Sustainable Farming, Climate Change, and Innovation

Common question: what about pollinator health?

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Honey bees, bumblebees, and many wild pollinators play a critical role in producing fruits, vegetables, and other crops like canola. They pollinate blossoms on plants, turning them into apples or pumpkins, for example. Although data show that the number of live honey bee colonies is increasing in Canada83, ongoing high levels of bee deaths in some parts of the country are a concern. Many factors can impact bee colony health and cause bee death, such as long winters, cold temperatures, inadequate nutrition, or pests and diseases, such as a parasitic mite called Varroa destructor, which has been devastating to Canadian honey bee colonies.

Farming and water use

There are many different ways to calculate how much water is being used to make different food products — and a lot of them can be misleading, like the claim that it takes thousands of litres of water to make one burger patty. Yes, raising beef cattle does use water, but most of that water actually ends up back in the environment through manure or water vapour. This process is known as the water cycle, and it means that water is just being used and reused, and not lost forever, as it merely goes back into rotation. Even though Canada is home to 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water, its availability and quality are important issues for Canadians, especially as the climate continues to change. That’s another reason why sustainable farming practices, and using water in balance with the environment, are becoming more and more important.

beef vs people?

  • Beef steer only drink about 10 gallons (about 38 litres)
  • Average person in Canada uses about 59 gallons (223 litres) per day for consumption and hygiene.