The Local Food Scene – Who Does What? Part 2

metrotomatoLast week we looked at the various consumer-oriented Toronto- and Ontario-based groups that advocate for local food. Today, in part 2, I’ve got info on regional groups in the GTA, Golden Horseshoe and beyond, as well as information on organic groups and organizations designed to serve the hospitality industry.

Regional Groups

Durham Farm Fresh – A guide to farmer’s markets, producers and growers as well as restaurants using local produce in Durham region.

Grown in Peel – Promotes local farms and produce in Peel region.

Hamilton Eat Local – A directory of local food information for folks in Hamilton. Includes info on community gardens, where to buy local produce and more.

 

Norfolk Farms – Promotional site for growers in Norfolk county, the top-producing area for produce in Ontario. Offers info on pick-your-own farms, seasonal produce and info for wholesalers looking to carry Ontario produce.

Northern Flavours – Culinary tourism site to promote northern Ontario, with a directory of local products and restaurants searchable by category or region.

Savour Muskoka – Promotes culinary tourism to the Muskoka region with information on chefs and restaurants, farms and locally-made products.

York Region Farm Fresh – Promoting local farms and produce in York region.

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Can Organics Feed the World?

vfvcimageCan organics feed the world?

This question was posed to the closing panel at this year’s Canadian Organic Growers Conference. Organic farmers, food producers, nutritionists and writers convened in Toronto this past Saturday to examine the issues and explore how organics is changing the world.

 

The day-long event included a keynote speech by Helge Hellberg of Marin Organic from Marin County California, who is hard at work to make Marin the first completely organic county in the United States. Hellberg, a Certified Holistic Nutrition Counselor recounted a visit to Marin County by Prince Charles, who is one of the world’s leading supporters of the organic movement to visit the Marin County farmers market. Hellberg’s inspiring speech set the tone for the day, as participants broke off into different seminars that ranged in topics directed towards farmers, food producers and consumers.

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Growing Up Organic

What do a soy bean farmer, a nurse who runs a community garden, an activist working to stop toxic chemicals, an environmental architect and a food writer all have in common? We all shared a table at the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) conference this past Saturday.

With a theme of “Growing Up Organic”, the various presentations focussed on how organic food compared to conventionally grown food and how that might affect children’s health, as well as looking at the various organic food programmes in daycares and schools that were encouraging parents and teachers to choose and promote organics at home.

Speakers included Thomas Pawlick, author of The End of Food, Dr. Rick Smith from Environmental Defence Canada, Wayne Roberts of the Toronto Food Policy Council and Kim Crosby of Real Food For Real Kids.

The event also featured the first ever “Organic Food Hero” awards, with honourees in various categories. For her series “Organic Goes Mainstream”, Jill Eisen of CBC Radio received the Organic Media Hero award. Chef Michael Stadtlander was a awarded the “Organic Supporter” award for his work championing organic food and farming. The Organic Organization Hero for this year was Anne Slater of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Bread and Roses Café in Hamilton, Ontario won the award for Best Restaurant Serving Organic Food, and The Canadian Organic Growers Volunteer award went to Anne Macey.

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