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Ontario local food – the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH… PLEASE! April 15, 2010

This entry is totally not coffee related BUT… I hear from many people who say there are no local foods available in winter… not true!!!

Farmers are the pioneers of inventing efficient storage… not because they wanted to… because they HAVE to. Apples for instance have Controlled Atmosphere chambers that they store their apples in… the apples taste like the day they were picked… in January with no chemicals or preservatives… but check out a local orchard like Algoma Orchard’s store (401 and 115) or Allins orchard … don’t count on grocery stores to support local … but suppose you want to preserve your own apples? a flat surface, in a cold room, wrapped in newspaper will keep your apples crisp… likely discovered by farmers before the invention of controlled atmosphere chambers. Remember that air is the enemy of fresh produce…

Chicken, turkey, eggs, lamb, beef, pork, even fish … all meat can be local if you look… farmers markets and local butchers like Otonobee meat packers are a great source. Kawartha Dairy is local milk… not factory farmed milk… a few cents more… but it keeps money local… lots of local cheeses and butters are available too.. why should you care about keeping money local? if we all support local it creates jobs for everyone… if you buy from a farmer, he can buy new farm equipment, the butcher he uses can buy a new car or a new meat grinder, the manufacturing jobs that they create leads to jobs for Canadians…

but what of produce?

garlic, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots all fresh are available year round… you can pickle and preserve just about anything, as well as flash freeze too. Try a quick search on the internet for amazing idea’s.

now why on earth would you do this?

Many people think that because a product is available in Canadian stores, it has the same standards as something grown here…. not true… genetically modified crops are rampant in conventional stores … strawberries aren’t supposed to be the size of your fist…and watch out for meat labels that say “seasoned.” Seasoned means a meat chemical was added to make the meat look fresher. Did you realize that other countries have different pesticide rules too? It’s virtually impossible to trace who uses what pesticides… but research shows our grocery store produce is grown using Canadian banned chemicals… and washing doesn’t take care of the embedded chemicals… Heaven knows how old the grocery store meat is… I wish there was more transparency… don’t even get me started on Vac Pac meats!

Check out local chefs, like Local Table’s Peggy Bailey, Chef Brian Henry, Inna Trotchine or Chef Karrie Galvin who all pride themselves on cooking with local fare… They understand local also means better quality.

… so… what are you eating? shop Canadian, and be sure.