Meatless Mondays

By Lihwen Hsu, VFPC Working Group 

After the presentation and co-facilitation of a discussion on sustainable diets by Eleanor Boyle, author of “High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat”, at the Vancouver Food Policy Council’s February meeting, an idea was discussed to get City Council to create a proclamation for a ‘Meatless Monday’ on May 6th!

To grasp an understanding of what Meatless Monday is, it starts with what is on our plate. The food that we eat comes from the earth and what we have on that plate varies. Where we get our food, how we get our food, what we get, and why we get it, are questions that are often not asked in our daily routine.

Meatless Monday is an event that gives us pause to think about it. It is about healthy sustainable eating for ourselves and for the environment. By making a Monday, meat-free, it causes people to become more aware of the environmental impact their food choices make.  Livestock uses 30% of the earth’s entire land surface, responsible for a large portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (FAO, 2006) that contribute to climate change. By reducing the meat intake in our diet, it can also decrease the risk for health risks such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

We can eat less meat. We can buy meat raised sustainably and compassionately, and we can encourage a better food policy to support this. We are not only doing it for our environment, but also for our communities and ourselves.  The City of Vancouver has the opportunity to become the first Canadian city to adopt this, give your support and tell your friends about it!

Learn more at

Also, check out this short film directed by Ali Rashti and Russell Bennett, called “Meathead”:

Meathead is a film noir set in a future world where eating meat is illegal. This film is a tribute to the “Meatless Mondays” campaign to raise climate change awareness.

March Meeting: Towards a More Bioregional Food System

We are excited that Kent Mullinix and some of his team from Kwantlen University are going to be with us for the second half of the meeting to talk about the South-West BC Food System Design and Planning Project that they are working on. The aim of their research is to develop, for each region:

  • A bio-regional Food System Design (including production, wild and traditional food provisioning, processing, distribution, access, and waste management) that supports agriculture and food provisioning, strengthens the economy, promotes environmental stewardship, fosters food security and public health, maximizes food self-reliance, and strengthens communities; and,
  • An Implementation Plan consisting of critical information and targeted tools to be used by existing and future farmers and food-sector entrepreneurs, consumers, and community, Government, and First Nations leaders to actualize the Bio-Regional Food System design.

It is a very ambitious project that we think has many important connections to our work in Vancouver and across the region.
Wednesday, March 20th
Vancouver City Hall, Town Hall Room
453 West 12th Ave. Map

Meeting Agenda >>

Please note that after hours, you must enter City hall via the 11th Avenue entrance.

See you there!

The Right to Food in Canada: A Community Conversation

Monday, March 4, 2013 from 9-11am
In the Town Hall Room at Vancouver City Hall (453 West 12th Avenue)

* Please arrive a few minutes early as the event will start at 9am *


On March 4 Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, will be presenting his report on Canada to the UN Council on Human Rights. Food Secure Canada is providing a platform for Mr De Schutter to share his conclusions in an interactive webinar with communities gathered across Canada.

His report, which can be downloaded from Food Secure Canada’s website, highlights a variety of hunger, health, aboriginal rights, and food systems (both land and water-based) issues, which we will continue to discuss once the national webinar has ended with a short panel and roundtable discussion facilitated by Brent Mansfield, the Co-Chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council. Panelists include:

Graham Riches, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, UBC
Dawn Morrison, Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Aart Schuurman Hess, CEO, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society
Fraser Stuart, Raise the Rates Campaign

We hope you will join us for this very important conversation that is a chance to show that we are not alone in thinking that Canada’s food system is unjust, unhealthy and unsustainable.

This event is open to the public and the media. Please distribute  For more information please contact Brent Mansfield – / 604-837-7667

Download event PDF

February Meeting: Sustainable Diets

Image-front-cover_coverbookpageFor the second half of our February meeting, we’re excited that Eleanor Boyle, the recent author of High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat, will be with us to present and co-facilitate a discussion on what is internationally being called ‘sustainable diets’.

See the full meeting agenda here (PDF) >>

Wednesday, February 20th
Vancouver City Hall
453 West 12th Ave. Map

Note: Enter via 12th Avenue entrance after hours.

Here’s a video teaser:


Vancouver Food Strategy going to City Council

We along with the City of Vancouver’s food policy staff are excited that the Vancouver Food Strategy and also Farmers Market Policy is going to City Council for their consideration next week. The Food Strategy has been a long time in the making and we are proud to have been a part of its development.

The Strategy will be presented to regular Council meeting on Tuesday 29th, and then Council will hear from speakers on Wednesday 30th at the Standing Committee. The agenda details and Food Strategy document can be found here. The meeting will kick off at 9:30am in Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall on Tuesday Jan 29th – though timing may be subject to changes as it goes for all meetings.

Please come out and show City Council that you support this important next stage in the development of food policy in Vancouver!

Your input on the food strategy is welcome! If you cannot attend the meeting, you can communicate your thoughts to the Mayor and Councillors by sending an email to and they will receive all correspondence.



January Meeting: The Business of Food – Challenges to Scaling up our Local Food System

On January 23rd, our meeting topic is “The Business of Food-Challenges to Scaling up Our Local Food System”, a topic that we hope will help our members and guests better understand how our food current system practically works, as well as give us an opportunity to examine how we as an advisory body, can support more local food production and consumption.

There will be a panel of three speakers, each given 5 minutes to explain to the room challenges they perceive to increasing the volume or improving the business case for more local food in the BC market. After the panel, we will also do some break out work to explore the challenges we’ve heard about.

The meeting starts at 6 pm at Vancouver City Hall in the Town Hall Meeting Room. The panel will start after our break at 7pm. After 5 pm, enter City Hall from the main entrance on 12th Avenue.

Vancouver City Hall
453 West 12th Ave.
Vancouver, BC

Meeting Agenda PDF


November Meeting: Keeping the Just in “Just and Sustainable”

We are excited to be continuing to explore some of the discussion from our October meeting about what makes a just food system, as our theme for this month’s meeting with be “Keeping the Just in “Just and Sustainable”: Exploring How Food Assets Can Support a Just Food System”.

Diane Collis from Fresh Choice Community Kitchens, Stephanie Lim from Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute and Scott Rowe from New Hope Cuisine will start us off with short presentations, followed by some large and small group discussions.