Drinking Milk From Abused Cows

Source: cbc.com

Source: cbc.com

Do you know where your milk comes from? Do you have any awareness of the conditions under which it is produced? Like most people who are busy just trying to get through the day you probably don’t give it a second’s thought when you reach for a jug at the supermarket. But many people around here are asking that question today, and I’m glad.

There has been quite an uproar since the release of hidden camera video of abuse at a nearby factory dairy farm, and thank heavens for that. It means people are becoming aware of this very real issue, and that’s where change starts. Continue reading

Fraser Valley Honey

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Source: telegraph.co.uk

It seems to be all about the honey this week, I wonder what that could bee about…

There’s a cute little roadside honey stand I’ve driven past a few times recently and the other day I finally stopped in. I couldn’t help myself, the attractive stand, customer friendly signage, and the honour system payment program drew me in…well, like a fly to honey. It doesn’t get much better than this, for supporting local food producers. (Well, that’s not entirely true, read to the end…) Continue reading

What’s the Big Deal About Food Labels?

If you have any idea what is really behind the packaging labels you read at the grocery store, you might not be so willing to shell out for what is generously termed “food”. It’s not just the nutrition label you need to be wary of, it’s the “science” behind the claims they make about nutrition and/or health value. (Wait for the bit on Mini Wheats.)

In this very funny bit, comedian and commentator John Oliver, makes us laugh and maybe widen our eyes a little in horror, at what’s really in the “food” aisles of your local grocery mart. Video here.

John Oliver - Food Labels

 

 

Help Sole Food Street Farms Grow

Help Sole Food GrowEnvision individuals with few resources and limited opportunities being given the chance to do meaningful work, help contribute to a community that respects them, and grow lots of healthy vegetables (we know gardening is therapeutic). What a great social enterprise, right?

Then garden so effectively in limited space in an urban environment and harvest so much food you can make it available not only to individuals at farmers markets, but also to local restaurants. Lots of them. And do it all in a financially self-sustaining manner. That’s not possible, right? Oh but it is. Continue reading

Delicious Baskets of Food From Local Farmers

Does that sound too good to be true, “Delicious Baskets of Food From Local Farmers”?

I get tired of all the super-hype headlines that entice us to click on links. You’ve seen it, “You’ll never believe…!” Or, “You’ll never guess what happens next!” and my least favourite, “This will change your life!!” Just for the record this claim isn’t all about hype, it is true, just might be of interest, and may even change a wee part of your life–the cooking and eating part.

Watering CanDid you know there are programs were you can get food from local farmers delivered (almost) to your door? Located all over BC, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs offer access to delicious, home grown goodies without you having to do any of the weeding. Continue reading

Neighbourhood Activist

Some days it feels like the world is going to hell in a hand basket. And some days, a ray of light. Maybe we as a race still have some hope.

Left to our own devices, we human beings have been known not to take responsibility for our actions, from worldwide issues down to our own back yard. Global warming. Enron. Homelessness.

Dog PooEven closer to home, I was taking a walk in my new neighbourhood the other day and came across a curious sight. Planted like the first pennant raised on the moon was a flag, carefully placed in the centre of a pile of dog poo.

“Good dog + lazy owner = BAD NEIGHBOUR”

My first reaction was to laugh out loud. Then to wonder what kind of time some people have, to go around planting mini flags. Then it made me pause to ponder the bigger picture.

A good neighbour, warning others not to step in it. But more than that. You or I may have walked by and commented inwardly, but this person did something. And in so doing, took a stand against actions that might adversely affect their community.

Maybe the dog owner never considered the many people who would encounter their crap. Maybe next time they will contemplate the broader impact of their actions, the world beyond just themselves.

Thank heavens for the canaries in the mine. Or, as I call them, the Outliers. The people on either side of the bell curve majority who stand up and say what no one else has the guts to say–or perhaps call attention to things most haven’t even noticed.

Whether it’s corporate whistle blowers, global warming activists or neighbourhood watchdogs, it’s good to have people around to plant a few flags and help us avoid stepping in sh*t.

And, to make us laugh out loud.

Originally published March 12, 2008

Jamie Oliver, Telling It Like It Is

I love Chef Jamie Oliver. I knew who he was many years ago of course, but it wasn’t until I caught a few episodes of his 2008 television series, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, (where Oliver inspires everyday people in Rotherham, Yorkshire, UK to cook healthy meals) that I became a genuine fan. He knows his stuff, he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge, and he puts his money where his mouth is, using his visibility to educate people who might otherwise not be inspired to believe they can make better food choices.

Well, Jamie’s done it again. Educating the public I mean. And this time it’s graphic. Now, I haven’t eaten a McDonald’s hamburger since about 1991, but for those who still think of them as “food” the following video, in Oliver’s trademark, passionate, straight shooting style, will make you think again. This isn’t science fiction, it’s the real deal. Take it from Jamie.

Don’t Waste a Bite of That Apple

Once you realize how precious your organic food is, you’ll be much more inclined not to let it go to waste or accidentally rot in the back of your fridge. Consider that in order to go organic someone may have to hand weed, hand de-bug and hand pick the food that ends up in your cloth grocery bags. Between that and the dear price you pay for it (which now makes more sense), you’ll not want to waste a nibble of it!

Here is a great example of how to get every last ounce of goodness from the apples that are readily available this time of year, courtesy of Foodbeast at Huffington Post:

It works!