Great Grains: Barley

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We all know that whole grains are an important part of a well-balanced diet; full of protein, vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants, a diet that includes whole grains can help reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Getting whole grains in your diet is easy, as there are numerous multi-grain breads on our shelves to choose from. Starting off the day with a bowl of whole grain cereal like oatmeal or Red River Cereal is a great start.

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Hockey Night in Picton!

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One of our favourite Canadian charities is part of what promises to be a very delicious hockey game in Picton this weekend. Pitting Toronto chefs against Montreal chefs, the game will have some of the best concessions hockey fans have ever experienced. Plus Ken Dryden will be there!

And all the proceeds go to one of our favourite Canadian charities. Continue »



Canadian Favourites: Red River Cereal

 

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We are fond of the four seasons in Canada, it gives us a chance to change our wardrobe, our outdoor fitness activities and it gives us a chance to indulge in seasonal cuisine. Now that it actually feels like winter it’s a good time to indulge in a wintry morning standards like oatmeal or that classic Canadian breakfast favourite, Red River Cereal. On a hot summer day, maybe not so much, but Canadian winters and Red River Cereal have been going hand in hand and mitten in mitten since the early nineteen twenties.

Read all about the amazing woman who invented the cereal here! Continue »



Canada 150: Crown Cookware

 

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As 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, we thought we’d give a shout- out to some of our favourite and proudly Canadian products and producers in the culinary world and food and beverage profession. For better or worse, globalization has meant that many household goods produced abroad or south of the border can be purchased for less money than the stuff produced locally; when people want to save a buck, they head to the nearby dollar store or Wallmart only to find that said purchase isn’t exactly the bargain they hoped for. Continue »



Trashed & Wasted; A Charity Event

 

Waste not want not, innit?

Waste not want not, innit?

 

Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.”-FAO.org 

Food waste is a big problem in much of the western world. Supermarkets, consumers, restaurants and other food producers, providers and merchants throughout the world waste as much as a third of the food produced. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)  this amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes. In North America and Europe, this works out to each man, woman and child wasting between 95 and 115 kilograms of food each year. Also according to the FAO, “…in medium- and high-income countries food is wasted and lost mainly at later stages in the supply chain. Differing from the situation in developing countries, the behaviour of consumers plays a huge part in industrialized countries.”

 

Too ugly to eat?

Too ugly to eat?

 

One of our behaviour patterns is our penchant for tossing out any produce that does not look like it would win a red ribbon at the county fair. So-called “Ugly Fruit and Vegetables” don’t have a chance as they are often dismissed and tossed early on in the chain from the farm to supermarket shelf, or, if they do make it, lay rejected by consumers who have been conditioned to believe that they deserve “nothing but the best” even if this standard of beauty is chiefly a superficial consideration. Fortunately many “Ugly Vegetable” campaigns are popping up, changing the way suppliers and consumers approach the idea of seeking perfection in the produce aisle.

“In developing countries 40% of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels”.-FAO.org

As if this weren’t bad enough, arbitrary expiration/ best before dates determined by the food manufacturer to get us to discard even more viable foodstuff also contribute to huge amounts of pointless waste, inculcating in us a paranoia that borders on the absurd and usurps common sense.

There is some hope, however. In this excellent article Christine Sismondo discusses some of the “Zero-waste” initiatives being enacted citywide and nationwide by markets, farms and chefs; even hotels, breweries and distilleries are coming up with innovative ideas to make 2017, as Ms Sismondo calls it, The Year of Mindful Eating and Drinking.

 

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And right in our own backyard, at the Wychwood Barns  on March 1st, some of Toronto’s top talent-chefs, brewers, distillers, artists and innovators- will be hosting “Trashed & Wasted,” a charity event that aims to make us re-think trash, and waste, “ for a one night celebration of the sustenance, beauty, and benefits of what was once simply trashed and wasted.” Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Second Harvest Toronto, the main provider of fresh food to people in need in Toronto.

“Trashed & Wasted will pair innovative chefs with ethically-minded suppliers to create dishes from rescued food. Local brewers, distillers, and drinks experts will be challenged to concoct libations from repurposed ingredients. Local artists and designers will display creations from disposed and found objects….”

 Participants in the event include Sanagans Meat Locker, Porchetta & Co, Hooked Inc, Arepa Cafe, Montgomery’s Restaurant, Rainhard Brewery & Yongehurst Distillery as well as suppliers Blackbird Bakery, Chasers Juice, Chocosol, Montforte Dairy, Soma Chocolate, Sanagans Meat Locker and Hooked Inc. This is not a sit down dinner, but more like a bazaar. Admission is 35$ at the door, but only 30$ if you get in on the earlybird special 

 

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Individual food items will be on sale for 5$ each. What will these talented and ethically-minded chefs be serving? How will they tempt us with treats and dishes made from ingredients that were saved from an ignominious fate? Show up at Wychwood barns at 6 pm March 1st and find out for yourself!