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What happens if Canada's protective bubble bursts?

hildebrandt-amber-52.jpg
by Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca


If it wasn't for the fact that I work in the media, I'd have no idea food prices were rising catastrophically around the world. My grocery bill, last I checked, seemed about right. And that's likely the case for most Canadians.

But analysts warn that our protective bubble is about to burst.

And I can't help but wonder how Canadians will react. Riots and protests the likes of those seen in developing countries around the world are highly unlikely. Here at home, the reaction will be muted.

Will Canadians simply borrow from our entertainment pot to pay for costlier food? Or will we see a surge in the already trendy locavore culture, with city dwellers buying up fashionable Eglus to raise chickens in their backyards or buying from area farmers instead of the grocery store?

Or perhaps institutions and families here will look south of the 49th parallel for inspiration, where Associated Press reported Monday that some university cafeterias have begun paring down their portions in an effort to reduce costs.

Even Harvard, one of the richest universities in the U.S., tried to cut back on pricier ingredients in its dining hall, pulling whole grain pasta and cherry tomatoes from its menu. The changes didn't last long in the face of student outrage. Other schools were more creative to try to keep food costs down, with some eliminating trays to keep students from grabbing more food.

How about you? How do you plan to adjust to rising food prices?

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Comments

Crystal

Winnipeg

Limiting the portions served is a wonderful idea for to reduce grocery costs. This option will also help the obesity problem. In turn, having to buy less food to make smaller portions allows more people to walk to the grocery store, which in turn saves more money by conserving fuel and further helps the obesity problem.
So maybe, the increase in food and fuel costs may lead to people leading a healthier life in the end?

Posted May 8, 2008 05:15 PM

ernie naylor

Canada has the cheapest food in the world as a percent of disposable income (around 10%). I agree the average Canadian spends more on entertainment in a year than food.We have to change our priorities in life and realize that we have had acess to very cheap food. A look at the agriculture Canada web site will show the losses farmers have taken in the last few years to subsidize the food bill. This is not sustainable, there is no free ride in life,we have to start paying the actual cost of food. This will mean giving up some frivolous things

Posted May 8, 2008 06:04 PM

Douglas Chapman

Ottawa

Apple Grove St. will never produce apples to survive on. We paved over our best farm land, hoping that forign countries will feed us. We have only our selves to blame.

Posted May 8, 2008 06:14 PM

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About the blog

From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

About the writers

Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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