Friday, October 2, 2009

World Wide Market

After speaking to the farmer at the apple orchard that we visited last week, William, Charlie and I decided to go under cover and investigate a local grocery store. We wanted to check out just how much of the food there was Canadian (hopefully from local farms, or at least somewhere in Ontario) and what was imported. It was a great way to explore with the boys how the choices we make can have a big impact.

It was nice to see a fair bit of fresh Canadian produce, but we had a really hard time getting more info than that. With the exception of the pie pumpkins that came from a farm in Aylmer ( about a 40 minute drive) most produce was only labelled as 'Canadian" or not. Canada is a very big country....

We also were talking about the produce that was in season in our area right now...including wonderful fresh carrots...but this store only had produce of the USA carrots in stock.

This melon also came a long way to get to our area, when there are beautiful melons at the farmers market most weeks.

We were also interested to see just how far foods travel to get to our table....cheese from France, mangoes from Brazil, asparagus from Peru, tuna from Thailand, kiwi from New Zealand.

The boys had some wonderful questions and insights into the whole issue...William recognized that if we wanted to buy Canadian pineapples, we were out of luck, but that there were lots of choices of other fruits to buy that could be grown locally. They also remembered how many different kinds produce are at the farmers market every week...eating locally doesn't mean the same foods week in and week out.
We noticed that the more processed a food was, the harder it was to figure out where it was actually made, and where the ingredients were grown. And, we realized how hard some companies try to mislead consumers. William was rightfully indignant to find a can of corn that read "No corn sold in Canada contains preservatives" "Canada's Food Guide to healthy eating recommends..." and a web site of (leading him to believe that the product was in fact Canadian corn) on a can of American produce.
All in all it was a very interesting afternoon. It sure will be great to head back to the farmer's market tomorrow!!

A few more articles on the subject...
As an after will be interesting to do this again in February and see what we find in terms of 'fresh' produce...

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