Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...
                                     

Why Localism?

 There are numerous reasons why localism is a wise choice for today's global economic, environmental, and social climate. Let me share a few:

 

Boosting Local Economy: Your Dollar has Power!

When I buy locally the money stays within my community. This creates true economic growth. On the other hand, when I purchase imported products, the greater power of that transaction belongs to the originating country whose product I purchased.

For example, the retail industry (e.g. malls) relies largely on imported goods. While this creates employment which is of course good for the local economy, this is not true growth. The potency of the dollar is truncated. True economic growth is rooted in increasing our exports and decreasing our imports; thus, inextricably linked to a local living paradigm.

Read More. . . Boosting Local Economy: Your Dollar has Power!

 

Health & Wellness Reasons: Your Life well Lived!

There are a host of reasons why local food is a healthier choice.

  • Higher Consumption of Healthy Food

    Local initiatives such as community gardens and farmers markets increase the amount of fresh produce consumption. In short, people eat healthier when they are surrounded with the colours, smells, and community interaction that local food initiatives offer.

    Not to mention that it tastes to much better! Who can resist those neatly bunched carrots waiting to be crunched? And that colourful Swiss chard? Or those glorious sun-ripened tomatoes? Or those bursting juicy berries? Or the happy goat cheese (yes, I want to know my goat cheese has come from happy goats. And talking to the local farmer allows me that privilege!)? Or that local spicy bison sausage waiting to be sizzled on my backyard BBQ?) I am currently writing this in winter, and writing about these sensory experiences makes me hungry for summer!)

  • Biodiversity

    Local food is grown for full flavour, nutrient content, and preservation of heritage seeds; thus, encouraging biodiversity. Whereas "travelled" food is grown based on its efficacy in production (the "need" for GMO becomes apparent here), how well it travels, and its appearance when it hits the market. In fact, these utilitarian factors influence the choice of food available at a conventional supermarket negating the value and potency that real and historically-rich food offers. Conventional travelled food is pre-selected for consumers based on criterion devoid of factors that would naturally influence food selection.

    For example, a green pepper in the supermarket will be bred for its aesthetic qualities like colour, shine, and how well it travels. These restrictive criterions discourage biodiversity. Small farms and gardens have the privilege of growing history-rich heritage seeds, and sharing seeds within community — for life cannot be owned, only shared. Local living negates the "need" for GMO products.

Community-Orientation: Your true Joy!

Rather than seeking out the cheapest price for "me", a local living paradigm seeks goodwill as persons within community. It moves from me to we. This shift is multi-faceted in its benefits:

  • Joy: Local living is rooted in a joy of supporting fellow Canadian citizens. The lens of local living through which one interprets life is refreshingly clearer and fuller. It invariably chips away at our shallow egocentric approaches to life, giving way to a rooted joy. Local living embraces life as persons in community. This way of life is richer and more meaningful, even when it hits the wallet in ways it would not otherwise.

    Making a local purchase (e.g. a bedroom set) will cost more from a local tradesperson versus a cheap import. This require sacrifice in other areas of life (e.g. less entertainment or increasing at-home low-cost meals like lentils and beans) in order to afford the local purchase. Local living inevitably requires sacrifice. The reality is Canadian families have limited budgets. Having it all is not an option. But the sacrifice of goodwill is rooted in a joy. There is a joy (nearly unexplainable) that comes from a lifestyle that thinks "we." Local living connects local purchases with paying the wages of fellow citizens. There is pleasure in being a part of this cause and effect.

  • Quality: Local living is rooted in the present and the future. It moves beyond a temporal lens and thinks long- term. What may be in my best interest for me today may not be the best choice long-term for both my community and my family. Local Canadian products are generally higher quality than imports.

    My husband and I purchased a glossy and elegant imported bedroom set, and eight years later are dissatisfied with its condition. One word: veneer. It would have been better to buy a solid-wood local bedroom set that could last for decades. Employing a community-orientation would have actually saved us money in the long-term.

  • Investment into Future Generations: Local living understands the long-term effects of an economy that relies heavily on imports.

    Buying cheap imports (e.g. an imported shirt versus a locally-made shirt) may be best for me today, but will not be the best decision long-term for my country. Decisions based on what is cheapest for me will affect the economics of generations to come. What do you envision for your children's children?

Sustainability: Your Wise Decisions!

Localism invites us to view our decisions as a microcosm of a larger picture. The decisions we make in our small part of the world have global impact. For example, a family who chooses and preserves local apples versus buying apples from New Zealand creates a ripple in the global ocean — however small it may be. And an engaged couple who chooses to register for locally crafted pottery dinnerware versus the glossy imported (possibly lead-glazed) imported dinnerware moves out of a community orientation that has a global impact. And the parents of young children who opt for a durable and locally crafted solid wood coffee table that can also masquerade as a craft table, games table, and welcome finger prints and the possible crayon slip, versus a veneer sleek imported coffee table (for a non – "living room") make a global impact.

This impact is best summed up in the term sustainability. We live sustainably when we view our decisions as a microcosm of a larger picture. We move from an egocentric and what-is-best-for-me-and-my-family mentality to a community orientation that naturally gives way to sustainability.

Read more. . .Sustainability: Your Wise Decisions!

Seasonal Living: Your Connection!

Seasons teach us to live in real time. When we purchase strawberries in January, we are not living in real time — perhaps there is even a measure of perverse awkwardness in this act. But in order to acknowledge this, we must first acknowledge seasons. I read about an average man in New York who was unable to acknowledge the current season. Granted, New York seasons are not as distinct as most Canadian seasons, the ignorance speaks of a deeply-rooted problem in a large segment of North American society — a disconnection between land and people. And this disconnect affects how we interact and perceive food.

Read more. . . Seasonal Living: Your Connection!

Quality & Nutrition: Your Standard of Living will Increase!

Not only do people who buy locally grown food consume a greater quantity of fresh and bio-diverse foods, but also higher nutritive foods, i.e. quality. Some foods that travel and require shelf-life undergo irradiation. Irradiation is an ionized radiation (different than pasteurization & sterilization) that kills the good and the bad—in fact it kills anything live, essentially giving you a "dead" product while still looking alive. While it kills harmful bacteria in our food (e.g. e coli), it also destroys the beneficial live enzymes and phytonutrients proven to be necessary to sustain life and prevent diseases.

This benefit is perhaps one of the more controversial points in what non-irradiated and offers. Health Canada insists. . .

Read more . . . Quality & Nutrition: Your Standard of Living will Increase!

Radura, the international radiation symbol - Wholly Canadian - Localism - Canada