Archive for June, 2010

I must admit I’ve never had much of a green thumb. However, the ideas of self-sufficiency, local, and urban food production have inspired me to take action – in this case by digging up a little vegetable garden in the back corner of my yard. It’s just a start but I feel good about it, both physically and spiritually.

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!