Options for locally-produced and higher quality food are about to get a whole lot better in Dawson City, if the Dawson Food Secure Advocacy Group (DFSAG) has anything to say about it.

The organization, founded in 2012 and run by volunteers, is providing a platform for people interested in healthy, local food to come together, voice their opinions, come up with ideas and take action. The group is growing and new members are welcome.

Florian Boulais, one of the founders and spokesperson of the DFSAG, says the group was formed when some locals started looking into where industrially-produced food comes from and how it’s made. “The more we learned, the more revolting it got,” he says. “Something had to be done.”

Boulais brings up the controversial topic of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods as one of the key topics DFSAG has been discussing. GMO foods have had their genetic material altered using genetic engineering techniques.

Boulais feels that a whole plethora of diseases are on the rise, in part due to the consumption of GMO foods. These foods have not gone through the testing of time, he says, and they are interacting with our bodies in unpredictable ways.

“Food affects our health, our mental state and our ability to perform… it’s at the core of everything,” says Boulais. “Unless clearly labelled, most processed food contains GMO ingredients.”

Food quality, distance food travels, and food safety are some of the key concerns of the group.

“People don’t always know what they’re eating,” says Boulais. “You become your food.”

The solution, according to DFSAG, is to buy local and fresh, organic food.

Boulais says the primary goal of DFSAG is education. So far, they have put together a community email list and are sending out information regarding food related issues. They’ve also started a Facebook page and have been holding a series of public meetings over the last few months to touch base with the community to determine wants and needs, and brainstorm various ideas and projects.

Some of the projects the group is already working on include putting together a list of non-GMO and organic foods that the community would like to see in local stores; developing a relationship with the Potluck Food Co-op, a similar organization in Whitehorse; and planning a year-round, community greenhouse.

“It’s a slow process,” Boulais says. “But we have to think about what will work and will have the most impact for a positive change.”

DFSAG operates under the umbrella of Conservation Klondike Society (CKS), a non-profit, charitable organization that allows DFSAG to use their resources, network connections, office and name.

For more information about upcoming meetings or DFSAG events, contact Conservation Klondike Society at 993-6666, or visit the Dawson Food Secure Action Group Facebook page.