Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Follow Friday: @mysoilmate

Soil Mate

Soil Mate is a relatively new website, started by Matt Gomez of Kelowna, BC, to help connect consumers with local farms and farmers’ markets across Canada and the US. It’s as simple as visiting the site and allowing it to use your address. Up pops a list of locations for purchasing local food (or wine) from farmers ¬†across your province or state. You can specify the search options to only show organic, vegetables, CSAs, etc. It’s a great way to discover local food in your area.

If you’re a farmer and want to have your farm added to the site you can contact them to do so.

I hesitate to tell you this because I want to win, but they’re currently running a contest to win a year’s worth of local produce. Details are on the site.


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Follow Friday: Farmers Markets Canada

I was thinking that I would continue on with the theme of local food for today’s Follow Friday but I was struggling with what/where to write about. Should I write about something back home in Nova Scotia? But I’m back in Ontario for a stint so maybe I should write about something here? Compromise: Farmers Markets Canada will connect you with farmers’ markets in whatever province you reside. It’s a great time of year to enjoy local food and with many of the dry conditions we’ve been experiencing this summer, farmers need all the support they can get. They also have a list of “related links” on their website that provides links to farmers’ markets in the US, among other things.


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Galen Weston doesn’t care about small farmers

As you may have heard, Galen Weston really put his foot in it at the Canadian Food Summit 2012 yesterday. He made an off-the-cuff comment about how some day farmers’ markets are going to kill people. Naturally, that enraged many farmers in the room and others of us who support local food and community food security. I found it especially ironic as Maple Leaf Foods was one of the conference sponsors. Sure, people might get food poisoning from foods sold at a farmers market but that’s going to have a far less widespread effect than an outbreak in a food distributed by a national supermarket chain. Moving on…

Another thing that Galen mentioned was that Canada could become the world’s leading producer of pulses if we undertake a strategy like that of Brazil in cornering the orange market. I like that he recognized that we’re a major producer of pulses. I also like that pulses are an affordable and nutritious food; a high-fibre, low-fat meat alternative. However, I’m concerned about putting all of our eggs (or legumes/pulses) in one basket. Do we really want to be financially dependent on one crop? Personally, I think it’s better to diversify. Mixed farms are far more sustainable and efficient than large scale mono-crop farms. Growing one type of food is not the answer to Canada’s agricultural industry.