Locavore News — Ontario


Where top Toronto restaurants get their produce

The increased focus on local and sustainable foods is certainly not a new trend, but Paul Sawtell and Grace Mandarano of 100km Foods Inc. have been spearheading the movement since 2007, when they quit their jobs, backpacked throughout Asia, then returned to launch a local food distribution company. The thrust of the business is sale and distribution of local produce and foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, pantry staples, and recently, full dairy offerings. While the name might be a bit of a misnomer (not all farms are quite within a 100km radius), they do try to emphasize growers with sustainable farming practices. blogTO blog.


Help us support good food in Toronto!

Cultivate Toronto recently moved into the Regent Park neighbourhood, and we’d like to say hello to the community and support local food awareness by setting up a number of local food gardens on rooftops and residential land in the area. Building on the success of our past three seasons, we’re looking to raise $2,600 to support our new garden efforts in this community. We’ve launched a new crowd funding campaign with the Centre for Social Innovation with some fun rewards for various funding levels. Crowdfunding campaign.


Critics celebrate surprise end of mega quarry north of Toronto

While in their vast vegetable fields Wednesday, harvesting the last of their brussel sprout crop, Bill French and his son received a stunning text message: The bid to develop one of the largest rock quarries on the continent, one that would have encircled their family farm for 50 to 100 years, was dead, unexpectedly abandoned by the Canadian and American investors behind the divisive project. The French family rejoiced as the text messages kept coming. The hard-fought battle that had united a motley crew – farmers and urbanites, politicians and entertainers, aboriginals and top Toronto chefs – was over, for a while at least. Some of Southern Ontario’s finest farmland would no longer be transformed into a massive limestone pit. Globe and Mail story.


Farmers poised to open doors: speaker

A farmer’s greatest opportunity is to give his or her children the chance to farm as well, says the senior winner of this year’s Canadian Young speakers for Agriculture competition.  Lydia Harrison of Durham, Ont. told those gathered for the 28 annual competition at the Royal Winter Fair on Nov. 3 that one of the most deeply-seated traditions in agriculture is providing the next generation with opportunities. They’re the ones who will provide the kind of leadership that advances agriculture, she says. FCC Express postby Owen Roberts


Ontario’s menu labeling battle temporarily on hold

With prorogation of the Ontario legislature on Oct. 15, the omnibus bill brought forward by NDP MPP France Gélinas died on the Order Paper. The bill would have required calorie posting and identification of high-sodium items on menus and menu boards and would have applied to restaurants with annual sales of at least $5 million and five or more units in Ontario. CRFA met with Ms Gélinas on the same day that the Legislature was suspended and it is expected the bill will be re-introduced as soon as it resumes. We will encourage government to vote against this omnibus bill, and instead, continue working with Ontario to push forward a national solution that provides nutrition information prior to point of purchase for the largest, most standardized chains. Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association post.


Farmers Prove Willingness To Protect Habitat

Ontario farmers appear to be willing to accommodate the habitats of grassland species on their farms. That’s how Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement officials are interpreting the fact they got more bid packages from interested farmers than they’d expected for the program. The Grassland Habitat Farm Incentive Program provides cost-share funding for grassland habitat protection projects. Blackburn Agri-Media story.


Schreiner hopes Guelph is Greener

At the urging of party colleagues, Ontario’s Green Party leader Mike Schreiner will be the Green’s standard-bearer in Guelph for the next provincial election. The Dunedin resident says it was a tough decision, but one that needed to be made for the party to gain a foothold in the Ontario legislature. Prior to his life in politics, Schreiner operated his own food distribution business, specializing in delivering local and natural foods to homes in Toronto. He later co-founded Local Food Plus, which worked to bring farmers and consumers together to promote financially, socially and environmentally sustainable local-food systems. Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin story.


Growing Business the Food Way! December 3, 2012

Wilson Lounge, New College, 40 Willcocks St. (UofT). Moderator and Keynote Speaker: Brian Gilvesy, YU Ranch and Chair, Norfolk County Alternative. Great panelists involved in food businesses in Toronto will be joining us: Matt Basile, Fidel Gastro; Erica Lemieux, City Seed Farms; Seema Pabari, Tiffinday; Leila Timmins, GathererTO. Toronto Youth Food Policy Council Community Meeting.


Webinar: Breadlines, Sweet Charity and Beyond, December , 12:00 to 1:00 pm est

Join Community Food Centres Canada for a conversation between scholar, author and activist Jan Poppendieck and Nick Saul, president and CEO of CFCC. A timely look at how we can move from charity to solidarity in emergency food programs, this webinar will draw on Jan and Nick’s collective 50 years experience in the study and delivery of emergency food initiatives to offer an engaging mix of theoretical and on-the-ground-perspectives. Register.


Aquaponics Course, December 9, 10, 11

Speakers: Dr. Nick Savidov AARD, Charlie Shultz formerly of UVI, Dr. Michael Timmons Cornell University, Dr. Kevin Fitzsimmons Arizona University, Donald Bailey UVI.Details.




Nutrition Label of Tomorrow: Tech or New Graphic?

For the last few decades, we’ve all become familiar with the “Nutrition Facts” box that appears on the back of packaged food. But when you’re walking around the grocery store, you don’t see many people stopping to look it over. Arguably, it hasn’t really kept up with the times. But, it’s important. Encouraging people to think about what’s inside the food they’re buying can have a significant effect on what they buy and eat. One recent study suggests that people who read a nutrition label are less likely to be obese. Correlation? Causation? A bit of both? It’s hard to say, but information has a role to play. Food + Tech Connect post.


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