Conservation Volunteers promoting conservation values...with their taste buds!

Barney Reeves and Joan Holzmann enjoy lunch while overlooking Pine Ridge (Photo by NCC)

Barney Reeves and Joan Holzmann enjoy lunch while overlooking Pine Ridge (Photo by NCC)

July 2, 2014 | by Maggie Cascadden | 0 Comments

In Alberta, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) volunteers join forces with the Conservation Volunteers team to do projects all over the province. When volunteers come, we are always sure to feed them well-deserved snacks. Until this year, we haven’t had much opportunity to be selective or thoughtful about where our snack foods come from. However, this year we’ve been given the opportunity to change that story. Thanks to generous support from Nexen Energy, a CNOOC Limited company, the Conservation Volunteers team has decided to select food that is both good for the environment and promotes the development of local food production so Albertans maintain food security in the long-term.

Mayra Ojdea, NCC volunteer, has more energy to pull hound’s-tongue, thanks in part to a healthy, organic snack. (Photo by NCC)

Mayra Ojdea, NCC volunteer, has more energy to pull hound’s-tongue, thanks in part to a healthy, organic snack. (Photo by NCC)

So, the Conservation Volunteers team has been thinking carefully about where we get our snacks this year. We have decided to use our money to get food that is in line with our conservation values and goals. Additionally, we are looking for food that is grown in a way that reinforces the food production systems in Alberta. What this means is that the Conservation Volunteers team is looking for local and organic food.

Luckily for us, there are other organizations in Calgary who have the same ideals. A month ago, we went to Community Foods and picked up boxes of Enjoy Life organic, gluten-free and GMO-free granola bars in three delicious flavours to hand out to kids attending our Nature Days event. Last week, we ordered organic bananas, apples, oranges and pears from SPUD, a weekly organic and local food delivery service, for volunteers coming out to Waterton and north of Edmonton to volunteer. Maybe next week we’ll order some local berries, or organic pancake mix.

How do the volunteers feel about this? I had the opportunity to find out at a Conservation Volunteers events this past weekend, when volunteers were in Waterton pulling hound’s-tongue in Waterton. Before hiking up to the picturesque Pine Ridge for lunch, I gathered everyone around the truck and told them the story of our food.

Zoe Cascadden, NCC volunteer, is all smiles as other volunteers walk up Pine Ridge, organic snacks in hand. (Photo by NCC)

Zoe Cascadden, NCC volunteer, is all smiles as other volunteers walk up Pine Ridge, organic snacks in hand. (Photo by NCC)

Their response? People felt good about it. The volunteers took the food, ate it, and smiled.

So when you come to volunteer with the Conservation Volunteers team this summer, look out for our food! Feel good about what you are eating.

 

 

About the Author

Maggie Cascadden is a former Conservation Volunteers intern for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Alberta Region.

Read more about Maggie Cascadden.

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