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The Food in the North

VeggiesFarming in the arctic isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world. The mindset of a farmer in the north is summed up well by barley farmer Bryce Wrigley, who says, “If there’s a way of growing it, we’ll figure it out.” Wrigley is in attendance for the eighth annual Circumpolar Agriculture Conference, which seeks to expand knowledge on agriculture in the arctic while also examining the general conflicts that arise with food in these northern climes where weather is cold, increasingly unpredictable, and changing.

Karen Tanino, professor at the University of Saskatchewan, focuses on the policies surrounding agriculture and food of the arctic. It is certain that lawmaking plays an enormous effect on how food is reached. For example, Alaskan natives are required to channel through paperwork before trading with Canadian First Nations, despite having thousands of years of this kind of trading long before bureaucratic forms were even invented. Several different governments oversee this transaction and it inhibits the process greatly. Do they really need to jump through so many hoops?

The Circumpolar Conference seeks to find out why the food system in the arctic is failing. People come from all over the world to share and discuss ideas, successes, and failures. Many believe that for those in Alaska and Canada, understanding the complex layers of law and how people are getting their food (encouraging people to buy local), are a couple of ways that may lead to a more successful food program. Changing the laws will be the hard part, but it is crucial to maintain and preserve a good food system. Shifting groups of people to buy locally and understand the laws is a good step forward into making a brighter future for the condition of food in the north.


Source: Alaska Dispatch









Image: MaxStraeten