indigenous agriculture, medicinal and ceremonial crops, plant-based proteins, regenerative agriculture, plastics and sustainable packaging, livestock, the Canadian grasslands, and African swine fever,” Anderson told Daily Hive.
“The 2020 edition also includes a significant focus on careers in agriculture with feature stories on 32 people working different careers across the country including primary producers, research scientists, animal care researchers, [a] livestock transporter, software developer, chef, registered dietitian, seasonal agricultural worker, entomologist, food scientist, and more.”
If you’re ready to learn more about where your food comes from in Canada and the teams that get it to your kitchen table, visit realdirtonfarming.ca to read the latest edition of this remarkable publication.