1. Eating local means supporting the local economy. A dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.
2. At farmers’ markets, most local produce has been picked inside of 24 hours where it comes to you fresh, ripe and full of flavour. While produce from the supermarket has been in transit or cold-stored for days or week.
3. Meet the farmer that grew your food, ask questions, see how it’s all grown and build relationships with farmers.
4. Meet your neighbours. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’ markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterpoints at the supermarket.
5. Learn to eat what’s in season. Eat foods when they are at their peak taste, most abundant and the least expensive.
6. Discover new flavours. There may be many foods that you have never heard of that can be found at your local farm or farmers' market.
7. Explore your home where you can become a tourist in your own region by visiting local farms.
8. Be healthy by eating more fruits and vegetables at their nutritional peak while eating less junk food and processed food.
9. Supporting local farmers supports responsible land development, decreasing urban sprawl. When you buy local you give those with local open space an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.
10. Eating local is better for air quality and pollution as your food doesn’t need to travel an average of 1,500-2,000 miles to your plate, reducing carbon emissions.
In the Spring of 2005, Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon of
STRAWBERRIES AND SUMMERTIME UNDER THE STARS: This special event is sure to appeal to all of your senses. a very special evening with author and journalist Margaret Webb, whose recent book Apples to Oysters: A Food Lover's Tour of Canadian Farms has inspired the first ever co-presentation of Slow Food Hamilton and the local chapter of The Canadian Organic Growers. Brian Prince Booksellers will be on-hand providing books for purchase and signing by the author!
This lovely event is scheduled for Saturday, June 21st (the longest day of the year!) at Old 99 Farm, 1580 Old Hwy 99, Copetown
Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $25 for COG and Slow Food members. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Karen Burson: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 May 2008 Ottawa, Ontario
ISSUE: HOW CANADIAN IS OUR FOOD?
Canadian grocery store shelves are lined with food products marked "Product of Canada" or "Made in Canada." Shoppers recognize these labels and seek them out. They assume, as they should, that products bearing these labels are grown or caught, processed, and packaged in Canada.
The federal government first introduced these Canadian content food labels in the early 1980s. The guidelines, which haven't been altered since their introduction, require two basic criteria be met before manufacturers can use the "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" labels:
* the last substantial change of the goods must have occurred in Canada; and
* at least 51 per cent of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the goods are Canadian.
However, in the past twenty years, Canada's food supply has become increasingly global in nature. The way food is produced, processed, packaged, distributed and sold has changed significantly. This means a product could be grown in one part of the world, processed in another, and be packaged here in Canada, yet still qualify to use one of these labels.
Canadians have told us that allowing claims such as "Product of Canada" on food products that are manufactured in Canada but contain only 51 per cent Canadian "value-added" may not be consistent with what they understand or expect. Not surprisingly, Canadians are confused, frustrated, and have lost trust in these food labels.
OUR SOLUTION: MAKING LABELS CLEAR AND CREDIBLE
We have developed a plan to update and redefine the familiar "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" food labels to better reflect the true origins of products in the modern marketplace.
Product of Canada
The proposed guidelines for the use of this label shift the definition of "Product of Canada" from the direct cost or value of a product to focus on the contents and ingredients
of a product. In order that a manufacturer be allowed to use the "Product of Canada" label, "all or virtually all" of the contents of the product must be Canadian. Therefore, all
significant components, ingredients, processing and labour used to make the product would need to be Canadian. There would be very little or no foreign content, with the exception of minor additives or spices which may not be available in Canada. This is similar to the approaches used
in a number of other countries.
Made in Canada
The term "Made in Canada" with a qualifying statement could apply to virtually every other product produced in Canada. Therefore, if a food product is manufactured or processed in
Canada, regardless of the origin of the ingredients, it could use a "Made in Canada" label. Products would use either "Made in Canada from domestic and imported
ingredients" or "Made in Canada from imported ingredients." This recognizes the importance of the value added by Canadian ingredients and processing and helps consumers identify when they are supporting Canadian jobs and the Canadian economy.
We're seeking feedback from Canadians on our proposed initiative. Over the coming days and weeks the Minister of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials will meet with a wide range of key stakeholders including farm groups, processors, retailers and consumer groups. Ordinary Canadians are also invited to submit their comments by visiting www.healthycanadians.ca. The timeline for consultations is May 21 through June 11, 2008.
FOOD AND CONSUMER SAFETY ACTION PLAN
It is a key federal responsibility to ensure the foods and products that Canadians buy are safe, yet federal laws and guidelines on food and consumer products have been untouched for decades. That is why our Government has taken swift action to introduce our Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan designed to improve our safety and our health, make Canadian
brands more competitive among global consumers, and boost confidence at home as a country whose safety standards are second to none.
Highlights of the legislation include:
* cracking down on negligent manufacturers, importers and
retailers who knowingly endanger their customers;
* a new power for the federal government to order recalls
of unsafe consumer products;
* dramatically increasing fines for violation; and
* providing better safety information for consumers.
More information on the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan
is available at: www.healthycanadians.ca
A three course priz fixe dinner featuring fresh Ontario produce paired with a selection of Ontario wines
$25 - food only
$37 - including wine
$42 - premium wine
I have a lot of experience with these tasty green spears – more than I care to admit. I have spent countless hours on my parents’ farm bent double cutting in the field, mind blank, on guard for bees; then washing; trimming; bundling; shipping and marketing. It's gruelling work, but the memories (perhaps now they are just that) are fond and asparagus remains one of my favourite vegetables – the harbinger of spring and hard work.
Surrounded by thousands of pounds of asparagus every spring, I have discovered dozens of delicious ways to enjoy the spears, classic and new, and I never get bored. Here are two of my new favourite recipes from http://www.epicurious.com/
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custards
Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto