Tea. Please Read. You won’t regret it. You get free tea (no lie).

Tea. Please Read. You won’t regret it. You get free tea (no lie).

Personally, I really love tea. I like to go to Teavana to try their blends, and occasionally even buy them. I thought I’d share the coupon. The tea normally expensive, but that is because they are “fresh and high quality” (according to their website). We aren’t normally provided with free things so go ahead and try some!

What I did was I printed out two coupons (make sure the reference number isn’t the same) and got two teas. I kept one cup for myself, and I gave the other one to a homeless person. 

Share the free tea. Enjoy!


Southern Africa Food Insecurity (Blog 10)

“As Mougeot notes, cash incomes for the urban poor are low and unreliable and quality food is often unaffordable” (Crush; Frayne, 2011, 782). It frightens me that this quote, intended to describe the food conditions in Africa, can be directly and efficiently applied to our society. Food security is a global issue.


We are fortunate enough to have an abundance of places to purchase our food, lowering our overall struggle with food insecurity. “Accessibility hinges primarily on the individual or household’s ability to purchase foodstuffs, which in turn depends on household income, the price of food and the location of food outlets” (Crush; Frayne, 2011, 781). Developed countries have greater opportunities for families struggling with food insecurity. Discount food stores for example, give families a place to buy food that will feed their family at a lower cost, but also have the nutritious value of a good meal.


Southern Africa is at an attempt to create more food supply areas. Currently, the consumer market is steered strictly by a minimal number of large, corporate supermarkets (Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Woolworths, and Spar). Walmart, the American superstore, wants to join into the South African economy. Good idea, or bad?


The informal food market maintains an important impact on Southern African society and economy. Being the main resource of food, it “plays an essential role in the provisioning of urban households and in making food available to the urban poor” (Crush; Frayne, 2011, 782). Informal markets have been an important part of Southern Africa, and putting them in a risky situation is not fair.


Why should Walmart, an American store, open and receive income from the people of Southern Africa? If Walmart opens, it will be a major source of competition for the informal food market.  One may argue that informal markets will still be an important part of the “informal settlements”, although it takes away the overall culture (Crush; Frayne, 2011, 791).


Should other countries be able to open their large supermarkets in other countries? 


Crush, J. and Frayne, B. 2011. Supermarket expansion and the informal food economy in  
      Southern African cities: Implications for Urban Food Security. Journal of Southern African
      Studies, 37 (4), 781-807 

World News: Food Security and Jakarta (Link 10)

World News: Food Security and Jakarta (Link 10)

This article focuses on the new initiatives to aid countries in ASEAN organization to improve their struggles with food security. This array of countries face the unpredictability of food supply, and constantly rising food prices.  

“Food security is not purely about supply and demand but also about paths to providing supply of  food and ending the mismatch in approaches when handling producers, businesses and consumers” (Wisnu, 2013). 

Food security is not something that people are aware of on a obvious note. If it wasn’t for this class, I probably would unintentionally ignore the issue. Just as many common issues, the lack of education on this topic causes this problem to further increase. 

Europe’s Best: A Product of Chile (SP 10)

Europe's Best: A Product of Chile

Food has been the topic of the past few weeks. Since then, I have decided to make an effort to check where my food comes from. I like to snack on frozen fruits on the odd occasion, so I bought this at Wal-Mart last week. It made me laugh. The title is quite deceiving.

Imports have become a crucial part of our lives. Why?  We can get anything at anytime. Comfort and convenience: the kryptonite of human beings.

When I went shopping this week, I bought the fruit that was locally grown (except for the frozen fruit again; I gave in. Hence the kryptonite).

Macklemore? Can we go thrift shopping? (Link 9)

Macklemore? Can we go thrift shopping? (Link 9)


Did you know that a single pair of jeans uses almost a thousand gallons of water? A “washed out” look to the jeans is even more environmentally harmful.

    Thrift shopping was not a popular form of purchasing goods until the whole “retro-hipster” phase began but, thrift shopping is such a great improvement for your wallet AND the environment. 

  Going to stores such as Forever 21, you have to think sometimes: who would wear this? I mean obnoxious florescent green cheetah print jeans? Really? It’s great that stores like that are helping the economy but, they’re also damaging the environment. 


Next time you’re out for a purchase, rethink your choice. 

Article Summary- Group 2

The article, Supermarket Expansion and the Informal Food Economy in Southern African Cities: Implications for Urban Food Security deals with the lack of access to food in Southern Africa. It examines the policy interventions regarding food from  informal food sources and the expansion of supermarkets. However, the article suggested that supermarket expansion has little to no impact on the urban informal economy.  The poor urban households get food through social networks, grants and relatives from out of the city. Geographical access to food also contributes to food insecurity alongside with income.  In addition, the major source of food belongs to a handful of companies such as Shoprite and Massmart, which is problematic because small farmers cannot compete and most live on social grants.

–       Food insecurity occurs worldwide

–       Low-income families are mostly affected by this issue

–       South Africa has an informal market vs. here- we rely on a supermarket system to attain our food needs

–       South African people rely on families to provide them with food vs. here-more self sustaining food income

Toronto and Food Insecurity (Blog 9)

Food insecurity should not even be an issue in Canada, yet 1 in 10 Canadians households experienced food insecurity in 2004 (Kirkpatrick; Tarasuk, 2009, 135).

Food insecurity seems to be a growing and ongoing issue. As wages are decreasing and jobs are becoming harder to find, food prices are highly increasing. I went grocery shopping today and I browsed around prices. The food prices in Toronto are exceedingly high. Bloor Street Market is prone to good sales and deal, but Rabba? I don’t think ‘sale’ is part of their vocabulary. Being open 24/7, Rabba is a reliable food source for many Vic students. If you missed dinner or you’re in need of a late night snack, Rabba is ‘where it’s at.’ In contrast to the student residences, there are many residential apartments nearby. Yorkville is just around the corner, and there are small housing areas between Young and Bay. My point is, that there is a mix of economic incomes. The majority of people who reside in Yorkville can afford these prices, but there are many who cannot afford these prices. But what if these people do not have the ability to get to discounted supermarkets? Is it fair that they have to pay these prices?

“Among the resource augmentation strategies examined, delaying payment bills in response to threats of food shortages was most commonly used” (Kirkpatrick; Tarasuk, 2009, 137).  In a developed, economically stable country, no one should be struggling to manage money and shelter. If a larger, low-income family lives in an area without access to discounted food stores, how are they to feed their children? What if one of the family members needed intensive medical care or medicine? The family, probably lacking insurance benefits, would have to rely on food banks and shelters. Associations between food insecure houses and distance to discount supermarkets varied from 1-2 km (Kirkpatrick; Tarasuk, 2010, 1141). Depending on the form of transportation they have, 1 to 2 kilometers can be quite challenging. It takes about one kilometer to get from Innis to Victoria College. Now imagine carrying groceries for your entire family. Not so pleasant, eh?

I understand that the guest did not support food banks, but I think that food banks are still a reasonable source of food attainment. When your family has absolutely nothing on their plate, even a slice of processed cheese is better than a starving child. Luckily, I have never been in this situation, but I believe that I would attend a food bank if I had too.

This year, our residences had the opportunities to donate 30 meals per person (with the individual’s permission) to a food drive. Small actions like these can help with hunger.  As a community, we should be informed of issues like this.

Kirkpatrick, S and Tarasuk, V. 2009. Food insecurity and participation in community food programs among low-income

Toronto families. Canadian Journal of Public Health, March.April, 135-139.

Kirkpatrick, S and Tarasuk,V. 2010. Assessing the relevance of neighbourhood characteristics to the household food

security of low-income Toronto families. Public Health Nutrition, 13 (7), 1139-1148.