Agriculture in the City educates urban families about food production
SASKATOON – You didn’t have to leave Saskatoon on Saturday to experience life on the farm. Lawson Heights Mall was transformed into a rural information centre for the fifth annual Agriculture in the City event.
This year’s event featured six different activity zones including crops, animals, food, agriculture, careers and science.
“Only about two per cent of the population has any direct connection anymore. People really want to know where their food is coming from. They’re really curious about the whole process of food production,” said organizer Jan Cote.
People were able to learn about the role agriculture has in our daily lives and no part of the process was left out.
“This isn’t a petting zoo. We aren’t here to promote animals as pets. This agriculture is for the purposes of food,” Cote said.
Tim Keet, a representative from the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan, said farmers hold an important role in bridging the knowledge gap in food production.
“You know this is about human consumption and this is what we need to do to educate the students and the kids about what things are about. We have to eat,” Keet said.
While free range and free run chickens are all the rage, Keet says it’s imperative to keep in mind the importance for controlled growth environments.
“There are more pressures, but then again the knowledge of the quality of food, where they’re coming from and why they’re doing it in certain ways is very important,” explained Keet.
Keet wasn’t the only exhibitor feeling the pressure from food trends. One had an entire display dedicated to calming fears about hormone use in beef developed from a fast food chain’s advertisements.
“We have a display here to show people that there’s not any more hormones in your beef compared to such things as birth control, which has a lot more hormones than what you’d be eating in your beef,” says Melissa Hurst with the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association.
According to the Alberta Beef Producers, an adult woman would have to eat 95 cows with hormone implants per day to match her own daily production of estrogen.
While the day mainly focused on educating children, it seemed there were also plenty of opportunities for parents to learn something new.
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