By Christina Toth, The Abbotsford, Mission Times

Climate change will be – is – changing the foods we eat in Canada.

Ask local farmers, and they know their growing seasons are shifting.

Chilliwack corn and blueberries are some of the common foods we find in the Fraser Valley that may be affected, and what of the wild foods that flavour our Canadian cuisine?

How will these adapt to warming trends in our northern climes?

This topic will be addressed by the next speaker for the UFV Centre for Environmental Sustainability seminar talks – Dr. Lenore Newman, a specialist in environmental studies with a strong interest in sustainability. She joined the University of the Fraser Valley last fall as its second Canada Research Chair.

Newman is a proponent of protecting our food security in Canada, and particularly in this region.

While we take pride in our local Fraser Valley foods, nothing is guaranteed unless steps are taken to preserve the farmland and wild habitat needed to produce food, she said in the fall 2011 issue of UFV’s Skookum magazine.

Canada’s cuisine – things like wild salmon, wild berries, the crops we grow – reflects the fact we live in a cold climate. But climate change poses a threat to the economic and cultural continuity of these key products.

Over the last six months Newman has been working in partnership with Simon Fraser University to plan climate adaptation strategies for key Canadian foods.

In her presentation she will describe examples of resilient food system planning from across the country.

Newman’s discussion on From a Cold Country: Climate Adaptation and Canadian Culinary Identity takes place at UFV’s Abbotsford campus on March 20 at 7 p.m. (tonight), in Room B101, the lecture theatre.

The lecture is free for the public to attend.

UFV is at 33844 King Road, Abbotsford.