I met a young woman, Rebecca, who is participating in a school project where she only eats food grown in Ontario for two weeks. She came up to our booth at Riverdale Farmers Market this week and bought a bag of Red Fife Wheat on the first day of this month long sabbatical. I couldn’t temp her with crackers as she was looking only for staples. Being in a farmers market, I told her, she was starting in the right place. I gave her my card and told to her call me if she needed help and that I looked foreword to reading about it in her blog. She looked a little surprised and said she hadn’t thought about doing one but was a good idea.
The next day Rebecca called me sounding a little stressed. She was looking for soy milk (as avoiding dairy), garbanzo beans, oil and chicken. I sent her to St Lawrence Market to Ying Ying Soy Foods who processes organic soy beans grown by Marcus and Jessie in Dashwood Ontario and may have soy milk, but definitely have tofu. (They also participate in the Wychwood and Brickworks Farmers Markets.)
Potts of 4 Life in Kensington Market is a great place to look for local foods and may have a varieties of beans for her. Although, garbanzos may be hard to find. Natures Way Organics (also at Wychwood and Brickworks) has sunflower oil this year and it’s great. they also grow beans and will have them later in the year.
Again, the markets are best place to start and most have meat and chicken vendors. But, due to a provincial standard they are only allowed to sell frozen. (Something to do with transporting perishables.) Not the smartest move. A lot if frozen meat is brought to the market in coolers and put back in the freezer several hours later. This back and forth, partial thaw and freeze, may happen several times. I bet more meat would sell being fresh without this rule to protect us.
Not to taint the meat vendors but I sent her to Sanagan’s Butcher, also in Kensington. In his second year, this young butcher is developing quite a following. Dealing directly with Ontario farmers, oftentimes you can get meat hours old from the abattoirs. Being quite small, he orders a couple times a week and sells out by the weekend.
I look forward to learning more about Rebecca’s new diet. Her roll up your sleeves determination will come in handy. I wonder if she will influence others to join in her adventure, creating a ripple effect of location conscience eaters? Or maybe the opposite may occur and she develops an extra appreciation for the well mechanized and fully-stocked chain grocery store?
I guess her blog will tell.