OFA along with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) identified food literacy as an important component of the National Food Strategy.
OFA is addressing the challenge of teaching healthy, lifelong food choices to today’s youth with the development of the Six by Sixteen food literacy initiative. We launched the Six by Sixteen food literacy program as part of our efforts to strengthen food literacy among Ontario’s young adults and the next generation of consumers.
Six by Sixteen is a collaborative program with more than 20 industry partners that aims to teach young people how to plan and prepare six nutritious (and locally sourced) meals by the time they are 16 years old. SixbySixteen.me is an online gateway to an extensive library of Canadian resources including how-to cooking videos, recipes and where to source local Ontario grown products. The online hub was created for parents, health professionals and young teens to promote local food and healthy food choices.
OFA, along with an advisory committee, including the Nutrition Resource Centre – Ontario Public Health Association, Ontario Home Economics Association, AgScape and Farm & Food Care Ontario, conducted a research project through the Greenbelt Fund to measure the level of food literacy in Ontario.
The purpose of the Food Literacy Attitude and Awareness research project was to gain a better understanding of the current state of food literacy in Ontario, in order to effectively develop programs and information that will effectively reach Ontario consumers.
OFA strongly believes food literacy contributes to lifelong well-being, a sustainable health care system and supports our agri-food sector. OFA wants food literacy programs reintroduced in our schools to teach Ontario’s young adults to make better, healthier food choices.
OFA has advocated for the Ontario government to implement a strong food literacy component in our school curriculum. We believe the province must now engage in a serious long-term effort to improve literacy and access for food across Ontario.