Pork industry's loss, food banks' gain
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | 05:41 AM ET
by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca
It's been a dismal last few years for Canada's pork producers, culminating last month in the beginning of an unprecedented cull. But the industry's collapse is giving Prairie food banks a helping hand.
With feed and fuel costs rising, Canada's 10,000 pork producers were hit by prices that plummeted to pennies per pound. The federal cull is designed to balance out supply.
More than 150,000 pigs, or 10 per cent of the country's breeding herd, will be killed off by this fall under a $50-million federal program.
The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are covering the cost of processing the pigs so that some ground pork can be diverted to food banks.
Meat costs the Red Deer Food Bank, for example, $400 to $500 a week, so the shipments will be welcome. The first deliveries are expected this month. As much as 272,000 kilograms (about 600,000 pounds) of ground pork could go through Alberta's food bank shelves by the time the cull is over.
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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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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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