Good Clean Food For Everyone! The Food Security Revolution and Environmental Health

by Gramma Willi

Relatives – like so many of us, I find myself more and more pleased that being an activist has become an easier road to walk. Victories for human rights and for the Earth increase in number and significance and we hear about them sooner than we used to. Everyone’s talking about green jobs. Our hopes are up, we may actually have an activist leading the free world – Yes We Can! It’s quite a time to be a part of it all, isn’t it?

One of my favorite stories about the changes in public attitude towards environment and health concerns feeding our children. So much has changed in my lifetime. As a young mother, it was almost impossible to find, let alone afford, organic baby food; it was tricky to find a place to breast-feed a baby in peace. These days, parents can find a wide variety of organic baby foods and formula in almost any supermarket; my grand-babies were all breast-fed (even the twins!) and fed organic baby foods. Now that the monopolies have more “natural” offerings available to consumers, are we happy with the production? Is there a next step that we need to take?

IICPH (International Institute of Concern for Public Health), whom I have worked with for many years, has a stellar reputation for providing independent, thoughtful analysis and corroborating community environmental health concerns. Most of our works for communities report on contamination of the air, land and water. It has always given me sadness when we report arsenic, tritium, mercury, lead or other highly damaging pollution where people have food gardens or farms. Food discussions at our youth and elder gatherings took on sad notes when realizing how very careful we must be where we grow our food, where it comes from and how it is prepared. We can make sensible choices when we consider our health.

The good news is, learning to choose, grow and cook good food provides not only sound environmental education, but when applied, benefits everyone’s health and saves people money! The truth is out there, people want clean food and groups like IICPH are uniquely positioned to help them to learn about it. Never has environmental health education been more timely and important… and good food is a delicious place to focus.

Perhaps the silver lining of the economic collapse is that the cards are on the table. Finally, the voices of old hippies and tireless activists are welcome and needed. The public continues to become informed and grows in wisdom as the next generation begins making its mark in history books and business reports. Let’s fill their bellies and minds with good things.

Remember that I love you

All My Relations,

Gramma Willi


Gramma Willi has been working with IICPH since 1997. Expressions of her dedication to the clean food revolution can be found at and


Here are a few more resources to get you started if you want to do more about clean food:
The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC)
is a non-profit 501(c)(3), North American organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times.
Toronto Food Policy Council
, 277 Victoria Street, Suite 203, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W1l: Wayne “‚ÄúTaking control of our food” Roberts, Project Co-ordinator: 416-338-7937. Friends of Toronto Food Policy Council is on Facebook.
Their aim “is a food system that fosters equitable food access, nutrition, community development and environmental health.
The Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador
have a great page full of links to action going on all over!

Please email to Gramma Willi if you know of any more independent and reliable resources to help our Rough Times mission:

Good Clean Food For Everyone!

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 2:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Easy to make, Corned Beef and Cabbage is not only a gourmet treat, but is an honored tradition here in the Canadian Maritimes. We call it “boiled dinner” and substitute pickled pork hocks, necks or ribs, fresh beef or fresh fish for the corned beef. Honorable mention goes out to Dave Osborne, who requested this recipe from Gramma Willi. NOT for the cholesterol-shy!

1-2 pound piece of corned beef

4-5 liters of Water

2-3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed or peeled, chopped into bite size pieces

3-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks

1 medium sized turnip, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces

1 medium cabbage, cored and cut into 8 equal portions

Fill a large cooking pot with water, add the corned beef, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for an hour or two, until the meat is pretty much cooked. Cut the meat into nice sized chunks and return to the cooking water.

Add the carrots, turnip and potatoes, add water to cover if necessary. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and cook 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the cabbage over top of everything, bring to a boil, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until the cabbage is done. This is a delicious, satisfying and hearty meal served with home made bannock or corn bread.

Tip: If you’re making a fish boiled dinner, cook the vegetables first (I’d leave out the cabbage); add the fish during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.

Money-Saving Hint: cut-price smoked meat or pastrami end-cuts work very well with this recipe and really save money! Cook them for a shorter time by adding all the meat and vegetables at once, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.