Archive | May, 2007


30 May
Bringing country food to city – living – Bringing country food to city

Two groundbreaking new farmers’ markets in Toronto prove that local really is the new organic

May 30, 2007

Food Editor
Farmers’ Markets
Here’s an important first for Toronto – we’re now home to Canada’s first two certified local farmers’ markets. One launched Sunday in Liberty Village. The other debuts Friday outside Woodbine Centre.Both are run by Farmers’ Markets Ontario, an association that grew weary of encouraging its 130-plus members to fill farmers’ markets with farmers.Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But unbeknownst to some unsuspecting shoppers, our markets have been quietly infiltrated by resellers, a.k.a. produce jockeys, peddlers and hucksters. These people shop at the Ontario Food Terminal and then set up stalls at markets where people assume they’re farmers.

Bob Chorney, executive director of Farmers’ Markets Ontario, has a now-legendary contempt for this practice. But he could only encourage – not force – his member markets to squeeze out resellers and accept only real farmers.

At wit’s end, he turned directly to farmers last fall with ads in trade magazines.

“Urgent notice to Ontario fruit and vegetable farmers,” the ads read. “Tired of competing at farmers’ markets with hucksters and peddlers who do not have a dime invested in a farm? We will be launching Canada’s 1st certified farmers’ market for Greenbelt and other bona-fide farmers in 2007.”

More than 130 farmers showed up to a November “dinner and dialogue” in Brampton. About two dozen joined a steering committee.

“At Farmers’ Markets Ontario, we’re not in the business of running markets,” Chorney says, “but we felt if we were going to set up a model market and do it right, we’d better trust ourselves.”

Inspired by models from California and New York, Chorney’s association wound up creating two markets and branding them “MyMarket.”

Only grower/producers are allowed in. The association has given provisional certification to nearly three dozen vendors – they still face inspections – and is outfitting each with white canopies emblazoned with their farm names.

“These are true-blue farmers, and that feels good,” Chorney says.

He hopes to launch four more “new generation” markets next spring.

The markets are starting quietly with just a handful of vendors and splashier grand openings slated for next month (June 10 for Liberty Village and June 15 for Woodbine).

They’re just two of a handful of new Toronto markets this year pledging to fill their valuable space with only legitimate farmers and food producers. The others are not run by Farmers’ Markets Ontario.

In Riverdale, the Withrow Park Farmers’ Market launched Saturday with about 20 vendors and a focus on organic and GMO-free fare.

“The interesting thing is that farmers just need access to more markets,” says organizer/food activist Roberta Stimac. “Vendors needed another strong Saturday market if they weren’t doing St. Lawrence Market.”

On the opposite side of town, organizers are preparing for next Tuesday’s debut of the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market.

It will start small with about a dozen vendors (mainly farmers/growers) and a goal to support sustainable agriculture.

“It’s really about produce with a few baked goods,” says organizer Carolyn Wong.

“It’s about getting healthy food to the people so they can do their weekly shopping.”

But this season’s biggest buzz goes to the Brick Works Farmers’ Market, which launched Saturday and even has a free shuttle bus from Broadview subway station.

A charity called Evergreen is transforming the historic but deteriorating Don Valley Brick Works Factory into an environmentally based community centre.

Evergreen’s mission is to “bring nature back to the city,” says program director Seana Irvine. One of its slogans is “bringing country food to city tables” and it’s planning a marché, a Jamie Kennedy/Slow Food restaurant and food events.

The farmer/producer-only market is the first step in Evergreen’s plan.

Market manager Elizabeth Harris has been running the Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market since 2001 and is thrilled at how markets have moved from the fringe to the mainstream.

“I think there has just been a real push in the city and people are asking for local food,” she says.

Now, we just have to make sure they’re getting their local food from local farmers.

A little Laughter is Good

28 May

A little boy was asked to say his prayers, his dad say okay let me hear you say your prayer: He started:

Our father who does art in heaven

And Harold is his name


 The Sunday school teacher asked the children

Why is it important to be quiet in church

A little girl put up her hand first

She said “so that we do not disturb people from sleeping”


Weight Problem

28 May

Everywhere you look people are trying to lose weight and many are going about this the wrong way. They go from diet to diet because they just can’t seem to stick to one and many also expect miracle results.  They expect to lose the weight in an extraordinary short space of time.

I am not a dietitian or a medical person but I have studied food and read a lot about food  over the last 20 years. I feel I understand how food works and the kinds of food that help us to maintain health. 

I have lost about 40 pounds over the last four years by following a combination of diets that makes sense for me.

I eat whole grain, I prepare most of my food myself using the best ingredients. I use only Olive Oil.  I prepare simple foods. I eat fresh vegetables or frozen but rarely never from a tin.

I pay close attention to the the salt and sugar contents of anything that I eat.  I do not cook with salt and I don’t eat sugar. I eat fresh fruits and I pay close attention to serving sizes.

I think if we keep things in moderation people will be able to follow whatever diet they choose. I do a combination of Eat Right for Your Type and the Atkins Diet.

I would like to hear from my readers what works for you.

I would like to share some of my recipes that I use.  Hope to hear from you

Peanut Butter – Fantastic Food – The Secret is in the Kind you Choose

26 May

Picking a Peanut Butter
When it comes to peanut butter, is all-natural really better than regular? Typical supermarket peanut butters may contain more added sugar and hydrogenated oil than all-natural peanut butter. In most cases, a jar of peanut butter won’t list the trans-fat content, but there are some trans-fat-free varieties available (meaning they don’t contain hydrogenated oils). Currently, the only trans-fat-free peanut butters we’ve seen on the shelves are labeled “natural.” Choose these whenever possible, while still taking the sugar and saturated fat content into account.  

In addition to being a great source of protein, all peanut butter — regular or all-natural — is rich in monounsaturated fat, folate (a type of B vitamin), and resveratrol (the phytochemical also found in red wine). These nutrients are important for cardiovascular health.  

Remember that peanut butter can be a diet buster if eaten in large quantities, so don’t overdo it. Try to limit yourself to two tablespoons a day, and include it as a protein with your meal or as a midday snack.

Do you know where your food comes from

26 May

I think many people go to the supermarket buy their food and return home and cook it up without a thought. They assume that this situation will go on forever.

I have nothing against eating food not produced in Canada but when these foods are displacing Canadian farmers that becomes a problem for me.

I am from an under developed country and I remember when we became independence our President, LFS Burnham said a country that cannot feed itself is in trouble. He said a country has to have control over what it produces and eats. If we become depended on China or India for the food that appears on our table and one day they have a problem with Canada, they can easily use food as a lever to get what they want. Would a country be willing to starve its citizens on account of some principle? I don’t think so.

I urge Canadians to spend the few extra dollars and buy local. Buy from the nearest food source. Canada has no reason to import cheap food from anywhere. This is not good for the people nor the economy. This practice places the citizens in a very vulnerable situation.

Do you know that in many of these developing countries their standard of care of food and the use of pesticides and chemicals and bad stuff on food are much lower than our standard here in Canada.

Please do me and yourself a favour and support our local farmers so that our food source will not be jeopardized and our quality of life will be maintained.  This is very important.

Hello world!

14 May

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