Lucky Dip – Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Toronto has officially banned the sale, possession and consumption of shark fin. Thank you city council, for doing the right thing. Let’s hope this leads to other jurisdictions passing a similar law. [Toronto Star]

The math on this seems a little sketchy (a can of Coke has 39g of sugar; so 365 cans would be 14,196g  or 31.29 pounds), but the New York City Healthy Department is claiming that drinking 1 can of soda a day is the equivalent of ingesting 50 pounds of sugar per year. Still, an extra 31 pounds can’t be good either. [CBS New York]

Goodbye potatoes, hello rice. How a changing demographic is changing how Canadians eat. [Food Navigator]

Eat your broccoli to keep colds at bay. [Globe and Mail]

Chefs and restaurants are now using Twitter regularly. Just remember – no squabbling with disgruntled customers and for the love of God, stop retweeting every nice thing anybody says about you. We know you’re great, that’s why we’re already following you! [Wall Street Journal]

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Toronto’s Terre Madre Day

Over the past few years, Slow Food activists have taken part in a bi-annual event in Torino, Italy called Terra Madre. First held in 2004, the event brings together food activists from around the world in a giant conference and marketplace where people can exchange ideas and information. There are conferences, symposiums, dinners and markets, all with a focus on sharing ideas about how to promote sustainable food. Terra Madre takes place during the even-numbered years (2006, 2008… another coming up in 2010), and this year, Slow Food decided that it would be a good idea for individual convivia to hold local events – both as a great way to support local food producers, and because, well, not everyone can afford to get on a plane to Italy.

Organized and paid for by Slow Food Toronto (monies raised at the Picnic at the Brickworks allowed them to pay participating farmers and producers to take part, a rarity in the world of markets and trade shows where the producers usually have to pay to participate), this year’s Terra Madre Day took place at the FoodShare warehouse.

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Found a Peanut

I am constantly amused by the extent people will go to adhere to what we’ve sarcastically dubbed in our house “the religion of local”. Because while I support local businesses where and whenever possible, it’s obvious that there are people out there wringing their hands over the lack of local flour, rice and mangoes. In an article in the Globe and Mailover the summer, writer Sasha Chapman tried the 100-mile diet and was bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get 100-mile peanut butter for her kids. Which made me cock my head and emit an annoyed “oh, FFS!” This gal wins journalism awards, but apparently cannot use the intarwebs to track down local peanuts.

Because yes, Virginia, or should I say, Vittoria; in Toronto, there is such a thing as local peanuts. Kernal Peanuts is the only peanut producer in Canada, and they’re just a couple of hours down the road past Brantford and Simcoe.

I came to know Kernal in an roundabout sort of way. In the early 90s I was dating a guy whose family hailed from the Simcoe, Ontario area. His uncle and aunt lived in a house made from an old tobacco kill next door to the Kernal farm. Every visit home included a trip to the Kernal store to stock up on peanuts, peanut butter and candy. We walked the fields and pulled the green legumes from the soil, we watched the peanuts get dumped into the roasters and be poured into the grinders for peanut butter. When the boyfriend and I broke up, I didn’t miss him much. But I did miss my trips to Simcoe and my shopping sprees at Kernal.

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