Locavore News — Ontario


Soupstock a hearty delight

It was also lovely to attend an event that, while serious, was a good deal of fun. Let’s do more protests based around music and delicious food. But, according to the Ontario Farmland Trust website, about 100 acres of Ontario farmland are lost every day to urban and rural sprawl. Thus, we lose farmland equivalent to one mega-quarry every 23 days and 15 mega-quarries every year. Why does nobody worry about that? Toronto Star letters


Upwards of 300,000 new jobs can be created in region

Local food clusters — to help fruits of the land get from Southwestern Ontario farmers to nearby consumers — could help tap into some of the $18-billion bounty of food that’s otherwise imported into Ontario each year, a new report says. The study on sustainable food systems says Southwestern Ontario could, with concerted effort, extend its economic reach well beyond what it’s already doing. “There is enormous potential,” said co-author and researcher Tom Schell. “When we crunched the job numbers, we were blown away by the number of jobs we can create: somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 jobs. There isn’t anything out there that comes close to having that kind of impact.” London Free Press story.


Homegrown food and ag charter up for comment

The Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter is up for public comment on Oct. 18. The public is invited to provide input on the charter at a public consultation session hosted by the steering committee from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the RecPlex in Wasaga Beach. “Whether a member of the community is just learning about the charter now, or has been involved the whole time, they are encouraged to come out and participate,” said Brittany Doner, Project Manager of the Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter. “The wonderful thing about a community-built document is that it goes through several processes to ensure everyone has a chance to take part.” Simcoe.com post.


Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter

Your Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter is a document which outlines the values and beliefs about food which your community considers most important. A charter is not a policy document; rather, it is a guide for making decisions intended to benefit the local food system. The residents of Simcoe County created this document for their community. Anyone can implement the goals and objectives outlined in the Charter including: government, educators, philanthropists, volunteers, and county residents. First draft.


Local farmers in limbo during prorogued parliament

Essex County farmers are feeling the effects of parliament prorogation as the buy local bill died shortly after it was introduced at Queen’s Park. Mark Balkwill is the president of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture. He said farmers in Windsor-Essex are anxious to see the legislation promoting local food become law. Balkwill said there was great momentum, but now all progress has come to a halt. “The buy local movement really seems to have caught on in Ontario where we have a great growing season,” said Balkwill. “There’s a multitude of fruits and vegetables and it reaches into the wine industry as well and all those components all benefit from this program.” He said Essex County has been working on a buy local campaign for five years. CBC.ca story.


Biting the hands that feed

Ontario’s second-largest industry, huge in Southwestern Ontario, agriculture was headed for a boost with legislation to promote sales of locally grown products on a bigger scale. But then the Liberals pulled the plug on the legislature while the party finds a new leader. Debora Van Brenk plumbs the fallout for Bill 130. It’s been swept off Ontario’s table, but farm advocates say they’ll lobby hard to ensure MPPs make a full meal of a bill to promote local food. Eventually. Now, MPPs can expect more direct lobbying to resurrect the bill, says Mark Wales, an Elgin County farmer who heads the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. London Free Press story.


FoodShare’s Good Food Programs

FoodShare’s Good Food Programs operate from our Field to Table Community Food Hub to connect families and communities with affordable fresh culturally appropriate vegetables and fruit, build communities, increase the consumption of healthy produce and improve the income of small family farms. The Good Food Box delivers top-quality fresh produce through 200 volunteer-run drops in which neighbours meet and form communities. Customers pay the cost of the produce and some of the delivery costs, starting at just $13, while other costs are subsidized. We deliver 50,000 bountiful boxes every year, serving 7,000 families and saving them an average of $9 per month. FoodShare post.


Ontario Food Cluster Team Arrives at SIAL in Paris Touting Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry as a World-Class Hub for International Food Processing Companies

German frozen pizza giant Dr. Oetker selected the Ontario Food Cluster, also known as “Canada’s Kitchen,” for a greenfield new plant construction that will create 120 full-time manufacturing jobs, and contribute an estimated $26 million per year to Ontario’s economy when the plant opens in 2014. This is the first time Dr. Oetker will be making its award-winning frozen pizzas in North America. Economic development executives from the Ontario Food Cluster are attending SIAL Paris 2012, the world’s number one food exhibition, to attract more international companies to join Dr. Oetker and 3,200 other food and beverage processors in Ontario’s expanding $39 billion agri-food sector. Marketwire.com post.


2012 was ‘challenging’ year for local farms

In an interview, QMI Agency Niagara asked Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ted McMeekin about the recent drought and the state of agriculture in Niagara. Ontario’s agricultural land base is a highly valuable and non-renewable resource. The Greenbelt provides certainty that agricultural lands will be protected for the long term … allowing farmers to invest in their operations. St. Catharines Standard interview.


Board Hands Huge Victory to Niagara Escarpment and Mount Nemo

Environmentalists and community members are overjoyed by today’s decision of the Joint Board to protect Burlington’s Mount Nemo and Jefferson Salamander breeding ponds on the farm of the Harmer family. The decision denies Nelson Aggregate’s proposed 26 million tonne quarry on the 82 hectare site. “The Board’s decision is balanced and in keeping with our belief that development on the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve must be harmonious with the features and functions of the natural environment. The decision is PERL’s dream come true,” said Sarah Harmer, a founder of Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL), and hearing witness. Environmental Defence post.




10 Decades of Weird Food Trends

Thanks to Noma chef René Redzepi, one of the world’s hottest restaurant trend is currently edible ash. Will sprinkling the smoky black powder on an ingredient as luxurious as king crab, as Redzepi does, catch on with the masses? The jury is still out, but it certainly has all the makings of a future weird food trend nomination. We’ve combed through the last 10 decades to create our list of winners that in retrospect were just plain strange, even if they seemed like a good idea at the time. Bonappetit post.


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