Local Food Week Comes To Canada
The first full week of June means a celebration for Ontario. The Local Food Act declares these seven days, otherwise called Local Food Week, as a time to acknowledge farmers who make sure all Canadians have access to the best quality fruit, veggies, meat and dairy products.
Celebrate And Support
It can be easy to take for granted the wide variety of fresh produce available in our grocery stores. Local Food Week serves as an important reminder that this food is the result of dedicated and tireless work by farmers and those who assist in getting produce from the field to your local fresh produce aisle.
Local Food Week is also a time to reflect on how local farmers and businesses play a huge part in the economy while also supporting themselves and other workers. The goal: to shop local and help producers thrive – whether in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta or Saskatchewan.
Facts About Food Farming
Canadians are lucky in that they have access to top quality produce all year round. Mushrooms, for example, are grown on Canadian farms and harvested in all seasons: most mushrooms you find in groceries are grown locally. 60% of food produced in Canada, in fact, is consumed by Canadians. At the same time, Canada is a leading exporter of many different products: it is the second largest producer of cranberries in the world and the number one producer and exporter of blueberries. It also takes top spot for producing and exporting lentils and dry pulses, maple syrup, flaxseed, and oats.
Focusing on local farming and food consumption, Ontario alone has about 1000 farmers producing dry beans. Canada boasts around 515 turkey farmers – turkey being a great source of protein and very cost-effective. Veal farmed in Ontario is also greatly enjoyed by local consumers: it makes a tasty and lean substitute for meat in all kinds of recipes.
It has been shown that eating local produce has more health benefits than going for imported food products – over and above the health of local economies. Food grown locally is usually fresher when it hits the shelves, more flavorsome (they are harvested when they are ripe and packed shortly afterwards) and can be more nutritious than imports.
Local Food Week is the perfect opportunity for Ontarians (and all Canadians) to support local businesses and enjoy the best of home-grown produce.