LocalFoody Blog words

If you’ve ever wondered what we talk about on the Localfoody blog, here it is in living colour.

Thanks to the folks at Wordle for the cool tool that created this image.

Grass!You might be wondering what’s up with our logo. And you wouldn’t be the first. After all, as a general rule, people don’t eat grass, and our mantra here at LocalFoody is “Helping People Find Good Food”. So, what gives?

Well, to quote Michael Pollan “All Flesh is Grass”. This is the title of Chapter 8 in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the book that drove me to create LocalFoody, and the sense of it touched me profoundly.

Grass is at the foundation of a sustainable food system, one that is in harmony with nature, and balances inputs and outputs for the good of humans and other animals alike. From the pastures we domesticated animals on, to the corns, greens and other grass variants that sustain us, grass has long been at the core of our food system.

In Pollan’s words:
Our species’ coevolutionary alliance with the grasses has deep roots and has probably done more to ensure our success as a species than any other with the possible exception of the trillion or so bacteria that inhabit the human gut.”

It’s been a busy few weeks around the LocalFoody ranch. Last Friday October the 1st was Anne’s birthday (!!) and also marked the start of our Beta period. We’ve been sending out the first few beta invites and have a handful of dedicated beta testers looking around and kicking the tires. We’re rolling the beta out at a slow but steady pace to ensure things are stable and we can respond quickly to feedback.

In other news, today we launched our new Blog theme, which I think you’ll agree is much nicer and synchs up well with the rest of the site. Let us know what you think.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for the beta. We are just beginning our mission to help people find good, whole, sustainable food and we would love to have you join us on the journey!

Helping People Find Good FoodHere’s quick update on site development. We have refined out design, with a more sophisticated new logo and site layout. We’ll be rolling out the new look over the next few week – for a preview visit our new Beta signup page. We’re working hard on launching the beta site, and will also be updating the look and feel of this blog in the coming weeks. These are exciting times for us, as we inch closer to our launch. Please sign up for our Beta, and join us as we Help People Find Good Food. Also, please tell us what you think of the new logo in the comments below.



Paririe Boy tomatoes, the best in the land.

Prarie Boy, aka Grant MacPherson, and the delectable, juicy, oh-so-sweet, “that’s-why-they-call-it-fruit”, chemical-free, heirloom tomatoes that he and his partner, Lainie, grow on their farm in the Niagara region.

This inspiring couple have been livin’ the LocalFoody dream by working hard and delivering the fruit of their labour to select establishments in Toronto, including Multiple Organics, The Atlantic, Grace, Bohmer, Enoteca Social, Marben and CowBell.

Check out their adventures on Grant’s blog at theveglesstravelled.

Keep ’em coming, Grant!

Saint John's harbour
On a recent trip to Saint John’s, I had the opportunity to talk with an expat Ontarian who runs an independent bookstore on Signal Hill. He had some surprising insight into the whole local movement in NL.

According to this FA (from away), it’s just not done– yet. Local has not hit our most easterly compatriots.

He lamented that even the progressive people shop at Walmart. And that in Saint John’s, the debate is about where the next Walmart should go, not “do we need it” or “is it a good thing?”

I find the inexistence of a local food movement in NL hard to believe considering the distinctive culture and fiercely independent nature of the people there (tell I’m from Quebec much?). So I’ll ask this, can anyone please tell me this is faulty information? I mean—aside from the farmer’s market at the Lion’s Club on Saturday morning?

In Canada, we have tended to think that things that come from far away are somehow better than what we have at home. But what is interesting and encouraging is that we are finally waking up to the realization that what we have right here is pretty damn good, and might even be better.

Change often starts slowly, at a level we may not even notice. Local wines are being made in NL (two I sampled were Jelly Bean Row and Funky Puffin, both lovely). Iceberg alcohols are being made too. And there’s a local Quidi Vidi brewery. But what about food? Fish? Produce?

Even if the Walmarts win in the short term, the undercurrent can only grow. Like elsewhere, local will take off.

It’s just a question of seeing the worth of what you’ve got. And in my opinion, NL has got a lot.


After looking into things a bit more, the tradition in NL seems to be in garden agriculture, a system where crops in a community or a society are grown in gardens rather than in fields. In NL, this was phased out in the ’50s for being a symbol of a “depressed economy”.

On a happier note, grassroots is taking action at Root Cellars Rock!

Local apples
Ever just stood in the produce section of a supermarket, an array of brightly coloured super-sized fruits glistening before you, and just being stumped about what to do?

On a recent visit to the suburbs to see my boyfriend, I went to a supermarket to buy some coffee. While there, I decided to pick up some fruit for a fresh post-coffee snack. Now this supermarket is rather pricey & high end, not my bf’s regular stop, but I don’t mind it because it’s smaller and less mega-conglomeraty than its counterpart down the road.

Being a fancy store, it has a huge selection of imported and exotic fruits. But liking the idea of keeping it simple, I walked down the apple aisle, past rows of shiny red, green and yellow baseball-sized fruit.

How did they get that big? Chemical fertilizers.
Why is their skin so perfect? Pesticides.
Why are they so shiny? Wax.

No way is that going to “refresh” me after a coffee.

But lo! At the end of the aisle, there was a small organic section… with normal looking Gala apples. Hooray! The sticker on the apples even had the right organic code number (any produce sticker with a number beginning in “9” means it is certified organic). Then I saw the country of origin written in small letters beneath. Argentina.

Mmmm. Hesitation. Now I have nothing against Argentina. I love Buenos Aires. One of my best friends is from there. But does my right to avoid ingesting certain chemicals override my right to expect a piece of fruit to travel 8945 km (5558 miles) and two hemispheres, burning fossil fuels and spewing carbon dioxides along the way?

What’s more important, me or the environment? If you have asked yourself the same question, you may have already found yourself standing in the produce section of a supermarket stumped about what to do.

What’s more important, my internal environment or my external environment? Me, or the world?

Is this the choice we have to make now? As familiar as it’s become, I was face to face with the “local” vs. “organic” debate. And I know where I stand on this issue, but still, it gets me every time. And of course, there’s no ultimate right or wrong. Showers are no better than baths, just different. Local vs. organic is a huge debate and I will not try to cover it here. But I do believe that it is an individual’s right to chose what is right for themselves. And I do think that it is an issue that demands proper consideration and discussion. And maybe a few minutes reflection in the produce section.

You or the environment?

On this day, since I couldn’t have both, I shied away from organic and went with a nice bag of “Canada fancy” regular-sized golden delicious from Ontario. I mean, come on, apples? They’re so Canadian! They rival the maple and could well be on our flag. This is one fruit we can certainly eat local.

Local asparagus

Local love.

Hi everyone! Nice to be here.

Now can I let you in on a little secret?  Since moving to Toronto, there’s really just one thing I want and it’s very simple. I want to know where I can eat in this town!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit whiney. But think about it. Finding places to eat, places that serve or sell good, real food is not as easy as it sounds. The truth is I needed LocalFoody before I knew it existed. And seeing as I’m pretty typical, I’m going to make the sweeping assumption that, if you’re reading this, then you need it too.

Why do you need LocalFoody?

Well, because you care, at least most of the time, about yourself and the world around you.

You care about the food you eat.

Local food is fresh. And fresh food is tastier and better for you.

You care about the environment.

Local food is green; it doesn’t travel half the planet just to sit on your plate for 2 minutes before it’s gone.

You care about the economy.

Local food helps our farmers. They need us — and we need them. We can do our part.

You care about the future.

Local food is political. Vote with your wallet and send out the message that consumers (I prefer  “citizens”, but anyway) demand access to real food!

And what is real food?

It’s food that is fresh, natural and contains ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. Real food is safe to eat; it is not full of chemical additives, artificial preservatives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetic modifications. It is food that IS food. Like grandma (bubbie, nana, mamie, oma, avo, etc) used to make.

Like I said, I want to know where I can eat in this town. And at LocalFoody, we’re going to find out. We’re going to bring the farm to the city. And we’re going to bring people to local food.

Thanks for joining us!

I’d like to introduce a new blogger we have at LocalFoody: Anne, writer and lover of good food.

A native Montrealer, Anne has happily stopped comparing her new town, Toronto, to other places, and is busy gettin’ down and dirty with the real-food renaissance that is unfolding right here.

But no matter where you are, the quality and variety of available local foods is growing. Combine this with the new pride in eating local, in going to farmer’s markets, in knowing where your food comes from and how it got to your plate, and you’ve got a delicious (… and nutritious!) food revolution.
Anne wants us to connect with good local food. She is not a chef, nor a gourmet. She is however a registered holistic nutritionist who knows her way around “good food” and why it’s good for us. (But she promises not to be a self-righteous nutrition freak about it.)

She will be writing about what’s going on in eating local, issues affecting production and distribution, the farmers, the markets, the food itself, and the eaters of it — which is all of us.

So let’s welcome Anne as she explores with us the evolving landscape of eating local, and helps us connect with the fuel and the flavours we want.

Just a quick note to let you know that you can now sign up for our LocalFoody Beta list. Just go to our Beta site and tell us a bit about yourself, and we’ll send you an invite when the Beta is ready to go. We plan to work closely with our Beta testers to ensure the site is great and meets your needs. There are no strings attached and of course the site will be free to use. Again that’s http://beta.localfoody.net.

Thanks for your support!