Dr. Evan Fraser

Dr. Evan Fraser, director of U of G’s Arrell Food Institute, and Dr. Thomas Graham, School of Environmental Sciences, made headlines this week discussing how Canada can begin to rely less on produce imported from areas of the U.S. struggling with drought. 

Fraser spoke to CBC Radio’s The Current and the Toronto Star about how the drought affecting the Colorado river agricultural area could impact food exports to Canada.  

“Our entire country depends on a very small geographic area for the parts of our diet that we’re supposed to eat more of,” he said, adding that Canada needs to “take proactive measures to diversify where we get our salad from.” 

Dr. Thomas Graham stands in front of trees and a field.
Dr. Thomas Graham

Fraser, who helps lead the Food from Thought initiative and is the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security, expressed similar concerns to the Toronto Star about Canada’s reliance on the U.S. for healthy food, and discussed the role that indoor and vertical farming could play in reducing that dependency.  

Dr. Graham, the PhytoGro research chair in controlled environment systems, explained that while vertical farming can produce large amounts of produce all year round, its main drawback it that it uses high amounts of energy.