After 18 successful years, multi-award winning chef David Thompson has concluded his involvement with Nahm, the restaurant he created with Como Hotels.  Renowned worldwide for his dedication and commitment to Thai food culture, David took the decision to leave Nahm last year in order to continue his work exploring and protecting the history and legacy of Thai food and flavours and to pursue new opportunities through Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group he co-founded in 2014.
Chef David Thompson, who was presented a lifetime achievement award in 2016 for his dedication to Thai food culture at Asia's 50 Best, has left Nahm at a point of excellence.  The restaurant has remained on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list for 7 consecutive years and was recently awarded a Michelin star in Bangkok's inaugural year of the guide.
David Thompson writes: “Nahm grew into an extraordinary restaurant with its success acknowledged in so many ways.  I believe that this has been due to the hard work and talent of all those involved, but most particularly the staff. For me, the most rewarding aspect is that Nahm has been a happy restaurant. Even as Nahm’s reputation grew, refined its service and succeeded as a business, the restaurant always retained its sense of sanuk; the pleasure in looking after customers. The application of culinary integrity in the kitchen was never to the cost of the joy in doing what we all loved. This is what I will always remember. It is a rare restaurant that can achieve all of this”.
Nahm opened at COMO’s Halkin Hotel in London to immediate critical success and was awarded a Michelin star within six months.  David received the ‘London Chef of the Year’ award at the Carlton Evening Standard Food Awards in 2003.  Throughout this time David worked on his highly regarded cookbook, Thai Food, which provides a comprehensive overview of Thai cuisine, features over 300 recipes, and has won an extensive array of celebrated book awards.   David opened the current Nahm restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok in 2011, again with the COMO Group.
Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group headed by David Thompson, currently manages operations across six countries including Thailand and Australia.



Niagara's Icewine Harvest kicks off Celebrations in Wine Country

Last week, temperatures dropped below minus 8o C creating perfect conditions for the start to Ontario's Icewine harvest. A Canadian treasure, Icewine is a luscious wine made from grapes that have been left to freeze naturally on the vine. Characterized by complex and intense flavours derived from concentrated sugar, acid and berry extracts, Ontario VQA Icewine continues to earn top international recognition. This much anticipated, annual harvest kicks off excitement for Niagara's Icewine Festivals which take place over three weekends every January.

In its 23rd year, Niagara's Icewine Festival is one of Ontario's biggest wine celebrations where wine lovers, cocktail fans, and foodies are sure to create memories to last a lifetime. Ontarians and visitors are invited to discover an extraordinary collection of wine and culinary experiences while tasting Icewine, one of Canada's most treasured products. Experiences also offer the opportunity for consumers to discover Ontario's exceptional VQA sparkling and world-renowned VQA red and white wines.

The Icewine Festivals kick off on Friday, January 12th at the Fallsview Casino Resort with the stunning Icewine Gala featuring this year's theme – An Authentically Canadian Evening. Enjoy an fun-filled evening of dancing with live entertainment while tasting VQA Icewine, table wines and delicious food pairings.

Outside street celebrations start the same weekend leading with Twenty Valley's Winter WineFest in Jordan Village from January 12th – 14th, followed by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival from January 19th – 21st and 26th-28th and then in Niagara Falls the Niagara Icewine Festival from January 26th-27th. Twenty Valley welcomes Chef Susur Lee for the 'Sparkling Dinner' and the 'Icewine Brunch'. Niagara-on-the-Lake is featuring the 'Sparkle and Ice Diamond Gala' and the 'White on Ice Dinner'. Niagara Falls offers the chance to sip, savour and sample premium VQA Wines during three different tasting sessions.

Beginning on January 12th, visitors can start redeeming a Discovery Pass where consumers can choose eight wine and culinary pairings from a list of 35 incredible VQA wineries along Wine Country Ontario's Wine Route.  


Broad Coalition Calls on Federal Government to Create a National Food Policy Council

The government of Canada is moving forward with the development of a much needed Food Policy for Canada, which will incorporate the social, environmental and economic aspects of the food system into an integrated policy framework. To support the successful implementation of this multifaceted policy, a broad alliance of more than 50 food industry, civil society and farming groups is calling on the federal government to create a National Food Policy Council.

A National Food Policy Council would bring together key stakeholders from across the food system to work collaboratively with the government. It would provide diverse expertise and evidence-based advice on how to progress toward a food system that better promotes a healthier, more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Canada.

A Food Policy for Canada is expected to support Canada's ambitious agri-food economic growth targets while integrating critical food security, health and safety, and environmental sustainability requirements. While the policy will provide a framework for action, much work will remain to further address the challenges and opportunities within our food system, engage stakeholders, and move from policy formulation to implementation. Some of these challenges include four million Canadians living in food insecurity, high levels of diet-related disease, and climate change mitigation and adaptation; while there are significant opportunities to build public trust and advance Canada's international trade objectives.

Recognizing this complexity, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food recommended a series of actions to support the development of A Food Policy for Canada. In its report released on December 11th, the Committee recommended that the government create a permanent advisory council consisting of multiple stakeholders.

"I applaud the federal government's leadership and consultative approach to building a national food policy as the foundation for a more sustainable food system," says Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "But governments can't do it all – business and civil society must engage and be part of the solution. An inclusive National Food Policy Council is the best way to drive bold action on the strength of evidence and collaboration."

"A national food policy is a long-standing priority for Canadian farmers," says Ron Bonnett, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. "CFA supports a multi-stakeholder governing council as a means of ensuring that farmers have a place at the food policy development table. We see it as an important forum for sharing perspectives and encouraging dialogue. Through joint discussions, we can clarify misperceptions and identify opportunities where farmers can help meet emerging consumer demands."

"The non-profit sector is deeply knowledgeable and engaged in advancing a more equitable and sustainable food system and provides an important voice that has not yet been integrated in food policy making," says Diana Bronson, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada. "Bringing more diversity to the table will ensure that social, health and environmental issues are given proper attention as well as bringing innovative community practices to the policy-making table."

"Working with the academic and research community was a necessary part of the process," says Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph and a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Geography. "And through a rigorous research process, we were able to distill best practices from food policy councils from around the world to inform our recommendations to the Canadian Government."

Over 40,000 Canadians responded to the online consultations for A Food Policy for Canada, demonstrating clear interest in the future of our food system. A National Food Policy Council would create a forum in which this conversation can continue and incorporate the diverse voices of all Canadians.

The ad hoc working group was formed in early 2017 with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Food Secure Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and the McConnell Foundation as founding members. This proposal has garnered support from a broad cross-section of businesses, non-profits and sectoral organizations from across Canada in a letter sent to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay last week.

For additional background see the joint letter and The Case for A National Food Policy Council report.

About the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph: Founded in 2017, Arrell Food Institute is transforming global food systems and elevating Canada's place within the global food economy. It builds on the University of Guelph's world-class strengths in all aspects of food research and education, and will be the world leader in food and agricultural innovation.

About the Canadian Federation of Agriculture: Formed in 1935, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture serves as a unified voice to speak on behalf of Canadian farmers. It continues today as a farmer-funded, national umbrella organization representing provincial general farm organizations and national commodity groups. Through its members, CFA represents approximately 200,000 farm families.

About Food Secure Canada: Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.

About Maple Leaf Foods: Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading consumer protein company, making high quality, innovative products under national brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf® Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina® and Lightlife™. The Company employs approximately 11,500 people and does business in North America and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).

About the McConnell Foundation: The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. We do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and co-creation with grantees, partners and the public.

This news is provided by:

The Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph – www.arrellfoodinstitute.ca

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture - www.cfa-fca.ca

Food Secure Canada - www.foodsecurecanada.org

Maple Leaf Foods - www.mapleleaffoods.com

The McConnell Foundation – www.mcconnellfoundation.ca


Canadians are consuming fewer calories from beverages, on track to meet 20 per cent reduction target by 2025

​Canadians continue to reduce the number of calories they are consuming from liquid refreshment beverages. In 2014, Canadians consumed an average 142.5 Calories – calories from sugar – a day from beverages such as bottled water, soft drink, juice and energy drinks. That number dropped to 133.9 Calories in 2015, and 128.0 Calories in 2016 representing a 10.2% reduction since 2014, according to a new tracking report by The Conference Board of Canada.

This reduction puts the Canadian Beverage Association's Balance Calories Initiative on track to meet its target of a 20 percent reduction in calories consumed by Canadians from liquid refreshment beverages by 2025.

"The decline we have seen in Canadians' consumption of calories from refreshment beverages is encouraging. In order to maintain the pace of reduction required to meet the 2025 target, the beverage industry will need to maintain their efforts to date," said Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Associate Director, Food Horizons Canada, The Conference Board of Canada. "The industry can continue to influence consumer choice in a number of ways such as reducing volumes and continuing to provide more mid- and low-calorie beverage products to the market."


The goal of reducing Canadians' caloric intake from liquid refreshment beverages by 20 per cent by 2025 will require continued effort by the beverage industry.
The Balance Calories Initiative has 8 years to drop daily calories consumed from liquid refreshment beverages by 14 Calories.
Canadians are moderating their consumption from full calorie beverages towards low and no calorie beverages.
To achieve the 20 per cent reduction target by 2025, Canadians would need to consume just 114 Calories a day from refreshment beverages. As recent data has revealed, Canadians have indeed been lowering their daily consumption with a nearly 14.5 Calorie drop between the 2014 baseline and 2016. Over the next eight years, the initiative will aim for a reduction in the daily consumption of calories from liquid refreshment beverages of 14 Calories.

The most important market trend now driving lower refreshment beverages daily caloric consumption is a movement from full calorie beverages towards low and no calorie beverage options. While a decade ago, lower caloric consumption from liquid refreshment beverages was more likely to be driven by a movement within the carbonate category from full to low calories. It is now more likely to be driven by a movement towards plain, flavoured, and enhanced waters.

This, along with topics on how to leverage new opportunities to enhance the food sector's performance, will be discussed at the 6th Annual Food and Drink Summit, December 5 and 6 in Calgary.

Canadian Beverage Association Balance Calories Initiative: 2017 Tracking Report has been prepared by The Conference Board of Canada's Food Horizons Canada research centre for the Canadian Beverage Association. The Conference Board is charged with tracking the progress of the Balance Calories Initiative as an independent third-party verifier.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

Taste Tomorrow's Favourite Flavours: McCormick® Releases Much Anticipated 2018 Flavour Forecast

Today, McCormick & Company, Inc., a global leader in flavour, released the official McCormick® Flavour Forecast™ 2018. This annual report is a comprehensive look at the latest ingredients, cooking techniques and culinary ideas driving what's next in flavour at restaurants, on retail shelves and in home kitchens.

This year's Flavour Forecast highlights the casual, adventurous and interactive nature of how people are eating across the globe today. Dive into street food flavour fusion with a gyro-taco hybrid – plantain arepas filled with grilled steak and tzatziki hot sauce. Discover a Japanese izakaya favourite, onigiri stuffed rice balls, sprinkled with furikake seasoning. And, take a bite of East Africa with spicy Tanzanian BBQ skewers and tomato onion sauce.

Since 2000, McCormick has deployed its international team of experts, chefs, trend trackers and food technologists to explore and identify tomorrow's favourite flavours featured in its annual Flavour Forecast. The team predicted smoky, spicy chipotle in 2000, rich and versatile maple in 2007, refreshingly sweet coconut water and milk in 2008, golden turmeric in 2010 and tangy, savoury Korean BBQ in 2012.

"In McCormick's 2018 annual Flavour Forecast report, we continue to bring new tastes from around the world to your table," said McCormick Canada Executive Chef Juriaan Snellen. "This year's report celebrates meals meant to be shared, along with the exciting experience of discovering a new flavour," observes Chef Snellen. "In addition to tracking influences emerging from Japan, East Africa, and the West Indies, we also take stock of the rise of mindful eating through elixirs."

Discover the Flavours of 2018

Handheld Flavour Fusion – Take to the streets for the latest fusing of global cuisines. Carts, trucks and food halls are merging high-flavour fillings with unique crepes, buns and breads for loaded street fare you eat with your hands.
Sizzling Egg Crepes: Called jianbing in China and dan bing in Taiwan, these thin pancakes are griddled, filled and rolled up like a burrito. Stuff these Asian wraps with regional American tastes like smoky pork, crisp slaw and tangy sauce for a Southern twist.
Gyros Meet Arepas: Arepas are the taco-sandwich hybrid you must try. Split and fill these crispy corn cakes with sliced meat, veggies and spicy tzatziki sauce–it's a blissful union of the best tastes and textures South America and Greece have to offer.
Dessert Bao Buns: In China, these soft, steamed buns are typically served up savoury. But, with a simple dough and classic pie fillings, you can create the ultimate handheld dessert–like a British banoffee pie bao with bananas, cream, cinnamon and toffee.

A Bite of East Africa – East African cuisine is a treasure trove of flavour. The signature seasonings, BBQ marinades and sauces of Tanzania and Ethiopia are being explored across the globe.
Berbere Spice Blend: Ethiopia's most popular seasoning contains an array of spices like paprika, allspice, coriander, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper. Its hot, sweet and citrusy flavour lends richness to whatever it touches, whether rubbed on meats, stirred into soups and stews, or sprinkled onto lentils and veggies.
Tanzanian BBQ: These meat skewers, called mishkaki, are similar to shish kebabs. The traditional marinade blends lemon, tomatoes and green papaya to tenderize the meat, while curry, garlic, red pepper and ginger add bold flavour.

Japanese Izakaya Eats – Sushi isn't the only bite-sized food Japan has to offer. Izakayas–Japanese gastropubs–serve up casual tasting plates, similar to Spanish tapas. Featuring bold glazes, seaweed seasonings and tangy dipping sauces, these dishes are an explosion of flavour.
Miso Sake Yakitori Glaze: It's all about the glaze. This tangy, sweet and savoury sauce adds excitement to grilled chicken and seafood skewers. Brush on to instantly impress dinner guests with a distinctive char and bright, glossy look.
The Essential Furikake Seasoning: In Japan, furikake is sprinkled on everything from rice and noodles to veggies and seafood. This coarse mixture of seaweed, sesame, dried seafood, sugar and salt offers umami deliciousness and a subtle, sweet flavour.
Onigiri– Stuffed Rice Balls: Rice balls filled with flavourful goodness are served in almost every izakaya in Japan. Stuff them with ginger & plum vinegar-infused chicken for a sweet and zesty snack.

Drink to Your Wellness – Wellness never tasted so good. Breakfast boosts, snacking soups and end-of-day sips feature robust flavours and uplifting ingredients like cucumber, dandelion greens, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Awaken, stay energized, rebalance and, above all, enjoy.
The Morning Jumpstart: Swap your coffee for a wake-up call that's packed with tart green apples, refreshing cucumbers, tangy-sweet clementines and a bold kick of cayenne.
The Afternoon Soup: Power through your day with a drinkable soup. Oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage provide satisfying flavour for the ultimate pick-me-up.
The Evening Elixir: Rebalance after a busy day. For the ultimate replenishing mocktail, muddle fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens, then top with a splash of sparkling water.

Globetrot with Hot Pot – Throw an Asian hot pot party and leave the cooking to your guests. Gather friends around a steamy pot of deeply flavoured broth. Offer meat, seafood and veggies for dunking, then finish with various toppings for a new DIY meal. This East Asian favourite can be easily changed up to go Mexican, Caribbean and more.
Puebla Hot Pot: Steeping ancho chili, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock gives this Central Mexican-inspired hot pot a smoky, savoury taste. Use it to cook chicken or pork, and finish with corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes for a festive feast.
West Indies Hot Pot: This hot pot features an amazing spiced coconut milk broth. Bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and allspice add intense flavour to the broth, which quickly cooks the seafood. Top it off with a chili papaya pica sauce and plantain chips for a Caribbean vacation right in your kitchen.
To learn more about the flavours of 2018, including recipes and tips for tasting them now, visit FlavourForecast.ca.

About Flavour Forecast
Since 2000, the annual McCormick® Flavour Forecast™ has identified top trends and ingredients to discover the tastes of tomorrow. For 128 years, McCormick & Company has been guided by a passion for flavour. This passion drives our constant pursuit of what's next in flavour. Created by a global team of McCormick experts — including chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists — the Flavour Forecast inspires culinary exploration and innovation around the world. These ingredients and recipes inspire home cooks and professional chefs around the world to experience and share the joy of flavour. Visit HelloFlavour.ca to learn more.


Pizza Pizza partners with third-generation farmers, Chudleigh's,
to offer Apple Crumble Pie

 Pie lovers- sweet and savoury- are coming together, thanks to a partnership between Chudleigh’s Farm and Pizza Pizza. The popular third-generation farm has partnered with Canada’s leading pizza chain to offer consumers their signature Apple Crumble Pie, just in time for the holidays. This scratch-made dessert, made with freshly peeled, Northern Spy apples, flavoured with cinnamon and topped with a sweet brown sugar and oat crumble, will give your grandmother’s a run for its money.
Chudleigh’s Apple Crumble Pie joins a variety of sweet treats featured on Pizza Pizza’s menu including its famed Funnel Cake Stix, Two-Bite Brownies and new 50th Anniversary 6-Inch Chocolate.
“Quality ingredients has been one of our core values since 1967 and Chudleigh’s is renowned for the quality of its farm operations, products and service,” says Pat Finelli, Chief Marketing Officer for Pizza Pizza. “Like Pizza Pizza, Chudleigh's farm started with one family's vision and passion and has now turned into a Canadian success story. We encourage everyone to visit the family farm in Halton Hills, Ontario but if that’s not possible, we’re happy to offer their products in all of our traditional locations in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.”
Chudleigh's Farm is also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year- they first opened their Farm to the public in 1967, the same year Pizza Pizza officially opened its doors.
Customers can get the signature Chudleigh’s Apple Crumble Pie with a pizza combo, or on its own for $7.99. Please note that the pie requires heating upon receipt.
About Pizza Pizza Limited
For 50 years, Pizza Pizza Limited has been guided by a vision to provide the “best food, made especially for you” with a focus on quality ingredients, customer service, continuous innovation and community involvement. With more than 750 locations across Canada, the company is Canada’s pizza pioneer and a quick-service restaurant leader, operating two banners – Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 – that deliver quality food choices, diverse menus and exciting promotions for all tastes, lifestyles and budgets. Visit www.pizzapizza.ca and www.pizza73.com for more information.


2017 Report: Seafood Farming in Canada is Diverse, Sustainable & Growing

 Canada's seafood farmers produced a solid year of sustainable growth and new jobs in 2016 according to a new report released today by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA). The report, Sustainable, Diverse and Growing – The State of Farmed Seafood in Canada 2017, shows revenues reached $1.35 billion in 2016, and included an economic impact of $5.1 billion, jobs totaling 25,040, and Indigenous participation across the nation.

"Canada's seafood farmers have much to be proud of in 2017. They are producing the highest quality farmed seafood, they are creating year-round jobs, and they are opening new opportunities for local Indigenous communities," said Timothy Kennedy, Executive Director of CAIA in releasing the report. "Farmed seafood in Canada is sustainable, diverse and growing. We are playing a leadership role on environmental stewardship and creating high value middle class jobs. We are excited by the future opportunities."

The encouraging outlook is based on the latest Statistics Canada data. Highlights from the report include:

Solid Production, Revenues & Exports in 2016

Revenues in 2016 of $1.347 billion, up from $918 million in 2015.

2016 farmed seafood production was 200,565 tonnes – up from 190,111 in 2015.

Canada's aquaculture exports in 2016 were valued at a record $1 billion.

Significant Economic Benefits to Canadians

In 2016, Canadian farmed seafood production and processing generated a total of over $5.1 billion in economic activity, $2 billion in GDP, and $1.16 billion in wages for 25,000 Canadian workers. And much of these economic benefits occur at the local, community level in Canada.

Indigenous Participation

Over 40 First Nation and Indigenous communities are now directly or indirectly involved in farming seafood in Canada.

Indigenous participation in farmed seafood is found in nine of the ten Canadian provinces

Global Leadership on the Environment

Only 1% of Canada's marine and freshwater area that is suitable for seafood farming is being used. And Canada has by far the lowest level of production per kilometre of coastline amongst our major competitors.

Canada today implements science-based practices that minimize stress, maintain a healthy aquatic environment, reduce disease risks, and prevent the spread of diseases when they do occur.

Overall, farmed seafood in Canada is a highly efficient source of food protein in terms of its environmental footprint (as measured by energy use, land use, and feed efficiency).

Diverse & Growing Across Canada

Farmed seafood takes placed in all provinces as well as the Yukon.

Finfish represents the largest component of the aquaculture sector, with 27 different species such as salmon, trout, and Arctic char commercially grown in all regions in Canada - in both marine and freshwater environments.

Shellfish is also an important part of the aquaculture sector on both coasts with 20 different species of shellfish cultured, such as mussels, oysters, clams and scallops.

"This report reconfirms that farmed seafood in Canada is an increasingly important food source, and that is why we support the Government of Canada's leadership for a new federal Aquaculture Act," added Mr. Kennedy. "A new Act will enable a vibrant, responsible and sustainable farmed seafood sector in Canada for generations to come. It will hold us to account as we grow sustainably to meet future demand."

Canada remains the world's only major farmed seafood producing country without modern national legislation specifically designed to govern a responsible and sustainable aquaculture industry.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization aquaculture will account for two-thirds of the global food fish consumption by 2030.
Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends Encourage Nation to Rediscover and Rethink

​With repeated warnings from many medical associations on the i Retro-inspired meals, freak shakes and cook-and-cut sheet meals are a few of the trends that will be exciting Canadian home chefs in 2018. Under the marketing tagline of Taste the New Next, today, Loblaw announces their list of 2018 Canadian Food Trends, which highlight what Loblaw believes we'll be eating in the coming year.

"With the announcement of the Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends we hope to encourage Canadians to think differently about what they are eating and where their food comes from," says Greg Ramier Executive Vice President, Market Division, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We hope our food trends list will inspire Canadians to try new things and discover new family favourites."

In the summer of 2017, the Loblaw Food Council – a diverse group of Canadian experts including professional chefs, registered dietitians, academics and Loblaw food experts – met to review internal and industry data and share predictions for what will be hitting kitchen tables next year.

The Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends are as follows:

Closing the Food Loop

GIY (Grow It Yourself): Backyards and balconies are a great place to better understand where food comes from. Loblaw expects to see greater public interest in GIY, from backyard beehives and chicken coops, to balcony herb and sprout gardens.

Right-Size Portioning: Canadians will remain focused on reducing their personal food waste by placing a larger emphasis on cooking what they know they can eat, rather than filling their plates.

Leftovers Revival: Canadians will look for new ways to combine leftovers to create great tasting meals that reduce waste and save on food prep time.

According to Loblaw Food Council member Chef Ned Bell: "Many Canadians are having conversations about how to reduce food waste in their households. Using leftovers to make new and exciting meals throughout the week is one simple thing we can all do at home to help make this challenging issue delicious."

Occasional Indulgence

Freak Shakes: Dessert should be fun. Canadians will go crazy for toppings on their favourite milkshakes – like Nanaimo bars, cakes and pies – making them more like a fun dessert than a drink.

Wake and Cake: Cake always tastes best first thing in the morning. Occasionally eating sweet treats in the morning, provides the body more time to work off the indulgence, and less reason to feel guilty.

Full Fat: With more knowledge about good and bad fats, many will turn to fuller fat options, like full-fat yogurt.

Futurist and Loblaw Food Council member Sanjay Khanna: "In an increasingly virtual world, Canadians are seeking food experiences that are novel, sensory and nostalgic. The faster the world changes, the more Canadians yearn for themes and variations on the familiar."

Rediscovering Traditions

Dual-Purpose Ingredients: Shop once – use it twice. Canadians will continue to experiment and look for new ways to use food ingredients such as seaweed for both eating and skincare; and florals for flavoured teas, cocktails, baking and bath bombs.

Retro-inspired: Sometimes to find inspiration we must look to the past. Being adventurous in the kitchen in 2018 will include replicating the signature dishes of childhood and generations past, with a modern twist.

Dan Clapson, Food Writer and Loblaw Food Council member notes: "Canadians are reliving their family traditions from their childhood and updating those delicious foods from their youth with a modern twist for their families – making meals that are nutritious, delicious and reminiscent of being a kid."

Kathy Jollimore, Chef, Food Stylist, Food Writer and Loblaw Food Council member believes: "Canadians are looking to evoke a sense of nostalgia when it comes to their meals, but now benefit from unexpected ingredients and cooking tools that can help modernize these retro classics. For me, it's about maintaining the great taste that you remember from when you were a kid, but reinventing it to make it a healthier and balanced meal."

Rethinking Nutrition

Renewed Nutrition Focus: With the launch of the updated Canada's Food Guide, Canadians will be interested in learning and understanding the changes that have been made and how they can incorporate the revised nutrition guidance into their diets. The revamped Food Guide will lead to more discussion about how to define nutrition, what Canadians should be eating and how to navigate credible sources for nutritional information.

Gut Health: Canadians are more aware than ever about how their bodies work and the importance of good gut health. The use of pre- and probiotics, as well as fermented foods, will continue to gain popularity as we place a higher importance on how our gut health affects our overall health.

Reduced Sugar: As some fats become friendlier, attention is turning to excessive sugar consumption and its effect on the body. Consumers will be seeking low-sugar foods, as well as ways to reduce their sugar intake.

Sue Mah, Registered Dietitian and Loblaw Food Council member: "Canadians have taken a vested interest in what we put in our bodies, including the food choices we make. Gut health is the biggest trend I'm seeing right now. Probiotics are here to stay."

Cooking on the Clock

Breakfast with a Twist: Canadians want a breakfast that is portable, high in protein and something that can be prepared the night before. Think cook-and-cut sheet meals and the inclusion of non-traditional breakfast proteins like chicken, seafood and beans.

Meal Kit: Meal kits will continue to be popular, with consumers looking for chef–inspired, great-tasting meal options. Beyond great recipes, consumers will be looking for value pricing, minimal packaging, more customization options and reduced subscription requirements.

Claire Tansey, Writer, Chef and Loblaw Food Council member notes: "Canadians think they don't have enough time to cook, but the fact is, every meal doesn't have to be Instagram-worthy. Breakfast, for example, can be as simple as scrambled eggs in a wrap, which takes less than five minutes. I want to challenge Canadian's assumptions that they don't have time to cook. Cooking can be fast AND really delicious."

"As a chef, it is inspiring to watch the excitement Canadians have for the food they eat and feed their families," said Chef Mark Russell, Executive Chef, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Every day through our stores we strive to support this passion by offering great products, a wide variety of food, counsel from our instore dietitians, cooking classes and special food events."

Throughout the year, the Loblaw 2018 Food Trends will be brought to life in-store, online and in kitchens across Canada. At the centre of food innovation, the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens*, will showcase these trends at various times throughout the year. Loblaw invites foodies from across the country to see what's new in food in 2018. 


Canadian Produce Marketing Association's Freggie Children's Program gives kids the opportunity to play "Chef for a Day" to learn about healthy eating

On November 21st, over 30 classrooms across Canada will get the chance to have their students be "Chef for a Day" to encourage healthy eating habits and food skills development. Established by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association as part of their FreggieTM Children's program, Chef for a Day is a unique educational opportunity where kids learn how to make an easy, healthy lunch from start to finish. They then get to eat their creations, all while learning about how to make the healthiest choices to fuel their growing bodies.

"We know that the development of proper food skills is an essential foundation for healthy eating, and that the best way to learn is with a hands-on experience," says Ron Lemaire, CPMA President. "We're hoping this event can provide awareness at the community level as to the benefits of teaching children to cook and sending them to school with more nutritious lunches."

Participating teachers are provided with a step by step blueprint for the event, and are encouraged to enlist the help of local chefs, dietitians, or keen parents. Each event will focus on health, food safety and great taste with the intention of including students at every step. Piloted in 2015 in Nova Scotia, the program has been tailored to a national level, and can be run with minimal funds.

"It can be extremely challenging for teachers to execute one-off educational programs with limited funding and resources. With the easy to follow blueprints and gift cards to purchase ingredients, CPMA has developed a winning combination to get more kids engaged in healthy eating while respecting busy schedules," added Kim Hickman, Community Dietitian, Health Promotion Unit, Government of Yukon. "This program is a wonderful way to get kids engaged and excited to make healthy meals."

Children are more likely to respond to something they can relate to. With that in mind, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) developed the Freggie™ Children's Program as just one part of their overall effort to encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for overall better health. Program elements, including the In-School program, free downloadable curriculum for teachers and newsletters are designed to help children understand the benefits of making healthy food choices that include fresh fruits and vegetables. By doing so, our children will begin to learn about taking responsibility for their overall health.
CocoVin™ Fresh Salad Dressings aims to change the paradigm salt equals taste and to help today's consumers make healthier choices.

​With repeated warnings from many medical associations on the impact of high salt and sugar diets on our health, many brands are stuck with salt and or sugar laden products with no easy path towards a solution. CocoVin dressings are ready to meet this challenge with a unique recipe using organic coconut vinegar, without artificial flavors or ingredients, to achieve a great tasting salad dressing with practically no salt and half the calories of traditional dressings in the category.

On November 13th, 2017, new research conducted by the American College of Cardiology put 46% of Americans at risk of stage 1 hypertension. One of the major contributors to High Blood Pressure is a high sodium diet. With the prevalence of processed foods, it is easy for consumers to take in too much sodium daily. CocoVin dressings contain 0% of an adult's RDA of Sodium per 15ml serving compared to other dressings in the same category that contain 5% to 12% per serving.

"We really don't measure how much salad dressing we use. With CocoVin you can have your salad with a dressing, with near zero salt. In fact, our dressings allow the true taste of your salad to come through without the overpowering effect of salt and sugar," says Chef Martin Daniels of Epicurean Consultants, Chief Product Designer for CocoVin.

The brand recently moved production to a modern 30,000 sq. foot facility in Ontario, Canada to meet increasing demand for their current line of salad dressings from healthcare foodservice operators and retailers across Canada and the US.

"The move provides CocoVin with increased production capacity and exciting new innovation capabilities to meet the ever-growing need for great tasting, low salt and low sugar alternatives in Dressings, Dips and Mayos," says Chef Martin.

CocoVin™ Fresh Salad Dressings are made with organic coconut vinegar are found in the fresh produce section of grocery retailers and come in 3 unique flavors: Chipotle Ranch, Chimichurri Caesar and Smoked Cherry Balsamic. All three are great for salads, dips or drizzled on meals such as Fajita or Burrito Bowls.


Toronto's Mabel's Bakery Opens New Store in The Junction

Local foodies and connoisseurs are following their nose to the irresistible scent of freshly baked goods from Mabel's Bakery, which opened today in Toronto's trendy Junction neighbourhood. The new 2,000 square foot space marks Mabel's fourth and largest location, which features a retail section overlooking a state-of-the-art bread kitchen where customers can watch artisan bakers at work.

"Our desire with Mabel's from the beginning was to bring great-tasting, high-quality food and service to the local community," says Lorraine Hawley, president of Mabel's, and co-owner with husband Bob Warburton. "Now, with this new location in the Junction, we have an open-concept bread kitchen that allows people to see the time-honoured techniques that go into creating our artisan breads, croissants and other baked goods."

In addition to being open-concept, the new bread kitchen also has double the capacity of the current one in Roncesvalles Village, allowing them to easily scale up production in the future. That means more options of delicious goodness to choose from, which can all be enjoyed with fresh-brewed organic fair trade coffee from local Toronto roaster, Kitimai. Customers will also have access to a small patio during the warmer months and three dedicated parking spots – a first for the small bakery chain.

The Junction location is the culmination of Hawley's dream for Mabel's since she and Warburton opened their first bakery on Roncesvalles Avenue in 2008, followed by two more bakeries on Queen Street West and St. Clair Avenue West. In each case, finding the right spot in local communities has been important to the couple, and The Junction – an area with a lot of history and locally supportive residents – felt like a natural fit.

"Mabel's reputation for great food and customer service has resulted in fierce customer loyalty at all our locations," says Warburton. "When we posted our opening on the Junction Facebook page, we were really encouraged to see how excited their response was."

Key to Mabel's success is in large part due to using premium, all natural, local and organic ingredients. They bake everything from scratch and specialize in artisan breads, prepared foods, ready meals, home-style baked goods, artisan cheeses and charcuterie with vegan and gluten-free options available.

Mabel's Bakery in The Junction is located at 2755 Dundas St West and is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Subway Canada donates one million meals to Food Banks Canada in celebration of World Sandwich Day

The donations have been tallied and thanks to the support of Canadians, Subway® Canada will donate one million meals to Food Banks Canada as a result of its World Sandwich Day program. Part of a global initiative, guests in over 60 countries joined Subway® on November 3 to help feed millions of people around the globe through the World Sandwich Day promotion, which will see more than 13.3 million meals donated globally.

"We set an aggressive goal of donating one million meals to communities across Canada this year, and we cannot thank our guests enough for helping us achieve it," says Cristina Wells, Senior Marketing Director. "It's incredibly important to us that we support the local communities we operate in. No one should have to go hungry no matter where they live."

The donation will be used towards the purchase and distribution of fresh foods, helping to restock shelves in food banks across Canada, just in time for the holiday season.

"Donations like these are essential to fighting hunger," says Mimi Lowi-Young, executive director Food Banks Canada. "To put the Canadian donation into perspective, roughly 306,000 children and 45,500 seniors are helped by food banks across the country every month. Subway® Canada's donation has the power to provide almost every single one of them with three nutritious meals of food."

In addition to the charitable donation, Subway® staff in four major cities joined together in the lead up to World Sandwich Day to lend a hand in their local communities, helping to sort and prep over 7,700 pounds of non-perishable foods and package an additional 1,300 bags of fresh vegetables for food bank shelves. Murals developed to raise awareness of hunger in Canada have also been donated to Food Banks Canada.

For more information about Subway® Canada, the World Sandwich Day initiative and our commitment to hunger-relief charities, visit SubwayLiveFeed.ca, join Subway® Canada's online community at www.facebook.com/SubwayCanada or follow @SubwayCanada.
Table for one: OpenTable Reveals Solo Dining Reservations in Canada Grow by 85 per cent

An analysis by OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), reveals that reservations for parties of one have grown nationally by 85 per cent since 2015.

OpenTable findings indicate the stigma surrounding dining solo may be starting to lift and that consumers are eager to savour special culinary experiences alone. Data shows the majority of solo dining reservations are booked for dinner (43 per cent) followed by lunch (30 per cent). Canadian solo diners also book the majority of their tables Monday to Friday (78 per cent), saving the weekends for dining with others.

"This increase in the number of reservations made for one illustrates shifting attitudes in Canadian dining culture," said Ziv Schierau, Head of National Accounts for OpenTable Canada. "Instead of opting for takeout or room service, Canadians are embracing solo dining and the opportunity to unwind and enjoy a unique meal at their own pace."

In celebration of solo diners and the restaurants that welcome them, OpenTable has also released the Top 25 Restaurants for Solo Dining in Canada. The list was generated based on the restaurants most booked for tables of one and the "overall" star-ratings associated with reviews submitted by verified diners. Based on this methodology, the Top 25 Restaurants for Solo Dining in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

2017 Top 25 Restaurants for Solo Dining in Canada

529 Wellington – Winnipeg, Manitoba
The Bison Restaurant – Banff, Alberta
Bonaparte – Montréal, Québec
BOSK at Shangri-La Hotel – Toronto, Ontario
Bow Valley Grill – Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – Banff, Alberta
Bruce Wine Bar – Thornbury, Ontario
Byblos – Toronto, Ontario
Damas – Montréal, Québec
Earth to Table: Bread Bar – Guelph, Ontario
Gyoza Bar – Vancouver, British Columbia
Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse – Toronto, Ontario
LaVinia – Toronto, Ontario
Le Filet – Montréal, Québec
Library Bar – Fairmont Royal York – Toronto, Ontario
The Marc – Edmonton, Alberta
The Merchant Tavern – St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Mettawas Station Mediterranean – Kingsville, Ontario
Miijidaa Cafe + Bistro – Guelph, Ontario
Miku Restaurant – Toronto – Toronto, Ontario
Miku Restaurant – Vancouver – Vancouver, British Columbia
ONE Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Restaurant Le Continental – Québec City, Québec
Richmond Station – Toronto, Ontario
Scaramouche Pasta Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Trattoria Gusto – Port Hope, Ontario

In a sandwich, melted over macaroni or on a cracker, nothing beats cheese. All aspects of the product are on display at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from the cows who produce the milk to the cheese competition to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches offered in the food court. Prize winner and third time exhibitor Thornloe Cheese is offering samples of its grass-fed mild and medium cheddar and mozzarella in the Northern Ontario Pavilion that promotes agricultural products from Sudbury to the Manitoba border.

"We worked with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario to develop standards for the grass-fed label and we have the first verified cheese product in Canada," says Pamela Hamel, the brand ambassador for Thornloe Cheese. "Our grass-fed cheese has no more than 25% grain in it." Thornloe Cheese has been making quality cheese since 1940 as a farmer-owned enterprise.

Some of the cheeses are named for the north, such as Devil's Rock, a handmade blue that won second place in The Royal's Blue Veined Cheese class. The company also took third for Temiskaming in the Open Class. Devil's Rock was also chosen one of the top three cheeses to commemorate Canada's 150th.

But it is the grass-fed category that is getting the company noticed because "it satisfies consumers looking for more grass-fed products." According to Hamel, as a federal plant, the grass-fed labeled cheese can be marketed across Canada and is in some of the country's finest specialty cheese shops and large chains, such as Longo's in Ontario.

"People are genuinely interested in our products," says Hamel. "They want local, so there's a curiosity about our cheese." She says exposure to such a large market via The Fair is great for her small company.

"The Royal is also a platform for building relationships," Hamel continues. She is talking to one of the food vendors about supplying the cheese for their fast food fare.

By offering samples in her booth, she sells many pounds of cheese at The Royal. Most of the purchases are made as folks leave The Fair so they can snack on curds on the way home or make a grilled cheese when they get back to their own kitchen.​

The Royal gets cheesy


June's: Canada's First HIV+ Eatery Opens Doors Today in Toronto

Today Casey House opens the doors to June's, Canada's first pop-up restaurant run by HIV positive chefs. To ignite a conversation around the stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS experience, Chef Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro will lead a team of 14 HIV positive individuals-turned-cooks on November 7 and 8 in Toronto. Chef Basile collaborated with the cooks on menu to build a 4-course-meal featuring their favourite ingredients as well as led them through a training session on kitchen skills and food preparation fundamentals.

"We explored this stigma through a study we conducted as part of our campaign Break Bread. Smash Stigma. The study revealed that only half of Canadians would knowingly share or eat food prepared by someone who is HIV positive despite the fact you cannot transmit the disease through food preparation," said Joanne Simons, CEO of Casey House. "My hope for June's is that the experience leaves a lasting impression and will help to continue to break down barriers around stigma. We are so grateful to our partners and sponsors like RBC who are standing with us to help bring our vision of June's to life."

June's is named after Casey House's founder and prolific Canadian activist and journalist June Callwood and was created in partnership with Canada's largest independent agency, Bensimon Byrne and is presented by RBC.

"This is a unique and thought-provoking event, and we are honoured to be a part of it," said Lawrence Spicer, RBC Vice President, Audit. "Our hope is that the conversations it will ignite will help reduce the stigma faced by people living with HIV/AIDS."


Canadian farmers continue to support amateur female athletes and help them achieve their goals

Today, Fuelling Women Champions announced the winners of the Champions Fund, an initiative by Canada's dairy farmers, which aims to break down financial barriers for amateur female athletes as they work at achieving their goals in sport. Expanded for its second year, the Fund is distributing 30 grants of $5,000 totaling $150,000 to help even more young female athletes pursue their sports dreams. This is in comparison to the $100,000 grant from 2016, distributed to 20 female athletes with incredible stories.

The Champions Fund was launched in 2016 and saw an impressive 2,537 applications from female athletes across Canada, who submitted stories detailing their love of sport and their need of financial assistance to achieve their goals—all within the context of addressing the inequalities Canadian female athletes face versus their male counterparts. Many applications told the stories of amazing athletes struggling to make their sports dreams a reality, including their need for the basics: equipment, tournament fees, and access to training facilities.

"Canadian dairy farmers are so very proud to be able to support our female amateur athletes again this year through the Champions Fund," said DFC's President, Pierre Lampron. "Hearing their incredible stories has been truly inspirational. I want to extend my best wishes to these athletes as they pursue their goals, and thank all of those who applied."

In its second year, the Champions Fund received more than 3,097 applications for grants from Canadian women across the nation. Grant recipients will use the grants for the betterment of themselves, their fellow teammates or communities as it pertains to sports. Recipients include:

Track and field star, Larissa Brown from Ottawa, ON, who lost her vision in grade seven and who has been using sport as a means for hope. She currently holds five Canadian records and with the Fund, she will be able to cover her training costs to continue her path to success and inspire others to follow in her footsteps.
Dragon boating team, Abreast in a Boat from Vancouver, BC, are all breast cancer survivors paddling to raise awareness for breast cancer and to demonstrate that survivors can still lead full, active lives. The Champions Fund will help the team offset the cost of regatta registration and equipment, so they can continue to do what they love and include other survivors on the team, to help with the emotional and physical healing that is needed after treatment.
Sami Jo Small opened up a hockey school (Sami Jo Small Female Hockey School) in Winnipeg, MB where she invites any female athlete from a First Nation to attend the camp free of charge. The Fund will allow her to continue to support First Nation female athletes by offering them the ability to participate in sport, teaching them how to interact with others and learning about the principle of inclusion.

2017 Champions Fund Recipients

According to a 2016 study commissioned by Canada's dairy farmers, only 59 per cent of girls aged 3-17 and 16 per cent of adult women in Canada participate in sport. The Champions Fund, and the overarching initiative, Fuelling Women Champions, aims to inspire girls and women, regardless of age or ability, in local communities across Canada to realize the universal benefits of sport.

The top 78 applicants were selected based on a scorecard and the merits of their applications. Then, the Champions Fund Committee, a board of 10 individuals comprised of Fuelling Women Champions stakeholders, ambassadors and partners, have selected the 30 final grant recipients, who are being announced today.

For more information or to get involved in the initiative, visit www.womenchampions.ca. Follow and join the movement online to #ChampionHer.

About Fuelling Women Champions
Fuelling Women Champions is a national, multi-year initiative spearheaded by Canada's dairy farmers, which is dedicated to the advancement of women in sport. Canada's dairy farmers are personally committing their time, energy and resources to this cause, and have partnered with several thought-leaders, celebrated athletes, and sports organizations.


Kid Food Nation Gala Celebrates Healthy Living with Young Chefs From Across Canada

 When nine year-old Amani heard of Kid Food Nation's national recipe contest, she knew her lobster salad recipe would be a great way to show off her PEI pride.

Little did she know that from hundreds of submissions from kids in communities across the country, her and 25 other young chefs would win the national contest and be flown to Kid Food Nation's inaugural gala in Ottawa to showcase their recipes, rub shoulders with famous Canadians, and celebrate healthy eating!

Kid Food Nation is a cross-Canada movement that teaches kids cooking skills, gets them excited about healthy food, and gives them the tools to live a healthier and happier life.

Designed for children aged 7-12, the Kid Food Nation program will run at Boys and Girls Clubs in communities from coast to coast. The curriculum has four main goals:

Teach children essential culinary skills
Encourage healthy choices about the food they eat
Foster healthy habits for life
Empower parents and families to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals and snacks
"Ensuring children have access to healthy food and culinary skills that will benefit them for life is a priority at Boys and Girls Clubs," says Owen Charters, President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. "We are proud to work with President's Choice Children's Charity, Public Health Agency of Canada, Corus Entertainment, and other incredible organizations to launch Kid Food Nation and take a huge leap forward in combating food insecurity and improving the health of Canadian children."

Pilot programs have been launched this year at 10 Boys and Girls Clubs, from British Columbia to Newfoundland & Labrador, and 60 more Clubs will receive funding over the next five years to run the Kid Food Nation program.

"Through our programs and our partners like Kid Food Nation and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, we are committed to helping kids develop food literacy—including an understanding of nutrition, and the capacity to make meals and meal decisions," said Lisa Battistelli, Director, PC® Children's Charity. "We're proud to support the Kid Food Nation program, and congratulate all the contest winners. A responsible sense of food is a national building block and we know kids who are fed and well-nourished build healthier communities."

"I applaud the winners of the first annual National Recipe Challenge who put their food skills to the test and came up with healthy, delicious and nutritious recipes," says the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. "Many of our lifelong habits begin at a young age, and today these kids are inspiring other kids, parents and families to find creative, fun ways to make healthy eating and meal preparation a part of their everyday lives."

Kid Food Nation also includes a free, public website (http://kidfoodnation.com), created by Corus Entertainment, which includes games, videos, tips about healthy eating, fun cooking facts, recipes, and more. Kid Food Nation's message airs on Corus' powerhouse Kids stations which reach an average of 1.5 million Canadian children (7-11) each month*. Corus is a market leader in children's entertainment with five of the top five kids networks in Canada.**

Hosted by Carlos Bustamante of YTV's Big Fun Movies, and featuring the contest winners and their recipes, the Kid Food Nation Gala will be held October 22 at the Château Laurier in Ottawa with distinguished guests The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, local Members of Parliament, and others.

Created through the partnership of Corus Entertainment and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, with Social Research and Demonstration Corporation and in collaboration with Dietitians of Canada, Kid Food Nation is proudly sponsored by President's Choice Children's Charity and generously supported by Public Health Agency of Canada.

*Source: Numeris PPM Data. BY 16/17 (Aug29/16-Aug27/17), Total Canada, AMA(000) C7-11, ranker based on Cdn kids stations Eng & Fr).
**Source: Numeris PPM Data, BY 16/17 (Aug29/16-Aug27/17), Total Canada, AvMRch(000) C7-11, Corus Kids Stations (Eng & Fr) Mo-Su 2a-2a


Pizza Pizza thanks Canadians for 50 years with throwback pricing

This year marks Pizza Pizza's 50th anniversary and, to celebrate, Canada's leading pizza chain is holding a nation-wide party and serving up slices at 1967 prices while also raising money for children's hospitals.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Canadians can walk into any traditional Pizza Pizza location across the country and order a cheese or pepperoni slice and a can of Coke for only $1.50 – the menu price when the first Pizza Pizza location opened its doors in 1967. Not only will pizza lovers get to enjoy a delicious slice at an incredible price, they'll also be contributing to the Slices for Smiles Foundation. A percentage of the proceeds from the day's promotion will go to the Foundation that supports Children's Miracle Network hospitals in Canada.

"It's been an honour to serve Canadians for fifty years," says Pat Finelli, Chief Marketing Officer at Pizza Pizza and an employee of the company since 1984. "Thanks to our customers, franchisees and partners, who have allowed us to be the best in the business. We're looking forward to many more years of leadership, innovation and community service."

The first Pizza Pizza location opened December 1967 on the corner of Wellesley and Parliament streets in the heart of Cabbagetown, Toronto. The first restaurant stands at the same location today and, the company, including its sister brand Pizza 73, now counts more than 500 franchise partners across 750 locations and has helped to create more than 6,000 full and part-time jobs in communities across the country.

The October 17 festivities will also serve as the official kick-off for the Slices for Smiles campaign, an annual fundraiser that helps to collect funds and raise awareness for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) and its 14 member hospitals in Canada. From October 18 to October 22, Pizza Pizza will sell a smiley-faced medium cheese and pepperoni pizza for $5, with proceeds going to CMN. With the help of its loyal and generous customers, Pizza Pizza aims to surpass the $3 million mark in total funds raised for CMN to date.

"The partnership Pizza Pizza has with us is but one example of the great work they do in local communities across the country," says Ameera Virani, representative for Children's Miracle Network. "Since we've been partners, Pizza Pizza has raised more than $2.5 million for children's hospitals. On behalf of all of the children who count on the services of our member hospitals, I wish to thank Pizza Pizza, its franchise owners and customers for their amazing support."

Since 1967, Pizza Pizza has been a leader in Canada's quick-service restaurant industry with notable firsts and innovations. The company was among the first in its pizza class to do such things as eliminate non-natural trans-fats and artificial colours and flavours from its menu. It is also known for the introduction of a time guarantee on delivery, invention of the insulated pizza delivery bag, as well as the implementation of a centralized call centre and phone number. The company is also associated with its iconic jingle, 967-11-11 which debuted in 1976 and was even rumoured to be an occasional Canadian passport interview question.

Pizza Pizza has already had a busy year of 50th birthday celebrations through which it has been thanking customers with special offers and giveaways including a big screen TV for Super Bowl, a diamond ring for Valentine's Day, a Dream Canadian Vacation for Canada 150 and, later this month, the company will be sending a lucky winner to the MLB World Series. Just recently, Pizza Pizza reintroduced its famous "Crack the Cardboard" contest from the '90s with more than $4 million in prizes including cars, cash trips, TVs and food. The throwback pricing and Slices for Smiles campaign, all taking place during National Pizza Month, is the culmination of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary year.

Pizza Pizza is encouraging customers to help celebrate the anniversary and share their love for pizza by posting photos to its social media channels using the hashtag: #PizzaPizza50 and tagging @PizzaPizzaLtd!

For more information, visit www.pizzapizza.ca.
Minister MacAulay Takes Part in World Food Day

Canada is working with our international partners towards a world where all life can thrive.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the implementation of the Global Goals contained within the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the importance of investing in sustainable rural development and agriculture.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, joined His Holiness Pope Francis and the G7 Agriculture Ministers at the thirty-seventh World Food Day. He spoke to the theme of World Food Day – "Changing the future of migration" – where he highlighted the importance of supporting farmers to improve livelihoods in rural areas and communities impacted by migration. He stated, "I am pleased to participate in World Food Day events and reiterate the Government of Canada's commitment to sustainable development. Canada believes this year's theme, "Changing the future of migration," can be addressed by supporting farmers. Agricultural development can help address rural poverty, strengthen food security, and provide jobs in rural communities. Ensuring that global trade doors remain open while supporting innovative agriculture can improve the viability of farming in areas affected by migration, and can provide stability for farmers, their families, and their local communities."

The Minister underscored the role Canada is playing in support of farmers around the world, and the challenges migrants face in the agriculture sector. He stressed the importance of creating opportunities for agricultural development in areas affected by migration. This includes helping farmers develop, innovate and increase their yields, supporting fair and open trade, and empowering women and girls who contribute to the agricultural sector in areas impacted by migration such as Africa and Asia.

Today caps off a successful agricultural trade mission to Europe, during which the Minister promoted Canadian food to Europeans and the world at the world's largest food and beverage trade show, ANUGA. Minister MacAulay then travelled to Belgium and Italy, where he met with senior European Union (EU) officials to help ensure Canadian exporters get the most out of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which entered into force provisionally on September 21, 2017. At the G7 Agriculture Ministers' meeting, he underscored the importance of Canada's role in addressing the global migration crisis.  


Food Starter opens its doors to serve up Toronto's best in up-and-coming food businesses, paving way for innovation and growth for future food companies

 Food Starter, a not-for-profit corporation funded in part by the City of Toronto and Canada's premier food business commercialization centre, today celebrated its official grand opening with a Flavour Safari held at the centre's 20,000-square foot shared-use production space in Toronto, Ontario.

The event, sponsored by the City of Toronto and SIAL Canada – an international food and beverage tradeshow – featured guided tours of the facility, opportunities to sample products created by Food Starter clients and a presentation that shared details of new industry partnerships which include collaborations with Ozery Bakery, Woodbine Entertainment, Cater Toronto, North York Harvest Food Bank, Bishop Integrated Marketing, and Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian accounting firm, MNP.

"2017 marks an exciting year for us at Food Starter as we are about to embark upon new and innovative ways to support up-and-coming food businesses," said Dana McCauley, Executive Director, Food Starter. "Since our inception in November 2015, we have helped more than 150 companies through specialized programing designed to increase their chances of success in a very competitive market. Partnerships are essential and will help accelerate innovation in Canada's food sector, ultimately advancing Food Starter's mission and creating the future of food."

Mayor John Tory and City of Toronto officials including Economic Development & Culture Committee Chair, Councillor Michael Thompson, City Councillor Mary Fragedakis, and Councillor Frank Di Giorgio were joined by the Honorable MPP Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to celebrate the official launch of Food Starter and to share in the celebration of these partnerships.

"In less than two years, Food Starter has helped more than 150 food companies to accelerate their growth and create more than 160 jobs," said Mayor Tory. "These partnerships represent opportunities to bolster and advance the competitive strength of emerging food businesses. We encourage Toronto's private and public sectors to join Food Starter and its partners as they continue to spice up Canada's food innovation landscape."

"Innovation is at the very core of SIAL Canada's mission as it plays a significant role in bringing new food products successfully to market," said Xavier Poncin, CEO, SIAL Canada. "The clients of Food Starter today are paving the way to help shape the future of the food sector. With eight out of 10 SIAL Canada attendees seeking new products and trends, I'm confident we will see many of Food Starter's clients exhibiting their innovative products on an international stage at future SIAL conferences, and possibly receiving a future SIAL Innovation Award."


Beau's, Bullfrog Power launch new solar project at Ottawa's Just Food Farm

Today, Bullfrog Power, Canada's leading green energy provider, and Beau's Brewing Co., based in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, are announcing the launch of a new solar project in Ottawa. The 10 kW project is being developed in partnership with Just Food, an organization working toward just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region. A free community celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, at the Just Food Farm where members of the public can learn more about, and celebrate, local good food projects.

"Bullfrog Power and Beau's took an early interest in Just Food's community farm when they committed to helping us develop our own solar project," said Moe Garahan, Executive Director, Just Food. "Thanks to this very generous support, we were able to partner with a range of funding partners to do even more to strengthen Just Food's mission of working towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region."

As a result of its customers' support, Bullfrog Power is able to contribute to this project through its community renewable projects program. The company works with communities from coast to coast to coast to provide critical early-stage funding for green energy projects—such as solar panels on schools and community centres and renewable projects with Indigenous communities. Beau's Brewing Co., a long-time supporter of Just Food and a bullfrogpowered business since 2014, is committed to advancing local renewable energy projects that can make change in their communities. Together, Bullfrog Power and Beau's helped to finance the solar installation and assist Just Food in its goal to educate on and promote sustainable agriculture in Eastern Ontario.

"I believe that beer tastes better when you feel good about drinking it. I'm proud that our independent, employee owned brewery is able to support Just Food, an amazing, dynamic and important organization in our local community," said Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau's Brewing Co.

"Beau's is a true game changer—being one of the first companies in Canada to directly address their energy-related emissions footprint with all three of Bullfrog Power's green energy offerings: green electricity, green natural gas and green fuel," said Ron Seftel, CEO, Bullfrog Power. "We're excited to be a part of this unique collaboration, where an innovative local business that champions green energy is also helping a local non-profit develop their own new renewable energy generation."

To launch the newly renovated Just Food Farm and the new solar project, a community celebration event will be held at the Just Food Farm location (2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa, ON) from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2017. This free event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend, rain or shine.

About Bullfrog Power
Bullfrog Power, Canada's leading green energy provider, offers renewable energy solutions that enable individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact, support the development of green energy projects in Canada and help create a cleaner, healthier world. As a Certified B Corporation, Bullfrog Power meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Thousands of individuals and businesses in Canada are doing their part to address climate change and air pollution by choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power. Sign up easily, quickly and affordably at bullfrogpower.com.

Join the bullfrogpowered community online on Facebook (facebook.com/BullfrogPower), Instagram (@bullfrogpower) and Twitter (@bullfrogpower).

About Beau's Brewing Co.
Beau's Brewing is an employee-owned and totally independent Canadian craft brewery. Founded in 2006 by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau's brews interesting, tasty beers using best-quality certified organic ingredients and local spring water. In addition to flagship "Lug Tread Lagered Ale" and year-round offering "Full Time I.P.A.," Beau's portfolio of award-winning beers includes "The Tom Green Beer" and the "Wild Oats," "Farm Table," and "Gruit" Series. Beau's has been a recipient of more than 100 awards for brewing, packaging design and business practices, including 2 Gold medals at Mondial de la Bière (Strasbourg, France, and Montréal, Québec); 6 Gold medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards, 8-times "Best Craft Brewery in Ontario" and 8-times "Best Regularly Produced Beer in Ontario" at the Golden Tap Awards. As a Certified B-Corporation, Beau's meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Beau's beer is available across Canada, NY and MA. Beau's is the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017. Oh yeah!

Website: www.beaus.ca
Twitter and Instagram: @beausallnatural
Facebook www.facebook.com/beausbrewery 
Boston Pizza extends its urban strategy with second Toronto 'Restaurant Of The Future'

Boston Pizza, Canada's largest casual dining restaurant chain, is building on its new urban strategy just six months after launching its new contemporary design concept at Front and John Streets in Toronto. The latest urban restaurant is opening its doors to Torontonians today, at the high-traffic area of Yonge and Gerrard Streets, near the heart of Ryerson University and Toronto's Yonge St. shopping district and will feature an all-season 167-seat rooftop patio with retractable roof.

After a successful launch of the brand's urban strategy prototype at the corporately owned Front and John location in March, the Yonge and Gerrard opening signals the strength of the brand's strategy to grow its presences in Canada's urban markets.

"We are extremely proud to be bringing Boston Pizza's new design concept to our Yonge and Gerrard community in Toronto," said Alan Howie, Executive Vice President, Operations and Development, Boston Pizza International. "This new, cutting edge venue shows the commitment of our brand to building engaging and enticing family-friendly restaurants in Canada's urban centers. It will also add a unique flavour to the city, thanks to the massive, year-round rooftop patio and 12-screen video wall on the first floor."

The Yonge and Gerrard franchisee team is made up of four experienced partners; Anil and Sarthak Kapur and Greg and Karen McKnight. Together, the four boast an impressive resume of experience in the community and industry, including more than 35 years' experience in the restaurant industry and years of operating 12 other Boston Pizza restaurants in the GTA.

"We are incredibly passionate about hospitality," said franchisee Anil Kapur. "However, Boston Pizza is more than just hospitality; it has given us the opportunity to be involved in the community. From enabling job opportunities for youth, sponsoring sports teams, school lunches and various other charities, we are excited to expand our community involvement in Toronto."

As well as supporting local charity, Covenant House, which provides shelter, healthcare and rehabilitation services to at-risk youth, the new restaurant will also help stimulate the local job market as the franchisees look to add 100 more staff to their roster.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread for Fall 2017!

By Sloane Davis

2 cups Oat Flour
1 1/2 cups Pure Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups Liquid Egg Whites
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbs Cinnamon
2 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 cup Sweetener of Choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and str until well blended.
Divide mixture into sprayed mini loaf pans or bake in 1 large sprayed loaf pan.
Bake for 20 minutes


My approach to weight loss is based upon flexible dieting.  My clients are given macros, which are proteins, fats and carbs, which comprises total calories.  They then eat within the budget that is prescribed for their specific body.  What makes this plan so effective is that there are no foods that one has to eat and no foods that are off limits.  This makes for very sustainable, long term, successful weight loss.

A healthy pumpkin bread you can enjoy without the guilt! Pumpkin breads are usually loaded with butter and sugar, but I’ve created this healthy version that is equally delicious and much more forgiving on your waistline!

The best part about this recipe is that its a mix and dump recipe.  It’s super simple to make and takes so little time to prepare. I can assure you this will be a sure crowd-pleaser every time!

Enjoy and keep on being fit. Be sure to tag your yummy creations on Instagram #pancakesandpushups or my Facebook page!

Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.

She has been featured in People, Fitness Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, Apple News, The Daily Mail, Yahoo News, FOX Good Day New York, FOX Good Day DC, NY1, Bay Area Focus, Women’s Fitness, Womanista, Livestrong, Mind Body Green and Westchester Magazine.



A Boost for Second Harvest from Travelzoo

An elegant setting, romantic atmosphere, exquisite food—and the peace of mind that you are helping feed Toronto’s hungry.
Until October 18, Travelzoo® (NASDAQ: TZOO) will offer its members exclusive dining opportunities at five of Toronto’s best restaurants with a portion of each dinner package sold being donated to Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization.
“We have a membership that loves to go out and experience new things,” says Lara Barlow, General Manager of Travelzoo Canada. “Partnering with Second Harvest is a way for us to support this great charity while introducing our members to some of the top restaurants in Toronto.”
Through Travelzoo, members can purchase exclusive multi-course meals that have been created specifically for the “Second Harvest x Travelzoo" program at five upscale Toronto restaurants: Aria Ristorante, Fabbrica, Noce, The Fifth & Terrace and Montgomery’s Restaurant. Dinner for two will cost between $109 and $119. 
“We are thrilled to begin working with Travelzoo this year and excited to grow the partnership with this amazing deal,” says Debra Lawson, Executive Director of Second Harvest. “These five restaurants are loyal, longtime loyal supporters of Second Harvest and are among the best our city has to offer. We hope Travelzoo members take advantage of this incredible chance to enjoy good food and give back.”
In operation since 1985, Second Harvest receives donations of fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, fresh and frozen meat and dairy products from more than 400 Toronto eateries, taking food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to more than 225 social service agencies across the city. It rescues and delivers enough food to provide 25,000 meals each day.
Donations received by Second Harvest through its partnership with Travelzoo will help support the operation, which has 10 trucks on the road every day rescuing good, healthy food and delivering it to people who need it.
“A minimum of $5,000 will be donated to Second Harvest—enough to rescue and deliver 10,000 meals,” says Barlow. “The ‘Second Harvest x Travelzoo’ program is a fantastic opportunity to offer a unique dining experience for our members while supporting one of Toronto’s worthiest charities. Understanding the sheer scope of what Second Harvest does has been an eye-opener for us and Travelzoo is proud to help out.”
The “Second Harvest x Travelzoo” dining deals can be seen here. They are available for purchase now and redeemable from Sept. 18 through Oct. 18.
Stay connected with the best travel and leisure experiences available on the internet by liking Travelzoo on Facebook at /travelzooCA and following on Twitter @TravelzooCanada and [email protected]
Become a Travelzoo member today to start receiving insider travel deals to your favourite destination from one of our deal experts. Visit travelzoo.com/ca to join!
About Travelzoo
Travelzoo® provides our 28 million members with insider deals and one-of-a-kind experiences personally reviewed by one of our deal experts around the globe. With more than 25 offices worldwide, we have our finger on the pulse of outstanding travel, entertainment and lifestyle experiences. For over 15 years we have worked in partnership with more than 2,000 top travel suppliers—our long-standing relationships allow us access to the very best deals.
Travelzoo and Top 20 are registered trademarks of Travelzoo. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Raised by a Canadian Farmer Means Even More Now
Chicken Farmers of Canada has expanded its Raised by a Canadian Farmer brand to incorporate the programs that farmers use to raise their birds to the highest standards of care, quality and sustainability.

Canadian chicken farmers have always been proud to provide Canadians with the highest quality chicken.

Our farmers adhere to a strict mandatory On-Farm Food Safety Program, a national standard that has received federal, provincial and territorial government recognition and full recognition by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
They also adhere to a strict, mandatory and auditable Animal Care Program to ensure high animal care standards are being upheld on Canadian chicken farms across Canada. It is also third-party audited by NSF International, an internationally-recognized, third-party certification body, accredited by the American National Standards Institute, to ISO 17065.
Farmers are also committed to sustainability through innovation, by preserving the health of the land, providing value to Canada's economy, and making affordable food for Canadians.
"The Raised by a Canadian Farmer" brand is synonymous with origin and quality – but both consumers and farmers wanted it to mean more," explains Chicken Farmers of Canada Chair Benoît Fontaine, "Now, when consumers choose chicken with the Raised by a Canadian Farmer logo, they know that they're getting the best from their local farmers."

These new logos also give farmers recognizable symbols that they can use to demonstrate the innovation, pride and hard work they put in every day to implement some of the highest standards in food safety and animal care, and it proudly confirms their commitment to keeping their work environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

"Farmers are consumers, too," explains Fontaine, "We take great pride in being able to bring Canada's number one protein to tables from coast to coast, including our own. It makes sense that the Raised by a Canadian Farmer brand becomes a part of what we do as farmers, so we can show the world that we are committed to doing everything we can to maintain our hard-earned trust."

Chicken Farmers of Canada represents the 2,800 chicken farmers from coast to coast, and ensures that the chicken that reaches Canadians' tables is safe, delicious, and raised to the highest standards: yours.

The Sweet Potato Opens Expanded One Stop Natural Grocery Store in the Junction

The Sweet Potato, one of Toronto's leading natural food supermarkets, will open its new, 18,000 sq. ft. store at 108 Vine Avenue in The Junction on Thursday, September 21, 2017. The move from its previous Dundas West location comes as a result of increasing demand from customers for healthy, ethically-sourced food, and the growing population of the Junction.

"We've been proud members of The Junction community for the last 10 years, and it's no secret the area is booming," said Digs Dorfman, Founder and Co-owner of The Sweet Potato. "We believe that healthy, ethically-sourced food should be accessible to everyone, and our prices reflect this. We look forward to continuing to serve our neighbourhood by providing natural foods at sweet prices, coupled with the great service they've come to expect from our team."

The century-old space has been redesigned with customers in mind, and features more check-outs, parking, a communal dining space, and new departments, including:

A butcher and seafood counter with organic, local, antibiotic & hormone free, grass fed, free run, naturally raised, and sustainable meats and seafood

An expanded bulk department with over 250 bins, with everything from dried fruits and nuts to flours, coffee, and bath salts

A cheese department featuring Ontario, Quebec, and organic cheeses, and a new vegan-friendly plant-based section

A huge new Sweet Potato Kitchen, with house-made hot rotisserie chickens, pizzas, curries, soups, salads, and so many more wholesome and awesome options

A dramatically increased grocery selection, including health and beauty, pet, and household products
A more accessible space, with wider aisles and automatic doors

All members of the community are invited to attend two opening events. The first 50 customers in line when the store opens on Thursday, September 21 at 9 a.m. will receive a tote bag filled with prizes, and 5 of 50 will contain gift certificates up to $100. The Sweet Potato's Grand Opening Baked Potato Block Party is on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. The event will feature face painting, product giveaways and demos, family entertainment, and a free baked potato bar with over 20 toppings.
The Best Gourmet Mix in the Six is Back
The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo celebrates its 23rd year

TORONTO, Ont. (September 18, 2017)— The biggest food and drink event in Canada is back for its 23rd year, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, November 16-19, 2017.

Sip and savour through international gourmet cuisine, exotic delicacies, incredible wines, cutting edge cocktails, stunning craft beers and more, as the Six comes alive for four glorious days for the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.

“Our Expo provides the perfect opportunity to explore and discover what’s new in the wine, spirits, beer and culinary delights,” says Melanie Klie, Sales and Event Manager of the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo. “We’re very excited to continue bringing the best in gourmet food and wine and satisfying every unique palate that walks through our doors.”

Featuring wine, beer and spirits from around the globe, as well as stunning regional wines straight from neighbouring vineyards, the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo has something for everyone. From the beer and wine connoisseurs and food lovers of all kinds, to cooking gurus and home chefs looking to learn something new, guests will be able to sample delectable drinks served alongside fresh, local and international cuisine prepared by top chefs and restaurants.

Satisfy your hunger for a fabulous culinary experience as the Chef Stage will host ongoing, complimentary cooking demonstrations and first-hand culinary training hosted by notable celebrities and accredited chefs. Among these are Chef Emily Richards who will showcase a taste of Ontario presented by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, and you can discover recipes and flavor combinations with Cheese from Switzerland.

Partnered with The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the Expo will also feature its popular Tutored Tastings— a series of 15 interactive and engaging seminars— hosted by some of Canada’s wine and spirits leading experts. This year’s impressive line-up includes Master Sommeliers John Szabo and Jennifer Huether, Master of Wine Eugene Mynczyk, The Thirsty Traveler Kevin Brauch, and VINES Magazine co-founder Christopher Waters, who are ready to provide this unrivalled opportunity to taste incredible wines and spirits, and learn what makes them so special. 

A definite must-see at the Expo is Mott’s Best Caesar in Town National Competition Show. Taking place on the Sunday, guests can watch as top mixologists from across Canada are on site creating their own versions of the delicious Caesar in this live final. Guests in the mood for some additional cocktail education can also check out the Spiritology Pavilion for hands-on lessons from Toronto’s top mixologists.

“It can take years for someone to experience all of the unique spirits, wines, beers, and gourmet food that Canada and various parts of the world have to offer,” adds Melanie. “We bring together a diverse selection of tastes and some of the best cuisine all weekend long.”

Embrace the style and sophistication of a cocktail party paired with unprecedented educational opportunities and compelling feature areas this November.

The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo takes place November 16-19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Building. For more information, please visit www.foodandwineexpo.ca. Stay up to date by following on Twitter and Facebook. 

Thursday, November 16, 6pm-10pm (VIP Preview Evening & PRIDE Night Social)
Friday, November 17, 2pm-10pm 
Saturday, November 18, 12pm-10pm 
Sunday, November 19, 12pm-6pm  (Mott’s Best Caesar in Town National Finals)

Admission is restricted to guests who are 19+, with valid photo I.D. No infants or children permitted.
The economy may be doing well, but many people aren't: Daily Bread Food Bank's report on hunger and poverty in Toronto released today

Based on in-person surveys of more than 1,400 food bank clients, and client visit numbers from food banks across Toronto, the 2017 Who's Hungry Report has revealed some sobering trends:

Despite on-paper economic prosperity, food bank visits are back to recession levels, with 990,970 total client visits in Toronto in the last year. Scarborough in particular has seen a 30% increase in the number of people accessing food banks.

Clients are relying on food banks longer than before: in 2010, clients accessed food banks for 12 months on average; in 2017, the average length of time increased to 24 months.
Seniors are the fastest-rising age group of food bank clients, raising concerns about income security in that cohort.

"Many seniors we surveyed aren't receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement, though many might qualify," said Richard Matern, Director, Research and Communications at Daily Bread Food Bank and the author of the 2017 Who's Hungry Report. "This is a red flag because the GIS is often highlighted as an example of a successful basic income program and yet many seniors are falling through the cracks and needing food banks. With the province launching basic income pilots, this is an important finding to add to the mix."

"I have long believed that our clients are the canary in the coalmine for economic trends that will eventually affect us all, and the fact that our agencies are seeing more seniors is very concerning to me," said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, Daily Bread Food Bank. "All these numbers raise questions and point to a state of affairs that is not being captured by standard economic indicators."

To create the 2017 Who's Hungry report, a team of 80 volunteers spent 12 weeks conducting one-on-one surveys with more than 1,400 food bank clients in member agencies across Toronto. The survey collected demographic, household, and financial data, and also asked food bank clients about their lived experience with hunger and poverty.

To download a copy of the 2017 Who's Hungry Report, visit www.dailybread.ca/WhosHungry2017.


Migrant Farmworkers Speak Fruit with Release of Mobile Fruit Stand

 Conceived by Toronto-artist Farrah Miranda, Speaking Fruit is a mobile roadside fruit-stand and design studio that feeds the movement for migrant farmworker rights.

The public art project began with a single question posed to migrant farmworkers in Southern Ontario: "If the fruits you grow and pick could speak from dinner tables, refrigerators and grocery aisles, what would you want them to say?" Organizers gathered dozens of responses from migrant agricultural workers in Canada, and mobilized artists, activists and academics around these messages, turning them into direct action and creative expressions.

With colourful produce, a virtual reality film and a lively soundscape, the fruit-stand convenes events to share stories and build alliances between movements for food justice, racial justice and labour justice. The messages from migrant workers will be distributed to the public through the travelling fruit stand and specially designed produce packaging which encourages produce consumers to respond to messages from migrant farmworkers using the hashtag #SpeakingFruit.

For Gabriel Allahdua, a migrant farmworker from St. Lucia, the project provides an opportunity to share his hopes for the future. "We want permanent status not temporary work," he says.

From September to December 2017, as part of "Migrating the Margins", an exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University. Speaking Fruit will be stationed on York's campus where it will act as an experiential learning hub and co-curricular platform for courses at York University. It will also travel to the University of Waterloo, where Professor Craig Fortier, the principal investigator on Speaking Fruits' SSHRC Connections grant, will provide students with an opportunity to take a class led by migrant farmworkers and artists applying concepts of social justice.

Evelyn Encalada, an activist with the group Justice for Migrant Farmworkers believes this project is urgent and necessary "it brings together worlds that are kept apart but inextricably linked".

Speaking Fruit's fall schedule:

Sept. 15 - "Migrating the Margins" - Art Gallery of York University
Sept. 16 - Community Launch - Black Creek Community Farm
Sept. 20 - Night Market - Six Nations
Sept. 21-23 - Art and Food Justice Festival - Hamilton
Sept. 28 - Canadian Student Leadership Conference - Waterloo
Sept 30 - Nuit Blanche
Oct. 7 - Hemi GSI Convergence
Oct. 25-Nov 30 - Santa Fe Arts Institute


OpenTable Research Reveals What Canadian Diners Want from Technology

 OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of the Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), today released the results of its latest Technology and Dining Out research survey*, which explores Canadian diner sentiment toward the use of technology before, during and after the dining experience.

"Restaurants are embracing new technology to improve the front and back of house, but as it continues to evolve, it can occasionally conflict with what diners actually want," says Ziv Schierau, Head of National Accounts for OpenTable Canada. "The results of this study offer insights focused on diner sentiment and behaviours that can help restaurateurs improve hospitality as well as learn where technology can elevate or deter from the overall dining experience."

Insights from the Technology and Dining Out survey of diners across Canada include:

Before the meal:

Best seat in the house: Fifty-six per cent of diners want restaurants to know their preferred table or seating area. Seventy-six per cent of diners believe choosing a table or seating area would improve their experience.
It's about the little things: Diners also want restaurants to know special dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries (44 per cent), number of times visited (33 per cent) and dietary preferences (29 per cent).
Skip the line: Seventy-two per cent of diners would like the option to add themselves to the waitlist before they arrive.
Cool or Creepy: Fifty-three per cent of diners think it's a good idea or are not bothered by the idea of restaurants Google searching them prior to their arrival.
During the meal:

Focus on the food: Forty-six per cent of diners say they hate it when people they're dining with use tech during a meal because it disrupts their experience.
Oh snap! Eight per cent of diners take photos during their meals to remember the experience.
A human touch: Sixty-five per cent of diners agree that automation, including robots taking orders and preparing food, takes away from the experience of dining out.
Technically solo: When eating alone, diners want their tech to keep them company. Twenty-two per cent use their phones several or multiple times while eating solo at a fine-dining restaurant (33 per cent for those under 34) compared to 47 per cent of diners (and 71 per cent for those 34 and under) dining solo at a counter service restaurant.
Tech to try: Diners want to experiment with technology they've never used before, with 50 per cent open to mobile payments so they don't have to wait around for the cheque, or even a button on the dining table to alert staff to an issue (37 per cent).
After the meal:

Keep them coming back: Twenty per cent of diners always or frequently interact with a restaurant's loyalty program (a further 27 per cent use them sometimes).
Restaurant apps: Only four per cent of diners are very likely to download the apps of individual restaurants they've visited.
"Having multiple apps for the same function can be cumbersome," says Schierau. "Diners want an easy and efficient way to streamline the reservation process with the ability to browse restaurants, view menus and reserve a table, all through a single platform."

*These findings are based on an online survey of 275 OpenTable diners conducted between February 25, 2017 and March 15, 2017.

Follow OpenTable Canada on Twitter: @OpenTableCanada

About OpenTable:
OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 23 million diners per month via online reservations across more than 43,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company's website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet's most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated over 1.4 billion diners around the world and more than 54 million in Canada via online reservations. OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and has bookable restaurants in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. Restaurants are available for reservations in Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish languages.

OpenTable, OpenTable.ca, OpenTable logos, and other service names are the trademarks of OpenTable, Inc. and/or its affiliates.   


Road To The Royal Continues at Port Hope Fair on September 16
Smiles take on delicious new meaning with return of annual Tim Hortons® fundraiser
 The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair continues its 2017 season with the second of the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Farm to Table Events, which feature culinary demonstrations and sampling. The upcoming event is at the Port Hope Fair on Saturday, September 16th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in the Fall Fair Centre of the Port Hope Fairgrounds.

"The Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal events have been a big hit with audiences across Ontario over the past four years," says Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer at The Royal. "In the past, we have focused on culinary competitions but this year we're all about local food – and giving our audiences a chance to see and taste how local farm produce is transformed into a delicious meal."

The Port Hope event will feature two local chefs: Matt Allen from The Mill Restaurant & Pub in Cobourg and Kevin Brown from KB Food in Whitby. Both chefs are Feast On certified, which means their dining establishments have been recognized for a commitment to sourcing Ontario grown and made food and drink. The chefs will be joined by local food producers including Vicki McMillan from Empire Cheese and Butter Co-op in Campbellford, egg producer Brenda Metcalf from Bowmanville and milk producer Charles Stuart from Port Hope, who will be on hand to answer questions about their work. In addition to the stage demo, the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to the Royal Farm to Table Demonstration chefs will provide samples of their creations to the audience.

The 2017 Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal program is supported in part by Celebrate Ontario.
Starting today and running until September 17th, Tim Hortons is sharing smiles with Canadians from coast to coast with the return of the annual Smile Cookie fundraiser. For one week, Guests can purchase a delicious Tim Hortons chocolate chunk Smile Cookie for $1 (plus tax) and Restaurant Owners will donate the full $1 amount to local charities, hospitals and community programs, directly impacting the communities where the cookies are sold.

What began as a fundraiser for the Hamilton Children's Hospital in 1996 has since grown to be a national initiative. This year more than 500 charities, hospitals and community programs will benefit directly from the Smile Cookie campaign – from the Stollery Hospital Foundation in Edmonton, Alberta to Nutrition for Learning in Cambridge, Ontario.

"We're very grateful to our Guests and Restaurant Owners who go above and beyond each year to support their local communities through the Smile Cookie campaign," says Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada. "The real magic of this campaign is the local impact. Thanks to the donations from our Restaurant Owners, our Guests can feel proud knowing that the money raised during the campaign will be directly supporting organizations in their community."

This year, Tim Hortons is encouraging Canadians to show their support on social media using the hashtag #SmileCookie.

Visit www.timhortons.com/smilecookie for an up-to-date list of local charities benefiting from the Smile Cookie campaign and share your smiles on Facebook www.Facebook.com/timhortons, Twitter @TimHortons and Instagram @TimHortons using the #SmileCookie hashtag.


InterVin Celebrates the Best Value Winners

Eighty-eight wines received the Judges’ Award for Best Value at the 2017-18 InterVin International Wine Awards competition, an exhaustive three-day tasting conducted by 21 wine experts at White Oaks Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake. These are wines that received a medal during the blind tasting and retail for $15 or less in some part of Canada.
Highly acclamed bargain bottles are always in demand. As a result, the list of InterVin’s top-rated value wines becomes an essential reference for wine lovers across the country.
InterVin’s award-winning bargain wines come from producers working around the world, with the top-scoring value winners hailing from Portugal, Chile and Canada. The full list of InterVin winners will be published in a special awards issue of VINES Magazine and posted online at intervin.ca in October. 
Judges’ Award for Best Value 
Gold Medal | Best Value Winner 
Joao Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2016 Portugal 
Silver Medal | Best Value Winner 
Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2016 Chile 
Peller Estates Winery Family Series Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Ontario 
Trius Winery Riesling 2016 Ontario 
Honours Award | Best Value Winner
Graffigna Centenario Malbec 2016 
Ravera Fernando Clasificado Gran Reserva Malbec 2013 
Jacob's Creek Adelaide Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2014 
Jacob's Creek Chardonnay 2016 
Jacob's Creek Moscato 2016 
Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet 2015 
Jacob's Creek Sparkling Moscato Rosé 
McGuigan Black Label Pinot Grigio 2016 
Taylors Wines Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 
Taylors Wines Promised Land Shiraz 2016 
Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2016 
Yellowglen Pink Sparkling 
Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour Red 2015 
Burnt Ship Bay Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
Conviction Wines The Financier Pinot Grigio 2016 
Creekside Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2015 
CREW: Colchester Ridge Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
CREW: Colchester Ridge Estate Winery Posh Cuvée 2016 
Early Acres Estate Winery Black Tie Merlot 2015 
EastDell Pinot Grigio 2016 
EastDell Riesling 2016 
Fielding Estate Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2016 
Fresh Adventures Crisp White 2016 
Fresh Beginnings Moscato 2016 
Inniskillin Okanagan Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016 
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
Konzelmann Estate Winery Shiraz 2015 
Konzelmann Estate Winery Chardonnay 2016 
Konzelmann Estate Winery Pinot Blanc 2016 
Konzelmann Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2016 
Konzelmann Estate Winery Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2015 
Legends Estates Winery Terroir Cabernet 2013 
Legends Estates Winery Pinot Gris 2016 
Niagara College Teaching Winery College Rosé 2015 
Niagara College Teaching Winery Balance Gewurztraminer 2016 
Peller Estates Winery Family Series Riesling 2016 
Pillitteri Estates Winery Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2016 
Raven Conspiracy Wicked White 2016 
Reif Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2016 
Reif Estate Winery River Road Riesling Gewurztraminer 2016 
Rockway Vineyards Rockway Block Blend Riesling 2016 
Sandbanks Winery Dunes White 2015 
Seasons Riesling 2016 
Sumac Ridge Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
Vieni Estates Winery Pinot Grigio 2016 
Wayne Gretzky Estates Riesling 2016 
Wayne Gretzky Estates Pinot Grigio 2016 
Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2016 
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio 2016 
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 
Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay 2016 
Mas Andes Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
Viña Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay 2016 
Viña Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016 
Viña Santa Carolina Reserva Carmenère 2015 
Badet Clément & Co. Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc 2015 
Côté Mas Mediterranée White2015 
Côté Mas Mediterranée Red 2015 
Jean Claude Mas Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015 
Laurent Miquel Père et Fils Chardonnay 2016 
M. Chapoutier S.A. Marius Rouge Pays d'Oc 2016 
Mouton Cadet Bordeaux White 2016 
Henkell Blanc de Blancs                   
Thalia Red     
Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 
Bottega Vino dei Poeti Prosecco 
Fontana Di Papa Colli Albani           
Fontana Di Papa Castelli Romani 
Gruppo Italiano Vini Melini Chianti 2015 
Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2016 
Valle Reale Lupi Reali Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Organic 2016 
Velenosi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2016 
New Zealand 
Giesen Wine Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015 
Bodegas Tierra Hermosa Neblerio Tempranillo 2014 
Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rosé 2016 
Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2016 
Torres Altos Ibericos Tempranillo 2013 
South Africa 
Boschendal The Pavillion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 
Spier Signature Chardonnay 2016 
United States 
Enigma Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 
Flip Flop Pinot Grigio 2016 
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio 2016
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blan 2016
For more information on the InterVin International Wine Awards, please visit intervin.ca


Diabetes Canada and Weight Watchers Canada team up

 Diabetes Canada is pleased to announce a partnership with Weight Watchers Canada to support healthy weight loss. Obesity and being overweight are potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

"With one in three Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, the disease has grown to epidemic proportions," says Diabetes Canada President and CEO, Rick Blickstead. "Without action, 50 per cent of people living with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but the risk can be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Following a lifestyle change program and losing just 5 per cent of your weight can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent."

Weight loss is beneficial to those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Canada recognizes the Weight Watchers program as an effective way to lose weight through healthy eating and physical activity. The Weight Watchers Program helps people make realistic lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain weight loss and better blood sugar levels, which are important elements of type 2 diabetes prevention and management. The Beyond the Scale program takes a whole-life approach with a mix of food, activity and lifestyle which can be customized by individuals, based on their own needs.

"The Weight Watchers program has proven, impressive benefits on both weight loss and blood sugar for those with prediabetes. These results are coupled with convenient locations and a reasonable cost." says Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers.

To support the efforts of Diabetes Canada, Weight Watchers Canada is committed to matching all donations made during the Diabetes Canada year-end campaign up to $150,000 and supporting the Declutter program through Weight Watchers meetings rooms in September through to the end of October 2017.

To further mark the partnership with Diabetes Canada, Weight Watchers Canada is dedicated to providing support and guidance to those looking to manage and prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes through achieving a healthy weight with the proven Beyond the Scale program. This partnership and its efficacy for weight loss, and diabetes maintenance will be communicated to current and prospective Weight Watchers members via dedicated printed communications in conjunction with Diabetes Canada.

For more information about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and healthy lifestyle changes, visit diabetes.ca.

For more information about Weight Watchers, visit www.weightwatchers.ca

About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

Educational programs and support services;
Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).


Another Season of Road to The Royal Kicks Off at Paris Fair on September 2

- The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair kicks off its 2017 season with the first of the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Farm to Table Demonstrations scheduled over the next month. This year, the Road to The Royal program will feature a culinary demonstration and sampling. The opening event is at the Paris Fair on Saturday, September 2nd from 1:00pm to 2:30pm in the Exhibition Hall of the Paris Fairgrounds.

"The Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal events have been a big hit with audiences across Ontario over the past four years," says Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer at The Royal. "In the past, we have focused on culinary competitions but this year we're all about local food – and giving our audiences a chance to see how local farm produce is transformed into a delicious meal."

The Paris event will feature two local chefs: Jeritt Raney, executive chef at Proof Kitchen + Lounge in Waterloo and Brett Pottruff, chef at The Kitchen in Brantford. The chefs will be demonstrating recipes that use local ingredients. Fruit and vegetable grower Kara Pate from Brantwood Farms in Brantford and egg producer Tonya Haverkamp from Listowel will be on hand to answer questions about their work on the farm. In addition to the stage demo, the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road To The Royal Farm to Table Demonstration chefs will provide samples of their creations to the audience.

The 2017 Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal program is supported in part by Celebrate Ontario.


Nearly all Canadian farmers prosper without supply management

 In Canada, 92% of farmers perform well in global markets without the benefit of substantial support measures, a Viewpoint released today by the MEI shows clearly. NAFTA renegotiation therefore presents an opportunity to expand market access for the minority of producers who remain under supply management, which limits their growth prospects.

"Subsidies and support measures to producers outside supply management account for less than 3% of gross receipts, compared to 43% for milk production subject to supply management," says Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and author of the publication.

Products outside supply management are in high demand in global markets. Canada ranks third among the world's top oilseed exporters and fifth for beef and veal. Over all, nearly 60% of Canada's agricultural and agri-food production is bound for foreign markets, with nearly half of this going to the U.S. market.

However, this reality is alien to the 8% of farms that come under supply management (milk, egg and poultry producers). This system makes exports or imports nearly impossible.

For example, Canadian dairy producers cannot benefit from growing global consumption to boost their output because their products are subject to a system of quotas and tariffs that limit production to the domestic consumption level. Saturation of the Canadian market has even driven dairy processors to establish operations outside the country to meet global demand.

To justify maintaining supply management, producers' associations claim they could not be competitive on the U.S. market and that, without the existing system, they would lose even their domestic market share. "This argument does not stand up to scrutiny. For many types of production outside supply management, Canadian farmers draw far less support than what their American or European competitors enjoy, and yet this doesn't prevent them from doing well in the global marketplace," Mr. Moreau says.

"Without access to global markets, production in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector would be significantly lower, and thousands of jobs would be lost," concludes Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI. "If 92% of farms do well without supply management, there's no reason to believe the others couldn't do the same."

The Viewpoint entitled "Does Agricultural Prosperity Require Supply Management?" is written by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. 


Stella Artois Inspires Canadians to Host One To Remember through Partnerships with Chefs Plate, Alo Chef Patrick Kriss and Interior Designer Nate Berkus

For over 600 years, Stella Artois has been brewed with the legacy of thought, care and detail. This summer, the premium beer is inspiring Canadians to "Host One to Remember" by sharing the thoughtful details that make any hosting occasion unforgettable.

Drawing on the brand's Belgian heritage, Stella Artois has collaborated with Patrick Kriss, Michelin trained chef and owner of Alo – recently named best restaurant in the country by the 2017 Canada's 100 Best Restaurant list – and Chefs Plate, Canada's leading meal kit delivery service, to provide Canadians with an unforgettable experience at home. To further elevate the hosting experience, Stella Artois has partnered with interior designer Nate Berkus – an expert on hosting memorable experiences – to help show Canadians how they can make any event at home unforgettable.

"For generations, Stella Artois has brewed the finest quality beer with premium ingredients, and time-honoured traditions such as its 9-step pouring ritual," says Maria Guest, Senior Brand Director, Stella Artois. "From its rich European roots to current partnerships and programs, we hope to inspire Canadians with new tastes and ideas so they can host more memorable occasions with the people closest to them."

Working with Stella Artois, Chef Patrick Kriss is inspiring Canadians to elevate the hosting experience at home by developing a unique, Belgian-inspired recipe for Chefs Plate, which is ideal for summer hosting. The limited-edition Stella Artois x Chefs Plate hosting kit includes a set of iconic Stella Artois chalices, along with the finest farm fresh ingredients, so Canadians can recreate Chef Kriss' perfect recipe for an unforgettable summer dining experience. The limited edition kit± is available to order on www.ChefsPlate.com beginning August 14, 2017.

"Hosting memorable moments starts with curating the right menu and best ingredients," says Chef Kriss. "I'm excited to help inspire people at home to get in the kitchen and create an unforgettable dining experience with Stella Artois."

Award-winning interior designer Nate Berkus has brought his approachable and elevated philosophy to transforming spaces for over 21 years, whether for clients, television makeovers or through his various home collections.

"When it comes to entertaining, it's all about the details – the décor, the food, and the beverage that greets your guests," says Nate Berkus. "People want to feel taken care of, so they can just have a good time and focus on the experience. That applies to the host as well. At the end of the day, it's all about spending time with friends and family – and creating lasting memories."

For more information on Stella Artois, including its 9-step pouring ritual, Canadians can visit www.facebook.com/stellaartoiscanada.

Thornbury Village Craft Brewery wins "Best in Country" in two categories at the "Olympics for Beer" - the World Beer Awards

 Thornbury Village Craft Brewery was honoured in two categories with "Best of Country" at the prestigious 2017 World Beer Awards. The "Country Winner" awards recognize the Ontario Craft brewery as the best in Canada in two key categories!
Thornbury Village Craft Brewery won "Country Winner" for the following categories:
Czech-Style Pale Lager (Canada): Pickup No. 26  Pilsner
Vienna /Amber Lager (Canada):  Ladder Run Amber Lager
The winning beers will move forward in the competition and will be tasted against other "Country Winners" from other nations to compete for the 'World's Best Styles.' Those winners will then compete for the 'World's Best Beers' by Category. Winners will be announced in late September.
"I'm humbled by these awards," said Thornbury's Head Brewer, James Wilson. "For me, it has always been about crafting great brews that our consumer will enjoy. Having the world's best judges recognize our craft beers is an honour."
"We're very proud of these wins for Thornbury," said Jim Clark, President of Colio Estate Wines. "We are so impressed by these achievements and raise a mug to toast the future of Thornbury Village Craft Brewery's success."
The World Beer Awards are held annually and promote the 'World's Best Beers' to consumers and the trade throughout the world. The competition took place in Norfolk, United Kingdom with over 1,900 entries from around the globe, where 50 international brewers, industry experts, and journalists tasted and voted on the World's Best in each of the eight categories.
The Thornbury Village Craft Brewery is a proud Ontario Craft Brewer producing award-winning, small-batch crafted European style pilsners and lagers. Authentically created, we take an extra step in our process to ensure we create richer tasting beer. As one of the only decoction brew houses in Canada, (that extra step we take) we are committed to brewing stylistically true, ultra-premium beer.  Our Pickup No. 26 Pilsner won Best czech style pilsner in Canada at the World Beer Awards in 2016. All of our beer names and designs reflect some aspect of the heritage of our location in Thornbury Village.  Taste for yourself as see why "True Craftsmanship is at our Core".


Food Bank Adventures:
Rainier Cherries

Christian Christian

I didn’t get much sleep from a little after midnight on Saturday morning till the alarm went off at 5:00. I think I was still upset at the Toronto Transitional Housing Allowance Program for rejecting my application for a housing allowance on the grounds that I’d sent my application in past the deadline, even though a worker had called me after the deadline to tell me it wasn’t too late.
I got leg cramps during some of my yoga exercises but perhaps that resulted from the lack of slumber.
I had trouble completely hearing the pitch of my voice during song practice because my left ear was a bit plugged.
Later that morning I went to the food bank. The line-up was normal for a week and a half into the month. It would probably be longer next week and sill longer the next and then shorten again at the beginning of September.
The homeless Native woman was still in dreamland to the left of the door, with one bare foot and her black cane sticking out from under her sleeping bag.
I was behind the big Jamaican woman who never stands in line but always finds a place to sit until it’s her turn to go inside. She was inside the entryway on the built-in window seat.
The dancing man with the cigar was a little further ahead in line, though I’m not sure if he was really in line for the food bank. As usual, he had his headphones on and was moving to music that I couldn’t hear.
Muhammad arrived and asked how my week had been. I sighed and he laughed. If I’d stopped to think about his question I’d actually had a pretty good week with lots of good weather for velo riding. But I told him that I’d been having bike problems even though those hadn’t arisen until the day before. My crankset was misbehaving again. It started at the end of June, but I’d fixed it by installing new cotter pins. Last Saturday I had a bent crank ring and ended up changing the cotter pins again just so a new crankset would fit. Then on Friday evening I ended up with the same crankset situation that I’d had at the end of June with the crank arms not rotating smoothly but skipping during each turn. He told me that he had a bicycle in his back yard that I could have for parts and then he said he could give me his number. When I started writing it down he told me the name was “Moe”.
I asked him if he preferred Moe to Muhammad. He verified that he did because of the reactions. He added that since his full name is Muhammad Ali people often associate him with Mohammed Ali, the boxer. He asserted that his answer is always that the fighter is dead but he isn’t.
Moe mentioned that he went to Caribana last Saturday but that they’d reversed the route this year so that instead of starting on the Exhibition grounds and ending at Sunnyside Beach, it started at the beach and ended at the Ex, with the result that people had to pay $30 to see the floats. It’s true that they’d changed the direction of the parade but I didn’t quite understand what he meant about not being able to see the floats. I assume people still lined the route and saw the floats as they passed without having to pay. He offered the view that the city is nicer to the Pride parade than it is to Caribana.
I remembered that Moe had referred last time to receiving a rent subsidy from the TTHAP. I told about my application having been rejected because I was past the deadline, even though a social worker had told me that it wasn’t too late. He explained that he was lucky that he didn’t even have to apply because his worker had done everything for him. He pointed out that he’s in a fortunate position because he was in prison and that an apartment was found for him by social workers even before he was released. He boasted that his landlord couldn’t even bother him with any disputes because everything has to be done through his worker.
It turned out that Moe wasn’t even there for the food bank that day. He’d just stopped to chat with me, so he headed east and I started reading my book. I moved away a lot because the people ahead and behind me in line were smoking a lot.
I went downstairs to use the washroom and the entryway smelled like pee.
An SUV police car drive by and the dancing man started singing “Drugs in my Pocket” by the Monks, though I somehow doubt that song was playing in his headphones. Then he said something about an “overdose of Ex-Lax”.
A woman and her two children came up the street and pushed the button to cross Queen. The dancing man walked over and handed the mother a roll of candy, similar to Lifesavers. She thanked him and opened it up to give one each to her kids. Then she urged them to, “Thank Wayne for the candy!” They each called out, “Thanks Wayne!”
I usually see Wayne at least once a day through my window when he stops at the metal oil drum beside the A+ Sushi and Bibim and bangs out a simple rhythm for a while with a stick. I’ve yet to see that guy in a bad mood.
The food bank opened at least twenty minutes late and when it did there was a protest by the big woman who sits with the older gentleman on the steps of 1501 Queen. When the line started moving she returned to her spot near the front and complained to the doorkeeper about a guy that was far ahead of where he was supposed to be. After a few minutes the man from Guyana, who I’ve seen in Parkdale for twenty years, walked sadly to the back of the now fairly long line while Wayne started singing “Get Back” by the Beatles with his own improvised lyrics about getting back in line. The woman behind me wondered aloud why they were making him go to the back when she’d seen him there when she arrived. She told him that he could go behind me and in front of her. I remember chatting with that guy two decades ago when I first moved into my place above the donut shop. He was quite coherent back then but now he seems to be always in a daze.
I was still in line at almost 11:00 when Moe came walking back west. He was surprised that we were all still there. He suggested that I call him after the food bank and come over to look at the bike he’d mentioned earlier. I told him that I had to go to Bike Pirates right after I brought my groceries home because there’s usually a big line-up on Saturdays and I didn’t want to have to wait. He argued that I could fix my bike at his place because he had all the tools but I declined. He seemed very disappointed as he left.
Downstairs I got number 23. Instead of Angie handing out the meat and dairy it was the nervous volunteer whom I hadn’t seen for a while. I put my number in the can as usual, but she asked me what the number had been and fished it out so she could find out if I was there for family or just myself. She gave me a one-litre bag of milk and choice between four eggs, a pack of frozen chicken wieners and a box of frozen breakfast Bagel Bites. The hot dogs looked like the brand of halal chicken wieners that were recalled recently, but I guess since they were frozen they could have been from a different batch. I’d had the breakfast bagel bites last week and though the bacon part was all right, the cheese and egg layer was kind of disgusting. I took the eggs. She also offered me a six-pack of single servings of yogourt, but I saw that they contained Sucralose so I turned them down.
Sylvia’s vegetable section had a lot of frozen sweet peas. She put five 400-gram bags in my backpack. She also gave me four potatoes, three parsnips, one carrot, an apple, an orange, the equivalent of one onion in two and a bag of Rainier cherries.
I think I’d seen the muscular young volunteer that was my guide for the shelves once before at the previous location. He barely spoke at all but would just wave his hand in the direction of the items that he was offering. It looked like all the cereal they had were boxes of some kind of Despicable Me themed banana concoction. I commented that it looked disgusting and he pointed to the corner of the shelf where there were a few boxes of Dorset muesli, with raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and multigrain flakes.
I skipped the pasta and rice. I might have taken some sauce if they’d had any but there were only cans and a jar of crushed tomatoes.
There were no canned beans, canned tuna or any kind of soup or broth this time. Instead of jars of sugar infested peanut butter they had restaurant sized individual servings of the same stuff. I didn’t want any of that. I did take a can of grapefruit sections in syrup.
I found on one shelf a package of Korean seasoned seaweed. They usually come in packs of three at the supermarket, but this was only one. They do make for a good light snack though.
He gave me a handful of lemon Larabars. I like the Larabars because they are only sweetened with dried fruit, but the lemon is my least favourite. He also gave me a king-size O’Henry cookie bar and a Nature Valley roasted almond crunchy bar. Then like a stage magician’s assistant he waved his hand at the bread to indicate that I should help myself and then he disappeared.
I took two sliced loaves of brown rye bread, one with seeds on the crust.
There was once again a shortage of protein at the food bank, except for the peas, especially considering that the litre of milk was sour and that I wasted half a bowl of muesli to find that out. It was nice to see a little more fruit than usual. I don’t recall having eaten Rainier cherries before. They didn’t taste as good as red cherries but their flavour was interestingly wild.

The Walmart Foundation today announced that it is making $1.87 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) available to fund proposals from eligible non-profit organizations working to reduce food waste in Canada. The Walmart Foundation is seeking proposals from qualified organizations that have experience in formulating, proposing, and implementing food waste reduction efforts. Requests between $250,000 and $1,000,000 (USD) will be considered.

The announcement builds on the retailer's commitment to reduce waste in its own operations and achieve zero waste in key markets, including Canada, by 2025. According to Walmart's Global Responsibility Report, the retailer has diverted 77% of waste from unsold food, other unsold products, and materials from landfill through a variety of initiatives including food donations, repurposing products, and composting. In Canada, Walmart diverts 81 per cent of its operational waste through programs which divert more than a dozen waste streams from landfill.

"Reducing food waste benefits communities by sending less food to landfills, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the resources required to meet food demand, and enhancing food security," said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and president of the Walmart Foundation. "Canadian organizations are doing tremendous work in this arena, and we are excited to provide additional support. Our goal is to fund innovation in communities, and help the best projects expand. Ultimately, we hope these grants, combined with our efforts to reduce food waste in our own stores and strengthen the charitable meal system, will make a meaningful contribution to reducing food waste in Canada."

Food waste is an urgent global issue, with substantial repercussions in terms of both food security and the environment. The United Nations Environment Programme reports that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. In Canada, the cost of food waste was identified as $31 billion in 2014, according to a report from Value Chain Management International, up 15 per cent from 2010.

About the Grants
This funding seeks to support promising programs that have the potential to significantly reduce food waste and loss – with the ultimate goals of preventing loss, maximizing donations of usable food, and minimizing food waste that ends up in landfills. Applications will be considered in three areas:

Addressing food loss and waste from farm to consumer, such as increasing knowledge of the causes of food loss on farms or during processing;
Building capacity in the charitable food system, such as increasing the ability to recover and distribute food to people in need, specifically in rural areas and for under-served populations;
And optimizing and/or developing organic recycling solutions, such as advancing innovations and programs that improve organic recycling
Walmart's Food Waste Efforts
Walmart is working to achieve zero waste across its operations in key markets – including Canada – by 2025. Walmart Canada's commitment to reducing food waste includes selling food that is nearing its best before date at a discounted price as part of a Customer Value Program. The retailer has also donated more than five million pounds of food to food banks across the country through a comprehensive food diversion program which pairs Walmart Canada stores with a local food bank and ensures good food is donated to those who need it most, aligning with Walmart's commitment to provide 4 billion meals globally. Today, 244 of Walmart Canada's stores send organic waste for composting or anaerobic digestion so it doesn't end up in municipal landfill. Walmart also continues to work with suppliers to improve packaging and food handling processes to maintain quality and freshness.


Minister Philpott: Don't buckle to pressures from the meat and dairy industry. Keep the Food Guide process science-based and free from conflict of interest.

The Animal Protection Party of Canada urges Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health to base the newly evolving Canada Food Guide on "high-quality, peer-reviewed systematic reviews" and "reports from leading scientific organizations and governmental agencies."

"The animal agriculture industry is really feeling the pressure because consumers are making different food choices," says Liz White, Party Leader. "By following the new food guide, Canadians will likely eat less meat and cheese and drink less milk so obviously they feel threatened by this change. The question remains: will this government err on the side of Canadians' health or buckle to the pressures of the industry?"

As the Revision process for Canada's Food Guide web site clearly states, "While the food and beverage industry has a role to play in improving the quality of the foods and beverages they manufacture and promote, we must ensure that the development of dietary guidance is free from conflict of interest." (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guides/revision-process.html)

Buckling to pressure from the meat and dairy industry would completely compromise the engagement process, which states, "During the policy development of the new Canada's Food Guide, we will not be meeting with representatives from the food and beverage industry. However, industry is welcome to participate in the open consultations."

The science shows a relationship between:

Sodium and increased risk of high blood pressure

Trans fatty acids and increased risk for cardiovascular disease

Dietary patterns – characterized by higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and seafood, lower consumption of red and processed meats, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages – and positive cardiovascular disease outcomes.
"The Animal Protection Party advocates a vegan lifestyle, which is good for the animals, good for the environment and good for our health," says White.

"We will be reaching out to the broader environmental and animal protection community to counter the pressure brought about by the meat and dairy lobby groups."

Get ready Canada: 67¢ McDonald's® hamburgers on August 16th

This year marks McDonald's Canada's 50th anniversary and to celebrate the iconic brand is offering Canadians a special gift: 67¢ hamburgers – in recognition of its 1967 birthday. On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm specially priced hamburgers will be available in McDonald's® restaurants across the country.

Over the last 50 years, McDonald's Canada has been a place where people, families and communities have come together to share many moments. While it has already been a busy year of celebrations, with the introduction of All-Day Breakfast Selections and launch of McDelivery, this special 67¢ hamburger offer tops things off.

In addition, tomorrow, McDonald's Canada is hosting special events in three restaurants across the country to celebrate brand excitement from coast to coast. The restaurants are located in Calgary (the first restaurant in Alberta), London (the first restaurant in Eastern Canada) and Dartmouth (the first restaurant in Nova Scotia). These events will feature nostalgic decorations, classic images over the past 50 years, as well as attendance by local dignitaries and special VIPs – potentially Ronald McDonald® himself.


Jugo Juice Becomes First Quick Serve Restaurant in Canada to Offer Full No Added Sugar Beverage Line

 Jugo Juice announced today the launch of a new no added sugar frozen yogurt that will be included in four of the company's popular smoothies. This marks the final step in Jugo Juice's endeavor to remove all refined sugars from its beverages. After years of research and innovation, the company is now the only quick service restaurant in Canada to offer a full selection of smoothies and juices that contain no added sugars or artificial ingredients.

With tasty, healthy ingredients always top of mind, Jugo Juice partnered with Fiasco Gelato, a Calgary-based artisan gelato company, in developing the no added sugar frozen yogurt that is now included in its Big Blue Protein, PB & Chocolate, Acai Protein and Dragon Force smoothies. All 40 of its customizable smoothie options contain authentic, fresh and simple ingredients with no refined sugars.

"By switching to a no added sugar frozen yogurt, Jugo Juice can now proudly share that our entire beverage line contains no added sugars or artificial ingredients," says Jamie Vadori, Director of Marketing, Jugo Juice. "When grabbing a smoothie or juice from any of our locations across the country, our guests can feel confident that no matter what beverage they choose, they are fueling up on only natural, healthy ingredients."

Completely transparent about the ingredients in its recipes, Jugo Juice beverages contain whole premium fruit and fresh vegetables, 100 per cent unsweetened juice and fresh greens proving that a healthy smoothie can also be a great tasting one. In comparison with its competitors, the company does not use sorbets, purees or syrups, which are packed with added sugars and don't contain the vitamins, fiber and nutrients of whole foods.

"By providing Canadians with delicious and nutritious alternatives to mainstream fast food, Jugo Juice is ensuring their guests and communities get the same nutrition they would if they made a healthy smoothie at home in their kitchen with simple ingredients to fuel on the go" says Andrea Holwegner, Registered Dietitian. "By offering a full line of smoothies and fresh pressed juices that have no added sugar, guests can ensure they're getting the foods they need for fuel, without the added sugar that can take the place of other nutrient dense foods needed for good health."

Originally founded in Calgary in 1998, Jugo Juice is a pioneer in the evolution of the healthy beverage in Canada. Providing Canadians with natural, delicious on-the-go alternatives to traditional fast food for nearly 20 years, Jugo Juice are the innovators behind the 'smoothie revolution' that has made a permanent mark on the fast food landscape in Canada.

For more information on Jugo Juice, please visit www.jugojuice.com.


Unauthorized product "Aerobic Oxygen" sold by online retailer "Good For You" may pose serious health risks

Health Canada is advising Canadians that "Aerobic Oxygen," an unauthorized product sold online by "Good For You" at www.goodforyou.ca, may pose serious health risks, including poisoning and kidney failure. Health Canada testing found that the product contains sodium chlorite, a bleach-like chemical that is not listed on the product label. The product is promoted as a treatment for a range of ailments, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, impotence, paralysis, breast cancer and brain tumours. The product may also have been sold by other online retailers.

Health Canada has communicated in the past on the dangers of consuming products containing sodium chlorite.

Who is affected

Consumers who have bought or used this product
Affected products

Aerobic Oxygen (60 mL and 240 mL)
What consumers should do

Stop using this product. Consult with your health care professional if you have used this product and have health concerns.
Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada's Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.

Report adverse events to health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1-866-234-2345, or by reporting online, by mail or by fax.

Report complaints about health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1-800-267-9675, or complete an online complaint form.

What Health Canada is doing
Health Canada has requested and received confirmation from Good For You Corp. that it has stopped selling and will recall the unauthorized product. Health Canada will monitor the company's recall. Should additional retailers or distributors be identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as necessary.

Sodium chlorite is a chemical used mainly as a textile bleaching agent and disinfectant, and is authorized in Canada as a germicide for veterinary use and as a hard surface disinfectant.

Ingesting sodium chlorite can cause poisoning, kidney failure and harm to red blood cells. This in turn reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen, among other effects. Ingesting sodium chlorite can also cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

No drug products containing sodium chlorite have been approved by Health Canada for oral consumption by humans. As such, its sale as a drug is not permitted under the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations.


Practical New Baby Food Cookbook & Guide Helps New Moms Think Outside the Jar - and Save Money Doing It

With a nation focused on nutrition, and frequent recalls on prepared baby food catching parents’ attention, Bright Ideas Publishing is ecstatic to announce Happy Tummies: A Cookbook for New Mamas, by Karen Folcik - a soon-to-be countertop staple cookbook and evidence-based reference guide about feeding your baby the easiest way – using nutritious, whole food ingredients that you already have in your kitchen – while Mom is making delicious and nutritious meals for herself.

“I made nearly all of my first son’s baby food from scratch,” Folcik said. “Not because I have endless energy or because I thought I was Supermom, but because I just fed him foods I was eating. If I had bananas at home, he had bananas. If I was making chicken and rice for dinner, that’s what he had too.”

Written for the busy, modern mom, Happy Tummies unravels and clarifies the confusing and misleading web of information on how and when you can feed which ingredients to your baby, all based on the latest recommendations from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Happy Tummies was thoroughly reviewed and edited by Registered Dietitian Cassandra Edwards, who co-wrote a feature Q&A section in the book.

“It can be tempting to keep a few jars of processed food in the pantry, but homemade baby food always comes out on top,” said Folcik, “Cost savings, nutrition content, and food safety are all superior when you make the food yourself; and Happy Tummies gives you practical tips and examples to make it just as easy.”

With the holiday season fast approaching, Happy Tummies also makes a perfect gift for any new mom or caretaker of young children.

Karen Folcik is a wife and mom of two boys. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University and worked as a counselor for children and families prior to becoming an entrepreneur.

Happy Tummies is distributed by Small Press United. You can find out more about Happy Tummies and Karen Folcik, or find out how to order, by visiting http://happytummiescookbook.com or emailing [email protected]


Porter Airlines welcomes aboard Ace Hill Beer

Porter Airlines is introducing a new partnership with Toronto-based craft beer company, Ace Hill. Beginning today, Porter will exclusively serve Ace Hill Pilsner as part of its complimentary in-flight beverage service. Ace Hill also offers a Vienna Lager that will be introduced after the launch providing an opportunity for passengers to enjoy a style of beer that was not previously available onboard.

"Porter is well known for providing a distinct, fresh and award-winning inflight service offering," said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. "We always seek to partner with brands that provide quality products reflecting our unique experience. We recognize those similarities with Ace Hill and look forward to developing our relationship in the coming years."

Porter provides all passengers with complimentary inflight amenities, including a selection of snacks plus beer and wine, served in real glassware. This helped Porter earn Best Free Airline Amenity in the 2017 SmarterTravel Editors' Choice Awards.

"This is an exciting moment for our team, as we've long admired Porter's refined flying experience and entrepreneurial spirit," said Mike Wagman, CEO and co-founder of Ace Hill Beer. "We share an objective of providing customers with an exceptional product and an elevated experience."

Ace Hill launched in 2016 with its Pilsner and recently introduced a second beer, the Vienna Lager. Porter will serve Ace Hill in 473 ml cans, poured in glassware.

Smoque N’ Bones is Down Home Southern Cooking In the Heart of the City
By KJ Mullins
There's no doubt about, Toronto is a great city when it comes to cultural eating except for.......Southern food. Now there are some nice places that do the old college try but this Georgia born girl is always on the look-out for the real deal. This weekend I found it! Smoque N’ Bones on Queen Street West tastes like home (where BBQ ain't the way you cook-it's the sauce that sticks to your fingers so you have to lick them clean!)! And they do collard greens right!

Last week I won THE most amazing gift card (Facebook can be your friend),$100 to shop on Queen Street West. Looking through the directory of stores I spotted Smoque N’ Bones with the claim that they cook with Southern flair. My husband Henry got dragged along for an afternoon delight of the foodie variety. (Full disclaimer, Henry is not a huge fan of BBQ sauced food-he'd rather do it the Canadian way and dip things)

Looking through the menu at home from their site (http://smoquenbones.com/) I knew what we were going to order, the Sampler for Two ($59.90) with three meats and three sides. Entering Smoque N' Bones you immediately get in the mood for Southern fare. Lit with WWII prison lights and old wooden tables the atmosphere blends well with the aroma of smoking meat. The chefs are in view as they cook on the smoker and prepare everything from scratch.

From the choices of meats (1/2 Rack, 1/4 lb Beef Brisket, 1/4 lb Pulled Pork, 1/4 Peppercorn Beef, 1/2 lb Sausage OR 1/2 Chicken) we decided on the rack, brisket and chicken with onion rings, corn bread and collard greens for the sides.

Our meal started out with a heap cup of the buttermilk onion rings. They were fried to perfection, with the right amount of crunch. I'm a southern cook and these rings are right up there with my own.

We had just finished the rings (and by finished I mean only a crumb was left) when the table was loaded up with the rest of the sampler! Henry and I took one look at the feast in front of us knowing that we would never be able to finish it all in one seating. (In half the left-overs were savoured over the next day in two more meals)

The first up was the smoked chicken with both light and dark meat. The hint taste of smoke, the zest of sauce and the tender meat all tasted just like home to me. This is how chicken is meant to be, using your fingers to get every morsel. I looked across the table at Henry and was pleased that he was enjoying his chicken as well. For folks like me that love sauce and Henry who isn't as big a fan having sauce on the side with a paintbrush to apply is the perfect solution.

Collard greens are a tricky thing, if not cooked perfectly they are bitter and just plain nasty. They are also the perfect test for any place claiming to be serving southern food. These greens were almost perfect. (I like a little vinegar on mine, a suggestion I gave managers Doug Nameth and Myles Chaulk) In short, they passed the test!

Onto the ribs! Eating good ribs can not be done in a white dress and thankfully I wasn't wearing one. The sauce coated my fingers as I tasted a bit of heaven with each bite. Henry proudly showed me his clean bone with a huge smile.

As we nibbled on the corn bread (mine lathered with the sugary butter) Henry said that it was almost to sweet and tasted like dessert. To me that's what makes corn bread perfect. The cakey bread is the kind that you want to have left-overs for breakfast the next day, crumbled up with heavy sweet cream and berries. Sadly, there wasn't any left over because it was just too good not to devour.

The brisket was the last to taste. Served along side sweet braised cabbage the brisket had the perfect amount of smoky bark and fat for juicy tender bites.

Talking to Nameth and Chaulk after we were stuffed was an additional delight. Those two along with Executive Chef Alex Rad know what southern hospitality is all about (even if they are from the city).

I have found my southern kitchen in the city and trust me I will be back!

Located at 869 Queen Street West Smoque N' Bones is opened from 5 to 11 Monday-Wednesday and 11:30 am to midnight Thursday-Sunday (closing at 11pm on Sundays)
  1. Best BBQ chicken around
  2. The ribs!
  3. That's a whole lot of food!
  4. COLLARD GREENS 3.90 Blanched in Vegetable Stock and Served with Smoked Ham Hocks, Caramelized Onions. Finished with House Seasoning.
  5. The first onion ring is tested and approved
  6. Beef Brisket Cut From the Breast, Brisket is one of the 9 Primal Cuts of Beef. Smoked for 18 Hours, and Served Alongside Braised Cabbage.
  7. down home cooking
  8. General Manager Doug Nameth and Kitchen Manager Myles Chaulk
  9. nothing but crumbs remain
  10. chef at work
  11. prison lights from WWII lit the way
  12. corn bread with sugary butter


Ontario Students Win $2,000 Bursaries for New Food and Beverage Ideas​

Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO)'s Taste Your Future program has announced the winners of its inaugural "Stir Up a Career" bursary contest which was created as part of FBO's campaign to encourage young people to consider careers in food and beverage processing.

The winners are:

Danielle Laforest of Welland, Ontario, a student at the University of Guelph, for her product idea, "Pure Herb." Danielle's idea for frozen herbs packaged into meal- and cocktail-themed kits will help reduce food waste and inspire home cooks and cocktail-makers.

Angie Ibrahim of Toronto, Ontario, a student at McMaster University, for her product idea, "ICI Water." Angie's idea makes room temperature beverages feel cold by infusing them with a flavourless compound that stimulates the mouth's coldness receptors.
Each winner receives a $2,000 bursary, mentorship from an Ontario processor, resume-building support from FoodGrads and business resources from Food Starter to help them pursue their interests in food and beverage processing.

"This bursary contest celebrates the innovative and creative ideas that young people bring to the food and beverage sector. We are thrilled with the quality of the winning entries, and hope one day we will see them come to fruition," said Michael Burrows, Chair of the FBO Board, CEO of Maple Lodge Farms, and contest judge. "The food and beverage sector is growing in Ontario and that means new opportunities across the sector for young people looking for a career or a first job."

"There are so many opportunities for young people in the food and beverage industry," said Nicole Gallace, Founder of FoodGrads and contest judge. "There are more than 170 programs at 29 universities and colleges that will help lead to careers processing, from engineering to marketing, along with specialty positions from food scientist to brew master. It's an exciting time to choose a career in food and beverage processing."

The contest was open to students across Ontario. Students submitted their ideas via video in one of two categories, "Maker & Designer" which focused on new products or the "Scientist, Programmer, or Engineer" category which focused on category process to improve food and beverage manufacturing. Winners were selected by a panel of judges working in the sector and received extra points for how well they promoted their ideas online.

FBO would like to thank the judges: Michael Burrows, Chair of the FBO Board and CEO of Maple Lodge Farms; Nicole Gallace, Founder of FoodGrads; Dana McCauley, Executive Director of Food Starter; and Carson Walsh, Process Engineer at Mondelez Canada.

Taste Your Future's bursary contest is grateful for the support of its partners: Food and Beverage Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, FoodGrads, and Food Starter.

Check out the winning entries at Tasteyourfuture.ca/contest and join the conversation on social with #TasteYourFuture.
Facebook: facebook.com/TasteYourFuture
Twitter: @TasteYourFuture
About Food and Beverage Ontario

Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) is a not-for-profit, leadership organization advancing the interests of Ontario's food and beverage processors. FBO's focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing industry. For more information go to www.foodandbeverageontario.ca.

About Taste Your Future

Taste Your Future is a career awareness program focused on encouraging young people and new Canadians to pursue careers and jobs in Ontario's food and beverage processing sector. Through Taste Your Future, FBO aims to help meet the Ontario government's challenge to create 60,000 new jobs in the sector by the year 2020. Taste Your Future is supported by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Learn more about careers in the food and beverage industry at www.tasteyourfuture.ca.


A&W Canada is brewing root beer with natural ingredients​

A&W Canada is now serving up frosty mugs of root beer made with natural cane sugar and all-natural flavours such as sarsaparilla root, licorice, birch bark, and anise. The company has been on a relentless journey to source natural ingredients and the launch of A&W Root Beer® crafted with natural ingredients marks a significant milestone.

"Our customers told us that they want food and drink made with natural ingredients and we're taking big steps to make it happen," said A&W Canada's Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Communications, Tom Newitt. "We're proud to introduce A&W Root Beer crafted with natural cane sugar and all-natural flavours which is another first for fast food in Canada."

Canadians can find the beverage in restaurants as of July 10, 2017. It will also be available in the craft soda aisles of grocery stores in new 4-pack glass bottles. On Saturday July 22, 2017, all restaurants across the country will be celebrating Free Root Beer Day. Customers will be served free A&W Root Beer from open to close that day.

About A&W Canada's Root Beer made with natural ingredients:

Natural Cane Sugar: harvested from the sugar cane plant and identified by its caramel colour, natural cane sugar provides a fruity sweetness and floral aroma.
Sarsaparilla Root: sarsaparilla is a plant with long vines and edible roots that lends distinct notes of vanilla, caramel and wintergreen.
Birch Bark: light, fresh yet complex, birch bark brings a subtle earthiness to the smooth, delicious taste offering an almost delicate minty flavour.
Licorice: natural licorice creates a richness of flavour in every sip with slightly bitter, sweet and spicy undertones.
Anise: an aromatic spice delivering pleasant characteristics of fennel and tarragon, anise has been enjoyed as far back as ancient Egypt.


A&W Canada is brewing root beer with natural ingredients​

A&W Canada is now serving up frosty mugs of root beer made with natural cane sugar and all-natural flavours such as sarsaparilla root, licorice, birch bark, and anise. The company has been on a relentless journey to source natural ingredients and the launch of A&W Root Beer® crafted with natural ingredients marks a significant milestone.

"Our customers told us that they want food and drink made with natural ingredients and we're taking big steps to make it happen," said A&W Canada's Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Communications, Tom Newitt. "We're proud to introduce A&W Root Beer crafted with natural cane sugar and all-natural flavours which is another first for fast food in Canada."

Canadians can find the beverage in restaurants as of July 10, 2017. It will also be available in the craft soda aisles of grocery stores in new 4-pack glass bottles. On Saturday July 22, 2017, all restaurants across the country will be celebrating Free Root Beer Day. Customers will be served free A&W Root Beer from open to close that day.

About A&W Canada's Root Beer made with natural ingredients:

Natural Cane Sugar: harvested from the sugar cane plant and identified by its caramel colour, natural cane sugar provides a fruity sweetness and floral aroma.
Sarsaparilla Root: sarsaparilla is a plant with long vines and edible roots that lends distinct notes of vanilla, caramel and wintergreen.
Birch Bark: light, fresh yet complex, birch bark brings a subtle earthiness to the smooth, delicious taste offering an almost delicate minty flavour.
Licorice: natural licorice creates a richness of flavour in every sip with slightly bitter, sweet and spicy undertones.
Anise: an aromatic spice delivering pleasant characteristics of fennel and tarragon, anise has been enjoyed as far back as ancient Egypt.


Get RRReady Canada - Tim Hortons® Celebrates Canada's 150th with a Special Edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win®!

For months, Tim Hortons has been working tirelessly to surprise Canadians, but alas, the secret is out! To get Canada's 150th birthday celebrations RRRolling, Guests from coast-to-coast will pick up their morning coffee today to discover the return of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win. This special edition of Canada's Favourite Contest is back for the second time in one year – a first in Tims® history – and brings Double Double the fun, with plenty of new and exciting prizes to be won, starting now!

Whether it's exploring the Rockies, discovering the north, or visiting the Atlantic coast, this special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim offers never-before-seen prizes, including ten ultimate Canadian vacations valued at $10,000 each. The grand prizes will give Guests the opportunity to discover this beautiful country and design their own once-in-a-lifetime Canadian experience.

"Tims is proud to be part of communities across Canada, so to celebrate this national milestone we wanted to show our appreciation for Canadians who have made us part of their daily routine for over 50 years," says Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada."RRRoll up has become a Canadian tradition, so we think there is no better way to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday alongside our Guests in a truly Canadian way than with Canada's Favourite Contest."

In true Tim Hortons style, Guests can also RRRoll Up the Rim to Win one of more than 16 million prizes including 8,000 $50 Tim Cards® as well as food and beverage favourites like Tims new latte made with freshly ground premium espresso beans and 100% Canadian milk.

The Canada 150th special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win will run at Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada from June 28, 2017 until July 21, 2017, or until cup supplies last. All prizes must be claimed by July 31, 2017. Contest rules, odds of winning and prizing information can be found at participating Tim Hortons Restaurants or at www.rolluptherimtowin.com.

To continue the celebrations online, Tim Hortons is inviting Canadians to share their dream Canadian destination using hashtag #RollUp150 on social media.

HSBC donates $1 million to Breakfast Club of Canada in celebration of Canada's 150th

​S In celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary this year, HSBC Bank Canada is donating $1 million to Breakfast Club of Canada for breakfast programs in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto and Montreal to benefit 4,500 youth each year for the next three years (2017-20).

"While Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live and work, it's hard to believe that one in five Canadian children are currently at risk of going to school on an empty stomach," said Daniel Germain, President and Founder of Breakfast Club of Canada. "This latest commitment from HSBC is significant, and together, we can create a lasting impact for our future generations to ensure Canada always celebrates its most value resource: our children."

In addition, 50 school kitchens will be equipped to prepare healthy breakfasts, and HSBC employees across the country will continue to participate in Breakfast Club of Canada's 'Adopt a School' volunteer program.

"For over 150 years we have been helping customers and communities throughout the world achieve their ambitions, and so to mark Canada's own momentous milestone we want to support those young and growing Canadians who will shape our country's next 150 years," said Sandra Stuart, President and CEO, HSBC Bank Canada. "HSBC and Breakfast Club of Canada share a passion for helping youth reach their full potential, and together we'll be able to help more than 4,500 youth access healthy breakfasts so they can fuel their minds, bodies and dreams for the future."

To learn more about Breakfast Club of Canada programs, visit: www.breakfastclubcanada.org 


The Wait is Over: The Rec Room at Toronto's Historic Roundhouse Officially Opens TODAY

Toronto social seekers now have a new hot-spot for 'Eats and Entertainment,' with the opening of the city's first location of The Rec Room at the Roundhouse today. Located at 255 Bremner Boulevard – just across from the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium and Rogers Centre – The Rec Room brings together incredible dining experiences with exciting live entertainment and amusement gaming experiences, all under one roof. Visit Cineplex.com/TheRecRoomToronto to watch a video tour of The Rec Room.

With half of the over 40,000 square foot complex devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half devoted to amusement games and attractions, The Rec Room is the perfect destination for a night out with friends, group celebrations and corporate events. And with a huge outdoor patio that features incredible city skyline views, it is sure to become the go-to destination for area residents and the millions of tourists who visit the area each year.

A destination that puts food first, The Rec Room serves the very best in wood-fired, Canadian-inspired cuisine that has the perfect pairing for any occasion.

Three10 is an upscale casual restaurant that is playfully named after Canada's three territories and 10 provinces. Its menu features familiar items that have been elevated and transformed through fresh ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. Fun fact: Three10 has one of the largest wood-fired grills in Canada, the 'Grillwork's Inferno!'
The Shed is The Rec Room's quick service destination that includes a pizzeria with a wood-fired, dual pizza oven imported from Italy that cooks a pizza in 90 seconds. It also has a custom donut bar as well as a poutinerie that serves delectable toppings like smoked brisket, lobster and wild mushrooms.
In addition to spirits and cocktails, multiple bars throughout the space serve six draught wines and over 24 draught beers, including one from The Rec Room's neighbour Steam Whistle Brewing.
Hosting a private meeting, corporate event or holiday party? The space can be customized for any occasion! Whether you're hosting a gathering of 20 friends or a launch party with 1,000 guests, The Rec Room's delicious food and massive entertainment area strike the perfect balance between work and play.
The Rec Room is the social playground for anyone, and everyone – there's always something going on to make things a little more interesting.

The Rec Room features a huge attractions area called The Yard where Torontonians can play over 90 amusement games. Credits and points earned are tracked on RFID bracelets and can be redeemed at The Trophy Case redemption store for a wide array of prizes – everything from retro candy to drones, and whisky stones to portable speakers.
The Rec Room features Canada's first location of THE VOID, where guests step into a truly immersive virtual world with family and friends. THE VOID combines interactive sets, virtual reality, real-time effects and gear to create an experience that goes beyond reality. The state-of-the-art experience is launching with Ghostbusters: Dimension, which turns guests into Ghostbusters, transporting them to New York City to track and trap ghosts while engaging all the senses with sights, sounds, smells and motions.
Those up to the challenge can also try a next generation race car simulator that puts you in the driver's seat (literally!) or compete against friends at favourites like shuffleboard, billiards, air hockey and ping pong.
Offering both live and programmed entertainment, visitors at The Rec Room can look forward to musical acts, bands and comedians, a dance floor and an auditorium featuring a huge high-definition screen.
Don't have tickets to catch the big game in-person? Watch it here on over 80 (seriously) big screens! Gamification is also an integral part of The Rec Room and its Gameboard App enables visitors to play games, interact and participate in a fantasy league while inside the complex.
In addition to redemption opportunities and promotions throughout The Rec Room, guests can also earn SCENE points on food and fun.
The Rec Room is part of Cineplex, one of Canada's leading entertainment and media companies, and leverages its existing industry-leading entertainment, amusement gaming, food service, content creation, digital media and operational capabilities. Cineplex plans to open 10-15 new locations of The Rec Room over the coming years, each ranging in size from 40,000-60,000 square feet and customized to the individual community.

Locations are now open in Toronto and South Edmonton, with plans announced for complexes in London (ON), Mississauga (ON), Calgary (AB) and Vancouver (BC), as well as an additional location in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall.

About The Rec Room
The Rec Room is Canada's premier 'Eats & Entertainment' destination that brings together incredible dining, amusement gaming, technology and live entertainment experiences all under one roof. Part of Cineplex, The Rec Room is a premier social destination and the ultimate gathering spot for corporate events, groups and parties. While each location is customized to the individual community, The Rec Room concept features multiple dining environments and a wide range of entertainment options including a large amusement games area featuring state-of-the-art simulation, feature attractions and redemption games as well as an auditorium-style space perfect for musical acts, bands and comedians. For more information, visit TheRecRoom.com or follow the action on social media through Facebook (TheRecRoomTO), Twitter (@TheRecRoomCA), Snapchat (@TheRecRoomCA) and Instagram (@TheRecRoomCA).

The Beer Store is rolling out Beer Xpress home delivery pilot

The Beer Store launched their e-commerce site, Beer Xpress, in June 2016, and today announced they are expanding the platform with the launch of home delivery in Ottawa and Scarborough as the first two test markets. The service offers same-day home delivery, with a targeted two-hour delivery window.
"Home delivery is a natural evolution of our Beer Xpress program and we look forward to bringing it to Ottawa and Scarborough for the pilot," said Beer Store president, Ted Moroz. "The areas were selected based on a number of criteria including market demand and the number of stores in their delivery footprint."
Scarborough and Ottawa customers within the designated delivery areas can conveniently choose from among the 800 plus brands available and purchase the beer for home delivery via beerxpress.ca. All orders are completed within designated store hours and all sales are screened by the responsible sales program. As well, all orders are delivered by licensed home delivery services who are prescreened and held to the highest standards.
"This project will be fully backed by The Beer Store's award-winning ID25 responsible sale program," stated Moroz.
Beer Xpress is part of The Beer Store's commitment to the Province of Ontario to modernize and improve the customer experience within its retail network.
The Beer Store is also using the new pilot project to make it easier for those in Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Four stores in Ottawa's city centre will be open on Canada Day, and customers will also be able to place orders for home delivery.
About The Beer Store
The Beer Store offers customers over 800 brands, provided by over 200 brewers. It's a completely open system that allows any brewer in the world to sell its brand in any Beer Store location it chooses. The Beer Store is also deeply committed to the responsible sale of alcohol. In 2016, over 3.5 million customers were challenged on the basis of their age or intoxication. It is also one of the greenest retailers in the world, collecting around 1.6 billion beer containers and 349 million wine and spirit containers in 2016. The Beer Store is owned by 30 Ontario-based brewers and employs 7,000 hard-working Ontarians.


KFC Canada changes name to K'ehFC

In honour of Canada's 150th birthday, KFC Canada is changing its name to K'ehFC. K'ehFC has a rich, 62-year history in Canada, and the move pays homage to the company's love and appreciation for all things Canadian during a year of national celebration and patriotism.

K'ehFC, formerly known as KFC, will mark the official name change with a brand-new sign at the company's first-ever Canadian location on 8th Street in Saskatoon, which Colonel Sanders himself sealed with a handshake. K'ehFC has proudly been served at this location in Saskatoon since 1955.

"K'ehFC has proudly embraced its Canadian roots for 62 years, from our iconic red and white style, to our friendly, neighbourly presence from coast-to-coast," said Stephen Scarrow, Senior Marketing Manager, Advertising and Media, K'ehFC. "We want customers to feel the same strong appreciation for Canada that we have since 1955. Let's get this party started!"

K'ehFC fans nation-wide are invited to celebrate with K'ehFC throughout the summer and can experience the name change first-hand with newly designed buckets with any bucket purchase. K'ehFC is also marking its name change with online giveaways through their social media channels, as well as an updated website adorned with the K'ehFC logo.

While K'ehFC is changing its name, Scarrow assured us the company is not changing its finger-lickin' good chicken recipe (nor is the company revealing the Colonel's secret blend of 11 herbs and spices). According to Scarrow, only a handful of people know the recipe, and he's not one of them.

"Canada Day is about togetherness – for the country, our communities, and for our friends and family, and bringing people together over a bucket of chicken is what K'ehFC stands for," said Scarrow.

Fans looking to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with a bucket of chicken from K'ehFC can do so at any one of the company's 610 locations or by ordering online at www.kehfc.ca

The name change will be in effect throughout the summer.


Häagen-Dazs explores passion at their pop-up, Bär Häagen-Dazs

Today, doors open to the public at Bär Häagen-Dazs – the brand's first Canadian pop-up store, fueled by the idea of passion. The shop inspires consumers to indulge in the highest quality ice cream and pursue their passions by trying anything from customized bars and ice cream scoops to macaron pairings and a unique ice cream flight experience.

"We wanted Torontonians to explore new, modern ways of enjoying Häagen-Dazs," explains Paul De Larzac, Marketing Director for Häagen-Dazs at Nestle Canada. "This pop-up showcases our profound passion for creating the world's best ice cream using the finest ingredients. We've put a lot of effort into pairing flavours for flights that represent a particular passion, while also ensuring the space itself encourages the exploration of passion."

Taking cues from wine tastings and whisky samplings the flights will allow guests to explore a variety of flavours carefully curated around different passion points of the Häagen-Dazs portfolio.

Bär Häagen-Dazs will host Häagen-Hour, the brand's own play on happy hour, where those 19+ can listen to music and enjoy specially curated delicious ice cream cocktails. More features include a Nespresso coffee bar which, in addition to the classic Nespresso repertoire, will be serving a moment of intense bliss with their featured mini ice cream bar affogato.

Amongst the classics, consumers can try the new Häagen-Dazs Spirits collection– a Canadian exclusive. Flavours to expect are Irish Cream Coffee & Biscotti, Rum Vanilla Caramel Blondie, Whiskey Chocolate Truffle, Rum Ginger Cookie and Vodka Key Lime Pie.

There are many ways to enjoy Häagen-Dazs at the pop-up, so the brand invites consumers into the space to spark a little passion in their daily routine before the program ends on July 22, 2017.

What: Bär Häagen-Dazs

Where: Spoke Club, First Floor
600 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M3

When: June 22, 2017 to July 22 , 2017
Monday-Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Thursday- Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


A toast to Canada's 150th with Canadian spirits!

 No doubt, there will be a symphony of cheers on Canada 150. Perhaps, the patriotic toasting will occur under fireworks or beneath the Canadian flag or the boughs of a Canadian maple. As everyone decides where they will be for Canada 150, they also must decide how they will celebrate and what will be in their glasses as they raise them to Canada. Canadian spirits are the optimal choice to celebrate the Canadian spirit, because they are the essence of Canadian ingredients and artisans. #SpiritsCanada

But before you raise a glass of Canadian whisky, we want to share a few facts on the origins of the toast and its tradition. Let's drink to that.

A timeline of the toast

The term "toast" originated in the 16th century, but as early as the 6th Century B.C the Greeks were toasting to good health.

Shakespeare referenced a toast in The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in it." Fun fact: Adding toast to a drink was quite common at the time.

Historian Paul Dickson, author of Toasts: Over 1, 500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings and Graces writes, "A legend contends that by adding the clink, toasters could get the greatest pleasure from a drink. Before the clink, toasts only satisfied four of the five senses."

The term "toasting" evolved into honouring people and celebrations.

Today, it offers a celebratory sentiment, or in the case of Canada's 150th anniversary, we raise a glass of spirits to Canada's 150! #SpiritsCanada

Jesson + Co. proudly represents Spirits Canada. Jan Westcott, President of Spirits Canada is available to talk about the importance of the fall harvest and Canadian farmers in the production of one of Canada's heritage industries. He can also recommend great food pairings and talk about ways to include Canadian Whisky cocktails in all your fall entertaining.



Absolut celebrates Pride month with the relaunch of Absolut Mix limited edition bottle

 Absolut Vodka is proud to announce that its acclaimed limited edition Absolut Mix bottle, which was designed in celebration of diversity and acceptance, will be returning to Canada this summer in honour of Pride month. Inspired by the six colours of the Pride flag, the bottle's colourful label features overlapping semi-transparent triangles that symbolize the connection that is created when diverse individuals mix together.

"Absolut believes in creating unique experiences that support self-expression through art and creativity," says Vanessa Clarke, Senior Brand Manager, Corby Spirit and Wine. "Absolut Mix represents the idea of bringing different minds together, creating a world where people are free to be true to themselves without judgement or prejudice."

Since 1981, Absolut has been proud to stand with the LGBTQ community by supporting their message of love and acceptance. In collaboration with local artists Diana Lynne VanderMeulen and Sarah Cannon, the dazzled Absolut Unicorns are returning to Toronto's 37th annual Pride Festival weekend, celebrating the history, courage and diversity of the community. Ride with Pride at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) from June 23-25th, and tag #AbsolutUnicorns to share.

Wherever and however you celebrate, stir things up with Alana Nogueda's Absolut Mix Pride cocktail recipe: We're Here, We're Clear, Get Used to It.

2 oz. Absolut Mix
½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Clarified Lime Juice
½ oz. Peach Orgeat Syrup

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint sprig and lime slice. Please enjoy responsibly.

About Absolut Vodka
Launched in the US in 1979, Absolut Vodka completely redefined the premium vodka landscape, becoming synonymous with art, culture and nightlife. Every drop of Absolut Vodka is manufactured using ingredients from Åhus, a tiny village in southern Sweden. They call this process One Source: from the hard winter wheat grown in local fields, to the pristine water and the glass bottle itself, everything comes from One Source, making every Absolut bottle in the world the same distinctive character and taste.

For more information on how to experience Absolut Mix, visit www.absolut.com/ca or follow @AbsolutCanada on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


A Taste of the Caribbean - The Rum Edition: June 21-25 - The Ultimate Free Caribbean Rum and Food Festival

 A Taste of the Caribbean is returning for its 18th edition and will kick off the summer festival season in the Old Port of Montreal. Coinciding with the summer solstice and the St-Jean Baptiste holiday, what better way to welcome the summer and celebrate Quebec ... Caribbean style!

This free festival offers great food from our vendor restaurants, free activities such as cooking and mixology demonstrations, concerts and activities for the whole family!

This year, ALL ROADS LEAD TO RUM with "The Rum Edition" where festival goers can sample and learn about a variety of Caribbean rums that have been expertly curated by rum Ambassador and master mixologist Gabrielle Panaccio.

The Rum Edition features:

The Rum Zone – A Passport to the Rum Zone allows you to sample various categories of rums and a variety of Caribbean tapas. 1pm-9pm daily |$30, $60, $100 passports available
Rum Masterclasses – Hosted by Gabrielle Panaccio and Québec Rhum. Dive into the world of rum while you sip premium selections, learn about the story of rum as well as explore how the different layers of flavorings all contribute to the unique flavor profiles. June 22-25 @ 7pm |$60
Cooking with Rum Demonstrations – Hosted by the award-winning Chef Alain Lemaire who was a runner-up on the Food Network's Cutthoat Kitchen (2015). Chef Lemaire will guide you step by step through the preparation of a rum infused meal that will surely live up to his motto of "fresh, bold and in your face" flavor! June 23-25 (schedule: www.totc.ca/programming/) |$30
What: TOTC, a five-day Caribbean rum, food, music and art festival
Where: Clock Tower Quay, Old Port of Montreal
When: June 21-25 2017
Who: Schedule of concerts, participating vendors and family activities at: www.totc.ca
How: Free : 11am-11pm / Passports: $30, $60, $100 /Tickets available at www.totc.ca and Bar Le Lab Comptoir à Cocktails (279 Ste-Catherine St. E. / 1351 Rachel St .E.)
Website: www.totc.ca


Facebook: www.facebook.com/TOTCMTL
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ilovetotc #totc #totcmtl #ilovetotc
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ilovetotc
YouTube: TOTC Festival

Summerlicious runs from July 7 to 23 at more than 200 Toronto restaurants

Summerlicious, presented by YP Dine and produced by the City of Toronto, returns July 7 to 23 with mouth-watering meals served at more than 200 of Toronto's favourite restaurants. Three-course prix fixe lunch menus are priced at $18, $23 and $28 and dinner menus are priced at $28, $38 and $48. Reservations begin on June 22.

The 15th annual city-wide culinary event welcomes 22 new restaurants this year, including Cactus Club Cafe, Maple Leaf Tavern, Jamie's Italian (Yorkdale), Mochica, Ricarda's and TOCA (The Ritz-Carlton).

"Now in its 15th year, Summerlicious continues to offer incredible dining opportunities at some of Toronto's best restaurants for exceptional value," said Mayor John Tory. "I encourage Torontonians to get out and explore the diverse cuisine this city offers." 

"Summerlicious is great value for diners and a significant economic boost to the city," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. "Since its inception in 2003, participating restaurants have served 6.5 million meals, generating nearly $290 million in economic activity for the local restaurant industry."

“We're pleased to be the presenting sponsor and exclusive reservation partner for Summerlicious, an integral part of Toronto’s culinary dining scene,” said Jeff Novak, Brand Director at YP Dine, an award-winning restaurant and dining app. “YP Dine allows users to reserve a table and discover great food during Summerlicious and all year round. With its geo-localized features like the option to order in, make reservations, and access curated lists and reviews, YP Dine meets the needs of foodies and restaurateurs across Canada.”

Other returning sponsors are Aeroplan as the official premier sponsor and ESKA Natural Spring Water as the official water sponsor. Joining them in support of Summerlicious is Samuel Adams as the official beer sponsor.

More information on Summerlicious is available at http://www.toronto.ca/summerlicious.

You can follow Summerlicious on social media on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LiciousTO, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LiciousTO and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/LiciousTO. The event hashtag is #LiciousTO.

About Summerlicious and Winterlicious 
The Summerlicious and Winterlicious programs are produced by the City of Toronto. The Licious programs began in 2003 as a way to boost Toronto's restaurant industry during typically slow periods of business. In the years since the programs' inception, participating restaurants have served 6.5 million meals during the promotion which have generated nearly $290 million in economic activity for the local restaurant industry. The Licious programs were ranked in the top three all-time favourite festivals, fairs and events in Field Day's fourth annual Toronto entertainment survey. 


President's Choice® creates Eat Together Day, inspiring Canadians to connect through food

 Inspiring Canadians to connect by sharing a meal, President's Choice® (PC®) is declaring June 29th Eat Together Day, supported by a series of challenges and events across the country. PC®'s mission to get Canadians back together at the table began earlier this year with the release of its Eat Together film, celebrating the social power of food to bring people together.

"The response to the #EatTogether initiative has been remarkable and Canadians are talking about the benefits of gathering at the table," said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited. "On June 29th, Eat Together Day, we challenge Canadians to imagine the impact we could have if, just a little more often, we took the time to eat together."

Canadians agree* that when families eat together children grow up happier and healthier (93%) and teens build stronger relationships with their parents (94%). When people eat together, they see each other as equals (78%) and connect with one another (94%). Despite these and other benefits of this simple act, recent Dalhousie University research found that two out of three Canadians eat alone most of the time**.

"Canadians tell us they are moving away from sitting down and eating with one another, and that could have consequences for our society," says Sylvain Charlebois, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University. "Initiatives like Eat Together remind us of the importance of sharing meals and will hopefully encourage Canadians to embrace the potential of connecting through food."

In our country's 150th year, the act of families and communities eating together is a strong metaphor for our national identity and values. To address the trend of Canadians eating alone, Loblaw is inviting its nearly 200,000 employees, thousands of business partners, and all Canadians to participate in weekly Eat Together challenges, building towards the first ever Eat Together Day.

For weekly challenges or inspiration for Eat Together Day, Canadians can visit http://www.facebook.com/PCEatTogether. Also, on June 29th, Loblaw grocery store banners, including Loblaws®, Loblaws CityMarket®, Your Independent Grocer®, Zehrs®, Provigo®, Dominion® and Atlantic Superstore® will be hosting public BBQs in hundreds of locations across the country.

*A survey commissioned by President's Choice (methodology below)
**Dalhousie University's May 2017 study: Disintegration of food habits: A look at the socioeconomics of food, the blurring lines between traditional meals and out-of-household food consumption


Canadians served opportunity to have their say about healthy eating

Heart & Stroke welcomes the recent announcement by Health Canada to launch two public consultations as part of its Healthy Eating Strategy. These consultations will allow Canadians to have input around two public policy areas that can significantly support them to be able to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

The public is being invited for the first time to comment on a proposed approach to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and youth. This is a good step towards fulfilling the government's commitment to enacting this much needed legislation and protecting the youngest members of our society. Our children and youth are bombarded with ads for unhealthy, highly processed foods and beverages all day, every day; in fact 90% of products marketed to kids and teens on TV and online are high in salt, fat or sugar.

"Heart & Stroke is committed to giving kids the best start for a long and healthy life," says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. "We know that marketing greatly influences their food choices and preferences and one of the most effective ways to protect them and to support their parents is to restrict food and beverage marketing to our children and youth."

The new round of public consultations on the Food Guide is also encouraging. This influential document provides guidance for both individuals and families, and sets the menu in many places, including school lunch programs. Heart & Stroke is looking forward to these revisions including removing juice from the fruit and vegetable category.

"The Food Guide is an important and much used resource. Updating it and making it more digestible will have a real impact on improving the health of all Canadians," says Yves Savoie.

Both consultations run from June 10 – July 25, 2017 and can be accessed online: Restricting marketing to children and Revision of Canada's Food Guide. The Healthy Eating Strategy is a component of the Vision for a Healthy Canada.

Heart & Stroke also encourages the government to continue moving forward on strengthening nutrition labelling requirements for food and beverages. One significant change that could be made in this area would be to require information on the front of packages where it would be most visible. In particular warning labels for items high in sugar, saturated fat or salt would provide quick and easy guidance and steer consumers away from unhealthy choices.


The Rotary Club of Whitby is bringing the best eats from the streets at the Fourth Annual Food Truck Frenzy May 27 and 28

The Fourth Annual Food Truck Frenzy is so much fun, you'll eat it up!
The Rotary Club of Whitby's Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy is all fired up for its celebration of curbside cuisine taking place May 27 and 28 at Iroquois Park in Whitby.
With its continued success, Food Truck Frenzy Whitby has become the Finest Foodie Festival in Durham Region.  Foodies and families alike can enjoy the best food and entertainment the region has to offer. This year's festival features an impressive line-up of curbside chefs and their tasty creations, talented musical performances and family fun activities.
The 4th Annual Food Truck Frenzy presents more than 30 food trucks that serve up an array of decadent comfort food, savoury international dishes and tantalizing sweet treats. This year's event also features some of the finest local food artisans who grow and craft food in the Durham Region.
"Our event keeps getting better each year. What started four years ago as a celebration of food truck fare, has now grown into the Finest Foodie Festival in the Durham Region. We've combined the best street food from across the GTA with the best of our talented local artisans and performance artists, to create a weekend long festival for families and foodies," said Geno Diraddo, of the Rotary Club of Whitby.
Food truck fans can enjoy the delicious fare of returning favourites like: Stuttering John's Smokehouse, Tdots Naansense and Apple Fritter and delightful new food experiences from Philthy Phillys Cheesesteaks & Poutinerie, Colossal Onion and Eva's Original Chimney cakes . A 2017 food truck list and developing details about the festival are available at www.foodfrenzywhitby.ca.
Rotary Club of Whitby supports many community projects focused on youth, people with disabilities, and seniors. Proceeds raised from the Rotary Club of Whitby's Food Truck Frenzy community event will benefit several local not-for-profit organizations. Corporate sponsors include Nurse Chevrolet Cadillac and 360 Insights.
May 27 and 28

Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Iroquois Park Sports Centre

500 Victoria Street West, Whitby

Donations of $2.00/person, $5.00/family are appreciated


Nine self-guided adventures await with launch of 2017 Brewery Discovery Routes

Building on two years of success, Brewery Discovery Routes are back, with four new itineraries to explore and hundreds of stops along the way. Nearly doubling in size since 2016, Brewery Discovery Routes combine craft beer and cider with local food and stunning natural beauty on itineraries travelling through the countryside, small towns and big cities.

Itineraries include the Windsor Essex Barrels Bottles & Brews route and the Saints and Sinners route in south Georgian Bay, which feature Ontario's Prohibition history. Taps, Tastes & Trails in the Guelph area includes Canada's oldest independently-owned microbrewery, and Rural Routes & Dirty Boots in Durham region mixes craft beverages with artisanal sweets to offer beer butter tarts, beer brittle and cider doughnuts. All itineraries can be found at www.brewerydiscoveryroutes.ca and 250,000 printed maps are being distributed across the GTA.

Brewery Discovery Routes are a successful partnership between the Greenbelt Fund, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Craft Cider Association, Ontario Beverage Network, Feast On, and regional tourism offices throughout Ontario. The routes encourage Ontarians to choose more local, more often, supporting Ontario's $36B agricultural sector and the burgeoning craft beverage industry.

"Last summer we were a brand new company, in a small town tucked away between Toronto and cottage country. The Brewery Discovery Routes literally put us on the map and brought thousands of new visitors to our door - many of whom went on to discover Uxbridge's shops, restaurants and trails," said Joanne Richter, owner of The Second Wedge Brewing Co., on the Rural Routes and Dirty Boots route.

"Brewery Discovery Routes are the very best in curated culinary itineraries, taking Ontarians through cities, towns and rural countryside with stops for delicious food and drink along the way," said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Greenbelt Fund. "The stops on the routes make very clear the difference local makes, offering true taste of place and one of a kind travel experiences here in Ontario."

Participants are encouraged to share photos of their experience on Instagram or Twitter using #BrewRoutes17 to be automatically entered in a draw to win a gourmet weekend for two on a Brewery Discovery adventure, a dinner for two at Langdon's Hall or brewery tours for 10 at select breweries.

While sampling is part of any brewery tour, participants are reminded to drink responsibly and establish a designated driver if touring the Discovery Routes by car. Most breweries, cideries and distilleries have bottle shops on site so visitors can take their favourite craft beverage home to enjoy.

About Brewery Discovery Routes:
Brewery Discovery Routes offer best-of, curated culinary tourism experiences highlighting craft beer and cider, as well as local food, across Ontario making it easier to choose more local, more often. At www.brewerydiscoveryroutes.ca visitors will find 9 curated itineraries featuring nearly 180 breweries and 35 Feast On restaurants. The project is a partnership between Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation, Grey County Tourism, Guelph Tourism, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association, Central Counties Tourism, Addington and Lennox County Economic Development Office, Ottawa Tourism, Prescott-Russell Tourism, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Craft Ciders Association, Ontario Hop Growers' Association, Ontario Beverage Network, Culinary Tourism Alliance, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Greenbelt Fund.

The County Wine Tours Launches to Help Visitors Sip and Cycle Through Ontario's Newest Wine Region

 The County Wine Tours gives visitors to Prince Edward County a new way to sip and cycle their way through Ontario's fastest-growing wine region, offering the first guided bicycle wine tours in the area. The company, based out of Wellington in the heart of The County, takes visitors on a scenic ride along converted rail line the Millennium Trail and quiet country roads, visiting some of the area's 40 wineries and breweries along the way.

"We've been visiting The County together for over a decade and in recent years we realized there was a lack of options for visitors who want to explore the area's wineries by bike," said The County Wine Tours co-founder Genevive Savundranayagam. "We launched The County Wine Tours to cater to young professionals and visitors from cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa who want to see PEC through the eyes of a local - no planning required."

All tours offered by The County Wine Tours are led by local guides who grew up in and around Prince Edward County. During the tour they share more about the history of the area and its role as a new hotspot for wine, art, food, and culture. The company offers three options for visitors:

Sip & Cycle Bike Tour - This tour takes guests on a leisurely 18km ride along the Millennium Trail and through the country roads of The County, visiting several wineries along the way. The tour includes a local tour guide, a cruiser bike, all wine tastings, and a vineyard and cellar tour at one of the wineries. This tour is perfect for couples or small groups.

Company Getaway Tour - This tour is designed for company offsites, team-building events, or retreats. Guests can arrange a custom vehicle or bicycle tour that includes lunch, visits to popular sightseeing spots and meeting rooms if needed.

Custom Tour - The custom option is designed for larger groups, private tours, or groups that are looking for unique experiences, whether that's a full-day tour of The County including stops at some popular spots, art galleries or boutique shops and lunch, or a tour of the newest breweries in The County.

Prince Edward County has become a hotspot for tourists, with over 700,000 visitors to Sandbanks Provincial Park alone in 2016. Its proximity to major cities - two hours from Toronto and three hours from Ottawa - means people flock to its sandy beaches, quaint towns like Bloomfield, and its wineries and breweries.

"I grew up on a farm in The County, and the area has changed so much since I was a kid. The first winery in the area opened in 2001, and since then it's exploded in popularity, both with winemakers and with visitors," said Sharon Knight Bury, Tour Director, The County Wine Tours. "I love sharing my love for The County with visitors, and showing them why our wine country rivals any other wine region in Canada."

Book a Tour

The County Wine Tours is now accepting online bookings, and will also be launching brewery tours in summer 2017. Book online at thecountywinetours.com, or arrange a custom tour by emailing [email protected]

President Trump, NAFTA and Ontario Food and Beverage Businesses

On May 31, 2017 David Frum, a Canadian-American pundit, Washington insider and one of the most influential political analysts of our time, will speak at Food and Beverage Ontario's conference, Trump Times.

As part of Food and Beverage Ontario's annual general meeting and conference, food and beverage processing businesses from across Ontario will meet at Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto to learn about the 'Trump effect' and what they can expect. Bobby Seeber, a lawyer and former Ontario government trade advisor, will also provide detailed commentary on how Ontario businesses with U.S. interests can navigate the new trade environment. And Terry O'Reilly, well-known host of the CBC radio show, The Age of Persuasion, will present on building a business brand and telling a compelling story.

"We are in new territory with our business partners to the south and many of Ontario's 3,800 food and beverage businesses are concerned with their current and future business prospects particularly with respect to the North American Free Trade Agreement," said Michael Burrows, Chair of FBO and CEO of Maple Lodge Farms.

Recent research commissioned by Food and Beverage Ontario and conducted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) provided insight on how Canadians perceive a potential re-negotiation of NAFTA. Forty-nine per cent of respondents indicated they expect a new Canada-US trade deal will have a negative impact on Canadian jobs and on the Canadian economy, while just 17 per cent indicated they expect it to have a positive impact. Furthermore, 44 per cent of respondents indicated a deal would have a negative impact on the price of food and beverages in Canadian stores and just 16 per cent said it would have a positive impact on prices. The survey also revealed significant consumer confusion with respect to Product of Canada labelling. H+K will be providing a full presentation of the research at FBO's conference.*

"Ontario food and beverage processors are the province's number one manufacturing sector employer. These multi-national businesses, small to mid-sized companies and start-ups contribute to the economy, make food and drink for Ontarians and represent the Canadian brand in markets around the globe. Food and Beverage Ontario's conference has a reputation for addressing important and often tough issues and Trump Times promises to do exactly that," said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario.

To register for the conference, go to www.foodandbeverageontario.ca

This project is funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.


Break Your Fast with foodora: Food Delivery Service Helps Customers Easily Identify Halal Restaurants this Ramadan

Canadian Muslims will observe Ramadan beginning Saturday, May 27 through to Monday, June 26, and on-demand food delivery service foodora will help customers identify halal food options by adding a halal symbol to select restaurant partners on its website and app. Throughout Ramadan, foodora will provide its users with a complimentary 'Break Your Fast with foodora' pack with every order placed between 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. from 39 participating restaurant partners that offer halal options in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Each Ramadan 'Break Your Fast' pack will include two 500 mL bottles of Happy Water, and a box of Masa Dates, a traditional custom.

"foodora's mission is to bring good food into our user's every day, and Ramadan is a month-long religious focus for over one million Muslims living in Canada, thousands of which live in our three Canadian markets," said David Albert, foodora Canada's Managing Director. "foodora will add halal symbols to each participating restaurant on our website and app to make it as easy as possible for our users to identify dining options that cater to them. We want to celebrate our diverse restaurant partners and user base, and make breaking fast a little simpler for our Muslim customers this Ramadan."

Ramadan, which marks the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, will begin on May 27. For many Canadian Muslims, this means a month of fasting from dawn to dusk, forgoing food and water for over 17 hours every day. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, over one million Muslims reside in Canada, with thousands in Vancouver (73,215), Toronto (424,925) and Montreal (221,040). foodora is partnered with over 40 restaurants across its three Canadian markets that offer halal options, and has plans to add more as the demand for halal food continues to grow.

To help foodora customers easily identify halal restaurant partners in-app and online, foodora will add a halal symbol to each participating restaurant partner. Participating halal restaurants in each market include:

Toronto, ON

Shawarma House
Jerk Land
Waynak Modern Halal Eatery
Cluck Clucks Chicken & Waffles
Flock Rotisserie & Greens
Pamier Kabob
Maurya Roti
Darvish Delivery

To receive a 'Break Your Fast with foodora' pack, customers can simply place their order at participating halal restaurant partners between 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. from May 27 to June 26 via the foodora iOS or Android apps, or visit the website, and choose the delivery or pick-up option. Each order will be accompanied by a 'Break Your Fast with foodora' pack, which includes two 500 ml bottles of Happy Water, and a box of Masa Dates.

Website: www.foodora.ca
Twitter: twitter.com/foodora_ca
Facebook: facebook.com/foodora.ca
Instagram: instagram.com/foodora_ca
Download foodora for your phone: iOS and Google Play Store

Major Ontario Grocery Chains Set Precedent to Reduce Food Waste

Flashfood, a mobile app allowing grocery locations to sell surplus food directly to consumers at a massive discount prior to discarding, has partnered with Longo's in downtown Toronto for a 3-month beta to reduce their food waste.

Flashfood users see deals on perfectly good surplus food on their phone, usually with 3 days to a month until the best before date, at massively reduced prices. Users get notified on their phone when new deals are available, pay through their phone, and pick their purchase up at the Flashfood zone in store – same day. Flashfood users then check out just like they normally would while at the store.

Flashfood launched in January with Farm Boy at their Beaverbook location in London, which is still running. Farm Boy has plans to add more stores with Flashfood in the next few weeks in London Ontario.

To date, if you annualized Flashfood's top shoppers savings, they would have an additional $5k in the bank at year-end by using Flashfood.

A lot of people don't realize this, but when food gets thrown out, it ends up in a landfill, gets covered by other garbage and rots without oxygen. This produces methane gas, which is a leading cause of climate change.

If International food waste were a country, it would be the third leading cause of GHG emissions behind the US and China.

In their partnership with Flashfood, Farm Boy and Longo's have diverted over 1,500 meals from landfill - the equivalent GHG emissions to driving more than 1,800km.

'We want to fundamentally change the way grocery chains are viewing their surplus food. Right now, perfectly good food is being thrown out well before the best before date. We're providing our partners a profitable, seamless way to reduce the amount of food they discard while also making food more affordable for our users' founder & CEO Josh Domingues.

'We're working on ways to assist organizations and individuals who are dealing with food insecurity, we haven't found the perfect solution yet, but we're happy to work with any organization to help get food to anyone in need. There's a solution and collectively we can get there.' – Josh

For now, consumers are using their buying power to prove to grocers that throwing out perfectly good food Is unacceptable.

FB : /flashfoodinc
Twitter: @flashfoodinc

Farm To Fork ,Christie Pits, Toronto May 18 2017
Photos and Story by Walter Tautorat
Toronto’s 4th annual non-gmo food festival took place on Saturday at Christie Pits.

A grassroots movement that aims to educate consumers and highlight the ever growing trend to get back to eating natural, healthy foods that do not come from genetically modified seeds and crops and that is grown in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

Monsanto and other such corporations claim that GMO foods are necessary to feed the world, and yet have been banned in 38 countries. Profits seem to be more important than the long term health of consumers and like I have heard from many speakers at these rallies, if Monsanto is so proud and sure of their product, why are they so against labeling it?

This festival aims to inform a growing health conscious public as well as being a venue for farmers and retailers that have made the commitment to provide organic, pesticide-free options for the dinner table. From young people, to young couples and families, to the older folk like me, it is evident that this has been going on for some time now. The sun came out, the food was awesome and between the Raging Grannies and dancing with the bees it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

I applaud and tip my cap to the marchers who spent an hour or so walking all the way from Yonge Dundas Square to Christie Pits. Not the biggest of crowds but in the words of a friend Gwendolyn (aka,the butterfly and bee lady) it’s not the size of the crowd that matters but the size of the heart of each of those people.

Really looking forward to next year’s event! Enjoy Toronto, get out there and support some of these many fine groups and causes, you might be surprised what you learn!
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Quebec leads all provinces on food security

Quebec gets an "A" and leads all Canadian provinces on household food security, according to The Conference Board of Canada's first provincial food report card. Canada's Food Report Card: Provincial Performance presents data and analysis on five categories: industry prosperity, healthy food and diets, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability.

"Overall, Quebec is a middle-of-the-pack performer on the food report card, but the province is a standout performer on food security," said Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Associate Director, Centre for Food, The Conference Board of Canada. "Food in the province is highly affordable and readily accessible."


Quebec is a middle-of-the-pack performer receiving mixed grades for its food performance.
Quebec leads all provinces in household food security, with an "A" grade.
Saskatchewan is the best performing province with "A" grades in four of the five categories.
Quebec Scores Best on Food Security
Quebec receives an "A" grade household food security and leads on many indicators in this category. The province has the lowest percentage of moderate or severe food insecurity among single parents, the third-lowest rate of indigenous food insecurity, and the fourth-lowest rate of child food insecurity. It ranks high on food affordability, with some of the lowest percentages of people who said they could not afford balanced meals, and of people who ran out of food and could not buy more. With slightly more than 0.7 grocery stores per 1,000 people, Quebec is the province with the second highest access to a grocery store. The province also has one of the lowest rates of food bank usage among adults and children in Canada.

Province Top Performer on Healthy Food and Diets
The province also gets an "A" on healthy food and diets. Quebec has low rates of youth and adult obesity, and scores well on six out of eight indicators on diet-related health conditions. However, like most Canadians, Quebecers consume more calories and sodium than they need, and do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish.

Quebec Among Top Three on Environmental Sustainability
On environmental sustainability, Quebec earns a "B", placing third behind British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Approximately 40 per cent of Quebec food businesses rank improving environmental performance as a very important or extremely important success factor. While Quebec households throw out more grocery bags of food than many of their provincial peers, Quebec performs well on other metrics related to household food waste.

Mixed Results on Food Safety and Industry Prosperity
Quebec receives its lowest grades on food safety and industry prosperity, receiving "C"s in both categories. While Quebec has the lowest number of food recalls per 100,000 inhabitants, its overall performance on food safety is brought down by high rates of hog and cattle condemnation, and high incidences of some food-borne illnesses.

On industry prosperity, Quebec tops all provinces on investment in food manufacturing innovation. The province is an important centre for food manufacturing innovation and is home to two world-leading dairy processors. However, Quebec ranks poorly on food manufacturing exports, government payment for animal programs, and farm area and size.

In all, 63 food performance metrics were used to evaluate the overall food performance of the provinces. Definitions for the indicators and the full report are available from our e-Library.

Canada's Food Report Card: Provincial Performance was prepared for The Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Food Observatory. Canadian Food Observatory (CFO). The Observatory monitors progress on improving food performance, spurs the required changes, and encourages action to make the Canadian Food Strategy a reality.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

Four Canadians among 100 young leaders chosen from around the world to help address global food security challenges

Bayer, together with partners Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), is pleased to announce that 100 bright young minds have been selected to participate in the third global Youth Ag-Summit, which will take place in Brussels, Belgium from October 9-13, 2017. This year's Summit is themed "Feeding a Hungry Planet," and aims to address the UN Sustainability Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Four of the 100 chosen delegates will represent Canada at the Youth Ag-Summit. They are:

Cassandra Hayward, Halifax, Nova Scotia;
Brandon Hebor, Toronto, Ontario;
Cameron Olson, Rocky View, Alberta;
Alexis Wagner, St. John's, Newfoundland.

Hailing from 49 countries and aged between 18 and 25, the chosen delegates share a passion for agriculture and a vision of a world without hunger. During the summit, they will share their diverse experiences and work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges. Across five days, delegates will undertake group projects and participate in industry tours, as well as learning from expert guest speakers. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.

"The agricultural industry can contribute strongly to achieving some of the key UN Sustainable Development Goals, but this also requires the active involvement of the next generation. The Youth Ag-Summit aims to give young leaders the opportunity to foster their ideas, share best practices and explore the role of modern agriculture in feeding a hungry planet," said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division.

Participants selected through an essay contest

To be considered for participation, prospective delegates were required to submit an essay of 1,500 words on the topic of food insecurity. A total of nearly 1,200 essays from 95 different countries were submitted; all of which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts.

"The applicants put a lot of effort into their essays. We reviewed them based on their views on sustainable food security and agriculture. Reading them was a valuable experience. Their contributions will form the basis for discussion at the Youth Ag-Summit in October," said Giel Boey, national chairman of Groene Kring.

Young people can help tackle global food security challenges

This year's winning applicants focused their essay submissions on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the role of youth in helping to feed a growing world population. Ideas put forward related to improving education and awareness of best practices, increasing gender equality within the sector, changing consumption patterns, and mitigating the impact of climate change on crop yield, to name a few.

"As a Belgian youth agricultural organization, we look forward to welcoming and introducing young leaders to local farming challenges and hearing their global and local perspectives. It will be a true pleasure to share ideas and thoughts with so many passionate minds," said Guillaume Van Binst, secretary general of the Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs.

The delegates hail from the following 49 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Visit www.youthagsummit.com to meet the delegates and to learn more about the Summit. Follow the latest news on @YouthAgSummit or https://www.facebook.com/YouthAgSummit/.

About the Youth Ag-Summit
The Youth Ag-Summit is a global bi-annual conference designed to inspire and connect the next generation of young leaders in agriculture and related disciplines. In 2017, 100 young leaders aged 18 to 25 will meet in Brussels, Belgium, to create an open dialogue on one of the world's most challenging questions: how to feed a hungry planet? Following previous editions hosted in Canada and Australia, this year's Summit is the first to be held in a European city. The Youth Ag-Summit is part of Bayer's Agricultural Education Program which aims to raise global awareness about farming and food supplies. Find out more about the Program at www.ag-education.bayer.com, https://www.facebook.com/BayerAgEdu/, or on Twitter @BayerAgEdu.

About Groene Kring
Groene Kring (GK) is an association for young farmers in Flanders, Belgium, which counts around 3,500 members. GK brings young farmers together via regular activities and events, organizes entrepreneurship education, and protects the interests of young farmers on a regional, national and international level. For more information, visit: www.groenekring.be

About the Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs
La Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA) represents young farmers living and working in Wallonia, Belgium. FJA represents the views of 2,800 members, advocating on their behalf at a regional, national and European level. As an official education provider within the agriculatural sector, they also organize training courses. For more information, visit www.fja.be

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.cropscience.bayer.ca.


Labatt 50 gets celebratory makeover to toast Canada's 150th: Introducing "Labatt 150" Ale

 As Labatt is set to turn 170 years old this year, the brewery is raising a pint to toast Canada's 150th with the celebratory rebranding of one of the country's most beloved heritage brands, Labatt 50. This summer, Labatt 50 is being renamed "Labatt 150" to mark Canada's sesquicentennial. Limited edition commemorative cans of Labatt 150, featuring the official Canada 150 logo, will be available beginning mid-May throughout the summer.

"For as long as Canada has been around, Labatt has played a role in our nation's history. We've grown from a single brewery in London, Ontario into a national brewer with a strong presence in communities across the country," said Todd Allen, VP of Marketing, Labatt Breweries of Canada. "Labatt 50 is steeped in this heritage – it's our longest-standing brand and was Canada's best selling beer until 1979. It was a natural choice to refresh this iconic brand to celebrate such a monumental occasion for Canadians."

First launched in 1950, John and Hugh Labatt – grandsons of founder John K. Labatt – brewed Anniversary Ale (later named Labatt 50) to commemorate 50 years of their brewing partnership. The first light-tasting ale introduced in Canada, Labatt 50 was Canada's best-selling beer for almost 30 years. Today, with its new name, Labatt 150 is sure to become the beer Canadians raise in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday.

"As one of Canada's oldest breweries, founded before confederation, Labatt has been part of creating enduring memories and marking special occasions for Canadians," said Charlie Angelakos, VP of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Labatt Breweries of Canada. "For the past 170 years, we have proudly continued founder John K. Labatt's commitment to helping Canadians, giving back to our communities and brewing great tasting, quality beer."

Labatt 150 – brewed in London, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec – is now shipping to retail stores across the country and is available in six and 15-packs of 355 ml cans, and 24-packs of 473 ml cans. They'll be available throughout the summer in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, and Newfoundland.


Dinner in the Sky Canada selling lucrative franchise licenses in Ontario and Alberta

 Skydine Events LTD - Dinner in the Sky Canada (DITSC), today announced the availability of regional franchise rights for Ontario and Alberta.

The Canadian division of Dinner in the Sky has a keen focus on its core operations in Vancouver, BC. The franchise is looking to partner with qualified operators to take over its lucrative licences in Ontario and Alberta. Skydine Events LTD is the exclusive licensee to Canada and is now entertaining bids for franchise territory rights in these two markets.

The rights to DITSC division of the global franchise have been purchased by Vancouver based entrepreneur Jhordan Stevenson. Stevenson and his team are in the final stages of preparing for Dinner in the Sky Vancouver, set to commence in July of 2017.

DITSC's goal is to focus on core operations in Vancouver and partner with qualified operators to run DITSC in Ontario and Alberta.

"The overwhelming amount of interest and support that we have gained since we announced that we would be hosting the first Dinner in the Sky event in Vancouver has sparked viral attention from the media and public alike. We have decided to focus on our core business in Vancouver and offer Alberta and Ontario franchise licences to the market."

Dinner in the Sky is no stranger to the Canadian market and held an event in Ontario back in early 2008, sponsored and hosted by American Express. The idea originated in Belgium, since then over 10,000 such events have been hosted in over 50 countries worldwide to date.

Dinner in the Sky practices the most stringent of safety standards, and prides itself on a perfect safety record through over a decade operations.

For more information on franchise opportunities please contact Linda Yao, Franchise director for Dinner in the Sky Canada.


Why did the Liberals give more than a third of new beer licenses to Walmart?

 Though they celebrated the expansion of beer and cider sales to an additional 76 private stores this week, the Liberals failed to mention that more than a third of the new retailers are Walmart stores, notorious for their low-wage, precarious working environments.

The chair of the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) bargaining team for LCBO workers, Denise Davis, pointed out that this most recent announcement shows how "the continued privatization of alcohol sales is really lose-lose for Ontarians."

"On the one hand, we lose when this government puts at risk the $2.4 billion the LCBO provides to pay for public services," said Davis. "On the other hand, we lose when good jobs in communities across Ontario are replaced by Walmart jobs that won't even cover the cost of living."

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas added that the cruel irony is that Walmart relies on the public revenues it's now draining.

"This company has enriched its owners by paying poverty wages that require its workers to use food stamps in the United States and a number of publicly-funded social programs here in Ontario just to survive," he said. "Now they want to take a cut of the profits that pay for those social programs.

"They're biting the hand that feeds their workers."

Thomas noted that the choice of retailers provides an alarming glimpse of the Liberals' vision of the future of work in Ontario.

"The Liberals seem blind to the fact that replacing middle-class LCBO jobs with minimum-wage Walmart ones is moving Ontario in the wrong direction," he said. "Our young folks already face a job market with a growing number of low-wage, precarious jobs, and it seems every year the number of young people working on contracts with no benefits, no pension, and no security goes up.

"Is Walmart really the future Kathleen Wynne wants for Ontario?"


It's ON at Ontario Place! Discover Ontario's Diverse Culinary Scene at the Culinary Ontario Festival

 As part of Ontario's 150th anniversary festivities, Ontario Place welcomes guests to enjoy the Culinary Ontario festival. Taking place Victoria Day weekend from Friday, May 19 to Monday, May 22, the free admission event will offer a gourmet celebration highlighting Ontario's diverse culinary culture amidst a variety of activities, entertainment and locally sourced products.

"Ontario's 150th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible province we live in — and what better way to celebrate than enjoying the best of Ontario's food and drink," said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "I'm very excited to invite Ontarians and visitors alike to join the festivities at Ontario Place and explore the waterfront with friends and family."

The Culinary Ontario festival will take place on the West Island of Ontario Place and feature a uniquely Ontario experience with food trucks and beverage stations, art installations and live music, including:

Cedar Market: A shipping container village will feature a farmer's market, small tasting plates and artisanal prepared foods for purchase
Local and Emerging Chefs: Featuring both well-known chefs and emerging talent, visitors will experience multi-ethnic cooking demonstrations and unique experiences and tastes
Ontario Flavours: A sampling zone for guests to experience daily tasting and pairing events from local food, wine, cider and beer vendors
Children's Cooking Competition: Kids can participate in a fun cook-off to make their version of a favourite Canadian dish
Best of Ontario Talent: The Main Stage and Emerging Artist Stage will host a variety of performances including musical talent, DJs, dance, spoken word and performance art, including:
Tanika Charles on Friday, May 19
Jarvis Church on Saturday, May 20
Drone Night Show: A Canadian first, the Canadiana-inspired choreographed drone performance will light up Ontario Place on Saturday, May 20 at 11pm
Ontario Innovates: Guests will be welcomed by unique stations that highlight some of Ontario's most innovative and family friendly technology contributions
Ontario Celebrates: The Gift Shop will be converted into an Ontario Celebrates museum that will take guests through artifacts, stories, and key moments that have occurred in Canadian history over the past 150 years
Ontario Educates: The Atom Blaster building will come alive and feature adult, youth, and kid friendly sessions that include cooking lessons, wellness education, and healthy lifestyle demonstrations

Stay tuned for more to come about the Culinary Ontario festival as well as other events, festivals and activities taking place at Ontario Place this summer.


Getting to The Meat of The Matter: Are Canadian Babies Receiving Enough Iron?

A recent national survey revealed 70 per cent of Canadian mothers are unaware that babies six to 12 months need 11 mg of iron per dayi – that's nearly 40 per cent more than is required of a full-grown man! The startling statistic was uncovered just in time for World Iron Awareness Week taking place May 1-7 to encourage education and understanding surrounding the importance of iron consumption at every age and stage.

Babies six to 12 months need 11 mg of iron per day - that’s nearly 40 per cent more than is required of a full-grown man! World Iron Awareness...

The Canada-wide infant feeding survey was commissioned to help inform parents how and when to introduce babies to iron-rich foods. "We understand that new parents can feel anxious and overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions that may impact their child's health," says Mary Ann Binnie, Manager, Nutrition and Industry Relations, Canadian Pork Council. "The tried and true traditions your mother-in-law swears by or the most recent trend in your favourite mommy blog could contradict what Health Canada recommends. Our aim is to help Canadian parents cut through the information clutter and feel supported in their decisions when it comes to feeding their families."

Based on survey findings, Canadian moms are seeking infant feeding information from a wide variety of sources including doctors and pediatricians, online resources, baby care books, magazines and of course, friends and family. While moms of infants are aware that iron is an essential nutrient, there is confusion surrounding when parents should be introducing iron-rich solid foods like meat into their baby's diet.

"Iron supports your baby's growth and developmentii which is why iron-rich meats such as beef, lamb, game, poultry, and fish are great additions to baby's mealtime," says Joyce Parslow, home economist with Canada Beef. In 2012, Health Canada released new guidelines advising parents to offer their six-month old infants meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives two or more times a day, on a daily basisII. While other foods may offer significant amounts of iron, meat provides our bodies with heme iron – a more easily absorbed variation of the nutrient. Adding meat to a meal also helps absorb up to four times the amount of iron from other foods like green vegetables, bread and cerealsiii.

Only about half of moms (55 per cent) surveyed were aware that heme iron found in meats is better absorbed than other dietary iron, or that iron deficiency anemia in infants is associated with irreversible developmental delays (51 per cent). Events like World Iron Awareness Week work to close the knowledge gap and shine a global spotlight on the importance of adequate iron intake for human health.

For recipe ideas featuring Mother Nature's Nutrient, visit www.thinkbeef.ca and www.cpc-ccp.com.

i National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand including Recommended Dietary Intakes. Canberra: NHMRC, Wellington: Ministry of Health, 2006.

ii Health Canada joint statements (2015). Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: 1. Recommendations from Birth to six Months, and 2. Recommendations from Six to 24 Months.

iii Experiments suggest that adding 50 to 85 grams of meat to a meal results in a 1.5- to 4-fold increase in iron absorption (Baech 2003; Baynes and Bothwell 1990; Cook et al 1976; Engle-Stone et al 2005; Navas-Carretero 2008).

More than Poutine and Maple Syrup: 'Best Countries 2017' Report Reveals It's Time for Canadian Cuisine to Shine

 Canada Beef is teaming up with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts across the country to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday through a series of unique culinary exchange events with talented chefs from across the globe. Drawing inspiration from a recent report by U.S. News, where global respondents deemed Canadian cuisine less than stellar, Canada Beef and Fairmont are taking a stand to show the rest of the world just how impressive Canadian cuisine is.

"Over the next several months, we're bringing chefs from Mexico, China, and South East Asia to Canada to collaborate with leading local chefs on this one-of-a-kind culinary exchange series," says Joyce Parslow, Executive Director of Consumer Relations at Canada Beef. "Canadian cuisine is revered by culinary leaders from around the world who are seeking out products like barley, cheeses, and of course, Canadian beef. Just as Canadian wine took time to gain its notoriety on the global stage, Canadian cuisine is now doing the same."

Through the hands of top global chefs, Canada Beef and Fairmont's culinary exchange series is designed to course-correct the understanding of Canada's food identity. All events in the series will include ranch tours, beef and wine pairing seminars, charity BBQs and gala dining experiences.

Kicking off the first of three events in Alberta, Canada Beef will host internationally renowned chef Zahie Téllez of Mexico at the Fairmont Banff Springs in May 2017. The accomplished chef has made a name for gourmet Mexican cuisine through her work in television and at restaurants José Guadalupe and Platos de Cuchara. Téllez' style seeks high quality ingredients combined simply to create approachable authentic Mexican-inspired dishes where flavour is the star.

"Canadian beef is valued and respected by chefs worldwide for its consistent quality and flavour," says Chef Téllez. "When cooking with fine foods like Canadian beef, you can taste the handcrafted care in every bite. I'm proud to play a role in affirming that Canadian cuisine is making waves on the global stage."

Guests of Canada Beef's inaugural culinary exchange will experience a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour at the historic Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Palliser properties and taste the innovative cuisine collaboration of Chef Téllez and Fairmont's Executive Chefs jW Foster and Chef Eraj Jayawickreme. Other program events include a ranch tour and a visit to the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence (CBCE) in Calgary.

"The dedication we have made to the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence and the partnerships we've formed with international chefs are core to our business," says Parslow. "This world-class facility is enhancing the global understanding of Canadian beef through education and collaborative outreach."

The Canada 150 celebrations will continue throughout the year, with events taking place in Toronto in the fall and Lake Louise in December. It is Canada Beef's hope that this series of culinary events will revive an understanding and appreciation for exceptional homegrown ingredients and show the rest of the world why Canadian cuisine is a force to be reckoned with.


Canada's Oldest Independent Beer Company Celebrates 150 Years of Family Brewing

When Susannah Oland opened the Army and Navy Brewery in 1867, she hoped to create a business that could be passed down to her sons. Six generations later, her legacy – and the company eventually renamed as Moosehead Breweries – lives on. This year, the company is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

It hasn't always been an easy path for the brewery, which has endured two fires, Prohibition, the Halifax Explosion and two wars as it expanded across Canada, into the US and eventually, around the world. The brewery shares its anniversary with the country of Canada, which is celebrating its own 150th birthday this year.

"It's fitting that we share our anniversary with the country we call home," explains Andrew Oland, President, Moosehead Breweries. "Like Canada, we've faced challenges along our path, but – like Canada - we've risen to the challenge time and time again to not only endure, but thrive. And through it all, we've been able to remain fiercely independent and stay true to our own ideals."

To celebrate the anniversary, Moosehead will launch new 150th-themed bottle labels for Moosehead Lager and introduce Moosehead Radler in draft in the US. Several anniversary-themed consumer promotions are also planned.

Georgia Homsany, US Brand Director for Moosehead added, "We hear again and again from our customers and fans across the United States, who adore Moosehead for its authenticity, it's independence and, of course, its great beer."

Moosehead Lager won a Silver medal in the Lager category at this year's New York International Beer Competition. At last year's competition, Moosehead Radler won a gold medal and "Specialty Beer of the Year." Moosehead and Moosehead Radler are imported by United States Beverage and distributed nationally throughout the US.

About Moosehead Breweries Limited
Moosehead Breweries Limited is headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada but traces its roots to 1867 when the Oland family started brewing beer. Today Moosehead is still family owned and is operated by the fifth and sixth generations of Oland family members. Moosehead is the last privately owned major brewery in Canada. The company brews and sells its award-winning Moosehead lager across Canada, in the United States, and in a number of countries around the world.


Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to various flours and flour products

​Why you should take note?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli, called E. coli O121 that has been linked to various flour and flour products produced by Ardent Mills. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued food recall warnings advising Canadians of various flours and flour products under brand names Brodie, Creative Baker, Golden Temple, and Robin Hood, which were produced by Ardent Mills. These food recall warnings were triggered by CFIA findings during its food safety investigation into this outbreak.

These food recall warnings and this outbreak are a reminder that it is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, regardless of the type of flour used as raw flour can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli.

Canadians are advised not to use or eat any recalled flour or flour products. For additional food recall details on product brand names and lot codes, please consult CFIA's website for this investigation. Restaurants and retailers are also advised not to sell or serve any recalled products, or any items that may have been prepared or produced using recalled products.

The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that more products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified. The CFIA is continuing its food safety investigation which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated food recall warnings.

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry, other animals, and humans. Most E. coli are harmless to humans. However, there are many different strains of E. coli, and some varieties can cause serious illness.

While most people made ill by E. coli experience a few days of upset stomach and then recover fully, infections can sometimes be life threatening.

Investigation Summary

There have been 28 cases of E. coli O121 with a matching genetic fingerprint. Canadian cases were reported in five provinces: British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (5), Ontario (1) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). One of the 28 cases was a visitor to Canada. The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to March 2017. Seven individuals have been hospitalized. These individuals have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported. The average age of ill individuals is 24 years.

During the food safety investigation, samples of Robin Hood All Purpose, Original flour were collected and did test positive for E. coli O121. Several individuals who became ill reported having contact with Robin Hood flour. The CFIA has issued food recall warnings for various flours and flours products produced by Ardent Mills that were triggered by findings during the food safety investigation into this outbreak. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.

Who is most at risk?

Although anyone can get an E. coli infection, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications.

What you should do to protect your health?

Check to see if you have any of the recalled products in your home or place of business. If you do:

Do not use or eat recalled flour or flour products. If you have a recalled flour product in your home, secure the recalled product in a plastic bag and throw it out or return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund.
If you have flour without its original packaging and are unsure if it is included in the food recall, throw it out just to be safe.
Thoroughly wash any containers that were used to store the recalled product before using them again.
If you suspect you may have used recalled flour to make baked goods or a non-baked product, such as children's play-dough, throw it out. Wash all surfaces or containers where the product may have been used or stored.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately following any contact with the recalled product.
For general use of flour, the following tips will also help reduce your risk of becoming ill:

Do not taste raw dough, batter or any other product containing uncooked flour. Eating a small amount could make you sick.
Bake or cook items made with raw dough or batter before eating them.
Always use hot water and soap to wash any bowls, utensils, or surfaces that flour was used on.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after touching flour, raw dough or batter.
Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have become ill from eating raw dough or batter or from consuming or handling a flour product.

People infected with E. coli can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. Still others become seriously ill and must be hospitalized.

The following symptoms can appear within one to ten days after contact with the bacteria:

severe stomach cramps
watery or bloody diarrhea
little or no fever
Most symptoms clear up within five to ten days without needing to see a healthcare professional. However, some people who are infected with E. coli develop life-threatening symptoms, including kidney failure, seizures and stroke. While most individuals will recover completely, others may suffer permanent health effects, like kidney damage. Death can also result in extremely rare cases.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads multi-jurisdictional human health investigations of outbreaks and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians if new information related to this investigation becomes available.


New Lower GR Potato Returns to Ontario Grocery Stores for Extended Season

Potato lovers rejoice! Following a highly successful launch in 2016, Canadian produce company EarthFresh is bringing its lower glycemic response (GR)* Carisma potato back to Ontario grocery retailers for an extended season. Available from April to November 2017, the Carisma - which was met by strong consumer demand when it first became available to Canadians in limited quantities last September - offers health-conscious food lovers and diabetics more choice in the produce aisles.

Farmed from traditional seed and without the use of biotechnology, the non-GMO Carisma is a new and unique spud. Grown specifically to help prevent the rapid spike in blood sugar that normally comes from eating carbohydrate-rich foods, Carisma is a desirable choice for those seeking to control blood sugar levels, including people with (or at risk of) diabetes, athletes, and those looking to lose or control body weight.

"For years, people with diabetes, and health-conscious individuals with concerns around carbs and sugar intake have limited eating potatoes for fear they are high in carbohydrates and glycemic response," says Jane Dummer, registered dietitian and author. "For the first time, with Carisma, diabetic and health-conscious Canadians have more reasons to add potatoes to the menu. Combining regular exercise and portion control, along with choosing foods that provide a lower glycemic response, are smart strategies for overall health, stable blood sugar levels and weight management."

Having sold out in just six weeks, Carisma's entry into the Ontario produce market last fall was met with an overwhelmingly positive response - indicating a strong desire for new food innovations and greater choice in everyday nutrition among consumers. To meet the high demand this year, EarthFresh has moved its growing operations to the Southern U.S., where optimal weather conditions allow for an extended growing season and, in return, more produce on shelves for a longer period.

Carisma will now be available to Ontario shoppers at Metro, Sobeys, Longo's, Fortinos, Whole Foods Market, and Farm Boy from April - November, 2017. (approx. $6.99/5 lb. bag).

"As a Canadian company, we're proud to bring premium produce innovations to consumers and offer them the ability to enjoy some of their favourite foods, while knowing they are also reaping so many health benefits," says Stephanie Cutaia, Marketing Director, EarthFresh. "We were humbled by the outpouring of interest from Ontario's diabetic community when we first introduced the Carisma last year. Coupled with the response our product received from health-conscious Canadians across the country, we were spurred to extend its availability in 2017. We are absolutely thrilled to have Carisma potatoes in stores for a longer season so they can be served and enjoyed at dinner tables throughout Ontario."

Carisma is a flavourful, versatile potato with an exceptionally creamy, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture which can be eaten boiled, mashed or baked. Ideal for appetizers, soups, cold salads, warm sides and even baked fries and chips - the new potato varietal is an easy addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet.

"Potatoes, in general, are highly nutritious as they offer valuable carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals with minimal fat, and are naturally gluten-free," adds Dummer. "With only 70 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, plus three grams of fibre and 20 per cent daily value of vitamin C, which we know is great for the immune system, skin and hair health, the Carisma potato goes that much further. Carisma also has three grams of protein, and is a strong source of potassium which promotes bone health."

Visit carismapotatoes.ca for recipe ideas.

EarthFresh Farms has created a one-minute video about the Carisma potato. It can be viewed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPla67bYNgo

Connect with EarthFresh Farms:

EarthFresh: www.earthfreshfoods.com
Carisma: www.carismapotatoes.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/earthfresh
Instagram: @earthfresh
Twitter: @earthfreshfarms
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/earthfreshfarms/

*Research conducted by Glycemic Index Laboratories in Toronto, Ontario.



Culinary icons Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis return as mentors and judges on Food Network’s elite competition series Food Network Star, premiering Sunday, June 4th at 9pm ET/PT. Thirteen fresh competitors enter the kitchen to showcase their cooking and on-camera skills over 11 episodes, to prove to Giada and Bobby they have what it takes to join the Food Network family. Ramping up the stakes, co-hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence return to co-host a second season of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen on Sunday, May 21st at 8pm ET/PT, as seven former Food Network Star finalists battle it out against each other through three episodes to earn the thirteenth and final spot in the new season of Star. Exclusive web-series Star Salvation, hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro, also returns to give one finalist eliminated during the season a second chance to rejoin the competition. The Food Network Star season thirteen winner will be crowned on Sunday, August 13th at 9pm ET/PT.

“To become a Food Network Star requires top-tier culinary skills, an impressive television presence and the utmost dedication,” said Allison Page, General Manager, U.S. Programming and Development, Scripps Networks Interactive. “Each season our viewers are inspired by the journey these talented hopefuls take to go from novice to pro, and Bobby and Giada are the perfect pair to cultivate and determine the next ‘Star.’”

On the May 21st premiere of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen, seven former finalists return for a second shot at stardom. Co-hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence kick off the proceedings by identifying what kept each of the alumni from prevailing in their previous season. Then, the competitors must each take on a retro dessert in desperate need of a comeback and shoot an Instagram video about their updated version. Duff Goldman joins Valerie and Tyler to help judge the results and one contestant will be eliminated. Over three episodes Valerie and Tyler test the returning competitors’ resolve to determine who will join the new batch of Food Network Star finalists.

In the season premiere on June 4th, 12 potential Food Network Stars arrive at the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles, hoping for their big break. Bobby and Giada greet the anxious competitors with some troubling news: they have to pass one more big audition before they will officially be considered finalists. But that’s not all, there is one more person joining the competition, and that’s the winner of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen. Special guests Robert Irvine and Monti Carlo help Giada and Bobby decide who will be the first competitor sent home. Throughout the season Bobby and Giada are joined by a roster of top-notch special guests to present the finalists with challenges that test their culinary and on-camera prowess, including a special game day challenge featuring ESPN anchors Jemele Hill and Jaymee Sire. Additional special guests joining the action this season both in and out of the studio include: Sunny Anderson, Melissa d’Arabian, Anne Burrell, Josh Denny, Guy Fieri, Hannah Hart, Eddie Jackson, Sandra Lee, Sabin Lomac, Tiffani Thiessen, and Andrew Zimmern.

The finalists this season are: Blake Baldwin (Flemington, NJ); Trace Barnett (Brilliant, AL); Toya Boudy (New Orleans, LA); Addie Gundry (Lake Forrest, IL); Rusty Hamlin (Atlanta, GA); Suzanne Lossia (Detroit, MI); Nancy Manlove (Texas City, TX); Amy Pottinger (Honolulu, HI); David Rose (Atlanta, GA); Jason Smith (Grayson, KY); Caodan Tran (Dallas, TX), and the winner of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen. The returning Comeback Kitchen alumni battling it out to join the new season are: Rob Burmeister (season 12); Emilia Cirker (season 11); Matthew Grunwald (season 11); Josh Lyons (season 8); Danushka Lysek (season 9); Jamika Pessoa (season 5); and Joy Thompson (season 12).

Exclusive web series Star Salvation returns on Sunday, June 25th and goes live just after Star’s east coast airing. Available on FoodNetwork.com/Salvation and hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and Food Network Star season seven winner Jeff Mauro, the six-episode culinary contest gives one eliminated finalist a chance to re-enter the competition. The winner will re-enter Food Network Star on Sunday, August 6th.

Volkswagen also returns as a sponsor within the series this season, featured in a comprehensive and organic integrated execution, aiding the finalists in their bid for stardom and helping to elevate and drive the action as the competition proceeds to its heart-pounding conclusion.

For more Food Network Star, fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/Star all season long for exclusive interviews, video, blogs, quizzes, behind-the-scenes photo galleries and more. Fans can also connect with each other and the show’s stars on Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodNetwork and on Twitter with the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.

Food Network Star is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment.  

Just in time for Easter, The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro launches new Burger with Nutella

The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro, creator of the internationally successful Reese Peanut Butter Cup Burger, is excited to announce another chocolate burger favourite, just in time for Easter as part of their new Baconism menu!

As if 50 gourmet burgers, 8 different kinds of ice-cold beer and hand-made shakes weren't enough, The WORKS continues to be the innovation leader with the creation of the new limited-time only Hella Good 'Tella ($16.58), which features a WORKS signature bacon & beef patty topped with maple bacon and a crispy O-ring filled with delicious chocolatey Nutella.

Joining the Hella Good 'Tella are other burgers of Baconic proportions including the Chorizo Your Own Adventure Burger ($17.23), a WORKS signature bacon & beef patty topped with grilled chorizo sausage, Dijon bacon coleslaw, banana peppers and crispy onion strings. The Bacon You Fancier Huh? ($17.23) also features the signature bacon & beef patty that's topped with aged white cheddar, thick-cut maple bacon, bacon roasted tomatoes, arugula & mayo. Served up with the infamous Wrecking Balls appetizer ($9.97), bacon-wrapped cheddar tator tots served with bacon roasted garlic aioli and served on a bed of bacon sticks. All complemented with an ice-cold beer or the new Crush the Bulldog drink. Plus for a limited time only, you can ask your server to "Shake 'n Bacon" and add real bacon to any ice-cream shake for just $1.83.

"We were the first burger restaurant to put peanut butter on a burger, the first to put Kraft Dinner on a burger, the first to offer 11 different types of cheese, and we were the first to cause an international media frenzy when we created the Reese PBC and stuffed a burger with Reese peanut butter cups. Now, we're excited for our latest gourmet success with the new Hella Good 'Tella where we've combined the best of two worlds –Nutella and a gourmet burger", said Bruce Miller, President & CEO of The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro. The WORKS "Baconism" Burgers are available in all restaurants for a limited time only, from April 10 through June 11, 2017.

About The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro

Open since 2001, the wildly popular full-service neighbourhood bistro is known for its more than 50 different and gourmet burgers, fresh cut fries, cool classic shakes and ice-cold beer, which all are 100 per cent Canadian. The WORKS offers guests eight different patty options, as well as gluten-friendly combinations to choose from. The WORKS is now open in 27 locations in Ontario including its newest in Port Credit, Niagara Falls & Upper James Hamilton, all offering the ultimate fresh gourmet burger experience in the neighbourhood. For more information on The WORKS in your local community visit www.worksburger.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/worksburger, @works_burger on Instagram or get daily updates by following @WORKSBURGER on Twitter and by joining the conversation at #myworksburger 



Vidalia® onion growers launched the 2017 season today, marking the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark.

Grown in unique soil and climate conditions found only in 20 South Georgia counties, Vidalia onions – now officially available for retail distribution – are revered by some of the world's best chefs and home cooks for its sweet, distinctive flavor. The annual crop is produced by 100 registered growers and is available in the spring and summer months, but the first date they can be shipped is determined by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

"We are excited every year when we are able to start shipping our hand-planted and hand-harvested Vidalias," said Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC). "However, this year is special because we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark that has assured people across the country that they are enjoying the one and only original sweet onion."

The state of Georgia passed the Vidalia Onion Act in 1986, but did not become the official owner of the Vidalia trademark until 1992. In addition to celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the trademark, the VOC also announced a new marketing campaign, "Only Vidalia." The campaign highlights the provenance of the Vidalia onion that has been hand crafted by grower artisans for more than 80 years in Georgia. It reminds people that only Vidalia onions have the sweet, mild flavor profile that has made it an essential ingredient for wide range of dishes including salads, dressings and even desserts.

The "Only Vidalia" campaign will feature advertising aimed at consumers and grocery retailers; social media content and blogger partnerships – all inviting people to rediscover the original sweet onion.

Vidalia onions are Georgia's official state vegetable, grown on 12,000 acres annually and represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market. Sold in every state, the annual value of the crop is about $150 million.(1)

Visit vidaliaonion.org for more information about Vidalia onions, and follow the season's news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Air Transat partners with great Quebec chef Daniel Vézina to offer gourmet meals on its flights

 Air Transat is proud to announce that it has partnered with Daniel Vézina to offer a selection of gourmet meals on its flights, inspired by the signature recipes of the renowned Quebec chef. The Chef's Menu by Daniel Vézina, a variety of exclusive dishes carefully crafted by the chef, will be offered to Club Class passengers as of May 1. It will also be available to Economy Class passengers, in limited quantity, on transatlantic flights as of May 1 and on flights to the South as of July 1.

"We are thrilled with this partnership, which allows us to take the inflight experience to new heights and reinforce our role as leader in holiday travel," says Jean-François Lemay, President-General Manager of Air Transat. "Air Transat stands out for its Club Class, and the Chef's Menu by Daniel Vézina is a wonderful addition to the many privileges that characterize this upgrade. In Economy Class, the gourmet meals will surely delight travellers who wish to start or conclude their vacations on a festive and refined note. Daniel Vézina is known for his attention to quality and his desire to make haute cuisine accessible to all, which makes him the best chef to partner with for our brand."

"I am elated to be collaborating with Air Transat in this exciting challenge: introducing the flavours and presentations that characterize my cuisine into the flight experience," says Daniel Vézina. "And I would like to acknowledge the support, flexibility and openness of this Quebec airline, which allowed me to create a delicious menu that is in line with my values and quality standards."

The Chef's Menu by Daniel Vézina will be offered for free to all Club Class passengers. Economy Class passengers can purchase his signature dishes for $25, which will be served with a cheese plate, dessert and glass of wine. The Daniel Vézina dishes available for the 2017 summer season are:

Chicken ragout with lemon zest and seasonal vegetables
Duck confit lasagna with spinach and a sherry and foie gras emulsion
Braised leg of lamb with spices, maple syrup and Indian vegetable curry
Sweet potato gnocchi with red wine bolognese, spinach pesto and Parmesan shavings
Vegetarian moussaka with grilled vegetables, creamed goat cheese, tomato and red pepper coulis
Vegan risotto with rice cream, red pepper coulis and diced root vegetables with fennel
The meals created by Daniel Vézina, which will change over the seasons, can be pre-ordered on Air Transat's website or by calling the booking centre.

To learn more about the Chef's Menu by Daniel Vézina, visit www.airtransat.com.

About Chef Daniel Vézina
Chef Daniel Vézina has been at the heart of the Quebec culinary scene for more than 35 years. He's co-owner of the Laurie Raphaël restaurants in Quebec City (1991) and Montreal (2007), and last May opened a health-food counter called La Serre. Considered one of the pioneers of cooking without wasting food, he has published six cookbooks, the last of which won a Gold Award at the Taste Canada Awards for most unique subject. Daniel Vézina has received many distinctions and awards throughout his career. He was named Chef of the Year in 2006 at the ITHQ gala, was inducted into the International Order of Disciples of Auguste Escoffier in Paris in 2012, and received the Renaud Cyr award by the Mérite national de la restauration et de l'alimentation. A household name in Quebec, Daniel Vézina is a coach on the popular show Les chefs! and hosts several television and radio cooking shows.


Government of Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and Corus Entertainment launch Kid Food Nation National Recipe Challenge

Healthy living is about choosing healthy options in our day-to-day activities, including what we choose to eat. Learning how to make healthy eating choices at a young age can go a long way toward developing healthy habits and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Today, the Government of Canada, along with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Corus Entertainment launched the Kid Food Nation National Recipe Challenge and Kid Food Nation online hub at the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.

The National Recipe Challenge invites children aged 7 to 12 from across Canada to submit an original healthy and nutritious recipe. A diverse panel of Canadians will select the top 26 recipes based on nutrition, taste and cultural diversity. Two winning recipes will be chosen from each province and territory, and winners will be split equally by gender (13 girls and 13 boys). Winners will have the chance to celebrate Canada's culinary heritage at the Kid Food Nation gala event in Ottawa featuring regional dishes from across the country.

The newly launched online hub includes resources on healthy eating and meal preparation, and complements the Kid Food Nation program being delivered at Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada. The hub features online videos and on-air segments with TV hosts and celebrity chefs, local talent, and experts as well as a parents-focused section. Kids will also be able to earn points through mini-games and quizzes, print shopping lists, and track their favourite recipes.

"I encourage kids from across Canada to put their food skills to the test and come up with healthy and nutritious recipes for the National Recipe Challenge. Kid Food Nation has found an innovative way to empower and educate kids, parents and families across Canada to make healthy eating a part of their daily lives," said The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health.

"The Kid Food Nation program is well underway and with the support of our esteemed partners, we are proud to leverage the power of Corus' kids networks to educate and engage Canadians in making health-conscious choices. Armed with the knowledge and information from this powerful new curriculum, we're calling on kids across Canada to join the movement in making smart food choices and inspiring one another to embrace healthy lifestyles," said Doug Murphy, President & CEO of Corus Entertainment.

Quick facts

Kid Food Nation is a national food skills initiative that aims to improve Canadians' food skills and support healthy eating habits by empowering and educating kids, parents and families to develop practical knowledge and experiences related to planning, preparing and cooking healthy meals and snacks.
Kid Food Nation seeks to reinforce peer-to-peer education on healthy eating and to celebrate families' culinary heritage, Indigenous ingredients and iconic regional dishes of Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing nearly $5 million over five years in Kid Food Nation. Additional support from Corus Entertainment will bring the total investment to approximately $10 million over 5 years.
Kid Food Nation is supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada through its Multi-sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease. This Program has invested $49 million and leveraged an additional $43 million from partners to promote healthy eating, physical activity and wellness, as well as address the common risk factors that underlie major chronic diseases.
In October 2016, the Government of Canada released the Healthy Eating Strategy, which seeks to make healthy food choices the easy choice for all Canadians.


Public Health Notice - Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original

On your marks, get set, Nan-GO! At Nando's they love to sWhy you should take note?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli, called E. coli O121 that has now been linked to Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recalled product that has been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.

Canadians are advised not to use or eat any Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original sold in 10 kilogram bags with a code containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 as these products may be contaminated with E. coli. For additional recall details, please consult CFIA's recall notice. Restaurants and retailers are also advised not to sell or serve the recalled product, or any items that may have been prepared or produced using the recalled product.

This outbreak is a reminder that it is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, regardless of the type of flour used as raw flour can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E.coli.

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry, other animals, and humans. Most E. coli are harmless to humans. However, there are many different strains of E.coli, and some varieties can cause serious illness.

While most people made ill by E. coli experience a few days of upset stomach and then recover fully, infections can sometimes be life threatening.

Investigation Summary

There have been 25 cases of E. coli O121 with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in four provinces: British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (4) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to late February 2017. Six individuals have been hospitalized. These individuals have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported. The majority (54%) of the individuals who became ill are male with an average age of 24 years.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a food recall warning for Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original linked to this outbreak. During the food safety investigation, samples of Robin Hood flour were collected and did test positive for E.coli O121. Several individuals who became ill reported having contact with Robin Hood flour. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.

Who is most at risk?

Although anyone can get an E. coli infection, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications.

What you should do to protect your health?

Check to see if you have the recalled product in your home or place of business. If you do:

Do not use or eat recalled Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original. Secure the recalled product in a plastic bag and throw it out or return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund.
If you have flour without its original packaging and are unsure if it is included in the food recall, throw it out just to be safe.
Thoroughly wash any containers that were used to store the recalled product before using them again.
If you suspect you may have used recalled flour to make baked goods or a non-baked product, such as children's play-dough, throw it out. Wash all surfaces or containers where the product may have been used or stored.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately following any contact with the recalled product.
For general use of flour, the following tips will also help reduce your risk of becoming ill:

Do not taste raw dough or batter. Eating a small amount could make you sick.
Bake or cook items made with raw dough or batter before eating them.
Always use hot water and soap to wash any bowls, utensils, or surfaces that flour was used on.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after touching flour, raw dough or batter.
Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have become ill from eating raw dough or batter or from consuming or handling a flour product.

People infected with E. coli can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. Still others become seriously ill and must be hospitalized.

The following symptoms can appear within one to ten days after contact with the bacteria:

severe stomach cramps
watery or bloody diarrhea
little or no fever
Most symptoms clear up within five to ten days without needing to see a healthcare professional. However, some people who are infected with E. coli develop life-threatening symptoms, including kidney failure, seizures and stroke. While most individuals will recover completely, others may suffer permanent health effects, like kidney damage. Death can also result in extremely rare cases.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads multi-jurisdictional human health investigations of outbreaks and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

Boston Pizza Unveils its 'Restaurant Of The Future'

​Boston Pizza, Canada's largest casual dining restaurant chain, is reopening its Front and John location in Toronto on March 31, following an extensive renovation that showcases the brand's new design concept and market leading technology.

The Front and John location became a corporately-owned restaurant a year ago and, in its newly redesigned format, will act as an urban flagship showing off the brand's new prototype, the first in a succession of new openings targeting Canada's urban market.

"Front and John is our first truly urban flagship restaurant and we believe there is a big opportunity for Boston Pizza to expand within downtown markets," said Alan Howie, Executive Vice President, Operations & Development, Boston Pizza International. "Many families live in downtown centres, in condos, and are looking for family-friendly restaurants that have something for everyone. In addition, urban areas are natural hubs for those interested in enjoying sporting events. Our dual concept of distinct and approachable sports bar and dining room under one roof is the perfect option."

Boston Pizza will pilot new technologies and projects at this location prior to rolling out to the rest of the chain. All new openings and renovations, whether urban, suburban, rural or non-traditional, will take design cues from this new prototype. This location is also one of the chain's largest restaurants at 11,000 square feet.

"Boston Pizza is known as Canada's sports bar where the game is always on and with this new redesign, the digital experience will impress sports fans and families alike," said Helen Langford, Senior Vice President, Food Services, Boston Pizza International. "Screens of all sizes throughout the restaurant will not only show all the important games, but will also feature local sports content, leader boards and other fun graphics to encourage guests to put down their phones and interact with the restaurant environment. The bright colour scheme, use of lighting and contemporary design materials, completely transforms the look and feel of Boston Pizza moving forward."

Some of the new features include:

New Technology – in the near future, new technologies will be piloted at Front and John that elevate the guest experience and improve speed of service and efficiency, such as:

Pay-at-Table will allow guests to check in with the MyBP app and pay their bill on their mobile device without waiting for the server to bring their cheque
DineTime app will allow you to view wait times at all Boston Pizza locations near you, get on waiting lists or book reservations

Courtesy phone charging outlets with USB ports located at tables and bars throughout the restaurant

Exterior Design - The exterior design is more
contemporary and increases brand visibility with cleaner lines and glazed windows so everyone walking by can check out the action inside

Interior Design - Seating design is very flexible with modular segments for easy scalability so groups of every size can be accommodated

A specially designated Team Room can accommodate private parties and sports teams or can function as an extension of the main restaurant

Take-Out and Delivery – A separate entrance off John Street will welcome guests wanting to pick-up their orders

The Front and John location will also feature a grab-and-go area so that thousands of fans attending sporting events at Rogers Centre or ACC will have a chance to pick-up some great food on their way to the game

Kitchen – Optimized kitchen environment for increase efficiency and reduction in energy consumption, especially in high-volume urban locations

Kitchen Video System (KVS 2.0) will allow the kitchen to more efficiently and quickly expedite guest orders and assist in training

Higher efficiency equipment and appliances

With more than 380 locations coast to coast in Canada, the goal for 2017 is to open approximately 15 new locations. In addition to urban areas, Boston Pizza is also exploring additional non-traditional locations such as airports and hotels. The next urban project is slated to open this summer at Yonge St. and Gerrard in Toronto, as well as in the Edmonton Ice District and Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood.


April 1st is the first Nando's Chicken Dash in Toronto and Etobicoke

On your marks, get set, Nan-GO! At Nando's they love to share love, and on Saturday April 1st they are putting on a #NandosDash at all Toronto locations: (Bay St, Queen West, Eglinton, Danforth and Etobicoke).

What is a #NandosDash? Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday April 1st, Nando's is giving away a free 1/4 chicken with PERi-PERi fries to every guest. No, this is not an April fool's joke - it is true heartfelt generosity! The only ask is to bring in a non-perishable food item to be donated to Daily Bread Food Bank in return for a meal on Nando's*.

The Daily Bread foodbank list of most needed items can be found here.

There's no catch, but there are a few rules to keep in mind: *The #NandosDash meal is on a first-come-first-served basis. You have to eat-in, so make sure you get your dash on as there are a limited number of seats available (though Nando's will try and accommodate as many of you as they can).

Join the conversation on social media: #NandosDash @NandosPeriPeri (Twitter), @NandosCanada (Facebook) and @NandosCanada (Instagram).

*Terms & Conditions: Only available on April 1st, 2017 from 11:00 am- 2:00 p.m. at the listed Nando's locations. One free 1/4 chicken (either a leg or a breast…based on availability) with famous PERi-PERi fries. First-come-first-served basis, dine-in only. While supplies last. Sorry, no substitutions. Must donate a non-perishable food item on entry to receive free meal. One per person.

CPEPC says Mercy for Animals' real agenda is to eliminate meat protein from Canadians' diets

 The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council (CPEPC) says Mercy for Animals (MFA) is not being forthright and transparent about their real purpose which is to stop the consumption of animal protein in Canada.

Instead of being clear about their overall agenda MFA uses tactics focusing on misleading and sensational stories about the treatment of animals to threaten and intimidate the industry and our customers into using standards set by the activist group. These accusations by MFA do not represent modern day chicken farming or processing in Canada and for MFA to use them as part of a broader activist agenda is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Robin Horel of CPEPC says "Canadian processors uphold very high levels of animal welfare and will continue to do so because it is a critical priority for the industry and because we care. Our industry is committed to producing safe, nutritious, ethically produced, affordable poultry. We don't believe Canadians who eat more chicken than any other meat want us to stop producing poultry. As always, we will continue to ensure poultry production meets the highest regulatory standards."

Canada's chicken processors purchase chickens from Canadian farmers certified by the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC), which represent a single, national high standard of care under the CFC Animal Care Program. CFC's Animal Care Program is based on the Codes of Practice produced through the very robust National Farm Animal Care Council process. The CFC program is mandatory, audited by a third party and regularly revised to reflect best practices.

MFA's video claim that chickens "bleed to death, often while still conscious" is simply wrong as the Canadian industry follows strict Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations and processing facilities are monitored by CFIA veterinarians.

The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council (CPEPC) is the national trade organization representing the interests of more than 170 Canadian poultry processing, egg grading and processing and hatchery establishments. Representing some of the largest agri‐food corporations in Canada, our member companies process over 90% of Canada's chicken, turkey; eggs and hatching eggs. This economic activity generates over $6 billion in retail sales. To accomplish this, our members have invested over $2 billion in plant and equipment, and directly employ more than 21,000 Canadian workers.



Chef Elia Herrera Continues to Impress

On March 21st, Toronto Life will host the most anticipated foodie event in the city celebrating the Top 20 Best New Restaurants of 2017. Only restaurants that opened in the last year are eligible to make the list and each one vies for their spot in the top 20.

After making Top 20 in 2015 following its opening, Los Colibris is back for Toronto Life's "Crowd Favourite" as a restaurant which continues to impress.

"What an honour it is to be invited back for the second year in a row as a crowd favourite, especially alongside such great new talent that emerged within the restaurant industry this year like Doma, Leña, Canis and Baro," said Elia Herrera, Executive Chef at Los Colibris.

Each year, Toronto Life Food Critic, Mark Pupo, selects the best new restaurants of the year. After careful review, the Top 20 are selected and included in the highly anticipated "Where to Eat" Spring Issue.

"Returning as a crowd favourite serves as recognition that we continue to deliver on great food and excellent customer service. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in to something and we know we must always be focused on improvement," said Herrera.

Herrera previously served as a pastry chef at Canoe and Mistura and now has turned her attention to delivering authentic Mexican cuisine with restaurants Los Colibris and El Caballito located on King West.

"Our menus are always growing and evolving in response to changing cuisines, new technology, techniques and the constant evolution of customer expectations and preferences," said Herrera.

Don't worry, the signature dishes including Chilies en nogada, and Camarones a la Diabla remain on the menu as two of the signature dishes.

The restaurants will convene on March 21st for a sold out event at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to prepare their top dishes for more than 1000 food lovers.
"Congratulations to all the restaurants on this year's list. May you all continue to excel in food, drink and great customer service."

New threat looms for B.C.'s wild salmon

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is moving ahead with a controversial plan to rewrite Canada's Policy for the Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon, better known as the Wild Salmon Policy and adopted in 2005 by the previous Liberal government. The Wild Salmon Policy provides a comprehensive framework for the full protection of wild salmon and their habitat, including recovery of stocks at risk.

"We thought this government was going to turn things around for BC's wild salmon," said Aaron Hill, Executive Director of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. "Instead they've approved harmful industrial projects, slashed budgets for monitoring salmon runs, and now they want to gut the Wild Salmon Policy."

In his mandate letter to the Fisheries Minister, Prime Minister Trudeau committed to "restore lost protections" to the Fisheries Act, and Dominic LeBlanc publicly reaffirmed this commitment after replacing Hunter Tootoo as Fisheries Minister. Despite this mandate letter commitment, DFO cites a desire to align the policy with changes to the Fisheries Act that Harper introduced in the omnibus bill of 2012; changes that reduced protections for fish habitat. Further, in a report released three weeks ago following extensive consultations, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recommended the changes to the Fisheries Act be reversed.

The mandate letter also called for DFO to act on the recommendations of the $37 million taxpayer-funded Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River, released in 2012. Justice Cohen's report highlighted the importance of the Wild Salmon Policy in its current form and called for an implementation plan with dedicated funding, timelines, and accountability.

"Justice Cohen recognized the excellence of the 2005 Wild Salmon Policy, and he recommended an implementation plan for putting the policy into action," said Misty MacDuffee, Wild Salmon Program Director at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. "Nowhere did he say that the policy should be rewritten."

DFO's plan also appears to be offside with a group of leading salmon scientists who recently held a think tank at Simon Fraser University. The first recommendation in their report, released earlier this week, states: "Further reviewing, reexamining, or reopening of the [Wild Salmon] policy would be a poor use of limited funds in the Pacific Region. The Wild Salmon Policy is more timely and important than ever and it should be fully implemented immediately." The same report also recommended restoring salmon monitoring, which is currently at an all time low.

"We are asking Minister LeBlanc to simply do what Justice Cohen recommended and implement this policy for protecting and rebuilding BC's wild salmon," said Jeffery Young, Senior Science and Policy Analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. "We are ready to help DFO with implementation and would rather spend our time here than having to defend the policy itself."

"Aligning the Wild Salmon Policy with Harper's Fisheries Act would have serious implications for First Nations across BC whose culture and prosperity are tied to the health of the salmon," said Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and the First Nation Wild Salmon Alliance. "DFO's actions are clearly inconsistent with the spirit of reconciliation, and also with their commitments to act on the recommendations of the Cohen Inquiry."

Dave Brown, of the Squamish to Lillooet Sportfish Advisory Committee and the Sea to Sky Fisheries Roundtable, warned: "If the Federal Government thinks they can fool us into believing that aligning the Wild Salmon Policy with a gutted Fisheries Act is a good thing, they are fooling themselves. British Columbians won't let DFO pull the wool over our eyes!"

Other groups expressing concern over DFO's plan include SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, and the Steelhead Society of BC.

Plans Before Pints -- Arrange A Sober Ride Home This St. Patrick's Day

 As Canadians look forward to St. Patrick's Day celebrations, MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada are reminding everyone to rely on good planning, not good luck, to get home safely.

"Figure out your sober ride home before raising that first St. Patrick's Day pint," said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. "It takes just a few moments of your time and it can prevent a lifetime of grief and heartache."
Every year, hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands are injured in impaired crashes which are entirely preventable.

MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada are asking everyone to celebrate responsibly and leave the car at home if they're going to be drinking. Call an Uber or a taxi, take public transit, or arrange for a designated driver.
"In our business, we see the impact and consequences of impaired driving all too often," said Allstate Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Michel. "Together with MADD Canada, we encourage Canadians to make the ride home a sober one. There are plenty of options available. Driving impaired is never worth the risk."

St. Patrick's Day revelers looking for a safe, sober and reliable ride home at the push of a button can check out Uber, MADD Canada's Official Designated Driving App. Visit https://www.uber.com/partner/en-ca/madd-canada/ for more information.


New Research Examines Blueberries' Effect On Cognitive Function In Healthy Older Adults 

New research published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that daily consumption of the equivalent of one cup of fresh blueberries, given as 24 g of freeze-dried powder, showed positive changes in cognitive function over a placebo. The research, "Dietary blueberry improves cognition among older adults in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial," was conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Conducted over a 90-day period, 13 healthy men and 24 healthy women between the ages of 60 and 75 were randomly assigned to receive either freeze-dried Highbush blueberry powder daily (the equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries) or a placebo powder. The subjects were tested for balance, gait and cognition at baseline, and again at 45 and 90 days.

The results found that the blueberry-supplemented group showed significantly fewer repetition errors compared to the placebo group in the California Verbal Learning Test (CLVT), a neuropsychological test which can be used to assess verbal memory abilities.[i] The blueberry group also had fewer errors on trials when they switched to a new task as part of a task-switching test, compared to the placebo group. Task switching is an important component of executive function, a collection of brain processes that are responsible for guiding thought and behavior.[ii] There was no improvement in mobility in either the blueberry or the placebo group.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is projected to grow rapidly, reaching 88.5 million by 2050. It is more important than ever to assess cognitive health in older adults and uncover interventions that may promote healthy aging, including diet and exercise.

"While more evidence is needed, results of this study add to the body of research on blueberry-supplemented diets and positive outcomes in cell and animal research on age-related cognitive decline," said Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., a USDA Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Aging, USDA-ARS, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University and one of the study's lead investigators. "The addition of an easily attainable amount of blueberries to the diet may be an overall positive diet and lifestyle strategy for older adults."

The research was funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC), USDA Agricultural Research Service and Tufts University. For more information on blueberry nutrition research, visit blueberrycouncil.org/health-professionals/health-research/.


Honey Nut Cheerios Hopes to Plant Another 100 Million Wildflowers in the Second Year of its "Bring Back The Bees" Campaign

 Building on the tremendous success of the inaugural Bring Back The Bees campaign, Honey Nut Cheerios is calling on Canadians to help plant another 100 million wildflowers across the country this year to help restore natural habitat for bees.

"Last year we gave away more than three times our original target, putting more than 100 million wildflower seeds into the hands of Canadians of all ages. This year, we're hoping Canadians will help us plant another 100 million new wildflowers across Canada to help bring back the bees," said Emma Eriksson, Vice President, Marketing for General Mills Canada, makers of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Even with the success of last year's wildflower planting efforts, bee populations across North America remain unstable and there's more to be done. And without healthy, vibrant bee colonies, one out of every three bites of food is in danger of disappearing. Food crops from fruits to nuts to coffee rely on the pollinating assistance bees provide as they go about their work.

"The fruits and vegetables we all depend upon for good nutrition are in jeopardy if we don't maintain healthy, stable bee populations," said renowned bee expert Marla Spivak, professor of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. "Planting wildflowers is a simple but tremendously important way in which Canadians can help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival."

The Ontario government has expressed its support of bringbackthebees.ca, acknowledging the beneficial effects of the wildflower planting initiative in Ontario's Pollinator Health Action Plan.

"Ontario is committed to protecting pollinators. We have made strides in protecting these vital species, including honey bees, but we all have more to do. General Mills is bringing awareness to this issue and encouraging simple actions such as planting pollinator-friendly habitats, which can do a lot to help support pollinator populations," said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.


Once again, Canadians can get their wildflower seeds free of charge through www.bringbackthebees.ca. To help promote the call to action, Honey Nut Cheerios has once again removed its beloved mascot, Buzz the Bee, from its cereal packages for a limited time.

A special focus is also being placed on kids in this year's Bring Back The Bees campaign. "Last year, kids wanted to help so much that they wrote letters, made videos, and some even sent in their piggy bank savings hoping it would help the bees," said 14-year-old eco-activist and Bring Back The Bees Youth Ambassador, Hannah Alper. "I'm excited to lend my voice to this year's campaign and help tell kids how easy it is to make a big difference by planting wildflowers outside their homes. We're really hoping that if the next generation of Canadians grow up caring about and helping the bees, it will make all the difference."


To amplify the call for Canadians to plant wildflowers and help Bring Back The Bees, General Mills and Honey Nut Cheerios will be opening an experiential pop-up activation in downtown Toronto. It will offer consumers a glimpse at the grocery store of the future in a world where we fail to act - where we fail to support the robust return of our bee population, and the irreplaceable role they play in providing our farmers and our families with the food upon which we all rely.

On March 11 and 12th, consumers are invited to walk through the 'store of the future' and experience a stark contrast between two very different futures: one without a healthy bee population, and one celebrating what's possible if we join in the effort to Bring Back The Bees.

Kellogg Supports 10,000 Women Farmers to Reach their Full Potential

On International Women's Day, we celebrate the significant contributions women are making around the world, especially in agriculture toward helping secure our global food supply.

On average, women represent 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries[1] and up to 30 percent of all farmers in the United States.[2]

At Kellogg, women farmers play an important role at the start of our food journey. They are responsible for growing and nurturing the grains and other ingredients we use to make many of the delicious cereals and snacks consumers enjoy today. From seed planting to harvest, these farmers take great pride and care in their work, although in some regions often lack access to the resources they need to achieve their full potential.

We also recognize that in many countries, women often lack the opportunities needed to enable them to reach their highest potential. As part of our Global Sustainability Commitments, Kellogg is identifying women farmers and workers in our value chain and developing programs to help improve their livelihoods, their families and communities. This pledge also supports the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG 5) of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, which we celebrate on International Women's Day.

Today, we are proud to announce that Kellogg has supported 10,000 women farmers around the globe. This achievement is reflected in the work of our responsible sourcing team and in part, our Kellogg's Origins™ Program, which is designed to provide education, training and other resources that focus on climate-smart agriculture. Over the past few years, we have seen the program positively impact women farmers such as Marisol, Cecilia, Rita, and Jayna, who grow grains to make our Special K® cereals and snacks.

In Europe, we partnered with Marisol, a rice farmer in Spain's Delta Del Ebro region, to leverage natural agronomic practices to help recover and protect the soil where she grows the rice for Special K® cereal. Through this program, participants have seen annual yields increase by approximately eight percent, which also drove an increase in income and efficiency.

In Latin America, we provided on-site soil health and financial training, as well as recommended best practices in sustainable agriculture to women farmers such as Cecilia in Bolivia, who grow the quinoa used to make delicious Special K® Nourish foods. Through that program, we have impacted more than 600 families in the region.

In North America, Rita, a Michigan farmer who grows the wheat for a variety of Special K® cereals and snacks, is participating in the Kellogg's OriginsTM Great Lakes Wheat Project where we are helping her identify opportunities to implement new conservation practices. In 2015, Kellogg nominated Rita as a White House Champion of Change, which she won for her work educating the community about how food is grown and the importance of farming conservation practices.

In Asia, we helped introduce a new rice variety for Special K® cereals in Thailand. This work impacted 700 farmers, 60 percent of whom are women. Through the program, smallholder farmers such as Jayna now have access to a long-term market for selling a high-yielding, pest resistant rice variety.

And in Africa, we are building our understanding of opportunities to drive continuous improvement with women farmers and workers on strawberry farms in Morocco who are growing some of the fruit that goes into Special K® Red Berries cereal.

We believe these efforts will contribute to a more sustainable food supply in the future and at the same time, help empower more women so that they can live life at full strength. Looking ahead, we will continue to participate in events and on-the-ground programs where we can make a positive impact.

At Kellogg, we are proud to have helped feed the potential of 10,000 women farmers, and recognize that in partnership with others we all still have a lot of work ahead. But at the heart of all of these efforts is our purpose to nourish families so they can flourish and thrive, by helping to fight hunger and feed potential – from the farmers who grow our ingredients, to the families who enjoy our foods around the world.

[1] FAO, 2014 State of Food and Agriculture. http://www.fao.org; http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures

[2] USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture   


Second Cup Pays Tribute to Canada with Every Cup

 In honour of Canada's 150th Birthday, Second Cup, the only Canadian national specialty coffee company, is celebrating its Canadian pride by introducing a beautiful new artist-designed Canada 150 cup and a new ReCrafted Maple Latte featuring pure maple syrup from Quebec.

The Canada 150 cup is designed by world famous Canadian artist John Coburn and is a tribute to Canada's unique spirit, proud history and cultural identity. It reflects Second Cup communities from coast-to-coast by profiling 13 iconic Canadian landmarks and valued traditions including skating on the Rideau canal, RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Cape Spear Lighthouse in Newfoundland and Montreal's 375th birthday recognition – to name only a few.

In keeping with the company's authentic Canadian roots, Second Cup's new ReCrafted Maple Latte features pure maple syrup from Quebec's Bernard Family, one of Canada's most famous maple syrup producers. Traditions that have been carefully handed down through generations of their family maintain the artful preparation of this exceptional, premium quality syrup delivering delicious maple goodness in every sip.

"Our customers and franchisees are very proud of Second Cup's Canadian heritage," says Vanda Provato, Vice President, Marketing and Category. "That's why we're celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday with a new beautifully designed cup that reflects Second Cup communities and a recrafted customer favourite, the Maple Latte, made with real maple syrup from Quebec."

The new ReCrafted Maple lineup includes:

Maple Latte: ReCrafted and better than ever combining the goodness of maple with Second Cup's signature Espresso Forte and velvety micro foam, topped with whipped cream and pure maple syrup drizzle
Maple Frappe: Inspired by Maple Syrup Snow Candy, the Maple Frappe blends creamy and sweet maple notes with a fresh shot of Espresso Forte
Shot of Real Maple Syrup: Add a shot of authentic Canadiana to any Frappe or Brewed Coffee
The Canada 150 cup and ReCrafted Maple lineup are available for a limited time in all Second Cup cafés beginning March 7, 2017.

Public Health Notice - Ongoing outbreak of norovirus and gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw and undercooked oysters from British Columbia

  This notice has been updated to include information about the ongoing risk of illness and to reflect an additional 22 cases that have been reported in the outbreak. There are now 289 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses under investigation.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate norovirus and gastrointestinal illnesses in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario linked to raw and undercooked oysters. The source of illness has been identified as oysters from British Columbia but the cause of the contamination has not been identified. The outbreak is ongoing with illnesses linked to raw and undercooked oysters continuing to be reported, indicating contaminated oysters remain on the market (including restaurants, seafood markets and grocery stores). There continues to be a risk of norovirus infection and gastrointestinal illness associated with the consumption of these oysters.

Although not all cases of illness have been tested, testing of several cases has confirmed the presence of norovirus infection. It is suspected that norovirus illness, caused by consumption of contaminated oysters, is the cause of illness in the untested cases. The outbreak investigation is ongoing and Canadians will be updated when new information is available.

The risk to Canadians is low. Illnesses can be avoided if oysters are cooked to an internal temperature of 90° Celsius/194° Fahrenheit for a minimum of 90 seconds, and proper hand washing and food safety practices are followed.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis in people, an illness that usually includes diarrhea and/or vomiting. Noroviruses are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. They are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Some foods can be contaminated at their source. For example, shellfish like oysters may be contaminated by sewage in water before they are harvested.

Investigation Summary

As of March 6, a total of 289 clinical cases of gastrointestinal illness linked to oysters have been reported in three provinces: British Columbia (201), Alberta (40), and Ontario (48). No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between December 2016 and February 2017. All individuals who became ill reported having eaten oysters.

The investigation into the cause(s) of the contamination is ongoing and complex. Four shellfish farms where oysters are harvested in British Columbia have been closed for harvest at this time. Investigation into other harvest areas that have been linked to illnesses is ongoing, as gastrointestinal illness linked to consumption of oysters continues to occur. Further information about shellfish farm closures is available through the web links at the end of this notice.

Who is most at risk?

Acute gastrointestinal illnesses such as norovirus illness are common in North America and are very contagious, affecting all age groups. However, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, young children and the elderly are at risk for developing more serious complications, like dehydration.

What should you do to protect your health?

The outbreak is ongoing, indicating that contaminated oysters remain on the market (including restaurants and seafood markets and grocery stores). Be aware of the risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked oysters. Food contaminated with noroviruses may look, smell and taste normal. The following safe food handling practices will reduce your risk of getting sick:

Ensure oysters are fully cooked before consuming them. It is recommended to cook oysters to an internal temperature of 90° Celsius (194° Fahrenheit) for a minimum of 90 seconds. Lightly cooking oysters does not kill norovirus.
Discard any oysters that do not open when cooked.
Eat oysters right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
Always keep raw and cooked oysters separate.
Wash your hands well with soap before handling any food. Be sure to wash your hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing raw foods.
Noroviruses can be transmitted by ill individuals and are able to survive relatively high levels of chlorine and varying temperatures. Cleaning and disinfecting practices are the key to preventing further illnesses in your home.

Thoroughly clean contaminated surfaces, and disinfect using chlorine bleach, especially after an episode of illness.
After vomiting or diarrhea, immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with the virus (use hot water and soap).
If you have been diagnosed with norovirus illness or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour drinks for other people while you have symptoms, and for the first 48 hours after you recover.

People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus.

The main symptoms of norovirus illness are:

vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults)
stomach cramps
Other symptoms may include:

low-grade fever
muscle aches
fatigue (a general sense of tiredness)
Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects. As with any illness causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously. If you have severe symptoms of norovirus, consult your healthcare provider.

What the Government of Canada is doing?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is coordinating the response to this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak. CFIA also monitors for biotoxins in shellfish in harvesting areas and is responsible for registering and inspecting fish and shellfish processing plants.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for opening and closing shellfish harvest areas, and enforcing closures under the authority of the Fisheries Act and the Management of Contaminated Fishery Regulations.

Under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP), Environment and Climate Change Canada monitors pollution sources and sanitary conditions in shellfish growing waters.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.


Pizza Pizza introduces dairy-free, vegan cheese chain-wide

Pizza Pizza announces today the launch of vegan cheese, a new dairy-free menu option that allows Canada's growing vegan community to customize their pizzas with a cheese-like product that respects the vegan diet.

The innovative ingredient is produced by Violife, a company founded by food enthusiasts who believe that cheese is all about love, family and happy memories - as well as something that every person should be able to enjoy. The North American distributor of the topping is a company owned in part by NBA champion John Salley, who met Pizza Pizza's Pat Finelli last year during the NBA All Star Weekend. Supported by the Pizza Pizza team, the duo have been working on the launch ever since.

"We're on a mission to provide quality options that meet the different flavour and dietary preferences of our customers," said Pat Finelli, Chief Marketing Officer for Pizza Pizza. "The great thing about pizza is that it can be customized and made exactly how you like it. You choose the crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. This new dairy-free vegan cheese is just one more way customers can make our pizza their own."
Pizza Pizza's dairy-free vegan cheese is plant based and vegan certified. The new addition becomes Pizza Pizza's sixth cheese option, along with classic mozzarella, four cheese blend, feta, parmesan and goat cheese.

"The rich flavour and creamy texture of our vegan cheese makes it the perfect substitute for any pizza," said John Salley, the four-time NBA champion and vegan advocate. "More and more consumers are moving towards a plant-based diet and eating less meat, so I applaud Pizza Pizza for providing consumers with options that are not only healthier, but also taste great."

Pizza Pizza is among the first major chains to add vegan cheese to its menu and, in the short time that it has been available, has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the vegan community. Over its 50 years in operation, Pizza Pizza has been a leader in the quick service segment and continues to innovate and evolve offerings to meet consumer tastes, including the introduction of gluten free dough, chicken products raised without the use of antibiotics and the elimination of trans fats from its menu.

The new offering is now available at all traditional Pizza Pizza locations.

It's National Cereal Day on March 7 - What Does Your Cereal Say About You?

 Are you a Lovey-Dovey Life Lover? Or maybe a Nutty Know-It-All? How about a Dynamic Daredevil? With over 90 per cent of households purchasing cereal every yeari, Kellogg Canada is serving up some delicious insights from the first-ever #NationalCerealDay survey of more than 1,500 Canadians to celebrate the occasion.ii


The Lovey-Dovey Life Lover
Love to top your cereal with fresh berries? 90 per cent of Canadians perceive you as passionate or romantic. Prefer to swap out regular milk for chocolate milk? You may also be seen as happy and friendly.

The Content Conformist
While only eight per cent of Canadians perceive someone who eats cereal with milk and fresh fruit as daring, the good news is (bowl half full!) 72 per cent see you as happy or outgoing.

The Hot-Headed Hot Shot
Do you start your day by adding a dash of cinnamon or spice to your cereal? Uh-oh, more than four out of five Canadians say you are bossy, contradictory and go against the grain.

The Dynamic Daredevil
Wish you were quirky or daring? Well, if you dress up your cereal with coconut shavings or cacao nibs and pair it with a milk alternative, 63 per cent of Canadians say you are just that!

The Nutty Know-It-All
Top your cereal with nuts and nothing else? Survey says…you may be nutty! In fact, 33 per cent of Canadians perceive you as bossy, while 25 per cent of Canadians think of you as quirky.

In addition to the top five cereal personalities, Canadians surveyed also linked specific cereal toppings and bases, such as milk, milk alternatives and yoghurt, to particular personality characteristics.

90 per cent of Canadians perceive those who combine different cereals in a single bowl as being free-spirited risk takers

Eat every last flake or grain of cereal in the bowl? Four out of five respondents agree that you live life to the fullest.

Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians view those who swap Greek yogurt for milk in their bowl as intelligent.

"At Kellogg, we love cereal — it's in our DNA. And, we know Canadians love it just as much as we do," says Lores Tomé, Director, Communications & Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Canada. "It seemed only fitting that we raise a bowl and spoon to celebrate National Cereal Day in a fun and uniquely-Kellogg way."

So, what does your cereal say about you? Do you fit one of these personality profiles? Or do you combine different ingredients and flavours to make it your own? This March 7th, download the National Cereal Day infographic here and proudly declare what your cereal says about you in social media using the hashtag #NationalCerealDay.

Coming back stronger: Tim Hortons launches darker, richer Dark Roast

Today, Tim Hortons announced the introduction of a darker, richer Dark Roast coffee, now available in Restaurants across Canada, inspired by Guest feedback. Launched in 2014, Dark Roast was the first introduction of a new blend to Tim Hortons in over 50 years.

"Our Dark Roast has come back stronger, and we encourage our Guests to come and taste the difference for themselves," said Sami Siddiqui, President Tim Hortons Canada. "We are confident that current Dark Roast drinkers and new guests alike will enjoy our darker, richer roast."

The Dark Roast blend features premium 100 per cent Arabica beans, sourced from world renowned coffee regions.

"This darker blend features subtle hints of cocoa and earthy tones," said Kevin West, Head of Coffee Operations for Tim Hortons, "The beans are roasted longer to deliver a darker, richer taste with a delightfully smooth finish."

Darker & Richer: Because of you
Guests spoke and Tim Hortons listened, so it's natural that Canadians across the country will play an important role in the launch. Throughout the campaign, Tims will feature real feedback from Guests and invite them back to give the Dark Roast a try. Tim Hortons will feature select tweets in its TV commercial that will be updated throughout the campaign. For a limited time, select tweets also have the chance to appear in a #TimsDark digital billboard advertisement at Yonge and Dundas Square, in Toronto, Ontario.

Guests can share their feedback on social media, and for the chance to be featured in the TV campaign, by using hashtag #TimsDark via the following channels: Twitter (@TimHortons), Facebook (facebook.com/TimHortons) and Instagram (@TimHortons)

For more information on the richer, darker Dark Roast, please visit: www.TimsDark.com


Independent Labs Discredit Canadian Story on Subway® Chicken

Two independent laboratories testing Subway® chicken have found that alleged test results broadcast on Feb. 24 by the Canadian television show, Marketplace, were false and misleading.

Test results from laboratories in Canada and the U.S. clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of CBC Marketplace.

Subway representatives immediately contacted the program and the lab that conducted the tests to inquire about the methodology and the testing process. The program and the lab declined to engage with Subway except to share the results. In response, Subway sent samples of the Canadian products that Marketplace claimed contained 50 per cent soy protein to Maxxam Analytics in Canada and Elisa Technologies, Inc in Florida.

The results from both labs found soy protein below 10 ppm, or less than 1 per cent, in all tested samples. These findings are consistent with the low levels of soy protein that we add with the spices and marinade to help keep the products moist and flavourful.

"The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers. The safety, quality and integrity of our food is the foundation of our business. That's why we took extra caution to test and retest the chicken. Our customers can have confidence in our food. The allegation that our chicken is only 50 per cent chicken is 100 per cent wrong," said Subway President and CEO Suzanne Greco.

Dave Theno, Subway's Chief of Food Safety & Quality, said, "Our chicken is 100 per cent white meat with seasonings, marinated, cooked and delivered to our restaurants. The chicken has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Through years of testing, we've never seen results like the program claimed."

Subway has shared the results of the independent tests with Marketplace and the lab that conducted the flawed test. The company is demanding a retraction and apology.

For more information visit: http://www.subway.com/en-ca/menunutrition/nutrition/realchicken 

Laker Beer Heats It Up with Free McCain Marche Snacks

 Brick Brewing Co. Limited, Ontario's largest Canadian-owned brewery, announced today that for a limited time, inside specially marked 24 pack bottle packs of Laker Light, is a coupon for a free McCain Marché product.

"Since we committed to the everyday low price of $30.95 on Laker Light 24 bottle packs, the response from beer drinkers across Ontario has been tremendous," said Sean Dennis Director of Marketing. "But even at that great price we're always looking for ways to jam as much value in a box of beer as we can and help people stretch a buck."

"We are happy to be partnering with another great Canadian owned and operated company," said Chris Lamb, Director of Marketing for McCain Foods Canada. "These McCain Marché Pizza Pockets, Harvest Pockets and Protein Pop'ables, are the perfect snack after a long workday. Warm, delicious and ready in under 2 minutes. What's not to like?" added Lamb.
Specially marked 24-bottle packs of Laker Light with a coupon for one FREE McCain Marché product will be available at The Beer Store staring March 6th and only available while quantities last.

Increased competition and weaker consumer spending take a bite out of Canadian food service industry in 2017

An increasingly competitive landscape and weakening consumer spending will limit revenue growth to 3.9 per cent for Canadian restaurants this year, according to The Conference Board of Canada's latest Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada's Food Services Industry. That would be the industry's weakest performance since 2011.

"As restaurants vie for Canadians' food dollars, they will not only be competing against each other for market share, but with grocery stores as well. Dining at home is becoming relatively attractive compared with eating out, given slower growth in income and the fact that prices at restaurants have steadily risen despite a drop in grocery prices over the last year," said Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Economic Trends, The Conference Board of Canada. "Increased competition in the industry, may drive the less-profitable independent restaurants out of business as they struggle to compete with chains on food prices and keeping up with food trends."


The number of restaurants in Canada has grown at a rate of 1.8 per cent since 2011, well above the 1.1 per cent growth in total population.
Pre-tax profits in the food services industry are forecast to reach $1.6 billion in 2017.
Canada's food manufacturing industry is forecast to grow 2.4 per cent in 2017.
Pre-tax profits in the food manufacturing industry are forecast to climb to $4.2 billion this year.
With consumer spending set to moderate due to weak income growth, expansion in restaurant traffic could slow, intensifying the fight for market share. The number of restaurants in Canada has grown at a rate of 1.8 per cent per year since 2011, well above the 1.1 per cent growth in total population. Meanwhile, steady price growth at restaurants and declining prices at grocery stores are expected to play a role in more consumers opting to dine at home. While restaurant prices grew by 2.3 per cent in December 2016, grocery prices contracted by 2.8 per cent.

One bright spot for the industry is strong growth in breakfast traffic, which rose by 6.3 per cent in 2016 and now accounts for just under one in five restaurant visits. While it has historically been seen as a low-margin, low-revenue market, some fast food restaurants are capitalizing on rising demand for fast and portable breakfast options by introducing "all-day breakfast".

Tourism activity in 2017, including food services, should benefit from Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation and Montreal's 375th anniversary of its founding. However, over the longer term, the Canadian dollar is projected to gradually strengthen, reducing one of the key factors that has made Canada an attractive destination for international visitors over the last two years. Consequently, growth in spending from international and domestic customers is expected to slow.

Although weakening margins continue to take a bite out of profits, the financial picture of the food services industry will remain stable through 2017. Cost growth will be held in check by weaker food prices and while sales growth will slow, it will remain positive. All in all, pre-tax profits in the food services industry are forecast to reach $1.6 billion in 2017.

Canada's food manufacturing industry remains a strong performer in the manufacturing sector and can expect solid sales growth of 4.1 per cent in 2017, according to the Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada's Food Manufacturing Industry.

Canadian food manufacturers will continue to benefit from a strong export outlook largely driven by improving U.S. demand. However, amid growing uncertainty regarding the future of Canada's trade relationship with its largest trading partner, free trade agreements, such as The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), will continue to pave the way for Canadian food exporters to explore new market opportunities and diversify their customer base. CETA will see the elimination of tariffs on most processed foods providing Canadian food manufacturers preferential access to the EU marketplace and a competitive advantage over producers from countries without similar agreements in place.

Weak agriculture commodity prices limited cost increases in 2016 and allowed profit margins to improve. As well, some manufacturers, particularly those that rely on imported inputs, will benefit from a decision by the Canadian government to repeal or amend roughly 200 different tariffs on imported food ingredients to support the competitiveness of Canada's food manufacturers. However, rising competition among food retailers is limiting the industry's ability to raise prices for grocers.

Industry margins are expected to soften modestly to 4.0 per cent in 2017, but revenue growth will be sufficiently strong to allow pre-tax industry profits to climb to $4.2 billion.

Canada reaches new milestones in domestic organic production

Total organic agricultural land is increasing in Canada. The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA)'s latest research has revealed 5,053 certified organic operations in Canada, accounting for 2.43 million acres of land.

"Canada's organic sector continues to rely on the voluntary disclosure of data by certifiers and provincial organizations. In 2016 we finally have universal participation, resulting in the most rigorous production data yet," said Tia Loftsgard COTA's Executive Director. "However year-over-year change and inconsistencies remain a risk until a national mandatory data system has been implemented."

Key findings:

Organic acreage in Canada increased by over 70,000 acres to 2.43 million acres, or 1.5%, between 2014 and 2015.

Organic areas now account for approximately 1.5% of total agricultural land in Canada.

While pasture still occupies the largest share of all organic acreage, its proportion has decreased from 65% to 63.8% primarily due to significant increases in vegetable & root crop acreage, as well fruit & nut acreage.

In 2015, Canada imported at least CAD$652 million worth of organic products, representing a 37% increase from 2012.

There are 5,053 certified organic operations in Canada, over half of which are in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Of the certified operations, there are 4,045 primary producers, 618 livestock operations and 1,542 processors, manufacturers and retailers in Canada.

Despite the growth of Canadian organic acreage in recent years, demand for organic is significantly outpacing supply. Organic retail sales in Canada are now worth CAD$4.7 billion annually, a 13.6% growth per year since 2007, while organic production is experiencing much slower growth.

"Our organic agricultural production in Canada cannot keep up with the exponential growth of the demand, this is resulting in an increased reliance on import organics," said Loftsgard. "Our government must introduce incentives to encourage farm operators to transition to certified organic agriculture."

During the three-year transition period to organic, farmers often experience temporary decrease of yield without benefiting from the organic premiums. Programs to support organic transition and its associated financial risk needs to be put in place. Our largest trading partners, the EU and USA, have organic environmental programs and policies that incentivize farmers to transition to organic. Those programs fit into the WTO Green Box criteria and thus, are agricultural subsidies that are permitted under the WTO's Agriculture Agreement.


The Big Feastival is coming to Canada!

 IMG Canada Ltd. is thrilled to announce The Big Feastival, the United Kingdom's favourite food, music and family-fun festival, as it launches in Canada for the first time this August 18-20, 2017 at Burl's Creek, Oro-Medonte. The Big Feastival will showcase award-winning music on one stage, the country's best chefs cooking live on another and family entertainment throughout.

With more than 20,000 expected festival attendees, this weekend getaway for families and friends will host all-star experiences from the food, music and children's entertainment worlds. Jam out and dance the night away at the Main Stage and Band Stand, discover rides and games for all ages at The Village Green, visit The Big Feastival's signature Vintage Funfair, while enjoying camping and 'glamping' facilities for festival-goers wanting to chill out and get back to nature with a night under the stars.

A weekend destination unlike any other, headlining the inaugural Canadian event will be world-renowned rock heroes Weezer and Grammy-award winning and multi-instrumentalist superstar Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. In addition to these award-winning dynamos, the festival will feature celebrated musical acts The Strumbellas, Basia Bulat, Choir!Choir!Choir!, De La Soul, Dwayne Gretzky, Magic!, Tom Chaplin (the voice of Keane), and Wintersleep.

Known for its focus on gourmet street food, this is the ultimate foodie experience with the country's top culinary talent, including Canadian celebrity chef, television personality, and restaurateur Chuck Hughes. Take part in culinary workshops and informative talks at the Table Sessions, enjoy live cooking demonstrations in the Big Kitchen, and indulge in a wide variety of artisanal products at the Producer's Market. Joined by other notable Canadian chefs including Rob Gentile of Buca and King Street Food Company, Vancouver restauranteur Vikram Vij, Prince Edward County's Matt Demille, Derek Dammann of Montreal's Maison Publique, Michael Hunter of Antler Kitchen Bar, Le Bremner's Danny Smiles, and Piano Piano's Victor Barry, The Big Feastival will offer a selection of food experiences from pop-up restaurants to cook-offs as families and friends enjoy all types of cuisine from Queen Margherita's wood burning pizza to fish tacos at Buster Sea Cove (to name a few).

The little ones of the family will always be catered for at The Big Feastival. With a multitude of children's entertainment from dynamic performances such as PAW Patrol, Splash'N Boots and Fred Penner to family-focused fun areas including the Little Dude's Den, Little Kitchen and The Farm to Fork garden that will teach kids about growing-your-own and healthy eating, The Big Feastival is designed to provide both entertainment and education for kids of all ages.

The Big Feastival was conceived by world-renowned chef and restaurateur, Jamie Oliver. Hosted by Blur bassist and award-winning artisan cheesemaker Alex James, The Big Feastival is a celebration of fabulous food, magnificent music and family activities for all ages, held annually on James' family farm in the Cotswolds.

"The Big Feastival is a very special event that engages music and food lovers of all ages", says Alex James. "As a cheesemaker, musician and family man, I love being part of a festival that engages the local community through food and music, two of my favourite things."

Tickets for The Big Feastival Canada will be available beginning March 1, 2017, with general admission weekend pricing ranging from $85.00 (teen, 13-17 years) to $155.00 (Adult, 18+ years) plus HST and service charges. Weekend entry is FREE for children 12 and under. Additional packages include camping and glamping. Single-day tickets will be available for sale at a later date.

VIP Tickets are also available and include access to an exclusive VIP Lounge in the main arena complete with a private bar, a complimentary drink, premium toilet facilities, covered seating and views of the main music stage from the dedicated garden area. All members of your party must have a VIP ticket including children and teens. For more on pricing including camping, glamping, RV availability and parking, please visit Thebigfeastival.ca.

For more information visit:
Facebook: @bigfeastivalCA
Instagram: @bigfeastivalCA
Twitter: @bigfeastivalCA
Website: TheBigFeastival.ca


Where's the bear? Polar Ice Vodka releases limited edition bottles in support of Polar Bears International

Polar Ice® Vodka has launched limited edition bottles across Canada this month with one big change – the iconic polar bear is missing from the label. As we count down to International Polar Bear Day on February 27th, this special bottle asks the question "Where's the Bear?", and aims to increase awareness about declining polar bear populations in arctic Canada. Polar Ice® has partnered with Polar Bears International on this initiative, an organization focused on the conservation of polar bears and the sea ice they depend on.
"As a truly Canadian brand whose hero is the polar bear, it felt natural for us to partner with Polar Bears International and raise awareness about the dangers affecting the habitats of these majestic animals," says Kim Creighton, Brand Manager of White Spirits. "Our goal is to encourage consumers to learn more about the pressing threats of climate change, and join us in getting involved – ensuring the species will be around for generations to come."
The Limited Edition "Bearless" Bottles for Polar Ice® Vodka and Polar Ice® 90° North™ Vodka are currently available across Canada, excluding Quebec and Saskatchewan. Consumers will find informational neck-tags on the bottles about the cause, and a variety of ways they can take action to help.
"We're grateful to Polar Ice for joining us in raising awareness about the threats polar bears face," says Krista Wright, Executive Director of Polar Bears International. "The 'Bearless Bottle' is a fun, memorable campaign that asks: Can you imagine a world without polar bears? Will you do what you can to help? These questions are especially meaningful in Canada, which is home to about two-thirds of the world's polar bears."

Millennials' Willingness to Pay for Premium Ingredients is Helping to Redefine the Food Industry

Sustainability and local sourcing have traditionally been features that marked 'premium' products in the food industry. However, in recent years millennials have emerged as the primary driver in taking these products mainstream. For them, premium is the new normal, according to a report released today by Maru/Matchbox, a market insights firm.

In the just published The Future of Food: Are You Ready for the Millennials?, Maru/Matchbox finds that from brand biases to purchasing channels, millennials display unique and identifiable behavior in their interactions with food that challenge how the food industry should market and sell their products. The report presents a number of significant trends driven by millennials that are shaping the future of food, including:

Millennials have a passion for premium. As noted, millennials differ from other generations in that they are more likely to expect features traditionally seen as premium. Some of these preferences are obvious, such as 61% of millennials expect foods to be GMO-free, compared to 46% of those aged 50+. Others are more surprising, such as 54% of millennials also expect ancient grain to be included in their foods, compared to 29% aged 50+.

Millennials put their money where their mouth is. Not only do they expect premium products, they are willing to pay for them, too. This is because 'organic' and 'natural' products make millennials feel more responsible and health conscious, and therefore deserving of a higher price. 68% of millennials are willing to pay more for organic foods, and 66% are willing to pay more for sustainable foods 3/4 that's around 30% more than those aged 55+.

Millennials trust small and local. Smaller brands have been gobbling up half the growth in premium sales (larger manufacturers have settled for a 3% share to date) because millennials associate them more with premium product features and ingredients. 35% of millennials indicate their trust in smaller brands has grown while only 18% of those aged 55+ said the same.

Millennials prize choice & convenience.

Millennials are the first native-to-the-Internet generation, so no wonder 43% say they would buy all of their food online if they could, compared to only 14% aged 50+. And it fits into the rest of the puzzle 3/4 e-commerce opens the door to more choice, smaller brands and manufacturers, and more local suppliers.

Millennials actively share their food interests on social media. Preferences and expectations are one thing, but millennials are also great evangelists for the things they love on social media, and their sharing augments the influence of the trends they drive. For example, 69% of millennials take a photo or video of their meal before eating, essentially creating a free spotlight on the brands or restaurants they choose to feature.

"Millennials are discerning consumers, and they are increasingly willing to pay a premium for brands and products that embody their preferences for authenticity, transparency and responsible ingredient sourcing," said Matt Kleinschmit, managing director, consumer & shopper insights at Maru/Matchbox. "The impact of this emergent generation continues to grow as they advance in their careers and become more established, and their habits are dramatically reshaping the food industry. This report employed leading edge, community-based research methods to distill the major trends and offers strategies for companies seeking to profit from this new reality."

Maru/Matchbox works with brands to improve their innovation process through the use of Experiential Learning Platforms. These are scalable research communities that delve deep into the influences of millennials on the food industry, offering data, insights, case studies and solutions with which to create and refine new products and further enhance a brand's relationship with this important demographic.

Ben & Jerry’s® Unveils Three New Products with Everything…but the Cow!

Attention, frozen dessert fans unable – or choosing not to - consume dairy; your long wait is over! Now is the time to raise spoons in celebration of an all-new, Non-Dairy line up from Ben & Jerry’s. At last fans can dive deep into a decadent pint and experience all the chunks and swirls Ben & Jerry’s is known for, but this time in a Certified Vegan, almond base indulgence. The new lineup includes three flavours ready for spooning, including:

Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate with Fudge Brownies from Greyston Bakery
P.B. Cookies, Vanilla with Chocolate Sandwich Cookies & Crunchy Peanut Butter Swirls
Coffee Caramel Fudge, Coffee with Fudge Chunks & Caramel Swirls

For years, Non-Dairy fans have been forced to watch ice cream consumers with envy and were unable to participate in a truly indulgent frozen dessert experience. Now the tables have turned. Non-Dairy and vegan consumers can enjoy a classic Ben & Jerry’s flavour as well as a two Non-Dairy exclusive flavours all to satisfy their indulgence cravings.

“I worked for almost two years as the developer of this Non-Dairy line. There was lots of trial and error, but I think fans across Canada are going to be absolutely blown away with the final result,” said Kirsten Schimoler, B&J’s Non-Dairy Queen of R&D. “The combination of our classic chunks, swirls, and fun flavours, creates a Ben & Jerry’s quality experience from the first creamy spoonful, sure to please our vegan and non-dairy fans.”

The Non-Dairy flavour lineup is available in pints (MSRP: $7.99 CAD), and will start rolling onto Canadian shelves on February 27th, 2017. To learn more about Ben & Jerry’s new flavours or to find a store near you, visit www.benandjerrys.ca.


The Tim Horton Children's Foundation and the Dairy Farmers of Canada Climb to New Heights to Help Youth Thrive

Beginning on February 16th, 26 climbers, representing 5 provinces across Canada, including Tim Hortons restaurant owners and Canadian dairy farmer Pierre Lampron will embark upon the Tim Horton Children's Foundation Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit Climb, presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, in support of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation. Raising close to $600,000, the Tim Horton Children's Foundation Kilimanjaro Summit Climb has become the largest Canadian fundraiser hosted by Charity Challenge to date. Funds raised will help support more than 20,000 youth from low-income families across North America, by providing them with an opportunity to attend a Tim Horton Children's Foundation camp, and build life skills that will allow them to thrive at school, show resiliency in the face of challenges, succeed in their future workplaces, and become positive, contributing members of their communities.

At 19,341 ft., Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the largest volcanoes to ever break through the Earth's crust, and is the tallest mountain on the African continent. Climbers will begin their journey in the rainforests of Lemosho Glades, and trek through five different eco systems on their way to the summit, planning to reach their destination by Friday, February 24th. Pierre Lampron, Quebec Dairy Farmer, and member of the Dairy Farmers of Canada Board of Directors, will be climbing on behalf of 12,000 dairy farmers from coast to coast, and their commitment to the wellbeing of youth in our communities.

''I am honoured to represent Canadian dairy farmers at the Kilimanjaro Summit Climb with the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, '' said Pierre Lampron. ''As a dairy farmer, tackling new challenges is something that goes with the job, and I am very pleased to take this on to help underprivileged Canadian youth. Dairy farmers are always looking for ways to help improve the quality of life for Canadians, and the work done by THCF gives Canada's children and youth something vitally important-the opportunity to develop life skills so they can grow into accomplished adults.''

For more information or to make a donation in support of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Climb please visit www.thcfkiliclimb.com or contact Erica Hamilton, Manager, Communications at 226-217-0374 or [email protected]

The Tim Horton Children's Foundation (THCF) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1974 that builds valuable life skills for youth from low-income families through intentional camp experiences, at no cost to them, or their families. The Foundation's funding comes from Tim Hortons Camp Day, corporate partners, fundraising activities, special events, and year-round public donations collected through counter and drive-thru coin boxes, as well as other donations. In 2017, more than 20,000 youth from Tim Hortons communities will attend a Foundation camp at no cost to them or their families. For more information about the Tim Horton Children's Foundation and to donate, please visit www.thcf.com


Global supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio X CÎROC get ready to share a year of dazzlingly hot 'Arrival' celebrations

As one of the world's most in-demand talents, Brazilian style icon, model, fashion designer and actress Alessandra Ambrosio is the embodiment of 'living your dream' and 'having arrived'.

As the luxury vodka at the heart of the globe's hottest celebrations and events, CÎROC has partnered with Alessandra for its # ONARRIVAL campaign, to follow her year of exciting 'arrivals' at the biggest fashion events and on-trend party destinations.

From walking the world famous Victoria's Secret runway to collaborating with luxury brands including Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Rolex and Calvin Klein, Alessandra's fast-paced career and glamourous lifestyle is truly a celebration of what's hot. Her elegance and lively character has made her one of the hottest models of the fashion industry, and the perfect embodiment of CÎROC's playful luxe attitude.

Partying with the fashion elite to the high energy CÎROC beat, exclusive moments with Alessandra will be shared across CÎROC social media platforms throughout the year, giving fans access to the 'must see' and 'must be seen at' party destinations and iconic cultural events - from summer hotspots to New Year celebrations.

To celebrate the CÎROC #ONARRIVAL collaboration, Alessandra will also star in the brand's latest photography campaign, shot by the undisputable king of fashion photography and CÎROC global creative partner Mario Testino. A series of three, iconic never-seen-before images will be released across the year, immersing fans in Alessandra's A-list lifestyle. The images will be supported with exclusive behind-the-scenes content, giving a rare glimpse into what happens behind fashion's most famous lens. The first image, released today, reveals Alessandra's glamourous backstage preparations in 'Hair and Make-up' as she prepares to celebrate at one of the hottest parties in the world.

Alessandra Ambrosio said, "I'm so happy to partner with CÎROC for their 'On Arrival' campaign. It's amazing to be part of something that raises a glass to success and is at the heart of the biggest celebration moments around the world - I'm so lucky to be at lots of them! I really do believe in celebrating life at every moment, and I'm really looking forward to bringing CÎROC and my fans along on my journey and giving them behind-the-scenes access to the biggest moments of my year."

Mario Testino said, "The 'On Arrival' campaign is about celebrating the greatest moments of your life, and shooting this campaign with Alessandra has been amazing. She has this quality that captivates everyone when she walks into a room. Alessandra is that person who captures the style and sparkle that CÎROC represents."

Samantha Reader, Global Marketing Director for Diageo Reserve added, "CÎROC 'On Arrival' is all about celebrating moments of success and being at the forefront of what's hot, so we're really excited to be working with Alessandra as one of the biggest talents of today and once again collaborating with Mario Testino to capture the vibrancy of the partnership. CÎROC is for those who dream big, aspire to greatness and recognise the importance of celebrating success when it arrives. Alessandra embodies this in everything she does, and we're looking forward to celebrating with her this year."

Follow the celebrations at:


Instagram: cirocvodka
Twitter: @CirocVodka
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CirocVodkaOfficial


"Molson American" has no place in Canada, union leader says

Striking workers at the Molson Coors plant in Etobicoke are not just fighting a stingy employer, they're resisting Americanization and globalization, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

"These big American bosses, they're driven by corporate greed, that's all. They want workers to do more with less. But that's not how we do it here in Canada," Thomas said Thursday. "Molson is just one more example of a Canadian company snatched up by foreign interests. Before the American bosses got here, brewery jobs were decent, middle-class jobs. Under American ownership, these jobs are getting worse and worse."

Thomas made the comments at a "Solidarity Barbecue" for 320 members of the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers Local 325. The workers went on strike January 12 in a bid to fend off Molson Coors' demands for deep cuts to wages, pensions, and benefits for all workers.

"It's a clear attack on the middle class," said Thomas, who has already called on OPSEU members to boycott Molson Coors products. "We will not stand for it. I support the striking Molson Coors workers 100 per cent, and I know OPSEU members do, too.

"'Molson American' has no place in Canada," Thomas said after the rally. "Molson Coors needs to know they're messing with the wrong people. You can't bully Canadian workers and get away with it."

Valentine's Day advice about love and chocolate
 A dozen roses. A box of chocolates. A Star Wars T-shirt. There are a variety of ways to show love says Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest women-led life insurers in the U.S. However, a truly unique gift that thoughtful spouses and parents might consider during Valentine's month is the gift of life insurance. While unconventional, it can have incredible value -- especially for those who have others who rely on them financially.

When it comes to taking care of dependents, children often come to mind. One of the first concerns of parents is protecting their little ones -- physically and financially. Babies don't come with a price tag. If they did new parents might have sticker shock to learn that the average cost to raise a child from birth to age 18 is $233,610 according to recent figures released by the Department of Agriculture.1 This amount does not include the cost of college.

While the amount may seem shocking, the cost is spread out over the first 18 years of a child's life. But what happens if one or both of the child's parents dies before the child reaches maturity? Who will cover this cost? Amie Mendoza, a family lawyer in Tempe, AZ, who lectures on legal guardian issues, suggests each parent should carry an appropriate amount of life insurance to help cover the cost of raising a child if one or both parents dies before the child reaches maturity. In the event that both parents die, the money can be used by the child's guardian to help pay for the expenses of raising the child to age 18.

However, the cost of parenting doesn't end when a child becomes an adult. A college education is more important than ever. High school graduates typically earn only 62 percent of their college-educated peers.2 Over a lifetime that wage gap adds up. While a college education is valuable, it isn't cheap. The price tag for attending four years at a public college is over $28,000 and a private college is more than $59,000 and rising.3 Parents who want to help their children pay for this expense have a variety of options through savings and investments. An additional choice is to carry life insurance so that their beneficiaries can use some of the money to help pay for tuition or other college-related costs.

Higher education needs are not the only consideration in a long-term financial plan. It is generally recommended that anyone who contributes to the family's well-being should be insured. For example, if a non-wage-earning spouse dies, the cost to replace the vital functions she/he provides for the family, such as money manager, cook, chauffeur, and psychologist, have been estimated to be valued at $113,586 a year.4 Not only that, childcare costs have skyrocketed in recent years. According an article in Fortune Magazine the cost of infant care is $9,589 a year.5

Moms who can earn enough to offset the cost of childcare face another financial disadvantage -- unequal pay. Women still earn less than men -- an average of $10,291 less per year according to Expert Market.6 The figures are even worse according to the study, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. The study cites women are paid 78 percent of what men are paid.7 This puts women in a particularly vulnerable position as this pay gap adds up even more over a lifetime.

Dawn Boyd from Grand Forks, ND, has been an advocate for life insurance for decades based on an incident she experienced as a young teenager.

"My mother was a recorderi for the life insurer Royal Neighbors and she was concerned about a woman in the community," said Boyd.

"The woman had two daughters and was pregnant with another baby. Her husband was still young and healthy and she did not work outside the home. Although she couldn't explain it, my mother felt compelled to talk to this woman. She met with her and convinced her to talk to her husband about getting life insurance, which he did. A month later the woman's husband was killed in an accident when the ditch he was digging caved in. The woman's baby boy was born the day after the funeral. I'll never forget that. That was a lot for that young woman to face, but I know my mother was relieved to know that through her encouragement that young woman's life insurance provided enough income for the family to get by in a very difficult time."

It has been more than 50 years since the incident took place, but it made Boyd a firm believer in life insurance. Both she and her husband took out policies at their work as well as individual policies. They also purchased youth insurance for their children. When the children reached maturity they converted their youth policies into adult coverage.

Valentine's Day means many things to different couples. A candlelit dinner, a night of dancing, or even a picnic in the park can be a romantic delight. But for those who want to take a long-range view of love by financially providing for those they care about, life insurance is a gift that goes beyond a lifetime.

1 CNN Money, It costs $233,610 to raise a child, Kathryn Vasel, Jan. 9, 2017, online article, http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/pf/cost-of-raising-a-child-2015/ pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
2 Boston Globe, New study shows the value of a college education, Hope Yen, Feb. 11, 2014, online article, https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/02/11/new-study-shows-value-college-education/3IWWEOXwQEAcMFSy09msOK/story.html pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
3 Forbes, College costs could total as much as $334,000 in four years, Troy Onink, Jan. 31, 2015, online article, http://www.forbes.com/sites/troyonink/2015/01/31/college-could-cost-as-much-as-334000-total-in-four-years/#3f45ea57679f pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
4 Business Insider, Here's how much it would cost to replace your mom, Mandi Woodruff, May 8, 2013, online article, http://www.businessinsider.com/value-of-stay-at-home-moms-2013-5 pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
5 Fortune Magazine, Think college is expensive? In most states, child care cost even more, Sept. 28, 2016, Valentina Zarya, http://fortune.com/2016/09/28/child-care-costs/, online article, pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
6 The Huffington Post, Here's how much less women make in each state, Jan. 27, 2015, Harry Bradford http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/27/gender-pay-gap_n_6556402.html online article, pdf on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
7 The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, Linda D. Hallman, 2014, p.3, http://www.aauw.org/files/2015/02/The-Simple-Truth_Spring-2015.pdf PDF on file. If you cannot access this article on-line, you may call (309) 732-8260 to request a copy.
i The recorder position in Royal Neighbors is now referred to as secretary/treasurer.


Expanded recall of all PC® Organics™ Strained Baby Food Pouches

The World Raises a Glass of its Favourite Whisky to International Scotch Day
In honour of Scotland's gift to the world, to the spirit that has long drawn people in through its status and style, this Friday February 10th 2017 the inaugural International Scotch Day will be celebrated worldwide. The day invites people everywhere to raise a glass of Scotch to celebrate a drink that's made to be enjoyed with good company, wherever and whenever.

Ronan Beirne, Global Marketing Director from Diageo commented, "Scotch is the world's favourite whisky. No other spirit can offer the same range of tastes, textures and flavours; made the same way for over five hundred years in distilleries small and large, the length and breadth of Scotland. The introduction of International Scotch Day shows our confidence in the vibrancy of Scotch. We are proud of the heritage, authenticity and quality of the category but we are also continuing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship by adding a new cultural moment and occasion to the calendar to continue to drive and evolve the future of Scotch whisky."

Official International Scotch Day celebrations are taking place all over the world, and fronting the proceedings is world renowned supermodel Coco Rocha and actress Freida Pinto.

To mark the launch Coco Rocha pulled her famous poses against a backdrop of casks in Scotland to capture a series of stunning photographs. "I loved this photo shoot as it playfully partners the swagger and style of Scotch with the craft and artisanship behind the whisky," reflected Coco Rocha.

On International Scotch Day Coco Rocha will be enjoying a Scotch cocktail in some of Mexico City's most vibrant bars and clubs. Across the globe Freida Pinto has already kicked off celebrations in the heart of Manila, having played host to a glamorous event alongside other notable names and faces, and on the day itself she will front celebrations in Mumbai.

Scotch is the very pinnacle of cool - loved in every corner of the globe. It's made to be enjoyed any way you like it. In China, Scotch is often mixed with iced green tea; in the Caribbean it's served with coconut water; and in India they like it straight.

"Personally, my favourite way to drink Scotch is a Johnnie Walker with ginger ale," said Coco Rocha, "but I'll mix it up depending on my mood or what I am doing. If I'm going to drink, I like a nicely made quality drink, versus drinking too many."

People can join the movement and get involved by using #LoveScotch and #InternationalScotchDay. For more information visit facebook.com/LoveofScotch

Please drink responsibly.
 Loblaw Companies Limited is recalling all PC® Organics™ strained baby food pouches, sold in stores before February 9, 2017. A manufacturing error resulted in excess water in the product, which under certain circumstances could support the growth of C. Botulinum and pose a health risk to consumers.

While the issue relates to a very small subset of products no longer available for sale, in the interest of customer trust, President's Choice® welcomes anyone with uncertainty about this product to return it for a full refund.

The products were sold at the following locations before February 9, 2017.

Fortinos®, Loblaws®, No Frills®, Real Canadian Superstore®, Real Canadian Wholesale Club®, valu-mart®, Your Independent Grocer®, Zehrs®, Shoppers Drug Mart®, and affiliated independent stores

Atlantic Superstore®, Dominion®, Cash&Carry®, Real Canadian Wholesale Club®, Your Independent Grocer®, Shoppers Drug Mart®, and affiliated independent stores

Club entrepôt®, Maxi®, Maxi & Cie®, Presto, Provigo®, Provigo le Marché®, AXEP®, Pharmaprix®, and Intermarché®

Extra Foods®, Loblaws City Market®, No Frills®, Real Canadian Superstore®, Real Canadian Wholesale Club®, Your Independent Grocer®, Shoppers Drug Mart®, and affiliated independent stores

All potentially affected products have been removed from store shelves. Customers can return the product to any store where PC® products are sold and the customer service desk will provide a full refund, with or without a receipt.

We apologize for any concern or inconvenience this recall may have caused. The health and safety of our customers and their children is our top priority.


Government of Canada invests in program to promote healthy eating

foodora Partners with Durex to Feed Canadian Couples' Sexual Appetite this Valentine's Day
 Things are heating up: foodora​, the on-demand food delivery service, and Durex, ​the number one condom brand in the world and sexual well-being leader,​ have partnered to help Canadian couples plan the ultimate night in this Valentine's Day. On Tuesday, February 14th​, foodora customers can arouse their taste buds with new menu items available from select restaurant partners in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Each head chef worked alongside Canadian sexologist and relationship expert, Dr. Carlen Costa, to incorporate natural aphrodisiac foods into the​ir "Valentine's Day Couples Specials." Every​ Valentine's Day order will also include Durex® Sensi-Thin® condoms and Durex® Passion Cherry Play Lube (100mL) available for delivery or pick-up exclusively through the foodora website or iOS​ ​and Android ​app.
"foodora takes pride in offering customers a carefully curated selection of good eats, and we wanted to step up our game for a holiday that's heavily focused on enjoying food and drink with your significant other," said David Albert, foodora Canada's managing director. "We looked at last year's orders and saw a spike in cuisines such as sushi, pizza, and desserts. This year, our restaurant partners are taking menu items to a new level by incorporating foods that are said to put you in the mood."

An "aphrodisiac" (named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite) is a substance that is rumoured to increase libidio, or sexual desire, when consumed. According to Dr. Carlen Costa, certified sexologist, aphrodisiacs can have different physiological effects, such as reducing stress, increasing blood flow, stimulating the production of dopamine to the brain, and increasing serotonin levels.

"Whether or not people believe in the power of aphrodisiacs, the relationship between food and intimacy is real," said Dr. Carlen Costa, certified sexologist and relationship expert. "The act of sharing food is intimate on its own. Valentine's Day is about showing love for one another, and food is the perfect way for couples to set the mood."

To help excite appetites, Dr. Carlen and each restaurant partner worked together to craft carefully thought-out menu items, which include libido-enhancing ingredients such as dark chocolate, hot chilies, honey, avocado, pomegranates, and pine nuts. foodora customers can order from three select restaurant partners in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Participating restaurants and menu options in each market include:

Toronto, ON

Salad​ King ​-- 'Things are heating up' ​Spicy ​Chicken with Cashews
Chicken breast, bell pepper, carrot, onion, chili sauce, and Thai herbs topped with cashews. Use caution: already quite spicy.
Calii Love -- ​'Sexy Smoothie Bowl'
Ashwaganda, cacao nibs, cacao powder, blackberry, cashew nuts, banana and maca.
Topped with: pomegranate, blueberries, hemp seeds, blackberry and coconut flakes
Saku Sushi ​-- 'Daring Dragon'
Prawn tempura, avocado, homemade potato garnish
​For many of us, life is only getting busier. To save time, we are relying more and more on convenient processed foods. As a consequence, many kids today aren't developing the nutritional knowledge or kitchen and food preparation skills they need to maintain healthy lives.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, joined by Owen Charters, President & CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Doug Murphy, President & CEO of Corus Entertainment, announced funding for Kid Food Nation. This initiative will help kids and families develop food skills through hands-on experiences related to planning, preparing and cooking healthy meals and snacks.

Philpott said, "Teaching our children food preparation skills lays the groundwork for a healthy future. Together with our partners, we are proud to launch this exciting new initiative to inspire kids, parents and families across the country to find creative, fun ways to make healthy eating and meal preparation part of their everyday life."

The program will be delivered at Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada, and will feature an online hub where Canadians will have access to resources on healthy eating and meal preparation. A national recipe competition will also be launched later this year to encourage kids from across the country to put their food literacy skills into practice and submit original, healthy and nutritious recipes. Kid Food Nation will celebrate Canada's culinary heritage by featuring regional and Indigenous ingredients and dishes from across the country.


Olio2go.com Now Offering Sting's Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Latest Poll on Canada's Bottled Water Industry Sheds New Light on Consumer Attitudes and Misguided Government Regulations
A new poll of 1,500 people in Ontario reveals that the provincial government's public policies when it comes to the bottled water industry are significantly out of step with public opinion.

The poll, commissioned by the Canadian Bottled Water Association and carried out by Forum Research, includes findings that shed new light on Ontarians' attitudes towards the industry, their consumption habits, and their views on the government's approach to regulating the industry.

According to the province-wide poll which has a margin of error of less than 2% and was conducted between January 21st and January 24th, 79% of Ontarians purchased or consumed bottled water in the past 12 months, confirming the popularity of the product.

Nearly a third (32%) of respondents said the reason they purchased bottled water was due to convenience, and more than a quarter (28%) buy bottled water as an alternative to other bottled beverages.

Another key finding is more than half (52%) of those surveyed said they drink bottled water over tap water outside of the home, and that when it comes to recycling habits, 95% said they recycle their empty water bottles where recycling is available.

Significantly, nearly three quarters of those surveyed (72%) said they don't think it's fair for the government to increase fees for commercial groundwater takings if only bottled water companies are singled out and golf courses and other industries are exempt.

The poll comes on the heels of the Wynne government's decision last month to arbitrarily increase the fee for water taking permits from $3.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken in Ontario to $503.71 -a fee ostensibly designed to recover the costs of managing groundwater taken by water bottlers but one that was arrived at long before the findings of a two year review of existing rules for water bottlers.

"What these poll results tell us is that not only do the majority of people in this province consume bottled water, they don't agree with the way the Wynne government has handled this file," says Elizabeth Griswold, Executive Director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association. "This poll speaks to the issue of fairness and consumer choice and should be a wake-up call for the government who seem determined to make policy up on the fly, taking their cue from a small group of people intent on spreading misinformation and putting an entire industry that employs more than 2,000 people in this province at risk."
In addition to the massive 13,500% fee increase which only applies to the bottled ground water industry in Ontario, Premier Wynne went on the record last year suggesting she wants a bigger discussion on the entire future of the industry.

"We have been very clear that our industry is prepared to work in good faith throughout the consultation process and that a more thoughtful, science based, transparent approach needs to be taken," says Griswold. "What we aren't prepared to accept is a review process where the outcome seems to be pre-determined."

Among some of the other findings of the poll are while 76% of respondents indicate they primarily drink tap water at home, over two-thirds of respondents (68%) also rejected the Ontario Liberal government limiting consumer options when it comes to what they eat or drink. And seven in 10 disagreed that bottled water produced in Ontario should be subject to additional government imposed charges when imported water is not required to pay those fees.

"This latest poll is just the first step our industry will be taking to set the record straight and tackle head on the misinformation and misconceptions that are being perpetuated," says Griswold. "For example, 74% of those polled didn't know that our entire industry takes less than one per cent of permitted groundwater takings in Ontario. Singling out our industry sends the wrong message to every industry out there. And that is, locate and invest in Ontario at your own peril."
Olio2go.com announces a distribution partnership with Il Palagio, the Italian estate owned by musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. Il Palagio extra virgin olive oil is now available at Olio2go.com.
Olio2go.com will offer the Il Palagio brand of extra virgin olive oil. The olives for this line of extra virgin olive oil are grown on olive trees on the estate near the Tuscan town of Figline Valdarno that date back hundreds of years. Each season the olives are hand-picked and then cold-pressed to ensure the highest quality and robust flavor.

"There is a rising demand for premium Italian extra virgin olive oil and we are excited to work with Sting and his staff at Il Palagio to market and sell his line of extra virgin olive oil in the United States. They make an outstanding classic Tuscan extra virgin olive oil," said Luanne O'Loughlin, Manager of Olio2go.

"Il Palagio is delighted to offer a delicious and healthy Message in a Bottle with its extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany," says Sting. "Thanks to Olio2go LLC for being the hard working and passionate voice of Il Palagio.


Canada's favourite contest is back and bigger than ever with millions more prizes to be won

Big Rock and Oliver & Bonacini partner to open Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery
Oliver & Bonacini and Big Rock Brewery today launch their spirited collaboration, Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery. Located at the corner of Liberty St. and Atlantic Ave. (42 Liberty St.), the modern-day brewpub celebrates quality food and craft beer in a vibrant heritage space.

Liberty Commons’ culinary vision is driven by O&B Corporate Executive Chef Anthony Walsh, District Executive Chef John Horne (Canoe, Auberge du Pommier), and newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Ryan Lister (formerly of Canoe). Overseeing the brewing program at Liberty Commons are Big Rock Brewmasters Connor K. Patrick and Dan Ellis.

Liberty Commons’ menus are largely inspired by quirky and imaginative twists on fine comfort food, with many dishes creatively integrating Big Rock Brewery’s quality craft beers.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with Chef Ryan and his incredibly talented staff to craft beers that both complement and enhance the outstanding dishes being created,” said brewmaster Dan Ellis. “We are excited to brew under the same roof as such flavour experts and we fully intend on utilizing that tremendous resource to push the envelope.”

Serving lunch, dinner, late night bites, and weekend brunch, much of Liberty Commons’ cuisine is rooted in big, bold flavours. Familiar pub favourites, like Big Rock Pilsner Battered Haddock + Chips ($17) with mushy peas and tartar sauce, are interspersed with gastro standouts, such as Cottage Pie ($20) with bone marrow, beef mince, and Big Rock Traditional Ale gravy.

Liberty Commons will also be offering an impressive BBQ menu, featuring baby back ribs, jerk chicken, rotisserie beef brisket, pork sausage, and charcoal-roasted eggplant—available for both dine-in and take-out lunch.

Launching February 18th, weekend brunch at Liberty Commons aims to “cure what ales you” with hearty hangover fare, like Yorkshire Eggs Benny ($15) with ham, Yorkshire pudding, poached eggs, Big Rock lager Hollandaise, and home fries; and the Brewmaster Breakfast ($19) with fried eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried bread, mushrooms, and baked beans.

“We want Liberty Commons to be a place for the neighbourhood to come together over knockout food and brews,” said Chef Anthony Walsh. “Here, there’s a connection between food and beer that’s so much more than just a pint. From stocks and sauces to batters and brines, beer flows naturally throughout all aspects the restaurant.”

Highlighting a wide range of styles and unique flavours, Liberty Commons offers eight Big Rock taps, which feature their signature beers, seasonal offerings and plenty of rotating experimental brews made exclusively in house. All of Liberty Commons’ draught brews can be enjoyed as pints or in tasting flights. On the cocktail list are a smattering of beer-based concoctions, such as the G&G Radler ($8) and the Quintana Roo Michelada ($9). Mondays through Fridays from 4pm to 6pm, guests can take advantage of $5 pints of Big Rock lager, $8 old fashioneds, $8 sangria, and $7 glasses of wine.

Designed by award-winning firm DesignAgency, the venue combines contemporary and industrial elements, and showcases brewer’s tools, including six fermenting vessels. Set in a two-level heritage space, Liberty Commons occupies the entire lower level and features a lively bar and dining room, as well as two customizable private dining rooms: Barrel Room and Drink Tank. Plans for a patio complete with lounge seating and outdoor fireplaces are also in the works.

The main level houses Big Rock Brewery’s Beer Shop and tap room, where guests can enjoy a pint while casually dining on select menu offerings from Liberty Commons, as well as take home Big Rock’s freshest brews – in bottle, tall can, or growler format.

For full hours of operation or to make a reservation, please visit LibertyCommons.ca or call 416.304.9403.
Today marks exactly 150 days until the 150th birthday of Canada, and as part of the national celebration Tim Hortons is making Canada's favourite contest, RRRoll Up the Rim to Win, bigger than ever. By simply rolling up the rim on cups of Canada's favourite coffee or other hot beverages, Guests will have the chance to win one of more than 49 million prizes.

Prizing this year includes 40 grand prizes of the new 2017 Honda Civic Coupe EX-T. Also available are 150 55" LG 4K UHD Smart TVs, 100 $5,000 CIBC prepaid cards, 24,000 $100 TimCards and millions coffee and food prizes.

"This year's RRRoll Up the Rim to Win will be bigger than ever with millions more prizes to be won," said Sami Siddiqui, President Tim Hortons Canada. "The return of Canada's favourite contest is our way of kicking off the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, and be sure to stay tuned, because it's just the beginning."

Guests can once again also win with RRRoll Up at Home. From February 1, 2017 to March 15, 2017, guests who purchase Tim Hortons at-home coffee products including single serve products, canisters and bags of coffee as well as the bottled Iced Capp®, can take a photo of their receipt, upload it to www.rollupathome.com, and register for a chance to win one of 10,000 prizes.

RRRoll Up the Rim to Win runs from February 1, 2017 for six weeks, or while cup supplies last. Prizes may be claimed until May 4, 2017. Contest rules, odds of winning and prizing information can be found at participating Tim Hortons Restaurants or at www.rolluptherimtowin.com.

Guests can join the conversation on social media using #RollUpTheRim



Today, Campari is officially unveiling the full campaign and the many stories that make up Campari Red Diaries; a holistic (r)evolution to the late Campari Calendar - in Rome - the symbolic hub of Italian cinema.

Representing a step-change in the brand’s communication, Campari Red Diaries is a multi-layered campaign that brings to life the powerful ethos that “every cocktail tells a story”, celebrating cocktails as a powerful vehicle for expression by shining a light on the influences that inspire bartenders to share their craft. Killer in Red, the pivotal piece of the project, is a brilliantly executed short film written and directed by the Italian internationally-renowned award winner, Paolo Sorrentino and starring Hollywood actor, Clive Owen.

Set in a high-end bar, the typically Sorrentino-esque noir sees Golden Globe winner Clive Owen move from ordinary man to take on the guise of Floyd, a notorious bartender back in the early 1980s, as Clive’s character imagines the story behind the creation of the eponymous cocktail creation, the Killer in Red. The film moves between two time periods, brilliantly portraying the high-energy zeitgeist of the time using a cast of more than 170 and through the use of original costume from the era.

According to legend, Floyd has a talent for reading his clients and crafting them with the perfect cocktail for their character – as the story unfolds this so-called talent soon introduces him to the ‘Lady in Red’, played by French/Swiss actress, Caroline Tillette. Yet, as the story develops, the audience begins to suspect that the ‘Lady in Red’, is far more complex than Floyd could ever have expected. As with many of Sorrentino’s films, the film’s ending leaves the audience with the intrigue to draw their own conclusions, while reinforcing Campari’s ethos that every cocktail tells a story, with the bartender serving as the narrator.

Clive Owen, Killer in Red Star and Protagonist, comments: “Campari Red Diaries was a very easy project to say yes to - I loved the fact it was a short movie with a proper story as opposed to a commercial, while the fact it was being directed by Paolo Sorrentino was also a great attraction. I think Sorrentino is one of the best directors out there – an imaginative visionary.”

Paolo Sorrentino, Director and Screenwriter of Killer in Red, adds: “I am proud to have been involved in this Campari project for two reasons - mainly because of all the other incredible artists that had the privilege to work with the brand in the past - my name is now mentioned in the same breath as Depero, Fellini and others, even if it probably shouldn’t. I am also proud because this project, at least in Campari’s intentions, is unusual - I like being involved in pioneering projects.”

Killer in Red is the ignition of the masterful campaign, yet the Campari Red Diaries journey is about bringing to life the artistry of bartenders in an authentic way. 12 cocktail stories created by some of the leading bartenders from all around the world, with each brought to fruition through the medium of video by young and emerging Italian director Ivan Olita. Viewers are guided through the magic behind the creation of each Campari cocktail, placing the culture of mixology and its many facets centre-stage. Each of the stories captures the personality of the bartender and their narrative in an intimate fashion, absorbing the audience in the very same way that one is absorbed when choosing a cocktail.

Keeping with the tradition of the Campari Calendar of days gone by, as well as to ensure Campari Red Diaries is a true (r)evolution, the Killer in Red protagonists and the bartenders behind each of the 12 cocktail stories, are to be immortalised with the creation of the Campari Red Diaries Calendar Book, shot by acclaimed Argentinian photographer, Ale Burset, who captures and encapsulates the true essence behind each story and its narrator. As in previous years, only 9,999 copies have been printed and will not go on sale but will be internationally distributed to friends of Campari around the world as a memoir.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer of Gruppo Campari comments, “I am excited to launch this year’s truly unique campaign in Rome, allowing us to once again surprise and delight Campari fans all over the world by taking the brand into unchartered territory. Using film as a vehicle for the campaign has allowed us to depict the multifaceted artistry of cocktail making as well as continuously challenging ourselves to drive our iconic status as a world-renowned contemporary global brand.

“This year’s campaign takes on a new medium without severing ties with our past Campari Calendars which is exactly our approach to the brand - to innovate without ever forgetting our heritage. I am extremely proud of the result, which I must attribute to the array of professionals we have been lucky to work with from Paolo Sorrentino, Clive Owen, Ale Burset and Ivan Olita, all of whom have left their own special mark not only on the campaign but the history of Campari.”

J. Walter Thompson Milan created the Campari Red Diaries concept, including the original story of Killer in Red, of which the screenplay was written by Paolo Sorrentino. Campari Red Diaries, including Killer in Red, was produced by Filmmaster Productions.  

​Demand for gluten-free foods expected to substantially increase as awareness and diagnosis of celiac disease continue to rise

As awareness of celiac disease continues to increase, the demand for gluten-free foods is expected to dramatically rise, according to a new report released by The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and the Allergen Control Group (ACG). The 2016 Gluten-Free Stakeholder Update & Planning Session Report contains key findings, observations and future plans, as discussed by stakeholders from across the food value chain during a two-day session last September.

The aim of the session and subsequent report is to continue the advancement of safe and reliable gluten-free foods for the consumer marketplace as demand continues to grow. Though one per cent of Americans are thought to have celiac disease, nearly 83 per cent go undiagnosed.¹ It is expected methods of accurate diagnosis will increase and, combined with increasing awareness spurred by marketing and activist consumer groups, will create new avenues of growth in the market.

Further observations include:

Gluten-free is not a fad, and consumers are serious about receiving credible assurances the food they choose to eat is safe. Reports indicate that 90 per cent of consumers don't trust labels and seek out safe gluten-free foods produced in certified facilities.
Challenges in the scientific methods for testing gluten-free food inputs require more research to resolve. There is significant incidence of false positives and false negatives, and it is hoped researchers will continue to seek solutions.
Consumers want access to clear, accurate information to make informed choices about gluten-free food products, and better confidence in the accuracy of labelling.
Consumers are willing to pay more for gluten-free foods but there remains strong pressure to lower cost burden to consumers, creating a challenge for producers and processors.
Work should proceed to harmonize gluten-free regulations across countries participating in the value chain.
The report further discusses options designed to strengthen the entire gluten-free food value chain. Stakeholders brainstormed possibilities and identified three key initiatives:

Establish a gluten-free information repository that disseminates educational information across the value chain and facilitates coordination across sectors, to enhance trust among suppliers, customers and consumers.
Continue research to improve sampling methods and understand limitations, to remain within the established boundaries of known and acceptable ranges of error.
Develop ways and means to increase gluten-free food safety among pulse and grain producers.
Stakeholders will participate in working groups to lead each of these initiatives and will develop and submit a proposal for funding to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for consideration.

"Updates to labeling regulations and food production techniques have significantly improved the variety of food available for someone with a medical need for gluten-free food, but there are still too many products where the gluten status is not clear," says Anne Wraggett, president of the CCA. "Manufacturers need better tools and cleaner source grains in order to produce these safe foods, and we are pleased to work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Allergen Control Group to fill the knowledge gaps."

The 2016 Gluten-Free Stakeholder Update & Planning Session was led and facilitated by the CCA, ACG and Agri-Food Canada. Key stakeholders included consumers, food service and retailers, processors, laboratories, test kit manufacturers, auditors, grain and pulse producers, and government regulatory bodies. For a full copy of the final report, please visit: http://gfstakeholdersession.com/#/

"Since our first Stakeholder Session back in 2010, we have all worked hard to ensure the value of the gluten-free food market is recognized through proactive initiatives, such as the establishment of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP)," says Paul Valder, president and CEO at ACG. "The formation of the GFCP has resulted in strict adherence to food management programs by participants, and significantly built consumer trust. But this is only the beginning. By continuing to share challenges, lessons learned and successes, ACG and our fellow stakeholders will continue to strengthen and expand safe, trustworthy options for all within the value chain."

About the Canadian Celiac Association
The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is the national voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten, and is dedicated to improving diagnosis and quality of life. Based in Mississauga, Ontario with 28 Chapters across the country, its mission includes advocacy, education, research and community support. http://www.celiac.ca

Local Chef Daryl Kerr named Chef of the Year by the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks

​The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks, a branch of the Canadian Culinary Federation, is proud to honour Corporate Chef Daryl Kerr of Great Events Group with the coveted Chef of the Year award.

Daryl Kerr receives the 2016 award based on exhibiting an inspiring passion for his craft, an unending pursuit of creativity and a commitment to promoting the local food industry in Calgary.

For over ten years, Daryl has performed as the Corporate Chef for Great Events Group, a food and beverage holding company in Calgary, Alberta. Under Daryl's culinary guidance, Great Events is proud to boast a number of Calgary's top restaurants including the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, which is currently named to the Top Ten Restaurants in Western Canada, Cravings Market Restaurant, Office Gourmet Catering, Great Events Catering and more.

Most recently named favorite caterer by the Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards, Great Events Catering is proud to be among the largest caterers in Western Canada. With preferred and exclusive catering rights to many of Calgary's top venues, including the internationally renowned, Spruce Meadows, Great Events works across all facets of the city, both corporate and philanthropic.

"Every day, my kitchen strives to create dishes that are unique, artistic, well-executed and, most importantly, mouth-watering. Dining should be a culinary experience that plays off every sense and transcends the typical eating routine turning it on its head –I have the privilege of coming to work every day and being not only a chef, but a scientist, an architect a designer and most importantly, a teacher. I want to thank the Chefs Academy for this honour and for challenging me not only as a chef but as a proud member of this city." Daryl Kerr, Corporate Chef, Great Events Group.

"Daryl continues to grow in his role as Corporate Chef for the Great Events Group. He constantly challenges himself to not only stay on trend, but to create new trends and to be at the top of the Canadian food industry," says Fred Malley, President of the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks. "He consistently steps up to promote professional activities and supports our charitable causes."

The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks is proud to extend this honour to Chef Daryl Kerr. Each year the association highlights a chef that has continually promoted and exemplifies the values of our association and elevates our reputation.

About The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks
The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks is a professional organization promoting the culinary arts. We foster learning opportunities for youth and support a number of local charities including Soup Sister's Big Stir, Habitat for Humanity, the Calgary Drop in Centre and Veteran's Food Bank. For more information, visit www.ccfcccalgary.ca. 



YP Dine Dials Up the Delicious Through Partnership with Winterlicious and Summerlicious as New Presenting Sponsor
 Come Sip! Immerse yourself in the domain of tea from the traditional to the modern at the 5th annual Toronto Tea Festival on Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 2017 from 10:00am until 5:00pm at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Central Reference Library. 

The 5th annual Toronto Tea Festival has gathered world-renowned tea sommeliers, internationally published authors, historical fashion experts, musicians, reviewers, nutrition specialists, master chefs, exhibitors and bloggers who are keen to steep the enquiring, novice and aficionado in tea lore and culture.

NEW – Tasting With Tea Sommeliers. An intimate learning experience with tea sommeliers and other industry experts. In this two-hour workshop visitors will taste and discover the finer points of twelve teas, including some from each of the six major categories of tea and a select few from the Tea Tasters Box. RSVP required.

RETURNING – The Toronto Tea Festival brings back the Tea Tasters Box, an exclusive collection of premier loose-leaf teas, sampled and scored by a panel of 50 tea lovers from across North America. #teatastersboxTO
Also returning is the Tea Tasting Competition where lucky contestants will test their palates with blind tastings for a chance to win limited edition prizes.
The Toronto Tea Festival will feature tea tastings, scrumptious tea-food offerings, door prizes, and formal tea ceremonies based in the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese styles. Exhibitors offer the opportunity to choose and purchase your personally selected special blend of teas, tea-related products and exquisite tea ware by artisans. The tea inspired music completes the unique Toronto Tea Festival experience. Come Sip!

Between browsing exhibitor offerings and tastings, guests are encouraged to attend the FREE Toronto Tea Festival Speaker Series – Seminars and presentations with Q&A’s by internationally renowned speakers and authors. Seating is limited.

“We are very excited to be hosting the 5th Annual Toronto Tea Festival and sharing tea with all of our guests. I am happy to be involved in the expanding Canadian tea culture.” said Tao Wu, proprietor, Tao Tea Leaf.

“The return of the 5th annual Toronto Tea Festival is an exciting step in spreading the joys of tea,” says Bill Kamula, Tea Guild of Canada Chair and Tea Sommelier instructor at the Tea Festival’s sponsor, George Brown College. “Tea is one of the fastest growing segments of the beverage market, and this festival presents an opportunity for interested consumers to explore the many aspects of tea culture and new products under one roof. This year’s festival will feature up to 50 exhibitors that will address our attendees diverse tea related needs.”

For a complete listing of the Toronto Tea Festival events and to purchase tickets in advance please visit - www.teafestivaltoronto.com

Early Bird until January 10, 2017 – One Day - $12.00 or Two Day Pass - $15.00
Regular Admission – One Day - $15.00 or Two Day Pass - $25.00

Tickets are also available at Tao Tea Leaf – 934 Yonge Street – (647) 878-6934 http://taotealeaf.com
YP Dine, a Yellow Pages (TSX: Y) digital marketing solution and accompanying mobile application dedicated to the restaurant and dining sector, is the new presenting sponsor of the Winterlicious and Summerlicious festivals.

From Jan. 27 to Feb. 9, 2017, the YP Dine app will be providing access to its platform for the duration of the festival free of charge so that restaurants can provide their customers with the convenience of booking online.

"We are pleased to be the new presenting sponsor of the Winterlicious and Summerlicious festivals," said Paul Brousseau, Vice-President, Brand Communications at Yellow Pages. "YP Dine's unique discovery, reservation and ordering features, all in one single app, meet the needs of Canadian diners, from those in search of a particular culinary experience, to those looking for a local bite."

The YP Dine app is the one restaurant app that can do it all – not only connecting food lovers with their favourite restaurants, but also helping the restaurateur manage their reservations and online ordering, grow a social fan base, manage email marketing, and more.

Available on iOS and Android, the YP Dine app can help even the most indecisive people choose where and what to eat. Users can access curated lists, read restaurant and food reviews, book a table or order-in directly from the app.

Now in its 14th year, Winterlicious and Summerlicious festivals continue to be one of the most prestigious and popular events in Toronto with more than 200 participating restaurants.

For more information, visit winterlicious.yp.ca and ypdine.ca.
The Institute of Culinary Education Announces Second Worldwide Scholarship Challenge
-- ICE partners with celebrity chefs and the industry to give away more than $212,000 in culinary and hospitality scholarships in the 2017 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Challenge --
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) today announces the launch of the 2017 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Challenge. Following 1.1 million worldwide votes and the record success of the 2015 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Challenge, ICE is now granting even more scholarships—this time 18 scholarships totaling more than $212,000—in its search for the next generation of culinary talent.

For 2017's challenge, ICE partnered with celebrity chefs and food stars Marcus Samuelsson, Ted Allen, Donatella Arpaia and Duff Goldman to challenge the nation to enter and win a scholarship to attend ICE. A worldwide public vote will determine the finalists, and the winners will be chosen by an exclusive panel of ICE instructors.

"What started out as a creative way to award scholarships became a viral sensation last time we ran the challenge. This time, we've taken things to a whole new level with even more scholarships and the industry behind us," said Rick Smilow, ICE's president and CEO. "At ICE, our mission is to enable the creative light within each individual, empowering them to find rewarding careers in the culinary and hospitality industries. We've helped more than 13,000 alumni find their culinary and hospitality voices, and with the nation's help, we hope to change the lives of 18 more people, meet thousands of others and have some fun in the process."

Entrants upload an original one-minute video to ice.edu/CulinaryVoice demonstrating their creativity, their passion for food or service or their entrepreneurial flair. In the video, contestants should explain who they are, who or what inspires them and what they hope to achieve in the culinary or hospitality industries. Entrants should tell the world why they deserve one of 18 scholarships and the chance to study at the award-winning Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, widely recognized as the nation's premier, state-of-the-art center for culinary education.

"ICE has become so much more than just a culinary school. Their programs, their facility, their creativity and their entrepreneurial approach really help develop and nurture young talent in this industry," said Donatella Arpaia, celebrity chef and restaurateur behind Prova Pizzabar. "I hope the next generation of culinary and hospitality hopefuls take advantage of the opportunity this challenge offers and enters, so they too can study at such an amazing place."

The top 50 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Challenge finalists in each category will be determined by public vote, and for every vote, ICE will make a donation to Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) to fund even more scholarships. One full scholarship and two partial scholarships will be awarded for each of ICE's six award-winning career training programs: Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Culinary & Restaurant Management, Hospitality Management, Bread Baking and Cake Decorating.

Important Dates:

January 4: Entries Open
January 18: Voting Begins (new entries are still accepted during voting)
February 15: Entries and Voting Close
February 23: Winners announced

"Access to education is extremely important to me, especially in the culinary arts, so I am thrilled to partner with the Institute of Culinary Education on this scholarship challenge," said Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped. "I'm looking forward to seeing the creativity of the entrants and hope to see 18 deserving lives changed through culinary education in the process."

For more information and to enter the challenge, visit ice.edu/culinaryvoice

Pepsi Spire® and NHL® Player Brent Burns team up to raise your flavour only at Subway® Restaurants 

 As hockey mania takes over Canada, Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks), one of the best defencemen in the NHL®, is teaming up with Pepsi Spire®, the innovative digital beverage fountain available only at SUBWAY® Restaurants in Canada, to inspire consumers to raise the flavour of their favorite Pepsi® beverages with totally customizable creations.

To encourage consumers to raise the flavour of their favourite beverages, Burns "crashed" the Pepsi Spire® fountain at a SUBWAY® Restaurant in Quebec recently. Through virtual technology, Burns appeared on the machine's digital touchscreen to the delight (and sometimes surprise) of unassuming guests – he bounced off the boards, learned a little French, had some hilarious hockey talk, and ultimately helped fans create their very own Pepsi Spire concoctions. Watch the fun unfold here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-5UfkSLKDg
  Canadian hockey fans who are enjoying the World Juniors and anticipating the 2017 Scotiabank NHL® Centennial Classic in Toronto on January 1 will enjoy the timing of this entertaining video featuring one of Canada's most endearing hockey players.

"I'm a huge fan of the Pepsi Spire® machine at SUBWAY® restaurants – I like to think of myself as a unique guy, and Spire® lets me add my own personal touch to my beverage," says Burns. "I also love the element of surprise, and got a big kick out of seeing how Canadians responded. It has been cool to interact with SUBWAY® guests via the Pepsi Spire® machine – I'm having a blast doing it, and the reactions were priceless!"

Pepsi Spire® is a sleek, innovative beverage fountain that puts hundreds of drink combinations at people's fingertips. Pepsi Spire® can pour up to three flavour shots simultaneously (lemon, vanilla, cherry), with fan-favorite beverages, like Mountain Dew™, Pepsi™ or Brisk™ Iced Tea and is found exclusively at SUBWAY® Restaurants in Canada.

"At SUBWAY® we provide our guests with quality sandwiches and offerings prepared exactly the way they like it. By continuing to provide this level of customization through Pepsi Spire® we are able to further extend this personalized experience to our guests," said Cristina Wells, Senior Director of National Marketing, SUBWAY® Restaurants Canada. "Brent's authentic style, love of the game and ability to mix things up made for a natural fit to connect and engage with our guests through Pepsi Spire®."

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association: Ready to sign on to Premier Wynne's global strategy

"Ontario's Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association (OFVPA) members are prepared to support Premier Wynne's going global strategy if key changes are made to regulations that will allow for a more competitive industry," said Karl Evans, Chair of OFVPA. "Our members completely support the Premier's global strategy. Our companies had made tremendous investments in being the best in the world at what we do."

"We are particularly interested in following up with the Premier on her idea of meeting new demand for multicultural foods," Evans went on to say. "Nobody understands the opportunity better than Ontario with our rich multicultural society. Success will come from how we process foods to meet the various distinct tastes that modern marketing requires. This is great socially; it is also great economically."

According to Evans, "We need greater flexibility and agility if we are going to capture market opportunities that the Premier has identified. Right now the only obstacle to capturing these markets is the antiquated system in place that allows the primary producer board (Ontario Processor Vegetable Growers) to unilaterally impose regulations to terms and conditions with processors and their customers. Our members are prepared to make the investments, create jobs and modernize facilities necessary to compete globally."

"The government's own independent Farm Products Marketing Commission has recognized the problem and recommended immediate changes," Evans pointed out. "These changes are being held up through an intensive lobbying effort by a small cartel of growers wanting to maintain an antiquated system that doesn't work."

"One of the greatest opportunities may come from trade issues between the US and its trading partners," said Evans. "We believe there may be excellent opportunities for new market growth in Europe and Asia."

"We are asking the Premier and the Minister of Agriculture to let us ignite the full potential of Ontario workers, growers and processors in capturing more world markets," said Evans. "To do this we need a very receptive and flexible system to market opportunities. Right now the system is a barrier to more good paying jobs. Ontario has a report from its own Commission that would allow us to immediately take advantage of the market. All they have to do is implement it."
Hearing Voices :  Food Bank Adventures With Christian Christian
The driveway behind the food bank on Saturday was an uneven sheet of ice. As I made my way carefully over it to lock my bike, I was pleasantly surprised by how few people there were waiting. “Quite a crowd!” I commented sarcastically as I arrived within earshot of everyone.  The nearest person to me as I spoke looked at me as if I’d just said something suspicious in a foreign language. She was bespectacled and wearing a white toque with green trim over longish wavy and mousy hair. I stopped to enunciate my joke more slowly and though one or two people beyond her smiled, she reacted the same.
I went to lock my bike and then came back to find out who the last person in line was. The woman with the toque looked at me and said, “Why are you even talking to me? Do I know you?” There was something un-present about her manner though and her initial reaction to me was starting to become less of a mystery. I ignored her question and asked the group in general to let me know which person I was directly behind. The older, friendly looking, short man over by the fire escape, who’d smiled at my joke, pointed to himself.
As I tried to find a foothold on the ice, I commented that someone needed to salt the driveway. I walked over to the food bank door to ask about salt, but it was locked. I walked back to the area where the woman with the toque was standing and could hear that she was continuously making comments. I could also see that she wasn’t actually talking to any of us there in the driveway but perhaps to voices in her head.
I pulled Michael Ondaatje’s “The Complete Works of Billy the Kid” out of my backpack and began reading, grateful that the temperature was above zero this time, so I could turn the pages without my gloves on. I read one of the poems and then the food bank door opened. The volunteer that I’d argued with about his smoking the week before, I think his name is Wayne, came out with some garbage. I asked him if they had any salt. He answered that they had “SOME salt”. I told him that somebody has got to salt the driveway or else someone was going to break their neck. He turned and walked back to the door, but called out in a bored voice, “I’ll get right on it!”
A couple of minutes later he came back out with a half empty ten kilo bag of Sifto sidewalk salt and using a Styrofoam coffee cup, began scattering it along the south side of the driveway where the line-up tends to form, as far out as the sidewalk. When the cup broken, he put down the rest with his hands. As he headed back inside I called out, “Thank you!” He nodded. Then I asked, “Do you have any pepper?” He turned to look at me and I smiled. Half, annoyed and half amused, he answered, “No, we don’t have any pepper.” And then he went back inside.
I continued to read while the woman in the toque kept on talking to herself. It was clear that when she had earlier said, “Why are you talking to me? Do I know you?” that it had just been a coincidence that she’d been looking at me at the time. There was definitely an argument with at least one voice going on. She demanded of the other on several occasions to answer, “What’s with all this Scooby doo?” and frequently offered the challenge, while assuming dominant body language, “Who’s gonna come out on top this time?” The man who’d arrived before me felt the need to walk across the ice, come up close to me and explain in a quiet voice, “Ah, she’s a little bit …” and then he finished his sentence with the gesture of drawing circles near his temple with his index finger. I matter of factly told him, “I understand” and went back to my book.
An SUV arrived, driven by a young man, but the person that emerged from the passenger seat, a heavy set, middle-aged woman in braided pigtails, was clearly the one in charge of the delivery that was being made. She opened up the back of the car and it was packed with several milk-crates filled with three-litre bags of Sealtest 2% milk. Several male volunteers from inside the food bank came out to help carry the crates in, including the big guy with the prematurely white hair. The woman in pigtails stressed to her driver that she needed the crates back.
After the back of the vehicle was unloaded there started bringing in from the back seat several boxes full of a very wide selection of packages of name brand cookies such as Christie and Dad’s. Milk and cookies? I was beginning to suspect that this delivery was not intended for food bank clients but rather for a certain Turkish bishop with a fetish for furs of white and red and who as far as anyone knows lives entirely on milk and cookies.
Once the car had been emptied the white haired guy stayed outside for a cigarette and talked to no one in particular but to everyone, as he often does. He commented in reference to this most recent delivery that Christmas Eve is the only day of the year that anyone remembers the food bank. Before the woman with the pigtails left, her driver took some pictures of the back of the food bank with an expensive looking camera.
The woman in the white toque started speaking in a mocking little girl’s voice to whoever it was in her head with whom she was arguing. When Joe, the manager came out she broke from her argument and asked him if the coffee was ready. He said, “Yeah, go ahead Michelle, and behave yourself this time!” Then after she was inside and out of earshot he said, “I don’t even know why you’re here today! You’re not gonna get any food because you were already here on Wednesday!” A few minutes after she came out with her coffee and got back in line, Joe came out and told her that she wasn’t going to get served because she’d previously come that week. With surprise, she asked, “You mean I’ve got to come back next Saturday for it to be a whole week?” Joe confirmed that she could only come once a week. She finished her coffee and her internal conversation and then left.
A little later, one of the guys that works reception came out and wished everyone a merry Christmas as he walked down the driveway to leave. Then he turned and walked backwards as he told everyone that the food bank would definitely be closed next Saturday, but if we couldn’t come on Wednesday or Thursday we could come on Friday. Friday is the day set aside for the elderly and the disabled, so I guess they were making an exception in this case. But then again, he’s not in management and I didn’t hear anyone else say that it would be okay to come next Friday. Then again, again, if he’s the one checking people in he’d be the one in control of who’s eligible and who’s not.
The big Jamaican woman who sits by the door arrived and was very carefully trying to negotiate the ice. I offered my hand to help her across and she gratefully took it.
I assumed my place in line behind the friendly older man. He looked at my book and said, “I assume it’s poetry”. I confirmed that it was and he indicated that he wanted to look at the cover. He said that he recognized the author’s name. I told him that Michael Ondaatje is very rich because his book, “The English Patient” was made into one of the most successful movies of all time. He exclaimed, “That is a fantastic book!” Then he wanted to tell me who his favourite poet of all time was, adding with sadness, “He’s no longer with us, but he wrote beautiful poetry and songs!” I guessed he was talking about Leonard Cohen. He nodded. I affirmed that Cohen had been my hero as well. He bragged that he has all of Cohen’s records and I mentioned that I did too, as well as all of his books. He informed me that he was from Poland. I pointed out that Cohen’s family came from Russia originally, but for some reason he disagreed. When I looked it up later, I could see why. Cohen’s paternal grandfather had been a Polish Jew and his mother’s family were Jews from Lithuania. I guess I’d always that it had been Russia because the mother of Breavman, the Cohenesque character in his novel “The Favourite Game” had come from Russia. My Polish friend also didn’t seem to want to allow that Cohen was very Jewish.
Then he made a comment about the Muslims, insisting that it was a horrible, violent and hateful religion. It’s funny; you meet the nicest people, but if you talk to them long enough some kind of bigotry will reveal itself. I started arguing that Christianity has killed millions more people over the course of history than Islam has, but he interrupted me, “Don’t! Don’t try to say that Muslims are good! It’s a BS religion!” I was about to ask him if he actually knew or had spoken to any Muslims or had ever had any personal experience at all that would have confirmed his opinion, but he was one of the next five to be allowed in the door to get a number. I knew that the answer would have been “No” and that he’d never had any real interactions with Muslims at all. I’ve had that kind of conversation in the comment threads of fake news sites online more times than I can count. One guy responded to that question with, “The first thing I will ever say to a Muslim will be, ‘Enjoy eternity in hell!’ just before I blow him away!” And these are the people that voted for Donald Drumpf. 
I got number 11, went home for fifteen minutes and then came back. They called numbers 1 to 10 and about ten minutes later numbers 11 to 20. I went inside and sat down. There were one or two people standing. Joe came up to the doorman and said, “What the fuck!” Then he started asking each person that was sitting down what number they had. I was sitting in the middle of the row of chairs against the wall and when he asked me my number, I said “eleven” in a voice so low that he asked me again. I really should have asked him what fucking difference it made what my number was since when my number was called I would get up and go to get my food. But I repeated that I had number eleven. He was about to tell me to move down to the front but he saw that there were no seats.
My number was called by an attractive woman of East Indian descent who was wearing a tiny top hat about the size of a teacup. The top of the first set of shelves was brimming with items and as I was hesitating she said, “Oh! I really like these!” and she reached for a package that turned out not to be what she’d had in mind. The foil bag said, “Potatoes with gravy”. How do you get potatoes and gravy into a package, the contents of which are obviously dried? I took a can of turkey gravy.
Below that were the crackers and cookies, though I didn’t notice any of the cookies that the woman in the pigtails delivered earlier. I picked a box of Vegetable Thins, noting that this volunteer, unlike the one form last week, let me select things with my own hands.
From the bottom shelf she gave me a few small packages of rice crispy squares, a bag of peanut Glossettes and a chocolate peppermint stick Luna Bar. I noticed later that the Luna Bar said that it is “for women”, so I had to look it up. It doesn’t contain anything men shouldn’t take but rather just some stuff that women’s diets are frequently deficient in like calcium and vitamin B.
I skipped the pasta and sauce as usual and was about to skip the canned beans when I noticed a tin of Bush’s honey baked beans. It’s rare that canned beans would have a label that actually says, “baked” because they usually aren’t.  My helper offered me another can of beans because I hadn’t taken very much of anything so far. She seemed almost concerned, but I said I didn’t want any. From the soups I picked a carton of Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Asparagus with Sweet Basil, but she said I could have another so I took the Golden Butternut Squash soup of the same brand.
She gave me a little bottle of lemonade and then I picked a bag of Cheerios with flax.
In the cold section, Sue was back in her old spot. I had run into her outside while parking my bike and she told me that she has a full time job now but was just helping out the food bank for the holidays. She had two boxes full of a wide selection of various personal care items. She gave me a couple of little flat cans of Vaseline lip care, but I asked if there was any dentil floss. She dug a bit and said there wasn’t any but then dug some more and found some. It usually takes me a while to remember to buy floss when I’ve run out and I ran out a week ago. She also pulled out a bottle of conditioner, which I accepted. She told me, “You have nice hair.” I noticed later that the conditioner is for tinted hair so I had to look that up too. Since it simply retains colour rather than adds it, it shouldn’t do anything bad to my hair.
Sue also had some cottage cheese, a litre of milk, a package of frozen ground beef and a bag of five eggs. She gave me an extra bag of eggs.
In the bread section I noticed a bag of blueberry bagels, so that was all I took. I noticed later that the blueberry bagel was just on the end of the bag and that the rest were cheese.
The vegetable lady was serving the Polish guy who hates Muslims and she called him “Pops”. I’ve only noticed this since I’ve been coming to the food bank, that people from the Caribbean, or at least those from Jamaica, often address older men as “Pops”.  I’m glad I’m still considered young enough to get the “my dear” or “my darling” treatment. She was in an extremely upbeat mood this time. She kept saying, “Take! Take! I want you to have as much as you want!” There was a bin of broccoli flowerets and another of zucchini. She gave me almost a full 4.5 kg bag of potatoes, declaring, “You can’t have Christmas dinner without spuds!” She handed me a few mandarin oranges and granny smith apples. There was a box full of bags of raw cranberries, so I asked if I could have some. She said, “Of course! You can’t have your Christmas turkey without homemade cranberry sauce!” I noted out loud that I’d have to buy some sugar. As I wished the vegetable lady a merry Christmas, I asked her name as we took each other by the hand. She told me her name is Sylvia.
I immediately went to the bank to take out some money for the supermarket. The guy after me at the bank machine thought that I’d forgotten my cash because the “please remove your cash” sign was still up. I said, “Thanks for looking out for me!”
I rode to Freshco and as I was looking for sugar and salt, who did I see but Michele, the woman that was talking to herself at the food bank. I assumed she was shopping, but all the while she was still using the mocking high voice as she referred to “Parkdale crackheads and Scooby doo.” The guys that stock the shelves at Freshco seemed to find her amusing and they were talking about her and laughing after she passed by.

18th edition of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on track to raise $1.2M and 250,000 pounds of food
The 18th annual Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train raised more than spirits across North America this holiday season, with donations of $1.2 million and 250,000 pounds of food counted to this point.

As food banks continue to count the money raised and weigh the food donated at each stop this year, the program is on track to have raised more than C$13 million and four million pounds of food since its inception in 1999.

"With the need for food banks continually increasing in both Canada and the U.S., the importance of the CP Holiday Train program in the community is also increasing," said E. Hunter Harrison, CP's Chief Executive Officer. "Beyond food and monetary donations the CP Holiday Train generates goodwill, raises spirits and helps people start the holidays off on the right foot. We thank the communities across our network for supporting the program and giving back to their neighbours."

The 2016 CP Holiday Train was proud to feature a full Canadian musical line-up with multiple Canadian Country Music Award and Juno Award winners. The Canadian train featured Dallas Smith and Odds. On board the U.S. train, Kelly Prescott partnered with Doc Walker between Montreal and Windsor, Ont., and Colin James through the U.S. Midwest and Great Plains. Jonathan Roy anchored the Quebec shows.

The CP Holiday Train program is not the only way that CP gives back to food banks. CP also provides Food Banks Canada $250,000 worth of in-kind transportation services to support its National Food Sharing Service program. Since 2011 CP's contribution has helped transport more than 16 million pounds of food and household goods to food organizations across Canada.

"We are grateful for the in-kind support that CP provides to Food Banks Canada through transportation resources and the direct monetary donations it gives to communities through the Holiday Train program," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "CP's history as a Food Banks Canada partner is a long and collaborative one and we look forward to the future."

The Capture the Spirit photo contest is now closed and winners have been chosen. Six winners will each be awarded a CP prize pack including a ride on the 2017 CP Holiday Train and a $1,000 donation to the food bank of their choice. Winners will be announced on the CP Holiday Train social media profiles.

Facebook /HolidayTrain
Twitter @CPHolidayTrain
Instagram @CPHolidayTrain

CBA statement on bottled water​

Bottled water is a complimentary option to tap water and does not compete with tap water. Bottled water competes with other bottled beverages. Nearly 70% of Canadian households in 2015 reported using the tap as their primary water source at home. Meanwhile, bottled water as the main in-home water source has decreased by 11% since 2007.

Ontario permits for bottled water companies account for only 0.001% (one-thousandth of one percent) of total annual permitted water withdrawal amounts covered by active Ontario Permits to Take Water. There are many significant water users in Ontario that pay no fees for the water they take.

Bottled water is packaged using 100% recyclable Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), one of the most environmentally efficient consumer packaging materials on the market. PET bottles can also be recycled many times to create new ones while saving 50-60% of the energy required to produce a new bottle from new material.

The Canadian Beverage Association is the national industry association that represents the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.
Storm clouds threaten Ontario fruit and vegetable sector in 2017​

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association (OFVPA) is warning that 2017 will be a difficult year for processors and growers if steps are not immediately taken to address the concerns of the industry. "The perfect storm is shaping up that can have devastating affects to our industry," said Don Epp, Executive Director of OFVPA. "The growers cartel is operating in the 20th century by demanding exclusive monopoly pricing for their products. Then we have threats from the Trump administration to tear up NAFTA and impose a twenty percent Valued Added Tax (VAT) for anything that crosses the border. Finally, production costs are increasing as a result of changes to hydro prices. All of these together will devastate the processing industry."

The OFVPA has been working for months to get an agreement with the growers to allow for free and open negotiations between processors and growers. This would allow for more innovation, greater stability and increased investment in the industry. "The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, a government legislated negotiating agency, is clinging to an outdated system and preventing individual growers from negotiating and marketing their products directly. Even the government's independent Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission recommended a change in their August 2016 report," said Epp.

Without changes to the pricing structure processors have begun to cancel future orders. Already 70,000 tons of tomatoes have been cancelled and a further 30,000 tons may not get picked up if the current system is in place. This 100,000 tons represents approximately $25 million in economic activity that will be lost in southwestern Ontario. Additional cancellations in other crops are possible further exacerbating the hard hit part of the province.

"We have asked Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal to heed the advice of the Commission," said Karl Evans, President of the OFVPA. "Orders for seed and crop allocation need to be made before the end of the year. If we cannot get commitments from the growers to move towards a more transparent market pricing system we will have to cancel investments in Ontario and divert these investments towards regions where true open partnerships exist."

Evans added, "The Premier has called on the agri-foods industry to double in the next few years. We applaud that and want to help her realize that goal. However one of our greatest obstacles is a restrictive marketing system allowing contracted producers to act as a cartel, and setting a single, sector-wide price that should be paid for products without any consideration for the long term economic consequences of their actions."
Government of Canada finalizes changes to the Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients on packaged foods
Making science-based nutrition information easier to understand is one way to empower Canadians to make healthier food choices.
Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations to make the Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients on packaged foods easier for Canadians to use and understand.

In Canada, four out of five Canadians risk developing conditions such as cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes; six out of ten adults are overweight and one-third of youth are overweight or obese.

This is the next step in Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, which was announced by the Minister earlier this fall with the launch of the revision of Canada's Food Guide. The Strategy aims to make healthy food choices the easy choice for all Canadians. It lays out how Health Canada will deliver on the Government's commitments to reduce sodium in processed foods, eliminate industrially produced trans-fat, provide consumers with more information about sugars and food colours, and introduce restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.

Philpott said, "We have updated nutrition facts tables on pre-packaged foods in a way that is based on science and that will meet the needs of Canadians feeding their families. We are also consulting on innovative ways to present nutrition information on food labels, such as front-of-pack labelling, to help Canadians make healthy choices on sugars, sodium and saturated fat."

Included in the labelling amendments are changes to the regulation of serving sizes to make comparing similar food products easier. A simple rule of thumb, 5% is a little, 15% is a lot, has also been added to the Nutrition Facts Table to help Canadians use the percent daily value (% DV) to better understand the nutritional composition of a single product or to better compare two food products. More information on sugars will also be made available, including a % DV for total sugars in the Nutrition Facts table, and the grouping together of sugar-based ingredients under the name "sugars" in the list of ingredients. These food label changes are being made after two years of consultations with consumers and stakeholders. During the consultations, the majority of respondents told Health Canada that improvements are needed to both how and what information is provided on food labels to reflect the latest science and allow consumers to easily compare products when shopping.

In addition, all food colours will be declared by their common name rather than the generic term "colour" and the list of ingredients and allergen information will be easier to read. A new health claim will also be allowed on fruits and vegetables, informing Canadians about the health benefits of these foods. The food industry has until 2021 to make these changes. This timeline for implementation will align with other labelling changes proposed under the Healthy Eating Strategy including front of pack labelling as well as some label modernization measures being proposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This initiative is part of the vision for a healthy Canada, which takes a holistic approach to health, focusing on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind. As part of the Healthy Eating Strategy, Health Canada has already completed a first set of consultations on revisions to Canada's Food Guide, and is currently consulting with Canadians on a proposal to introduce front-of-package labelling on foods that are high in sugars, sodium and saturated fat. It is also consulting on a proposal to ban the use of industrial trans fat in foods. Canadians can participate in both consultations until January 13.
Food Recall Warning - Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Cake Mix recalled that may be contaminated with Salmonella
Pinnacle Foods Canada Corporation is warning consumers not to consume Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Cake Mix, distributed across Canada, after being informed by a supplier that milk powder used as an ingredient may contain Salmonella. Consumers should not consume the recalled products with the Product Codes listed below:

Duncan Hines
Apple Caramel Cake Mix
590 g
6 44209 02223 6
Best Before/Meilleur Avant:
17 AL 07
17 AL 08
17 SE 27
17 JN 29

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been made aware of this recall. No other Duncan Hines or Pinnacle Foods Canada items were affected. This is an isolated incident.

To date there have been no reported illnesses associated with this product. Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis. If you believe that you became sick from consuming a recalled product, seek medical attention immediately.

Consumers should throw out or return these products to the point of sale for a full refund. Consumers with additional questions may contact Duncan Hines Consumer Care by calling 888-257-1057.

Wineries, Hotels Ramp Up for Niagara Falls Icewine Festival Events

Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls Provides Convenience for Festival Goers

Some of the events and activities planned during the festivities include:

Xerox "Sugar & Spice...Everything Ice" Icewine Gala. This all-inclusive formal event is set for Jan. 13 at the Fallsview Casino and Resort and will feature more than 100 VQA Icewines and table wines from over 35 award-winning wineries. Tickets for this event are available at http://www.niagarawinefestival.com/xerox-icewine-gala.

Discovery Pass Experiences - Celebrating for three weekends in January, local wineries are participating in the festival's tasting experience adventure. Each pass may be used for wine tasting and culinary pairings at any of the more than 35 participating wineries. The passes may be redeemed Friday through Sunday, each weekend of the Niagara Icewine Festival, and do not have to be used in one day. For detailed information and to purchase online, visit http://www.niagarawinefestival.com/discovery-pass-experiences.

Niagara Falls Icewine Festival at Scotiabank Convention Centre. This ticketed event is set for Jan. 27-29 and will feature premium VQA Wines and Icewines from more than 20 local wineries. Dishes, prepared by 10 of the Niagara's Top Culinary Chefs, will also be featured along with musical entertainment. An outdoor Icewine Winter Wonderland completes the setting, featuring ice sculptures and lights. Tickets for the three-day event in Niagara Falls are now available at http://icewinefestivals.com/.
A treat for wine connoisseurs, foodies and those who simply enjoy fine entertainment, more than two weeks of festivities are planned for the Niagara Icewine Festival, January 13-29, 2017.

Wineries are ramping up for the celebration of Ontario's popular icewine, as are organizers of local events. Festival enthusiasts are booking Niagara Falls hotel accommodations and setting their sights on advance tickets to popular events including Discovery Pass Experiences for wine and culinary adventures at local wineries across the area. Icewine is a proclaimed dessert wine created from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. A large percentage of Canada's icewine comes from the Ontario area.

Uniquely perched on Fallsview Boulevard and offering hotel rooms and suites with spectacular views, the Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls is conveniently positioned near Scotiabank Convention Centre, Fallsview Casino, Seneca Casino, the Butterfly Conservatory and more. The hotel's prime location, innovative accommodations and intuitive service are ideal for enjoying a stylish stay while exploring local wineries and taking advantage of the many other things to do in this exciting Ontario area. Festival goers can easily secure hotel accommodations online at http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/iagmc-niagara-falls-marriott-on-the-falls/ or by calling 800-267-8439, toll free.
A Festive Cocktail for Every Gathering
FAMILY FEATURES: With shorter days and colder weather comes longer nights to warm up and celebrate -- and this season is the perfect time to gather around and make memories. Whether you're getting together with family or throwing a party with friends, the festivities are sure to be merry and bright.

The warmest greetings of the season are those that bring people together. Celebrations are best with family, friends and food, and no celebration is complete without an enjoyable cocktail. Keep things simple this year with this delicious Milk Punch recipe.

​A festive twist on a classic New Orleans-style cocktail, this drink is made with milk -- one of the original farm-to-table foods -- and is a perfect addition to any seasonal menu. When you use milk as the base of your cocktails, you can be sure you're serving a wholesome, quality beverage that will impress your guests so you can relax and enjoy the celebration too.

Spread cheer in every sip with this Milk Punch recipe. Garnished with nutmeg and served hot or cold, this cocktail can bring life to any gathering this season. For more seasonal inspiration and recipe ideas, visit milklife.com.

Milk Punch Two Ways

Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast

Makes: 1 cocktail

6 ounces reduced fat milk
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce white rum
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of grated nutmeg, for garnish

To Make Iced: Fill Boston cocktail shaker or mixing pitcher with ice. Add milk, bourbon, rum, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir 10 seconds, or until chilled and cocktail shaker is frosty. Strain into high-ball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.

To Make Hot: Pour milk into small saucepan set over low heat. Heat gently until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and whisk briefly until milk is slightly frothy.
Pour bourbon, rum, maple syrup and vanilla extract into mug. Add hot milk, top with grated nutmeg and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 4 g fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 90 mg sodium; 236 mg calcium (25% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using reduced fat milk.

21 of Canada's Leading Chefs Team Up for 'The Best Cookbook Of Its Kind'
Michael Smith, Rob Gentile, Vikram Vij, and Connie DeSousa are among the culinary greats contributing to "Inspired Cooking," which has been called "the best cookbook of its kind."

The cookbook focuses on nutrition and a sold-out Vancouver gala will celebrate its launch on December 8.

"The Best of Food & Wine" radio show, an authority on cookbooks, has already heralded "Inspired Cooking," naming it "the best edited cookbook of the year."

"Inspired Cooking" (Fresh Air Publishing, 2016) is funded by InspireHealth, a not-for-profit organization approved by the BC Ministry of Health that provides supportive cancer care for all Canadians. All proceeds from the cookbook sales go towards sustaining InspireHealth's services.

"Inspired Cooking" can be purchased online (inspiredcooking.ca) and at select retailers.

"The stories in the cookbook are deeply relevant. 'Inspired Cooking' shows nutritional education is vital to everyone — even chefs," says Adrian Brijbassi, the cookbook's editor and co-founder of Vacay.ca. His wife, Julia Pelish, who passed away from cancer in March, was an inspiration for the book.

Along with 21 chefs, the book also profiles cancer survivors.

InspireHealth CEO Janice Wright MD, CCFP, says, "As a medical doctor working with cancer patients and their families, I witness every day how eating well — with attention to our individuality — benefits us in multiple ways. I have seen improvements in peoples' digestion, energy levels, weight, mood, stamina, sleep, stress levels, and overall well-being after they adopt healthier eating habits."

"Inspired Cooking" has been made possible through the support of Macdonald Realty.

Featured chefs include:

Jeremy Charles (Raymonds, Merchant Tavern), St. John's, NFLD
Michael Smith (Inn at Bay Fortune), PEI
Chris Aerni (Rossmount Inn), St. Andrews By-the-Sea, NB
Patrice Demers (Patrice Pâtissier), Montreal
Antonio Park (Park, Lavendaria), Montreal
Jason Bangerter (Langdon Hall), Cambridge, ON
Victor Barry (Piano Piano), Toronto
Rob Gentile (Buca), Toronto
Roger Mooking (Twist), Toronto
Dale MacKay (Ayden Kitchen and Bar), Saskatoon, SK
Connie DeSousa and John Jackson (CHARCUT, Charbar), Calgary
Roy Oh (Anju), Calgary
James Walt (Araxi), Whistler, BC
Angus An (Maenam), Vancouver
Ned Bell (Vancouver Aquarium), Vancouver
Andrea Carlson (Burdock & Co.), Vancouver
Stefan Hartmann (Bauhaus), Vancouver
Jackie Kai Ellis (Beaucoup Bakery), Vancouver
Vikram Vij (Vij's), Vancouver
Warren Barr (Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn), Tofino, BC

Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security Launched
Maple Leaf Foods today announced a long-term commitment to advance sustainable food security through the launch of the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (“the Centre”), a not-for-profit organization. The Company expects to invest over $10 million over the next five years to support the Centre’s activities, and will also make product donations exceeding $1.5 million annually.

Along with the Maple Leaf commitment, President and CEO Michael McCain is making a personal pledge of $2.5 million to support an endowment fund, which will further advance the Centre’s work on food security and commitment to act on this pressing social issue.

The Centre has three areas of focus: advocacy, innovation and learning. The Centre and Maple Leaf will support, engage and advocate for important policies that advance sustainable food security. The Innovation Fund will invest in innovative food security initiatives based on dignity, empowerment and skill building that can potentially be scaled to increase their impact. The Centre will share learning from its work and support networks, collaboration and research in the food security sector that builds further understanding of the issues, approaches and enables knowledge transfer.
It is estimated that one in six children and 4,000,000 Canadians face food insecurity, lacking stable access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food.1

“In a country of such wealth and abundance, it is a national shame that one out of every six children and four million people in Canada face food insecurity,” said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods and Honourary Chairman of the Centre.

“The Centre is the culmination of several years of stakeholder engagement to understand this complex issue and where Maple Leaf should direct our resources – people, products and financial – to make the greatest difference. It reflects a significant, sustained commitment to lend our voice, to advocate for change, and to invest in innovation that results in demonstrable improvements,” McCain added.

4 million CDNs face food insecurity. This needs to change. Find out how at feedopportunity.com #FeedOpportunity

The Centre’s Board of Directors will govern the Centre’s activities and contribute their expertise to achieve the Centre’s mandate and goals. They bring deep expertise and wide ranging experience in national and global food security, policy, program development and the food sector. The Board includes:

Professor Evan Fraser, Director of the University of Guelph Food Institute and the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security
Ms. Beth Hunter, Program Director at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, leading the Sustainable Food Systems initiative
Professor Mustafa Koç, Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University, one of the founders of the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Food Secure Canada, and the Canadian Association for Food Studies
Mr. Curtis Frank, SVP, Retail Sales, Maple Leaf
Ms. Lynda Kuhn, SVP, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Maple Leaf
Mr. Rory McAlpine, SVP, Government and Industry Relations, Maple Leaf
Mr. Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf
Despite the bold and innovative work of many striving to reduce food insecurity, over many years, levels of food security in Canada have persisted for the past decade and have substantially worsened in regions of country such as Nunavut, where almost half of households are food insecure.

Results from a recent national survey show that more than 60% of Canadians do not understand the meaning of “food insecurity” and less than 1 in 5 of Canadians are aware of the extent of the issue in this country. 2

Impacting 12.5% of the Canadian population, food insecurity is a pervasive and pressing national issue. One in eight households face food insecurity and the prevalence is far greater in northern communities and among disadvantaged populations.1 Income level is by far the strongest predictor of food security.

The goal of the Centre is to work collaboratively to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. While the reasons for food insecurity are complex, including geography, health and mobility, the single greatest factor is income. Of the estimated four million Canadians who do not have stable access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, the majority are concentrated in the lowest income groups and are the most vulnerable in our society.

Regardless of the underlying causes, the outcome is devastating. Food insecurity is associated with a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, higher health care costs, mental health impacts, increased isolation, and lower academic performance. Health care costs are estimated to be 121% higher among people facing severe food insecurity.3

Critical advances will include the commitment of the federal government to develop a national food strategy which encompasses food security. Innovation and community-based solutions also have an important role. This chronic social issue needs to be tackled with heightened urgency and recognition of the intersection of poverty, nutrition, culture, community and individual empowerment to improve food security.

“The Centre will support the extraordinary work of many Canadians who are bringing innovation, research and community engagement to advancing progress and social justice,” said Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Maple Leaf Foods and Chairperson of the Centre. “We are passionate about breaking the silence and stigma associated with food insecurity, advancing sustainable solutions and advocating for important public policy changes,” she added.

In 2016, the Centre is supporting the following community-based projects through the Innovation Fund including the McQuesten Urban Farm in Hamilton, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank – Community Food Hubs, and FoodShare, to support the implementation and evaluation of Good Food Markets in Toronto.

To increase public awareness of the issue of food insecurity in Canada, the Centre has launched a consumer social media awareness campaign entitled “4,000,000 Canadians”. The campaign features a short video, accessible on the Centre’s website and through social media platforms including Facebook.com/FeedOpportunity, Twitter.com/FeedOpportunity and YouTube.

Please visit www.FeedOpportunity.com for more information about the Centre, its programs and materials on food security.

Tarasuk, V, Mitchell, A, Dachner, N. (2016). Household food insecurity in Canada, 2014. Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF).
AskingCanadians online survey, EN and FR, n=1,500 Canadian adults 18-69 years (excluding territories); Nov 25-30, 2016.
Tarasuk V, Cheng J, de Oliveira C, Dachner N, Gundersen C, Kurdyak P. Association between household food insecurity and annual health care costs. CMAJ. 2015 Oct 6;187(14):E429-36. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.150234. Epub 2015 Aug 10.
What to Taste in 2017: McCormick Predicts the Future of Flavour
Today the McCormick® Flavour Forecast® 2017 – the go-to guide for trends and ingredients set to excite taste buds around the world – was released by McCormick & Company, Incorporated, a global leader in flavour.

For nearly two decades, this much-anticipated annual report from McCormick has predicted emerging flavours – like chipotle chilies, coconut water and Harissa sauce – that are now found everywhere from restaurants to retail shelves and kitchen cabinets.

"Each year, our Flavour Forecast reveals the top trends that inspire home cooks, chefs, foodies and culinary aficionado's to broaden their palates, and introduce new flavours to their plates and menus," said McCormick Executive Chef Juriaan Snellen. "This year, take your taste buds on a flavour journey with espelette pepper and baharat seasoning, global breakfast bowls, salted egg yolks and plancha grilled octopus, inspired by Basque cuisine."

Here are the five flavour trends the chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and flavour experts at McCormick have identified for 2017:

Rise & Shine to Global Tastes – Breakfast options with big, global flavours are being sought after by a generation of flavour adventurists not content with the same boring bowl. Try warm, sweet congee or a Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast hash topped with a spicy skhug sauce.
Taste It: Breakfast Hash with Skhug Sauce (Link online) - Tender chickpeas, ground lamb or beef and roasted vegetables seasoned with a blend of coriander, cumin and fennel.
Say It: Skhug [shug], this complex Middle Eastern hot sauce is made with Thai bird eye chilies, cumin, cardamom, coriander, garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice.

Plancha: Flat-Out Grilling – Hailing from Spain, France's Basque region as well as Mexico, the plancha (a thick, flat slab of cast iron) is growing in popularity around the world for creating a sizzling, smoky sear and flavour crust. Grillers can easily use the plancha with meats, seafood and vegetables, paired with bold sauces, rubs and glazes.
Taste It: Espelette Pepper-Rubbed Steak a la Plancha (Link online) - a zesty, Mediterranean-herb rub enhances juicy steak grilled on a sizzlin' hot plancha.
Say It: Espelette [es-PE-let] pepper, originating from the Basque region of France, delivers a distinctively smoky, sweet and mildly hot flavour.

Egg Yolks: The Sunny Side of Flavour – Egg yolks leave breakfast behind! Whether poached, fried or cured, chefs are pairing these indulgent golden gems with a range of spices, herbs and sauces on lunch and dinner menus.
Taste It: Mediterranean Vegetable Shakshuka (Link online) - Sunny-side-up egg yolks simmered in a tomato and vegetable sauce make a rustic supper.
Say It: Shakshuka [shahk-SHOO-kah], flavoured with a savoury spice blend of smoked paprika, cumin, pepper, cayenne, turmeric and caraway.

Modern Med – Discover the new cuisine for the 21st century - melding Eastern Mediterranean ingredients with Western European classics.
Taste It: Persian Minestrone (Link online) - Persian Ash-e reshteh meets Italian minestrone.
Say It: Ash-e Reshteh [OSH-e-resh-tay], a thick, hearty soup made with beans, herbs, turmeric and flat noodles.

Sweet on Pepper – Enter the new sweet heat. With an up-front bite and lingering sensation, peppercorns are finally capturing the spotlight. Their cedar and citrus notes pair perfectly with up-and-coming naturally sweet ingredients like dates and dragon fruit.
Taste It: Dragon Fruit & Strawberry "Poke" with Pepper Syrup (Link online) - Fresh strawberry and diced dragon fruit salad atop a dollop of peppered whipped cream and crispy wontons.
Say It: Poke [po-kay], create this unique take on Hawaiian poke salad with a drizzle of balsamic-pepper syrup.
To view and explore the full Flavour Forecast 2017 report, visit www.Flavour.ca.
Loblaw calls for donations to feed Ontario's 335,000 monthly food bank users
Food bank use in Canada has increased nearly 28 per cent since 2008, with roughly 4 million Canadians struggling with food insecurity. This time of year can be particularly stressful with the burden of substantial holiday costs at a time when children who rely on school nutrition programs are spending more time at home. To help feed those in need, shoppers at Loblaws®, Real Canadian Superstore®, Your Independent Grocer® and nofrills® stores are being asked to make a donation of non-perishable food items, or $2, to support local food banks.

"Donations from local stores and food drives are so critical at this time of year. It's a time when Ontarians are looking to sit down and celebrate, and it's the generosity of neighbours that can make it possible for all families," said Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Food Banks. "In Ontario, we consistently see more than 300,000 people using food banks each month. A donation of two items or $2 at your local Loblaw banner stores means we can help make their holiday a little bit easier."

Holiday Food Drive donation bins are located in store and cash donations are also accepted at checkout. Cash donations allow food banks to purchase more fresh food and give food banks the flexibility to provide more fresh items that hungry people need, and to purchase other food or personal care products they may be lacking.

All food donations go directly to local food banks and all cash donations are split between Ontario Association of Food Banks and local food banks. This year Loblaw's goal is to raise more than $2.5 million and 2 million pounds of food for food banks across the country.

"As the largest grocery retailer, we believe we can play a critical role in the fight against hunger in Ontario," Leila Fenc, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Our customers and colleagues have always been so generous in helping out our communities and we are once again urging them to join us in our effort to provide nutritious meals this holiday season."

Loblaw Companies Limited has been a close partner of Food Banks Canada since 2008 and was awarded Food Banks Canada's Donor of the Year award in 2013.
Celebrating the Holidays with Friends? Just Eat says in 2016 Canada's Sophisticates are Staying In!
Throwing a party this holiday season? Gone are the days where party planning takes hours of shopping, food prepping, decorating and work. There's a new generation of home entertainers and they're using technology to achieve big style in no time. Taking inspiration from the glut of gorgeous social media food porn and using apps to order fabulous food, invite friends, and make sure everyone gets a ride home – the smartphone is one secret to entertaining on the fly!

Canada's Isabelle Cheng, former banker turned lifestyle tastemaker and international social media sensation, says she can pull off a party in 30 minutes flat with a little help from Just Eat. Canada's largest food delivery app also reports increased usage among Canadians who are ordering-in when they entertain at home.

"Food is the most important aspect of entertaining at home," says Isabelle, the creator behind the popular lifestyle social media property, Allons.y. "Food prep is also the most time consuming. Instead, I rely on the city's chefs to do my food prep – and I access them using the Just Eat app on my phone. They deliver free and have a huge selection of cuisines – so you can serve your guests your favourite dishes, expertly prepared. This gives me time to focus on presentation, so you can take your get together to the next level style-wise."

Pull off a Holiday get-together in 30 minutes flat

Isabelle partnered with Just Eat to show just how fast you can put a party together. Using the app she selected her favourite foods from a wide selection of options, and placed her order. While waiting for the delivery, she pulled from her personal collection of décor and food service items and added a few touches to make it holiday themed. Here's how:

Order your favourite food. Food can be on the table in minutes after Just Eat drops the city's best at your door. To start Isabelle ordered favourite comfort snacks like calamari rings, poutine, Mediterranean dips and a fresh tomato mozzarella salad. For the mains, Isabelle chose a flavourful Mexican theme with spicy shrimp and bean salad, with delicate fish tacos. For dessert she ordered fresh baked pie, cookies and pistachio gelato. Pie a la mode and ice cream sandwiches are go Holiday with a touch of green. Spicy chocolate brownies and Dulce de leche with churros are always a hit. A stack of red napkins completes the look.

Work with what you have on hand. Isabelle plated food in cooking vessels or boards that she had on hand. Unexpected ideas that are big on style include enamel cookware and raw-edge wooden boards, a stylish alternative to traditional serving platters. Rather than bowls, fill drinking glasses with dulce de leche sauce topped with a pair of churros. Display sweets on a cake stand. Also, mixing styles helps creates visual diversity and a more stylish overall look.

Small accents give a festive touch. Isabelle used a blanket as a table runner. She also had giant feathers in sparkly silver on hand which adds a little elegance. Pine cones are an affordable and super easy touch of Holiday on the table and simple Christmas tree ornaments work too. Isabelle used a food-safe, permanent marker to customize a serving plate as well as champagne flutes. This way, guests don't mix up their glasses and get a nice gift to take home. Finally, inexpensive battery powered string lights, can be arranged around the dishes on your table.

"People don't have the time to fuss, but they still love to share their hospitality with friends and family," says Isabelle. "Canadians have a diverse palate and want to serve guests delicious, interesting foods and more and more they are ordering it in. Just Eat has noticed it's a thing – especially among millennials and I get it. Look at this gorgeous spread – my favourite foods, prepared by skilled chefs and delivered to me so I can focus on having fun. It's brilliant."
A Complete Holiday Menu

To make chive cream: In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sour cream and chives or onions together. Refrigerate.

To make cheddar crisps: Heat oven to 400 F.

Shred 4 ounces cheese to make about 1 cup shreds. Divide shreds into eight piles, about 2 inches apart, on silicone baking mat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake about 5 minutes, or until cheese melts and becomes crisp. Let cool 5 minutes and remove from baking sheet.

Reduce oven temperature to 180 F.

To make potato puffs: Place potatoes in medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat over medium-high heat and boil potatoes until tender; drain.

In electric mixer bowl fitted with paddle, beat potatoes with butter on medium-low speed until smooth then add remaining sour cream and all seasonings. Stir in crumbled bacon.

Cut remaining cheese into eight 1/2-inch cubes. Form balls of mashed potato mixture using ice cream scoop. Make small hole in center of each potato ball and fill with one cube cheese. Cover with additional mashed potato so cheese is hidden inside. Refrigerate until ready to fry.

In large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil to 375 F.
Prepare beer batter according to package directions; dip each mashed potato ball into batter and deep-fry about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Reheat oil to 375 F between batches. Keep potato puffs warm in holding oven.

On plate, top potato puffs with dollop of chive cream, chives and cheddar crisp. Serve immediately.

A Simply Sweet Dessert

Once the satisfaction of a full meal wears off and the craving for one final course comes calling, there's no better dessert to turn to than the creamy delight of cheesecake. Add in the sweet flavors of honey and blackberries, and you'll find yourself perfectly content to wind down the holiday get-together. For more ways to infuse honey into your holiday menu, visit honey.com.

Honey and Blackberry Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

2 cups (8-ounce package) crushed gingersnaps
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 pint fresh blackberries (optional)
honey (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F. In medium bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps and butter. Transfer mixture to 9-inch springform pan. Stick hand in sandwich bag and firmly press mixture into bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 300 F and allow crust to rest.

Meanwhile, using stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed 3-4 minutes. Add honey, cream, vanilla, flour and salt. Beat until mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Beat mixture until just combined.

Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Drop blackberries on top of mixture. Bake 65 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cake in oven 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool.
Run knife around sides of cheesecake. Cover and chill overnight. Remove sides from pan. Serve with additional berries and drizzle with honey, if desired.
(Family Features) When the holidays approach, it's the perfect time to up your game in the kitchen with standout recipes.
A knockout holiday meal starts with a main dish like filet mignon topped with Roasted Garlic Compound Butter for a rich treat, paired with cheesy a sidekick like these Crispy Cheddar Mashed Potato Puffs. Finally, top off the night with Honey and Blackberry Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust, and you'll have guests ready to come back next year.

A Rich, Buttery Main Dish

It's easy to add buttery richness to just about any protein you choose to serve at your holiday gathering with this easy compound butter. The sauce takes little time to make and adds an unforgettably elegant touch to filet mignon, making it perfect for your next holiday celebration. Cut from the heart of the tenderloin, Omaha Steaks Filet Mignon is aged to peak flavor and tenderness, vacuum wrapped and flash frozen to lock in freshness. Find more holiday main dish ideas and recipes at omahasteaks.com.

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

2 heads garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Omaha Steaks Filet Mignons (6 ounces each), prepared

Heat oven to 350 F.

Slice about 1/4 inch off each garlic head to reveal cloves. Remove any excess outer layers of paper on garlic.

On sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle each garlic head with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap foil tightly over garlic. Roast 40-60 minutes, until garlic is golden and can be easily pierced with a knife. Let cool 15 minutes.

In bowl, squeeze garlic cloves out of paper. Add salt and mash with fork to create paste. Add butter and combine with fork, ensuring paste is well blended into butter.

Place butter on edge of a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Fold paper over butter and roll into cylinder. Twist ends of paper and refrigerate until solid.

When ready to serve, cut chilled butter into slices and place on top of prepared filet mignons.

Note: Unused butter can be kept in refrigerator for about 2 weeks..

  A New Twist on a Classic Holiday Recipe

Transforming family recipes into something memorable is easy when you use high-quality, wholesome ingredients, made with love from Borden Cheese. With a wide range of offerings, including mild cheddar, mozzarella, sharp cheddar, Mexican, Swiss, American, Colby Jack and more, Borden Cheese is available as singles, shreds, chunks, slices, strings and snacks - offering pure, creamy goodness to satisfy every taste. Add a new twist to your holiday spread with this delectable recipe for Crispy Cheddar Mashed Potato Puffs, which uses chunks of mild cheddar, and find more recipes at BordenCheese.com.

Crispy Cheddar Mashed Potato Puffs

3/4 cup sour cream, divided
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives or green onions, plus additional for garnish
8 ounces Borden Cheese Medium Cheddar Chunk, divided
2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Borden Butter
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 bacon strips, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup beer batter dry mix
oil, for frying
Celebrate National Cookie Day with New Mini Cookies from Enjoy Life Foods
Get ready to unleash your inner cookie monster: National Cookie Day is coming up on Sunday, December 4, 2016. This annual celebration of the tried and true baked good is beloved by children and adults alike. While it is a day of celebration for many Canadians, those who suffer from potentially life-threatening food intolerances can feel left out of the fun. With more than 2.5 million Canadians living with food allergies1, there is an increasing demand for allergy-friendly snacks – cookies included – that are safe and taste great too.

Enjoy Life Foods – the leader in great tasting, allergy-friendly foods – has your cookie snacking solution: packed in a perfectly portioned pouch, their new Mini Cookies come in two varieties, Crunchy and Soft Baked. The Mini Cookies are the perfect pick-me-up for National Cookie Day and beyond, whether consumed after lunch, on the weekend or for snacking on-the-go. They are also nut-free and safe for school. The best part? No baking required. Just open up a pack and dive right in for a sweet and safe treat.

Featuring the same wholesome ingredients and flavour profiles as their popular full-size counterparts, varieties include:

Crunchy Mini Cookies – An enjoyable, wholesome crunch in every bite that tastes as good as homemade and is crafted with better-for-you ingredients. Flavours include: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Vanilla Honey Graham, Sugar Crisp.

Soft Baked Mini Cookies – Melt-in-your mouth textures and full-bodied flavours make these delicious cookies perfect for grabbing on-the-go or indulging as an after dinner dessert. Flavours include: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Brownie, Snickerdoodle.

Mini Cookies are gluten-free and free-from the priority food allergens in Canada, including, wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, sulfites, egg, sesame, soy, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. They are also Non-GMO Project verified and certified Kosher and Halal, and contain no artificial ingredients.

Enjoy Life Foods Mini Cookies are available at a suggested retail price of $5.89. Please visit enjoylifefoods.ca for more information, look for them at your local grocery or health food store, and online at well.ca and amazon.ca.

Food Recall Warning - Compliments brand Broccoli Slaw recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes

 Sobeys Inc. is recalling Compliments brand Broccoli Slaw from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product has been sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Recalled product
Broccoli Slaw
340 g
0 68820 10422 3
Best Before 16 NO 25
What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.
Learn more about the health risks
Sign up for recall notifications by email, follow us on Twitter, or join the CFIA community on Facebook
View our detailed explanation of the food safety investigation and recall process


This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.
Ontario's Food Bank Use Remains High Due to Precarious Employment and Rising Cost of Hydro
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) released a new report today, revealing that over 335,000 individuals -- more than one third children -- are turning to food banks each month. The 2016 Hunger Report finds that despite improvements in the economy, food bank use remains seven per cent higher than pre-recession numbers, and illustrates how staggering hydro prices and lack of quality employment are contributing to increased hunger in Ontario.

"Despite reports of economic recovery, food banks continue to see disturbingly high levels of use and need," says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Food Banks. "This is a direct reflection of the type of employment available to Ontarians, insufficient social assistance, and the dramatic increase in cost of living, particularly related to housing and hydro."

The 2016 Hunger Report shows that while many Ontarians have gone back to work, fewer have access to secure, full-time employment that allows them to afford their most basic necessities on an ongoing basis. It is stated that 1 in 3 part-time workers would like to be working full-time, but are having trouble finding these opportunities. The report also includes a feature on Ontario's rising hydro prices and the added stress that increased hydro costs are putting on low-income families and individuals relying on social assistance.

"Over the past ten years, the cost of hydro has risen over 100 per cent in this province -- and yet social assistance has remained relatively stagnant," says Stewart. "Hydro increases are simply too much for the average Ontarian household, let alone for those on social assistance, living on a limited pension, or even working full-time on minimum wage."

The report exemplifies the impact that increasing hydro rates are having on Ontarians by citing the $172.5 million in outstanding hydro bills in the province, and the 60,000 homes that were disconnected last year for failing to pay. While the province does offer some relief through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), the report argues that the eligibility requirements for these programs are problematic and that the support being offered is often insufficient.

"There are thousands of Ontarians struggling to cover overdue bills while trying to keep their lights on and furnaces running," says Stewart. "As a result, Ontario's food banks are seeing an increase in the number of clients who say they simply cannot keep up with their rising hydro bills and are having to make a difficult choice between two of their most basic necessities: heat or food."

To help address this growing challenge, many food banks have started offering utility support programs, hydro assistance and 'heat banks', alongside their hunger-relief programs and services. Provincially, the Ontario Association of Food Banks is calling for the Government of Ontario to implement policies that address the root causes of hunger, including improvements to social assistance programs and increases to affordable housing.

The 2016 Hunger Report also features three client testimonies, including that of Sherry-Selena Hucul in Lanark County. Sherry-Selena is a single mother of four with one son who requires the use of a bi-pap machine for his severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

"I get really anxious when I receive a disconnection notice because they've raised the rates again," says Hucul. "This past month my hydro increased again. I've used LEAP to avoid disconnection and applied for the OESP credit, but that is still pending... Hydro increases are affecting people's lives -- we can never get ahead and it feels hopeless."
Two tasty ways to make your holidays merry & bright
 The festive season is fast approaching and Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO) wants to help you prepare for the gathering of friends and family during these special times together. That's why EFO has created two deliciously simple recipes with the holidays in mind.

This time of year is filled with get-togethers where delicious food takes centre stage. Whip up a batch of Egg Custard Tarts and you've got the perfect addition to any holiday party. These yummy tarts are a variation of the traditional Portuguese dessert, but are sure to become a favourite in any home.

Leftover turkey? No worries, we've got you covered! Our Easy Festive Brunch Bake is the perfect way to use up extra turkey or to feed a hungry bunch for brunch, lunch or dinner. This hearty casserole is so versatile, it will work for any meal or occasion.

Eggs are nature's multivitamin and are available at your grocery store. When you include fresh Ontario eggs in your holiday cooking and baking, you are supporting local Ontario egg farm families.

Please visit getcracking.ca for these and many other egg recipes that are sure to fill your season
with holiday delights!

Egg Farmers of Ontario represents the approximately 440 egg farmers and pullet growers in Ontario. It is an independent, self-governing organization funded entirely by egg and pullet farmers.
Delectable International Wine Pairings For Celebrating the Holidays in a Uniquely Canadian Multicultural Way

Wines from Saint Clair Family Estate (New Zealand), Fleur du Cap (South Africa), Nugan Estate (Australia) and Emiliana (Chile) represent some of the best from the new world wine category. The featured selections from each brand serve to highlight the unique characteristics of their respective countries as well as, the skill, dedication and traditions that have earned them their notable reputations.

When served alongside festive dishes featuring the fresh and unique flavours of Canada-based Saha International Cuisine's inspired range of marinades and cooking bases, the results are a series of flavourful meals that are both satisfying and crowd-pleasing.

Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc paired with Stuffed Turkey Breast, Brussels Sprouts and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

This New Zealand wine, with its signature Marlborough flavours of passion fruit, black currant and herbaceous notes, pairs perfectly with the sweet spices and citrus notes of Saha International Cuisine's Shawarma marinade.

Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Braised Lamb and Winter Vegetable Ragout

Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine that has the aromas of dark chocolate, ripe berries and cherries. On the palate, the wine has the elegant flavour of oak spice, which complement this bold and rich lamb stew flavoured with Saha International Cuisine's Lahmajoun sauce.

Nugan Estate Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz paired with Roast Pork Loin, Coconut Jasmine Rice and Stir Fried Broccoli

Nugan Estate Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz is sourced from the family's premium vineyards, resulting in a flavourful wine with a complex palate of ripe raspberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. The wine complements the sweet, sour, spicy and savoury Thai flavours of Saha International Cuisine's Thai Red Curry Base.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc paired with Red Snapper Ceviche and Blood Orange and Arugula Salad

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is a Chilean, organic wine that is citrusy on the nose with notes of grapefruit and lime. Its freshness on the palate makes it an ideal pairing for the bright flavours of seafood ceviche made Saha International Cuisine's Caribbean Green Seasoning.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) continues to follow frontlines in Mosul by delivering life-saving food assistance to families in camps and newly retaken areas.
"Access to civilians in the recaptured areas is increasingly challenging, particularly where fighting is on-going," said Sally Haydock, WFP Country Director in Iraq. “We are doing everything we can to make sure we reach every person affected by the events in Mosul no matter where they are, as they continue to endure unthinkable hardship,” she added.
·         Since the onset of the Mosul offensive in October, WFP and its partners have provided ready-to-eat food to more than 196,000 people affected by the conflict. This includes families at screening centres, people who have been displaced to newly established camps or those who have chosen to remain in their homes inside the retaken areas. Ready-to-eat food is provided to those who lack access to cooking facilities.
·         WFP distributes monthly food rations once people are settled in camps or have access to cooking facilities. Monthly food rations are also provided to families who are able to remain in their homes but still require food assistance. Each food package provides a family of five with a one-month supply of staple foods including rice, chickpeas, wheat flour, sugar, salt and cooking oil. To date, WFP has reached over 137,000 people with monthly food supplies.
·         Thanks to generous donor support, WFP has enough stocks of ready-to-eat food for families affected by ongoing fighting in Mosul and enough food rations to assist one million people for three months.
·         Once access to a newly retaken area is permitted, food security assessments are conducted to ensure the best form of assistance is provided to those in need. In a recent assessment conducted among 114 families in a recaptured village to the east of Mosul city, families reported lack of employment and a rise in food prices as their main concerns. As a result of the assessment, 5,000 families received immediate ready-to-eat food assistance. The assessment highlighted the need to establish future livelihood activities and employment generation schemes.
·         Led by WFP, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster in Iraq is providing lifesaving radio and Internet connectivity services to humanitarian responders in Qayyarah, south of Mosul. These services help to ensure the safety and security of staff and allow humanitarians to work and access vital information, enabling them to provide the best support possible to thousands of people fleeing to Qayyarah from Mosul.
·         Through the Logistics Cluster, WFP leads and coordinates preparedness and planning, seeks storage solutions for food and humanitarian supplies and works to overcome challenges for restriction of movement in hard-to-reach areas across Iraq. These efforts result in improved responsiveness of humanitarian actors to meet the needs of people affected by the crisis.
·         More than 3.1 million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict since June 2014. In coordination with the Iraqi government, WFP reached 1.2 million of the most vulnerable displaced Iraqis in all 18 governorates through its cash assistance programme and monthly family rations in October 2016.
·         Within WFP’s regional emergency operation to assist those who have fled the Syrian conflict, WFP supports more than 50,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in Iraq who cannot meet their food needs. As part of this support, WFP provides food SCOPE cards, which offer families the choice to decide what they buy and eat.
Edo Japan 'Springs' Into Holiday Season With Double Up Day in Support of Canada's Food Banks
Edo Japan (Edo), an Alberta-based Teppan-style quick service restaurant is ready for a holiday season full of 'Simply Better' giving, starting this year with the inauguration of Double Up Day. In addition to Edo's ongoing holiday giving campaign, which runs through November and December, this one day event will see Edo double the donation amount it sets aside for local food banks throughout the duration of its holiday campaign. Edo has raised more than $363,000 for the Food Bank since 2010.

Double Up Day will take place on December 10, 2016 at all Edo Japan locations nationwide. With every spring roll purchased, Edo will donate 50 cents to local food banks, doubling its traditional holiday season donation of 25 cents for each spring roll purchased throughout the holiday season.

A proud supporter of Canada's food banks, Edo Japan is pleased to donate to this worthwhile cause with the help of its customers for the seventh consecutive year. This year, Double Up Day will call Edo's loyal customers to action in supporting their local food banks with the purchase of spring rolls on this day of double the donations. The more spring rolls purchased on December 10, the more 'Simply Better' support can be given to food banks across the country, making this holiday season at Edo all about community. 25 cents from all spring roll purchases made during Edo's holiday giving campaign, outside of Double Up Day, will continue to be set aside for donation to Canada's food banks.

"Edo has been a long-time partner of local food banks throughout Canada and we are so pleased to be able to carry this tradition into the 2016 holiday season," says Dave Minnett, President and CEO, Edo Japan. "For everyone at Edo, giving back is a very important part of what we do. We are excited to offer our customers a chance to take part in Double Up Day this year as an added way to give back to their communities."

Join the Edo Japan team in supporting Canada's local food banks by purchasing spring rolls from November 7, 2016 until January 1, 2017. For additional information about Edo Japan or to learn more about more Double Up Day and the holiday giving campaign, please visit www.edojapan.com.

GreenSpace Brands announces the official launch of its new Rolling Meadow Eggs from locally pastured, free-range farms
​ GreenSpace Brands Inc. is excited to announce the launch of a pasture raised egg line under the Rolling Meadow brand. The newly launched Rolling Meadow Eggs are from mostly Amish farmers, are locally sourced from pasture raised, free-range chickens that are raised without the use of antibiotics. In the winter, the chickens have access to warmer shelters and are fed a special diet including grasses and grains.

"At GreenSpace Brands we believe in delivering simple, high quality foods to Canadians," says Matthew von Teichman, CEO of GreenSpace Brands. "The launch of Rolling Meadow Eggs was a natural next step for our brand. We believe pastured eggs from small family farms fits perfectly with our philosophy of providing Canadians with better versions of simple ingredient products."

To ensure the highest quality of eggs, the initial distribution is limited to select stores within the GTA including Loblaws, Pusateris and many larger natural food stores, with a plan to grow distribution in line with demand and local availability.

Key Facts:

Raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones

Locally Sourced in Ontario

Free range – with open access to pastures seasonally and warmer shelter in the winter months

Available at independent grocery retailers across the GTA

About GreenSpace Brands

GreenSpace is a Canadian-based brand ideation team that develops, markets and sells premium natural food products to consumers across Canada. GreenSpace owns Rolling Meadow Dairy, Canada's first grass fed dairy product line that has built upon the founding values of GreenSpace's original brand, Life Choices. Life Choices features premium convenience meat products made with grass fed and pasture raised meats without the use of added hormones and antibiotics. GreenSpace owns Holistic Choice, a premium natural pet food line and Nudge, a line of family favorite foods made better. GreenSpace also owns Love Child (Brands) Inc., a producer of 100% organic food for infants and toddlers made with the purest, natural and most nutritionally-rich ingredients and recently acquired Central Roast Inc., a clean snacking brand that has been one of the leading Natural food brands in Canada over the last several years. All brands, except Central Roast, are wholly owned and retail in a variety of natural and mass retail grocery locations across Canada.

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features -- Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 24, 2016
 In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims — early settlers of Plymouth Colony — held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation's first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role. Historians have recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.

The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 153 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving Day should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.

Where to Feast

118.3 million
The number of occupied housing units across the nation in the second quarter of 2016 — potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Table 8 www.census.gov/housing/hvs/data/histtabs.html

4.6 million
The number of multigenerational households in the United States in 2015. It is possible these households, consisting of three or more generations, will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast, even if there are no guests.
Source: 2015 American Community Survey, Table B11017

The number of places in the United States named after the holiday's traditional main course. Turkey Creek village, La., had 444 residents in 2015, followed by Turkey city, Texas (396); Turkey Creek census designated place (CDP), Ariz. (351); and Turkey town, N.C. (296). There are also 11 townships in the United States with "Turkey" in the name. (Please note that the Turkey Creek CDP, Ariz., population total pertains to the 2010-2014 American Community Survey and is not statistically different from the population estimates of the other three places.)
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Population Estimates

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey

The number of places and townships in the United States named Cranberry, a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2015, with 30,458 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next with 6,513 residents.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Population Estimates and 2010 Census Summary File 1 www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2015/index.html

The number of counties, places and townships in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. The two counties named Plymouth, are in Massachusetts (510,393 residents) and Iowa (24,800 residents).

Plymouth city, Minn., is the most populous place, with 75,907 residents in 2015.

There is one township and one census designated place in the United States named Pilgrim: (1) a township in Dade County, Mo., had a population of 128 and (2) a census designated place in Michigan, had a population of 41. There are also Mayflower city, Ark., whose population was 2,431, and Mayflower Village, Calif., whose population was 5,779.

Note: Townships have been included in these counts from 12 states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin) where the primary governmental or administrative divisions of a county serve as general-purpose local governments that can perform the same governmental functions as incorporated places. These county subdivisions are known as minor civil divisions, and the Census Bureau presents data for these in all products for which place data are provided.

(Please note that population totals for the two places on the list that are census designated places — Pilgrim, Mich., and Mayflower Village, Calif. — pertain to the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.)

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Vintage 2015 Population Estimates

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey

Participants in the First Feast

24.0 million
The number of U.S. residents of English ancestry as of 2015. Some could very well be descendants of the Plymouth colonists who participated in the autumn feast that is widely believed to be one of the first Thanksgivings, especially the 650,000 living in Massachusetts.
Source: 2015 American Community Survey, Table B04006

The number of members of the Wampanoag American Indian tribal grouping as of 2010, roughly half of whom resided in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag were in attendance at the first Thanksgiving, playing a lead role in the historic event, and were essential to the survival of the colonists during the newcomers' first year.
Sources: 2010 Census American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File, Table DP-1

American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving, National Museum of the American Indian

Preparing the Feast … Enjoying the Day … and the Aftermath

The percentage of households in 2011 with a gas or electric stove — essential for cooking their Thanksgiving feast. Another 96.8 percent had a microwave, also helpful in preparing the meal.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States: 2011,
Table 3 www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-136.pdf

The percentage of households with a television in 2011. No doubt, many guests either before, after or perhaps even during the feast will settle in front of their TVs to watch some football.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States: 2011,
Table 3 www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-136.pdf

The percentage of households with a stand-alone food freezer in 2011, which they may want to use to preserve their Thanksgiving leftovers. Far more (99.2 percent) have a refrigerator. Once all the guests leave, it will be time to clean up. Fortunately, 69.3 percent have a dishwasher to make the task easier.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States: 2011,
Table 3 www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-136.pdf

Culinary Delights

The number of supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores in the United States in 2014. These establishments are expected to be extremely busy around Thanksgiving as people prepare for their delightful meals.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS Code 44511

The number of baked goods stores in the United States in 2014 — a potential place to visit to purchase tasty desserts.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS Code 445291

The number of fruit and vegetable markets in the United States in 2014 — a great place to find holiday side dishes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS Code 445230

243.0 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2016. That is up 4 percent from the number raised during 2015.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

44.0 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2016. Minnesota topped in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (33.0 million), Arkansas (26.0 million), Indiana (20.0 million), Missouri (19.7 million) and Virginia (17.0 million).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

$19.3 million
The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys in 2015, with 99.9 percent of them coming from Canada and the remaining from the United Kingdom. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 37.9 percent ($5.5 million) of total imports ($14.5 million). The United States ran a $10.6 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $126.2 million in sweet potatoes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Economic Indicators Division

859.0 million pounds
The forecasted weight of cranberries produced in the United States in 2016. Wisconsin was estimated to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 521.0 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 207.0 million pounds). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington were also estimated to have substantial production, ranging from 19.4 to 58.8 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

3.1 billion pounds
The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2015.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau's Facts for Features series:

African-American History Month (February)
Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
Super Bowl (1st Sunday in February)
Grandparents Day (1st Sunday after Labor Day)
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Women's History Month (March)
Unmarried and Single Americans Week (3rd week of September)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
Halloween (Oct. 31)
St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
Earth Day (April 22)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Older Americans Month (May)
Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
Mother's Day (2nd Sunday in May)
The Holiday Season (December)
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)

Father's Day (3rd Sunday in June)

The Fourth of July (July 4)

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26)

Back to School (August)

THP Reveals The Hottest Food Trends for 2017, In Second Annual Flavour & Trend Forecast
- Artisanal jerky, craft-style fizz and Jewish cuisine are just a few of the food trends to watch heading into the New Year, according to THP's 2017 Flavour & Trend Forecast.

The Toronto-based agency, along with its in-house team of culinary experts, is releasing its anticipated list for the second year in a row. "Whether you are a marketer for a food or beverage brand, restaurant operator, or just enjoy cooking or eating, these are the trends to have on your radar for 2017," said Sabrina Falone, Director of Culinary Innovation at THP.

With over 2,500 recipes being developed each year for top food, beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies across North America and the U.K., staying ahead of the culinary curve is imperative to THP's operations. "Our customers look to us to develop recipes inspired by current and forward-looking ingredient trends," says Amanda Riva, CEO of THP. "Doing this helps ensure that the content we're developing resonates with a brand's core consumer, as well as the consumer group it's looking to grow."

Particularly as brands continue to focus on millennials, Riva notes that it is important to focus as much as 40% of owned content at the growth consumer group. In THP's case, this means incorporating ingredient trends before they hit their point of maturity in the market. "It's our job to know where trends are in their lifecycle and to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to consumer consumption habits."

A few of the items hot off of THP's top 10 list for 2017 include:

Fat Is Back
Forget fat-free ingredients. Butter usage is on the rise, and increased by 8% in 2015 compared to 2014. "There's a shift back to fuller, richer foods – think full-fat dairy, butter and ghee – influenced by a more conscious consumer who is looking to include less processed and more clean, natural ingredients into their diet," says Falone.

Fancy Fizz
Fifty-six per cent of global consumers want to see more craft-style beverages on their cocktail menus1. As a result, fancy fizzy sodas paired with fresh flavours like passion fruit, lavender and more natural ingredients are finding their way back into the glass and elevating the drink experience.

50 Shades Of Black
"Activated charcoal is a new ingredient that's popping up everywhere, from your morning juice routine to your burger bun, and even in your pizza crust," adds Falone. "Don't shy away from dark hued foods next year, lending well to familiar classics like squid ink pasta or risotto, which have not gone out of style."

Artisanal Jerky
In the last five years, jerky consumption has jumped by 18%2. Increasingly, consumers are looking for protein-packed snacks that are portable and easy on the wallet – and jerky fits the bill. But forget what you'd find at the gas station – companies are shifting their focus to artisanal preparation methods that features bolder, globally inspired flavours.

The New Jewish
Today's Jewish cuisine is blending old world flavours with modern twists. This trend is being popularized by a new generation of chefs who are focusing on transforming Jewish classics into beloved favourites with an elevated update, such as matzo ball ramen.

Other ingredients and meal trends that just missed the top 10 list but are worth keeping on the radar include vegan charcuterie, Hatch chile, sumac, alternate protein options like insects, algae and mushrooms, and even wine in a can.

To read the full report and top 10 list for 2017, visit www.thpagency.com.
Tim Hortons goes national with 2016 #WarmWishes campaign celebrating the generosity of Canadians
 Today, Tim Hortons celebrates Canadian do-gooders with the return of its annual #WarmWishes campaign. Canadians are encouraged to drop a wish for a deserving member of their community in the Cup of Good Deeds at one of six select Coffee Trucks across the country. Wrapped in the festive spirit, all six Tim Hortons Coffee Trucks will be offering free cups of Canada's favourite brew – in new holiday-themed cups – while encouraging Guests to spread warmth through good deeds. From delivering coffee to a friend, or grocery shopping for a neighbour, to donating clothing to a shelter or installing new winter tires, once the request is dropped in the Cup of Good Deeds, Tim Hortons staff from Vancouver to Moncton will execute as many good deeds – big or small – as possible.

"We're fortunate to have incredible Guests who inspire us every day with their generosity from small acts of kindness like opening a door for someone in need, or starting a pay-it-forward chain in our restaurants or Drive Thrus," says Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada. "Seeing communities share good deeds with their friends and neighbours is what this season is all about. The return of our Warm Wishes campaign this year is just a small token of our appreciation for our Guests' ongoing efforts to spread warmth and goodwill this holiday season and throughout the year."

This morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., local time, Tim Hortons fleet of Coffee Trucks will be stationed in the following cities with Tim Hortons staff standing by to complete as many good deeds as possible in one day:

Calgary – Stephen Ave. Walk at 2 St. S.W.

Hamilton – Parking lot at Barton St. E. and Victoria Ave. N.

Moncton – Sobeys parking lot at Vaughan Harvey Blvd. and Main St.

Montreal – Olympic Park Stadium (near the biodome on Pierre de Coubertin)

Toronto – Ryerson University (on Gould St. near Yonge St.)

Vancouver – North corner of Burrard St. and West Georgia St.

Guests outside of these communities can still participate in the Cup of Good Deeds through Instagram or Twitter. Simply tag @TimHortons and #WarmWishes to submit a good deed you'd like completed for a friend and explain why to win a chance to have it fulfilled by Tim Hortons staff in time for the holidays. Check out TimHortons.com/WarmWishes for more information. Guests located anywhere in the country can also make this a season of warm wishes by sharing snaps with their friends using the national SnapChat filter available throughout the day on November 16.

For those looking to bring #WarmWishes into their home this holiday season, Tim Hortons is launching a new line of covetable gifts and stocking stuffers from warm toques ($14.99), and mittens ($14.99), to collectable coffee mugs with iconic Canadian imagery ($7.99). These jolly pieces are available in Restaurants across Canada while quantities last.

In 2015, Tim Hortons transformed a restaurant in Grimsby, ON, into a House of Warm Wishes for one day. The Cup of Good Deeds was launched by asking Guests to submit heart-warming endeavors for deserving members of the community with a chance to have them fulfilled by Tim Hortons staff. This year, Tim Hortons is bringing the celebration of #WarmWishes to even more communities across the country to celebrate Canadians' giving nature and help encourage small acts of kindness this holiday season.
Do You Know Enough About the "silent thief''?
A recent Ipsos survey1 of Canadians has found that when it comes to osteoporosis, an overwhelming percentage have alarming misconceptions of the facts and best ways to help themselves prevent the disease. According to Osteoporosis Canada, osteoporosis fractures strike more often than heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer combined. In Canada, 1 in every 3 women, and 1 in 5 men will break a bone because of osteoporosis, and too many are unaware of what they can do to reduce their risk. The Ipsos survey shows that 85 per cent of Canadians do not realize that osteoporosis often goes undetected, with a broken bone more likely being the first sign of the disease.

''Dairy Farmers of Canada commissioned this survey, in partnership with Osteoporosis Canada, said Nathalie Savoie, registered dietitian at Dairy Farmers of Canada, to verify the level of knowledge of Canadians about osteoporosis, and its impact on the quality of life of those who live with it. It is important to know what Canadians think to be able to provide useful information and contribute to reduce the number of Canadians who suffer from this condition.''

Some of the Ipsos survey's key findings include:

Both men and women begin to lose bone mass in their mid-thirties whereas Canadians think that bone loss begins at age 44.
85% of Canadians don't know that osteoporosis has no symptoms—the first symptom is often a broken bone.
65% of Canadians don't think osteoporosis can be fatal, but 28% of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
85% of Canadians don't know that fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attacks, stroke and breast cancer—combined.
Two-thirds of Canadians believe it's possible to get enough calcium from foods other than milk products. In fact, milk products naturally contain more calcium per serving than any other food, and also contain bone-building nutrients such as protein, phosphorus and magnesium.
Prevention is key

Bone density peaks when you are in your twenties, and you start losing bone mass in your mid-thirties, hence the importance of taking some preventive measures.

While some factors that affect bones such as genetics cannot be altered, making healthier choices such as having an active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods such as milk products can contribute to the development of healthy bones, and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. In addition to vitamin D rich foods such as milk, vitamin D supplementation is recommended by Osteoporosis Canada.

Nathalie Savoie says, "Many Canadians are not getting enough servings of milk products, which means they may be short in calcium and other essential bone-building nutrients found in milk products. This in turn can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis as they age."

Making healthier food choices is just a tap away for Canadians with the Get Enough Helper App, developed by the team of registered dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada. Available for iPhone and Android users, the app helps Canadians eat better by tracking the food they consume. As an added benefit, for every day users track what they eat, Dairy Farmers of Canada donates one dollar on their behalf to one of the following causes: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Osteoporosis Canada.

For more information on milk products and to download the free Get Enough Helper App, visit GetEnough.ca.

About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Founded in 1934, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national organization defending the interests of Canadian dairy farmers and striving to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry. Working within supply management, DFC promotes safe, high quality, sustainable, and nutritious Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk through various marketing, nutrition, policy, and lobbying initiatives. Driven by a strong sense of community and pride, DFC and Canadian dairy farmers actively support a number of local and national initiatives. Visit dairyfarmers.ca for more information.​

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Evening At The Market brings foodie fun to St Lawrence Market

 On Thursday evening, November 10 St. Lawrence Market gave patrons an ultimate foodie party to benefit Second Harvest. For over 30 years St. Lawrence Market has been a partner with Second Harvest.

With chef-inspired creations from merchants at the Market, in addition to live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and more the night was an annual festive party!

Starting in 1985 Second Harvest volunteers picked up donations from the market for Fred Victor Centre Women’s Hostel and Good Shepherd Centre Toronto. Today there are 8 volunteers in this partnership working to provide food rescue for the community.

The sold out event took over the South Market with merchants created a fantastic feast for their guests. With two weeks before the event tickets were gone. Twenty dollars from each ticket was set aside to benefit the charity.

 Cigarettes and the Poor
Christian Christian:  On Thursday October 20th I went to the food bank, and in the year and a half that I’ve been going there on a weekly basis it was the first time that it’d been steadily raining. This time I was prepared though and brought an umbrella that I’ve had for at least a decade but never use. I think that my daughter’s mother bought it for her, but she didn’t care to take it with her to Montreal when she moved. Since I ride a bike I don’t normally have use for a bumbershoot and even if I’m walking in the rain I wouldn’t bother with one, but standing around for an hour or more in the down-coming wet is a different story.

I found out whom I was directly behind, which turned out to be the same grey haired guy in the baseball cap that I’d been behind the week before. I opened my umbrella and read an essay from my Aesthetics textbook that argues that Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary about the Nuremberg Nazi party rally, “Triumph of the Will” starring Adolph Hitler, is an ethically flawed artistic masterpiece. I planned on watching the movie that night to see if she was right, but I have seen clips of the documentary over the years and it seems to me that the author was probably judging the film based on Nazi behaviour after the movie was made. The fact is that Riefenstahl’s documentary won her awards all over the world, including North America, so I doubt if critics at the time saw anything morally wrong with the movie.

The Second Harvest truck arrived while we were waiting, so that meant that I had to move even further away from the driveway just to avoid the smokers that the truck had displaced into the area that I’d picked before that to avoid the smokers.

When the truck left the driveway, everyone refilled the space. On nicer days the food bank clients spread out a lot more, but this time, I assume because of the rain, they felt compelled to bunch up together near the door, even though there was no logical reason to, since they were still all in the rain. I stayed a few meters outside of the massing, because so many of them were smoking. Even Joe, the manager was standing with his back to the door sometimes while smoking and once he even stepped inside of the food bank with his lit cigarette for a few seconds.

Thinking about poor people smoking made me wonder why. I came across a 2006 study that found that poor people tend to take longer and deeper drags on cigarettes, thus increasing their level of addiction. With so many poor people addicted to smoking, it makes it very difficult for those that want to quit to do so. They go to places like the food bank, where so many are smoking and they can’t avoid it. Also it seems that raising the tax on cigarettes only causes people above the poverty line to quit smoking, because once you are poor, you are already getting by with less of the necessities, so a few more do not seem drastic. A poor person would also be more likely to find cheaper black market cigarettes than a middle class person.

I also wondered about how much money all the people I was watching spent collectively every year. I think it’s possible that the smoking Parkdale Food Bank clients alone might pay for one tobacco company executive’s annual high-end car purchase. I suspect also that as for the food bank clients that smoke and don’t have dependents, if they didn’t smoke they probably would not need the food bank.

The food bank did not start giving out numbers at the time they usually do. This was mainly because of the food delivery beforehand. From what I’ve heard, after the food is put away, the volunteers get to make their own food selections before the clients come in. I don’t know though if that happens before the numbers are given out or before the clients come for their food in the early afternoon.

The people outside were getting impatient in the rain. One woman banged on the door and shouted out what time it was each time it was another five minutes after 11:00.

The line-up was usually stretched out in single file by this time but on this day it was three people thick. I finally stepped in and took my place behind the old guy in the baseball cap. There were three women from the Caribbean that had been there together. One of them disputed the position of the man in front of me, saying that they had been in front of him at the beginning. I guess I should check for more than the person directly in front of me when I arrive there. Perhaps I should inquire next time about the first three people in front of me. One of the three women was standing farther back in line, but her friend finally coaxed her to move up beside them because obviously she was with them. She shyly did as her friend told her, but explained her reluctance with, “I don’t wanna get cussed!”

A man about fifteen people behind me started shouting at the people in front, saying that this is a volunteer place and nobody has a right to give the people that work there a hard time. He declared that if he were in their position he wouldn’t stand for it. His argument seemed incongruous to me. I didn’t notice as much negativity from the people near the front as was coming at that moment from him. I don’t buy the argument that people being served by volunteers don’t have the right to complain if the service is lousy. The volunteers are dry and they get first choice of food. There are probably other benefits that go along with the job as well. Anyone that does any job that’s worth doing, whether they get paid or not, should want to know whether or not what they are doing is quality work. Who better to tell them than their clients? Most people in the line-up at any given time are already registered and for someone whose name is on the computer it takes at the most, one minute to find their name and hand them a number. There are two reception people working side by side, so that means they can process two people a minute. If there are sixty registered people in line then it shouldn’t take more than half an hour to process them all, so what is the justification for keeping them waiting for ninety minutes?

Finally I got in and walked out at about 11:20, after an hour and a half of waiting in the rain, with number 19.

Back at my place, my next door neighbour came to tell me that he’d recently gotten a new phone from Bell, but when he tried to transfer his card from the old phone, he stuck it in the wrong slot and it got lodged there. He took it to the Fido outlet down the street and the guy said he would charge him twenty dollars to get his card out because it would take an hour because it involves applying heat to the phone. I wondered if it might be really a two second job.

It was still raining when I returned to the food bank at 13:30. The volunteers that prepare the meal had a table set up with a tent roof overhead. At the time that I arrived there were no smokers around the table. Over the ten minutes that I waited for my number to be called, two of the friendly women in charge of the food offered me some of the sweet potato chili, but I politely declined both times. At home I can sit down and eat in a relaxed atmosphere rather than standing and dining in a driveway.

Finally the doorperson called numbers 11 to 20 and I got inside and out of the rain.

After about five minutes, the tiny, elderly volunteer called my number.

The first thing I picked was a can of cranberry sauce, even though I probably won’t cook turkey again until Christmas. Then she gave me three chewy chocolate-coated energy bars. It looked like there was plenty of pasta, rice and sauce, but I didn’t take any. There was a good selection of canned beans and I took the chickpeas. She handed me a roll of toilet paper and after looking to see if anyone was looking, gave me another one. She did the same with the tuna, handing me an extra can. In the cereal section was a choice between Cheerios Plus and Shreddies. I’ve taken the Cheerios over the last two weeks and found that even though they had healthy ingredients, they were major stale, so I took the Shreddies.

In the cold foods section, Hazel had single litre bags of chocolate milk and a choice between a loaf of packaged meat and a bag of frozen egg patties. I almost took the meat but then saw that it had macaroni inside. What an odd thing to put inside of meat! Why not stuff cheese with string beans or sell radios flecked with pieces of shredded conga drum? Hazel gave me an extra bag of frozen egg patties.

The bread section was sparse and the woman supervising it said I could only take one item, so I grabbed a loaf of whole grain bread that was about the size of the average sweet potato.

The vegetable lady, who I think I heard someone call Angie, was still serving the person in front of me, who wanted to take more items, but Angie said, “That’s it!” several times before the woman left. She gave me several pieces of fruit, several small potatoes, a few small peppers and two cobs of corn. There were a few local garden vegetables in a bin, such as half a cabbage, but I took some long greens that were in a bag and which she said had been picked that day. Some of the greens turned out to be very dark green baby celery.

She asked me, “How’s your book?” I told her it’s just something I have to read for school. She looked disappointed again. She’d probably wanted to hear that it was a great read.​

Celebrate local and global tastes at the 2016 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
  Beer drinkers, food lovers and wine aficionados will come together to experience what Canada and the world have to offer at this year’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.

With more beer and cider vendors than ever before, along with some of Canada’s top restaurant and food exhibitors, the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo has something for everyone to taste and fall in love with this month.

Running from November 17-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Toronto staple will be back with more than 1,500 wines, beers, spirits and gourmet foods to experience. Journey around the globe with cooking pros, talk one-on-one with industry experts and taste the newest dishes and drinks everyone is raving about.

“When reaching for a cold one, Canadians are turning to local, craft beer more than ever. We’re excited to welcome all of the awesome new and returning breweries from across Canada to this year’s Expo,” says Paul McNair, Show Manager of the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo. “Of course, the Expo wouldn’t be the same without all of the unbelievable food vendors on hand. This year, we’re introducing the brand new Gourmet Urban Market, which will celebrate products from local producers.”

Beer lovers are in luck at this year’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, with a diverse range of breweries on tap, such as Amsterdam Brewery, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Creemore Springs Brewery, Goose Island Beer, Mill Street Brewery, Moosehead Brewery, Nickle Brook Brewing, Old Tomorrow, Railway City Brewing, Sam Adams and Whitewater Brewing Company. Not to mention several ciders, including Angry Orchard, Magners Pear, and Pommies Cider, to name a few.

If you’re looking for something to pair with your craft beer, food vendors like Cannoli Queens, Liko’s Hawaiin BBQ, Casa Manila, Mad Mexican and Moksha Indian Bistro, among many more, offer plenty of choice and tastes from around the world.

The Expo’s food events are certain to satisfy your hunger for a fabulous culinary experience. Special culinary attractions happening all weekend include:

The Canadian Cheese Counter, presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, which is offering everyone the opportunity to discover and taste the best cheeses made right here in Canada!
The Chef Stage will offer continuous chef demonstrations throughout the Expo. Don’t miss the non-stop line up of breakthrough talents, seasoned celebrities, and trend-setting innovators.
The Chef & The Dish, featured on the Chef Stage throughout the weekend, where celebrity chefs will Skype with the crowd as they coach a member of the audience to make an authentic dish from their region.
The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo runs November 17-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Visitors can sample more than 1,500 wines, beers, spirits and gourmet foods. For more information and to buy Tutored Tastings or Admission tickets please visit FoodAndWineExpo.ca. Tickets often sell out at the door, so don’t miss out on Toronto’s biggest cocktail party.

Check out the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo on Twitter at @GFWE & #GFWE16 and follow it to stay up to date with the latest news about the Expo.

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo:
Thursday Nov. 17th, 2016, 6-10pm VIP Preview Evening
Friday Nov. 18th, 2016, 2-10pm
Saturday Nov. 19th, 2016, 12-10pm
Sunday Nov. 20th, 2016, 12-6pm

Shake, stir, strain: Fairmont unveils new selection of curated barware and cocktail offerings
Building on the worldwide success of Fairmont's Tastemaker program and global Classics Perfected cocktail menu, the luxury hotel brand is expanding further into the cocktail space with the release of new packages, events and a selection of specially curated barware products at Fairmont Stores in North America.

"Fairmont cocktail culture extends far beyond the savouring of specially crafted cocktails at our storied bars and lounges," said Brett Patterson, vice president, food & beverage, Americas, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. "It's about cocktail excellence, evolution and guest exploration at our hotels and at home. Our new selection of barware and cocktail offerings are designed to give guests the tools they need to truly elevate their cocktail repertoire."

The new Fairmont Store barware section features a curated array of beautifully designed premium home bar products such as the brand's Classics Perfected signature Schott Zwiesel crystal glassware, BIRDY BY ERIK LORINCZ (BIRDY) bar tools designed by Fairmont Tastemaker Erik Lorincz, small batch Bittered Sling bitters and N.A.D Syrups formulated by Fairmont Tastemaker Nader Chabaane. Products are now available in-store and at Fairmontstore.com.

"Using great barware and high quality ingredients are two of the most important elements to making delicious cocktails at home," said Erik Lorincz, Fairmont Tastemaker and founder of BIRDY. "Once guests have those basics they can start to explore and experiment with new recipes, techniques and tastes to hone their craft and impress their guests."
Fairmont guests can develop their knowledge and refine their cocktail skills by drawing on the various resources available at Fairmontcocktails.com, the brand's hub for Fairmont cocktail culture including how-to-videos, recipes and best practices.

A special series of cocktail-inspired Sip & Stay packages will also be available at hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and Barbados starting November 1st. Guests can enjoy an evening in Fairmont's luxury accommodations as well as a cocktail-inspired welcome amenity, a $50 F&B credit and 15% off the new barware section of the Fairmont Store. Full details and participating hotels can be viewed here.

Guests who want to learn how to mix the perfect cocktail in person can meet Fairmont Tastemakers Grant Sceney and Nader Chabaane at Fairmont Chicago on December 8th for a special Classics Perfected Fairmont Visa Signature Card event delivered in partnership with the brand's top spirit partners. Tickets for this exclusive event will be released in November. All those interested in participating can be added to the waitlist by emailing [email protected]

New events, offers and content will be released on Fairmontcocktails.com on an ongoing basis, giving Fairmont guests new ideas to inspire their cocktail journey.

Holiday meals and entertaining made simple
As the holiday season approaches, so does the usual stress about holiday entertaining. M&M Food Market wants to help simplify the season with easy-to-prepare and delicious new tastes and festive favourites, made with care and built to impress even the most discerning holiday crowd. From busy weeknight meals to festive feasts, cocktail parties and everything in between, M&M Food Market's entertaining and meal tips, enhanced shopping experience and helpful in-store Meal Advisors will save hosts time in the kitchen so they can spend more time enjoying the holidays with loved ones.

"We know the holiday season can be overwhelming. Between shopping for gifts, holiday parties and hosting family and friends – plus everyday life – there's a lot going on for Canadians," says Evelyn McManus, Corporate Chef at M&M Food Market. "We can help them figure it out, with options for busy weeknights or creative yet convenient ways to add something special to holiday festivities."

Tips for making it a season to remember

Make it different: include a variety of flavours through tapas style appetizers, served alongside picture-perfect décor to set your gathering apart from the typical cocktail party
Make it sparkle: to wow guests, serve up some unexpected, new foods (consider trying some new spices) combined with trendy décor that shines
Make it sweet: offer desserts in bite-sized portions so your guests can try a variety of sweets. Impress your guests with a beautiful dessert like M&M Crème Brulée – no kitchen torch necessary
Make it photogenic: cater to the photographers in your life with an Insta-worthy brunch. Spruce up mimosas with M&M Triple Berry Blend for a punch of colour
The holidays are the perfect time to try something new and serve up something special. M&M Food Market's new holiday line-up offers delectable, crowd-pleasing flavours that are sure to satisfy guests at your table this holiday season. Here are a few ideas to inspire your upcoming festivities.

Fantastic New Tastes
Add a bit of spice to your bite-size offerings with new M&M Food Market Sriracha Chicken Wings, covered in a lip-smacking, exclusive sriracha glaze. Or, add a classic to your holiday menus - New Fried Battered Mushrooms have a delightfully crispy batter and are perfect for dipping, skewering or serving on the side.

No time to bake from scratch? No problem. M&M Food Market's line-up of new holiday desserts are made with care using quality ingredients and exclusive recipes, so you can be sure they will have a great homemade taste.

Are there cake lovers in your family? Celebrate the season with new M&M Chocolate Cheesecake – a genuine New York cheesecake made with real cream and lots of chocolate. The new Festive White Yule Log makes a fantastic impression – it is hand rolled and features vanilla sponge cake around white chocolate mousse and raspberries, all covered in a rich glaze. For a sampling of mini sweets, try the new Chocolate Enrobed Pralines and Cream Cheesecake Bites or individual-portion Caramel Sea Salt Cakes that will melt in your mouth with their creamy caramel sauce.

Tried and True Holiday Favourites
It just wouldn't be the holidays without these M&M Food Market festive favourites at the table!

Party on with M&M Food Market Party Packs: M&M Food Market party packs offer a variety of shapes and flavours – all in one box. Customer favourites include Oriental Party Pak, Shrimp Party Pak, Hors d'Oeuvre Quartet and Fruit and Cheese Phyllo Collection.

Don't skimp on the shrimp: Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Crispy Torpedo Shrimp, Shrimp Platter, Shrimp Rangoons, to name just a few – there are so many savoury shrimp options to make your meal or party special.

Bacon – enough said: Anything wrapped in bacon is a must-have for holiday menus. Serve up bacon-wrapped favourites like Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Shooters and Bacon Wrapped Scallops.

Festive Feasts, Family Dinners and Meals on the Run
Whatever the day or the occasion calls for, M&M Food Market has the meal to fit. For festive feasts, boneless Turkey Breast (Stuffed or Regular), Angus Beef Roast and Frenched Pork Chops make fantastic entrees. Supreme Scalloped Potatoes or Homestyle Mashed Potatoes and a selection of M&M Food Market flash frozen vegetables make it a meal.

For customers who may not have the time to shop in-person, M&M Food Market's Click & Collect lets customers coast-to-coast visit mmfoodmarket.com to stock their online shopping cart, place an order and then pick it up in store at a time, date and location that's convenient for them. All with no fees and no minimum order required.

"It's no secret Canadians are busy during the holidays, and no one wants to spend more time preparing for the holidays than actually enjoying them," says Andy O'Brien, CEO, M&M Food Market. "We're excited that our Click & Collect program, which originally launched eight years ago, has become such a helpful and convenient way for our customers to shop online and stock up on all their holiday favourites, so they can spend more time with friends and family."

M&M offers a number of options to help consumers shop easily and conveniently – during the holidays and throughout the year. In-store Meal Advisors offer helpful advice for product pairings, entertaining groups both large and small, and preparing outstanding meals. The newly renovated stores (if there isn't one in your city already, there may be one coming soon!) and a refreshed in-store concept further simplify the shopping experience for M&M customers. The new store concept organizes products by category to make shopping easy, and features re-designed packaging to show off the products inside.

Canadians seeking healthier beverage choices
 Most Canadians want to be healthier and many actively seek out foods and beverages that help them do that, according to the results of a recent Leger survey*.

The survey found that an overwhelming 93 per cent of Canadians want to live a healthier lifestyle. Of those surveyed, 96 per cent said their emotional quality of life was important to them and 92 per cent said their physical health was important with women being even more likely than men to think that.

Part of that dedication to healthier living starts with changing beverage choices from sugar-filled, carbonated soft drinks to natural options like no sugar-added juice. The survey revealed that 54 per cent of consumers agreed that they would like to change their drinking habits to more natural options, such as fresh juice. In Québec, it was 62 per cent of consumers.

For most adults when it comes to what to drink, after water, Canada's Food Guide recommends several healthy options including 100% juice.

"100% pomegranate juice can be part of a healthy diet," said registered dietitian Abby Langer. "Pomegranate juice contains potassium, which contributes to normal muscle function and is a factor in the maintenance of good health, normal growth and development."

Consumers looking for a healthier beverage can look to POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice which is made with 100% pomegranate juice and does not contain added sugar, colourants, or cheap filler juices. It's also a good source of potassium. Drinking a 236mL portion provides as much potassium as a medium banana (17% based on 600mg/3500DV).

Half of the Canadians surveyed say they drink juice when fresh fruit is not available. Every 473mL of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice from concentrate has the juice of four whole pomegranates inside and nothing else. That means 125mL is a serving of fruit towards the 7-10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables recommended for adults by Canada's Food Guide.

*A survey of 1,536 Canadians was completed online between September 19 to 22, 2016 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger's online panel has approximately 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%.

Wine in grocery stores ramps up privatization of the LCBO: OPSEU
​​The Ontario government's move to put wine in grocery stores, announced today, is another step in the backdoor privatization of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) says.

"The majority of Ontarians do not support the privatization of the LCBO," said Denise Davis, Chair of the OPSEU Liquor Board Employees Division. "Yet by putting wine in grocery stores, the government is doing just that, one bottle at a time. This move means less money for the government to pay for public services. It means reduced social responsibility when it comes to the sale of alcohol. And with the increased availability of alcohol, it means higher health and social costs."

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontarians are not fooled by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's latest attempt to raise her rock-bottom approval ratings.

"There are two villains here," said Thomas. "One is the grocery store lobby, hungry for profit, and the other is the Premier, desperate to save her political hide."

The Ontario government has begun liberalizing and privatizing alcohol sales with minimal public consultation. Already, some 60 stores across the province are selling beer and cider. Starting today, wine will be on shelves in up to 70 grocery stores. The government's plan is to expand alcohol sales to 450 grocery stores, a 25 per cent increase in the number of alcohol outlets in the province.

Denise Davis will be available for comment at 9:45 a.m., just before Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa makes his announcement at Coppa's Fresh Market, 4750 Dufferin Street North.   

Carve a Heart this weekend! Pumpkin carving ideas to honour farmers
​As many Canadians gear up to carve pumpkins over the next few days, World Vision has a great way to add some meaning to this fun family activity by helping farmers in developing countries. Farmers around the world are sometimes working in difficult circumstances with rainfall that is scarce and unpredictable, and without the tools they need. Carving a heart in your pumpkin is an easy way to show that you love farmers around the world.

This weekend when considering the plethora of designs to choose from, carve a heart in your pumpkin to show the love to farmers. Then post on social media with #carveaheart and text LOVE to 41010 to donate $10. The funds will be used to send Crop Seeds for Farmers, a gift in the World Vision Gift Catalogue that benefits farmers around the world.

"We want families to use this activity they'll be doing together over the next few days to show love and support to farmers who are often working their land in difficult places. Hearts are a simple and beautiful design and we're excited that Canadians are using this activity to help others," said
Lisa Fernandes, World Vision Gift Catalogue.

Post with #carveaheart and join others around the world who are doing the same. Text LOVE to 41010 to donate $10 to send crop seeds to farmers.

Loblaw uncorks convenience with Ontario VQA and international wine varieties on shelf at 20 grocery locations
​Loblaw Companies Limited is expanding convenience and choice for Ontario customers with the introduction of wine and beer on shelf in 20 locations, all the while continuing its commitment to equal representation for Ontario producers.

The select Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Fortinos and No Frills locations listed below are added to the original 19 stores licensed to sell beer and cider, increasing access for Loblaw customers in markets across the province.

"Ontarians come to our stores looking for outstanding flavours and meal inspiration," said Grant Froese, Chief Operation Officer, Loblaw Companies Limited. "With more than 600 varieties of wine, beer and cider on our shelves, we are uniquely positioned to help them put a great meal on their table. Customers in 39 communities will have increased convenience. We applaud the government for making this possible, and we pledge our continued enthusiastic partnership as beer and wine become available in more grocery stores."

While most locations have launched with a tailored selection, over the coming months the stores will stock more than 400 varieties of wine, 200 beer and 25 cider options, including local and regional favourites and must-try international products. Seven locations launch today with the full assortment, and will have a wine expert in the store during peak business hours to support customers looking for recommendations and food pairing ideas.

"When we rolled out beer in 2015, we committed to equal shelf space for domestic craft and multinational brands – to the benefit of our customers and small Ontario brewers," said Greg Ramier, head of liquor sales at Loblaw Companies Limited. "We look forward to giving customers access to great Ontario wines, and giving great Ontario wines access to new customers."

"We applaud Loblaw's commitment to Ontario VQA wineries and its proactive efforts to provide our sector with new retail opportunities," said Richard Linley, President, Wine Council of Ontario. "We look forward to working with Loblaw to continue to drive interest in VQA wines across the province."

The following stores will now stock wine and beer on shelf (the first seven will have the full assortment today):

Ottawa: Loblaws College Square Market, 1980 Baseline Rd.
Toronto: Loblaws, 2877 Bayview Village
Toronto: Loblaws, 11 Redway Rd. (Millwood & Laird)
Kanata: Loblaws, 200 Earl Grey Dr.
Caledonia: Zehrs, 322 Argyle St. S
Brampton: Fortinos, 35 Worthington Ave.
Leamington: Real Canadian Superstore, 201 Talbot St. E
Listowel: Zehrs, 600 Mitchell Rd, Hwy 23 S.
Port Elgin: Rowland's Your Independent Grocer, 1244 Goderich St.
Chelmsford: Chartrand's Your Independent Grocery, 4764-17 Regional Road 15
Toronto: Loblaws Empress Market, 5095 Yonge St
Toronto: Real Canadian Superstore, 2549 Weston Rd.
Port Credit: Loblaws, 250 Lakeshore Rd. W.
Kingsville: Zehrs, 300 Main St. E.
Hearst: Rocheleau Your Independent Grocer, 1521 Highway 11 W.
*Renfrew: Sterling's No Frills, 680 O'Brien Rd.
*Kemptville: Jonsson's Your Independent Grocer, Kemptville Mall Hwy. 43 W.
The below locations will stock wine and beer by the end of 2016:

Vaughan: Fortinos, 2911 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan: Fortinos, 3940 Highway 7 R.R #2 (Hwy 7 and Ansley)
Stoney Creek: Fortinos, 21 Upper Centennial Pkwy S.
In addition, the following two stores will now sell beer and cider:

Bowmanville: Loblaws Bowmanville Market, 2375 Highway #2
Wasaga Beach: Real Canadian Superstore, 25-45th Street South
*Restricted VQA only licenses   

Applebee's® Grill & Bar Honors Veterans And Active Duty With Free Meals On Remembrance Day, November 11
Applebee's® Grill & Bar is honored to celebrate Remembrance Day by paying tribute and saying thanks to Canada's veterans and active duty military personnel with a complimentary meal. * On Friday, November 11, the Neighbourhood Grill & Bar will once again show its appreciation for those who protect and serve by offering a complimentary meal from a special menu. Guests are also encouraged to show their gratitude through the "Neighbours Thanking Neighbours" campaign.

Applebee's started this tradition to thank the men and women who have kept Canada safe through military service. In the past eight years, Applebee's has served thousands of free meals to current and former service men and women on Remembrance Day, and has served as a neighbourhood gathering place for people to share a meal with their local heroes and share their gratitude. Additionally, through the "Neighbours Thanking Neighbours" campaign, participating Applebee's restaurants encourage guests to celebrate the sacrifices these brave men and women have made on their behalf by leaving a note of gratitude on 'Thank You Wall Posters' at their local Applebee's or online on the Applebee's Canada Facebook page. The posters will hang in participating restaurants beginning in early November for guests to leave their story or message of thanks to the members of the Canadian Forces for their past and current service. The posters will be visible to all who come to be honored on Remembrance Day.

"We are proud to once again honor Canada's service men and women for the sacrifices they make to keep the country safe," said Daniel del Olmo, President of International, DineEquity, Inc., the parent company of Applebee's. "This is our opportunity to give back to the people who have given so much for us, and we can't wait to serve them this Remembrance Day."

Veterans and active military personnel will be able to select a free meal from a special Remembrance Day menu that features some of Applebee's most beloved dishes, including:

3 Cheese Cavatapi: Corkscrew pasta, cheesy alfredo sauce, bruschetta & garlic bread

7 oz. Canadian Top Sirloin: Hand-cut premium steak served with red-skin garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Chicken Finger Platter: Fries, slaw & choice of dipping sauce.

Fiesta Lime Chicken: Grilled chicken, Mexi-ranch dressing, cheddar, tortilla strips, mexi-rice & pico. (Gluten-free item**)
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger: Bacon, cheddar, tomato, lettuce, onion & pickle.

Oriental Chicken Salad: Fried chicken tenders, fresh Asian greens, rice noodles, almonds with an Oriental vinaigrette. (Gluten-free when ordered without stir fry sauce and rice noodles**).

Double Crunch Shrimp: Breaded shrimp, cocktail sauce, slaw & fries.

U.S. veterans and active military personnel in Canada are also welcome to enjoy the complimentary meal, and Applebee's restaurants in the United States welcome Canadian veterans and military personnel to come to their local restaurant and enjoy a similar free meal on Veterans Day, which is also celebrated on November 11.

All veterans and Active Duty Canadian Forces will need to provide proof of service to receive their free meal. Qualifying proof of service includes: permanent ID card for active personnel, temporary ID card for reservists, veteran's card or a photograph in uniform or the wearing of their uniform.

*Offer is valid for dine-in only and selections from a limited menu only during normal business hours on November 11. Traditional sides are included with the free entree. Upgraded side items or extras, beverages, desserts and gratuity are not included. Must present proof of military service.

**Gluten-Free: The menu items bearing the gluten-free symbol are not prepared with gluten or made with ingredients that contain gluten when prepared according to the standard recipe. Please be aware that during normal kitchen operations involving shared cooking and preparation areas, including common fryer oil, the possibility exists for food items to come in contact with other food products. Due to these circumstances, we are unable to guarantee that any menu item can be completely free of allergens. Items designated as gluten-free have been tested to contain less than 20PPM of gluten protein.

Canada is making healthy eating great again
The Heart and Stroke Foundation is enthusiastic about the federal government's launch of a comprehensive healthy living strategy as announced today by Health Minister Jane Philpott at Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. Once implemented, the strategy will help create the environment needed to support Canadians to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

"The healthy living strategy announced today will have a real impact on protecting the health of Canadian families," says Mary Lewis, VP Research, Advocacy and Health Promotion, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "We applaud the federal government on its commitment to Canadians' health. Heart & Stroke and other health organizations have been working hard for years to help improve the nutrition landscape and increase tobacco control, and we look forward to ongoing consultations. We are happy to see so many key public health priorities reflected in the strategy, including making the Food Guide more digestible for Canadians."

The wide-ranging strategy will tackle a variety of measures including commitments on trans fats; front-of-pack food labelling related to sodium and sugars; restricting marketing to children; revisions to the Canada's Food Guide; a menthol prohibition for all tobacco products; vaping regulations; plain packaging of tobacco products; and more.

Healthy public policy can play a significant role in improving the health of Canadians. These policies will help give our children the best start and support all Canadians to adopt the behaviours necessary to live long healthy lives.

As co-chairs with Health Canada of the original trans fat task force, the Foundation is especially pleased to see regulations forthcoming to prohibit artificially produced trans fats in our foods and restaurants. This is important because although we have made great progress, there are still high levels of trans fats in baked products and foods often consumed by children.

Front-of-pack labels on products high in sugar and sodium will help Canadians make better decisions in the grocery store. Canadians consume too much sodium – 77 per cent of which comes from processed foods. High sugar consumption is linked to cardiovascular and other chronic disease and Canadians are getting too much of the sweet stuff on a daily basis. Sugary drinks are the single greatest contributor of sugar in our diets; one can of pop or juice contains close to the recommended daily maximum. Front-of-pack warning labels will assist consumers to identify products high in sodium and sugar.

The Foundation is also very pleased to see the government's commitment to act on the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children. Food and beverage marketing works, it greatly influences a child's food and drink choices. The majority of food and beverage products marketed to children (as much as 90%) are high in salt, fat or sugar. Restricting commercial marketing of all foods and beverages to children will help protect them from harmful industry tactics and support parents to make healthy choices for their families.

"We applaud the government of Canada for its leadership in placing restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children," says Manuel Arango, Director of Health Policy and Advocacy, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "We look forward to participating in Marketing to Kids consultations and will continue to work with Minister Philpott and the Federal Government to ensure these restrictions are evidence based, strongly regulated and a have minimal phase-in period."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation also welcomes the changes related to tobacco: "These tobacco measures are a breath of fresh air," says Arango. "Too many Canadians are still dying from tobacco use. Plain packaging will eliminate the last important means‎ of marketing tobacco products."

"This is a positive step and we commend the Health Minister's commitment," says Lewis. "We look forward to working with the government to put the strategy into action as quickly as possible."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation's mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. A volunteer-based health charity, we strive to tangibly improve the health of every Canadian family, every day. Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen. heartandstroke.ca

Air Canada enRoute Magazine Announces 2016 Canada's Best New Restaurants
Canada's award-winning inflight magazine, Air Canada enRoute, is pleased to announce the Top 10 list of Canada's Best New Restaurants 2016 as well as the winner of the Air Canada enRoute People's Choice Award on eatandvote.com. Award-winning food writer Andrew Braithwaite returned for a month-long eating marathon from coast to coast in search of the country's latest and greatest. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Air Canada enRoute Canada's Best New Restaurants, a program that seeks to promote the nation's culinary excellence at home and abroad.

This year's first-place honours went to Tannis Ling and Joël Watanabe of Kissa Tanto, who wowed with their atmospheric Japanese-Italian restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown. It's the second appearance on the list for this team, whose French-Chinese brasserie Bao Bei placed second in 2010. The other winners span the country, from Bay Fortune, PEI, to Victoria, B.C.

"The top restaurants in our 2016 ranking are influenced by community, and they create an experience that diners can really become a part of," said Jean-François Légaré, editor-in-chief, Air Canada enRoute. "In Montreal, restaurateur Jen Agg teamed up with musicians to build Agrikol, a Haitian restaurant with the vibe straight from Port-au-Prince. With FireWorks, celebrity chef turned innkeeper Michael Smith creates country feasts where you break bread with other guests. And Kraken Cru in Quebec City is an intimate 12-seat space that feels like a friend's home."

"Air Canada enRoute Canada's Best New Restaurants program actively promotes a sense of culinary identity across the country," noted Andrew Shibata, Managing Director, Brand, Air Canada. "With 2016 marking the program's 15th anniversary, we are delighted to have shared the evolution of Canadian cuisine with our passengers, and to continue to do so with the winning restaurants for this year."

Highlights from this year's roster include chefs chopping their own wood and cooking over live fire at FireWorks, Foxy and Savio Volpe, the return of the tasting menu that sets diners up for a night of surprises at Alo and Le Fantôme, and terroir-driven cocktails that shake things up at Agrikol, Highwayman and Kissa Tanto.

The diverse group of restaurateurs featured in this year's Top 10 shows a range in talents inside and out of the kitchen. Star Victoria baker Clif Leir takes his ethical, all-organic approach a step further with the French-by-Northwest cuisine of Agrius. The team behind Kraken Cru combine seafood expertise and a sense of a humour at their festive Quebec City raw bar. And designer Craig Stanghetta crafted unforgettable environments with his own retro-Italian dining room at Savio Volpe and 1960's Tokyo jazz bar-inspired Kissa Tanto.

Here are some highlights from the Top 10 restaurants:

Kissa Tanto (Vancouver, B.C.): "When the sun sets in Chinatown, Kissa Tanto's glossy ceiling shimmers like a rain-slicked Vancouver street. Tannis Ling and chefs Joël Watanabe and Alain Chow prove that Italy and Japan are natural bedfellows, from tajarin egg pasta tossed with butter-and-Marsala roasted shiitake and porcini to a tofu-and-mascarpone tiramisu that could bring a ninja's nonna to tears."

Alo (Toronto, ON): "Few restaurants pursue perfection the way Alo does. The service troupe operates like Broadway stagehands, deftly swapping out props before you've even anticipated the next act. Patrick Kriss's dishes require your full attention, like meaty morels with fried shallots and crème fraîche from Normandy."

FireWorks (Bay Fortune, PEI): "At the Inn at Bay Fortune, celebrity chef Michael Smith's "fire brigade" cooks over the brick-lined grill. Dessert is a magic trick: Chefs pluck the flower arrangements from terracotta centrepieces, revealing a celery-carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting and almond brownie dirt."

Agrius (Victoria, B.C.): "In this slick downtown dining room from self-taught baker Clif Leir, use selections from the bread basket to scoop up chef Sam Harris's smoked sablefish brandade, the rich boudin sauce that accompanies the rosé duck breast or the sweet and sour Parry Bay lamb tartare."

Foxy (Montreal, QC): "There are no gas or electric burners at this glamourous nighttime spot; Chef Leigh Roper cooks with hardwood that's been split and stacked in a Griffintown alley. Her flatbreads arrive blistered, her whole deboned sea bass crisped and smoky from a turn over the coals."

Agrikol (Montreal, QC): "Can you drink and eat so fantastically in Port-au-Prince at midnight on a Sunday? Montreal has Jen Agg and Roland Jean, of Toronto's Black Hoof, and Régine Chassagne and Win Butler of Arcade Fire to thank for this. Tabletop ti' ponch service will make you ravenous for accras and griot."

Kraken Cru (Quebec City, QC): "Twelve is a capacity crowd at this oyster and raw bar named after a mythical sea beast. It's a seriously good restaurant run by profoundly unserious Québécois. Mackerel is sliced thin and topped with a four-punch combo of radishes, arugula, grainy mustard and freshly grated horseradish."

Le Fantôme (Montreal, QC): "A mound of melted candle wax grows craggier with each night's moody ambience at Kabir Kapoor and chef Jason Morris's Griffintown room. Lobster is grilled over charcoal, and the dense, charred nuggets of tail meat are paired with a rich sparkling crémant d'Alsace."

Highwayman (Halifax, NS): "On Barrington Street, this sophisticated and hospitable Galician-style restobar celebrates Nova Scotia's own seaside ties with luscious slices of locally caught, salt-cured albacore loin and silver-skinned sardine filets acidulated with good sherry vinegar. The tequila and coffee Jesus Bravo cocktail is a master stroke."

Savio Volpe (Vancouver, B.C.): "A trio of restaurant vets – Craig Stanghetta, Paul Grunberg and Mark Perrier – combined their talents to update old-school Italian hospitality for a designer-eyewear crowd. Over cappuccinos and cannoli stuffed with orange-hazelnut cream, you'll resolve to return to take down an entire bistecca fiorentina."

Readers can see the full story and details of the winners on-board Air Canada flights in the November issue of Air Canada enRoute, the pull-out Dining Guide in the November issue, the Air Canada enRoute website enroute.aircanada.com, and the Air Canada enRoute Eats App.

Eat & Vote 2016
Eat & Vote (eatandvote.com) continued to drive Canadians to vote for their favourite new restaurants among 35 nominees. This year, the Air Canada enRoute People's Choice Award Winner, officially presented by lead sponsor American Express, is Backhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. One lucky voter will receive a trip for two to the nominated restaurant of his or her choice, including hotel, flight and spending money.

A 20 per cent reduction in calories consumed from beverages by 2025 will require effort
The goal of reducing caloric intake by 20 per cent by 2025 will require effort by the beverage industry before it can be achieved. Despite recent declines in daily calories from non-alcoholic and non-dairy beverages, a baseline report conducted by The Conference Board of Canada to track the Canadian Beverage Association's Balance Calories Initiative progress finds that consumer trends alone will only accomplish 10.5 per cent of the desired target.

"Ensuring that Canadians attain a healthy weight will require a multi-sector approach including voluntary industry initiatives such as the Balance Calorie Initiative," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy. "Although only a small and declining portion of daily calories consumed by Canadians is from refreshments beverages, the percentage of Canadian adults who are overweight continues to rise."

The Canadian Beverage Association has set a goal to reduce Canadians' liquid refreshment beverages (LRB) daily calorie consumption by 20 per cent between 2015 and 2025.

Historically, there has been a clear trend toward lower refreshment beverages daily caloric consumption per capita in Canada. In fact, a 20 per cent consumption reduction from 2004 to 2014 was achieved with the introduction of lower calorie beverage options. In 2014, Canadians consumed an average 142.5 calories a day from beverages such as bottled water, soft drink, juice and energy drinks daily.

To achieve the 20 per cent reduction target by 2025, Canadian consumers would need to consume 114 calories a day from refreshment beverages. The Conference Board report finds that this target can only be achieved through greater efforts from the industry to reduce the calories in refreshment beverages. The liquid refreshment beverage industry can continue to influence consumer choice in a number of ways such as reducing volumes and/or introducing more low calorie beverage products to the market.

This, along with topics on how to leverage new opportunities to enhance the food sector's performance will be discussed at the 5th Annual Food and Drink Summit 2016, November 28 and 29 in Toronto.

Tim Hortons guests pay forward over 12,000 free cups of coffee in 120 cities​​
On September 29, Tim Hortons kicked off a national pay-it-forward chain by releasing 100 special-edition Tim Cards across the country and challenging Canadians to help share 10,000 free cups of coffee in 10 days. In true Canadian spirit, Guests exceeded the goal and paid it forward more than 12,000 times, with cards reaching more than 120 cities and travelling almost 25,000 km nationwide.

From Campbell River, B.C. to St. John's, N.L. and as far north as Fort McMurray, Alta., the special-edition Tim Cards travelled coast to coast and to cities as large as Toronto and communities as small as Degelis, Que.

The Tim Cards even made their way to military personnel at Canadian Forces Base Borden in Simcoe County, Ont., who paid it forward 545 times in one day. But, the pay-it-forward record for a single card goes to one that made the 20 km trip from Prescott, Ont. to Brockville, Ont., sharing 1,119 coffees along the way.

"We're thrilled to see that our Guests continued to share these Tim Cards over the full 10 days so everyone could enjoy a free cup of Canada's favourite coffee," says Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada. "Thanks to their community spirit, we were able to exceed our pay-it-forward goal and spread some kindness across the nation."

Tim Hortons Pay-it-Forward Highlights:

One card travelled 4,386 km alone, making it from Richmond, B.C. to Toronto, Ont.
One card visited three different provinces: starting in Nova Scotia, stopping in New Brunswick and eventually making its way to Prince Edward Island
Some communities kept their cards close to home including Dryden, Ont. that shared a single card 106 times at the same location over six days; and Campbell River, B.C. that shared a single card 64 times at seven different locations in the community
One card visited seven different communities in British Columbia over 10 days including Delta, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, Squamish and Richmond
Ontario shared the most coffees in 10 days with a total of 8,139 across 66 different communities, followed by British Columbia that shared 2,448 coffees across 16 different communities
The Tim Cards were distributed randomly at Tim Hortons Restaurants and public locations all across Canada and were valid for one free coffee per transaction. After each coffee was purchased, the Tim Cards automatically reloaded and Guests were able to pass on the card again and again throughout the 10-day campaign.

As Canadians continue to spread their own acts of kindness in Tim Hortons Restaurants across the country, Guests are encouraged to share their stories online at www.everycup.ca and on social media using #WhyWeBrew.

Celebrate Friendsgiving with Lamb​​
 (Family Features) This year, flex your culinary muscle and opt for something adventurous at your Friendsgiving table.
American lamb is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to share something deliciously different at their feast. It's sourced from local farms and its versatility lends itself to a variety of flavors and celebrations.

The American Lamb Board offers impressive yet approachable recipes fit for Friendsgiving, from a Sheet Pan Rack of Lamb with Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Delicata Squash and Pears to this Lasagna with Lamb Ragu. For more recipes to include lamb at your feast, visit AmericanLamb.com.

Lasagna with Lamb Ragu
Serves: 12

3 1/2 pounds American lamb stew meat
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 medium yellow sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim milk ricotta cheese
1 ball (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
20 ounces oven-ready lasagna noodles (about 24 noodle sheets)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 12 slices
12 fresh basil leaves

In large Dutch oven, combine lamb, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, onion, oregano, garlic and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat then reduce to low and slowly simmer, covered, until meat is tender and shreds easily, 4-6 hours.
Once tender, shred meat and stir into sauce (gently pressing meat with potato masher works well). If necessary, continue simmering 5-10 minutes uncovered to thicken slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, as needed.

Heat oven to 375 F.

In large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, parsley, eggs, remaining salt and pepper until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Grease large roasting pan (14-by-10 inches) with olive oil.
Spread 1/4 of the sauce on bottom of pan, and top with 1/4 of the lasagna noodles followed by 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Top with another 1/4 of the lasagna noodles, followed by 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the lasagna noodles. Next, top with remaining ricotta mixture then 1/4 of the sauce. Finish with remaining noodles and sauce.
Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan then arrange sliced mozzarella in single layer. Lightly spray piece of foil with cooking spray, cover lasagna and bake until hot and bubbly, and cheese on top is melted, about 45 minutes.

Switch oven to broil. Remove foil and position lasagna so that the top is about 4 inches from broiler. Broil until cheese is crusty around the edges and blistered in spots, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from oven and rest about 10 minutes. Slice and garnish with basil to serve.


Wine Book Takes Aim At Bad Somms, Overpriced Wines And Wine By The Glass Trend​
 Avoid ordering wine by the glass, know how to spot sneaky sommeliers, and recognize that a high price does not always mean quality, says renowned author Mark Oldman in his just-released book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine With Joie de Vivre.

Published by Regan Arts, the stylish hardcover also shows people how to drink like the 1% – without spending like one.

"Pleasure is not proportional to the price of a wine," Oldman, a two-time winner of the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year Award, writes in his third book.

The international speaker also takes aim at what he dubs "bad somms."

"In restaurants, some sommeliers are saviors and some are sinners, trying to upsell you or trying to get rid of a certain wine they need to move."

He also reveals how hard-to-pronounce wines are often cheaper and the best value on a restaurant wine menu.

"In general, the harder a wine is to pronounce, the less popular it is because everyone is afraid to tackle its syllables," says Oldman.

He advises against ordering wine by the glass as it's not only overpriced but it can sometimes be stale from being open for days on end.

"Wine by the glass is a huge trend these days but it is the most expensive way to drink wine.

"To offer some perspective, the price of a glass of wine at a restaurant or bar is generally the wholesale price for the entire bottle."

The book has in-depth lists of the cheaper alternatives to billionaire wines, and encourages people to ignore wine snobs who impose rules around drinking wine.

"I know wine collectors and experts who are not afraid to drop a cube of ice in a glass of red wine, they have only one type of glass for all their wines, and they protect their glass from being prematurely filled by waiters.

"Billionaires know how to hone in on the most delicious wine for the least amount of money. They cut through the sales pitches and geekiness to enjoy wine to the fullest."


Mark Oldman is one of America's most popular wine experts whose appearances at international food festivals are sold out. Bon Appétit described his charismatic style as "winespeak without the geek."


SOLID GOLD: InterVin announces its top-scoring wines

October 17, 2016. Toronto, ON: Forty-eight wines struck gold at the 2016-17 InterVin International Wine Awards, an intensive three-day blind tasting competition staged in August at White Oaks Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Selected from a pool of more than 1,300 wines from 16 countries by a panel of distinguished sommeliers, wine writers and winemakers, the top-scoring wines of the competition encompass a striking variety of styles. 

“The gold medallists from the 2016-17 InterVin International Wine Awards share little in common. They hail from eight different countries, are produced by wineries of varying size and represent a diversity of grape varieties, styles and expressions," explains Christopher Waters, editor of VINES Magazine and head judge of the InterVin International Wine Awards. “The thing these singular wines do share, however, is our judges' respect and admiration for being truly exceptional.” 

InterVin judges included internationally acclaimed sommeliers Ellen Jakobsmeier and James Treadwell and respected wine writers Erin Henderson and Daenna Van Mulligen and celebrated winemakers Derek Barnett and Sue-Ann Staff. 

Our panel saved their highest scores for Wolf Blass Platinum Label Medlands Shiraz 2010 (best red), Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny (best in show and best fortified) and Thirty Bench Wine Makers Small Lot Steel Post Vineyard Riesling 2014 (best white). That triumphant trio leads a list of 825 award winners, including 222 silver and 555 bronze medallists. 

The results, including Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners, a selection of top value wines and a spotlight of the Top 10 Wineries of the Year from the competition, will be formally announced in a special edition of VINES Magazine. A selection of winners will also be featured during the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Nov. 17-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Toronto. For more information, visit intervin.ca. 
2016-17 InterVin International Wine Awards 
Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2013 
Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013 
Black Hills Estate Winery Syrah 2014 
Bottega S.p.A. Petalo Il Vino dell'Amore Moscato 
Cassini Cellars Syrah 2011 
Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza 2012 
Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 
Ego Bodegas Goru 2014 
Fielding Estate Winery Riesling Estate Bottled 2015 
Hester Creek Estate Winery Syrah-Viognier 2014 
Inniskillin Niagara Estate Riesling Icewine 2014 
Inniskillin Niagara Estate Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2014 
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Grand Reserve Gewurtzraminer Icewine 2014 
John Howard Cellars of Distinction Megalomaniac Bubblehead Rosé 
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Reserve Vidal Icewine 2014 
Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 
Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Merlot 2014 
Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine 2015 
Painted Rock Estate Winery Syrah 2013 
Peller Estates Niagara-on-the-Lake Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc 2014 
Prince Hubert De Polignac Reynac Pineau des Charente 
Quails' Gate Estate Winery The Boswell Syrah 2013 
Ridgepoint Wines Inc. Riesling Icewine 2011 
Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 
Rocca delle Macie Chianti Riserva DOCG 2013 
Sandhill Wines Phantom Creek Vineyard Small Lots Syrah 2014 
Sandhill Wines Soon Series Red 2013 
Stag's Hollow Winery Renaissance Syrah 2014 
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2015 
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny 
The Hatch Black Swift Vineyards Long Road Syrah 2014 
Thirty Bench Wine Makers Benchmark Red 2012 
Thirty Bench Wine Makers Small Lot Steel Post Vineyard Riesling 2014 
Trius Winery Brut Rosé 
Trius Winery Showcase Clean Slate Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2014 
Trius Winery Showcase Vidal Blanc Icewine 2014 
Two Sisters Vineyards Off-Dry Riesling 2014 
Vanessa Vineyard Meritage 2012 
Velenosi Brecciarolo Gold Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore 2014 
Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Brut           
Volcanic Hills Estate Winery Riesling Icewine 2015 
Wakefield/Taylors Wines St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 
Wakefield/Taylors Wines St. Andrews Shiraz 2014 
Wakefield/Taylors Wines The Pioneer Shiraz 2013 
Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Shiraz Malbec 2012 
Wolf Blass Gold Label Adelaide Hills Syrah 2012 
Wolf Blass Platinum Label Medlands Shiraz 2010 
Yalumba The Strapper GSM 2013
For more information on the InterVin International Wine Awards, please visit  intervin.ca


Healthy Eating Ideas for a Hectic Autumn
(Family Features) When the pace of family life gets busy, it seems easier than ever to forgo healthy eating plans, and the hectic autumn season is a big culprit. However, you don't need to compromise flavor for nutrition when turning to convenient options that fit your busy lifestyle.
On average, Americans are only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate recommendations for servings of vegetables, fruit, proteins, dairy and grains a mere seven days out of 365. Despite their best intentions to eat more healthy meals, many families need inspiration and simple solutions so they can make better eating choices a reality more often.
Using educational tools like Nestlé's Balance Your Plate program, you can put together delicious and nutritious meals that incorporate both frozen and fresh foods. It's surprisingly simple to take a mindful approach, even for a fun and tasty option like pizza. Using the nutrition facts on the packaging, determine your serving size and then add a simple and nutritious side dish.
Here's one way to pair a frozen pizza with a fresh side dish: Start with a delicious, DIGIORNOpizzeria! thin crust pizza, like primo pepperoni, which includes 100 percent real cheese and premium meats. Then, round out your meal with a simple side dish recipe focused on vegetables, such as this Chili Lime Butternut Squash or Caul-Slaw.
Find more recipes and tips that allow you to choose the perfect pairings at mealtime atnestleusa.com/balance.
Chili Lime Butternut Squash 
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé 
Servings: 4-6 
4   cups butternut squash, large diced
1   teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2   teaspoon cumin
1/2   teaspoon lime zest
1/2   teaspoon kosher salt
1/4   teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    olive oil spray
Heat oven to 400 F.
In bowl, toss all ingredients except olive oil spray together.
Spray foil-lined sheet tray with olive oil spray and spread vegetables over tray.
Roast in oven 20 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé 
Servings: 8 
5   cups cauliflower, grated
1   cup carrots, peeled and grated
3/4   cup ranch dressing, fat free
1/4   cup apple cider vinegar
1/4   teaspoon kosher salt
1/4   cup green onions, sliced
In bowl, mix all ingredients together. Let rest 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
Tip: Cut cauliflower into quarters, keeping core attached; this will keep cauliflower from falling apart during grating.


PORT-AU-PRINCE – The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the Government of Haiti in providing emergency food assistance to 750,000 people in regions battered by powerful Hurricane Matthew.
WFP’s food distributions began on 8 October in the southwestern town of Jérémie, where the highest number of deaths from the hurricane has been reported. So far, around 30,000 people mostly living in shelters, have received rations comprising rice, pulses, vegetable oil and salt in the Grand’Anse and South departments.
When the hurricane struck Haiti, WFP had already pre-positioned 3,450 metric tons of food supplies, sufficient to feed up to 300,000 people for a month as part of a contingency plan. “We are using trucks and helicopters to transport that food as quickly as possible to save lives,” Veloso said.
To support the Government-led response, the humanitarian community in Haiti has launched an appeal for a total of US$120 million to provide life-saving assistance over the next three months, of which US$46 million is needed to bring food assistance.
Category 4 Hurricane Matthew killed over 470 people when it struck Haiti on 3 October, according to the country’s Civil Protection Department. It caused extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, and electricity and water shortages.
WFP has conducted assessments in five departments to determine the hurricane’s impact on the food and nutrition security of Haitians, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, the National Coordination for Food Security and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Preliminary results show that almost 100 percent of the crops have been lost in Grand’Anse department. Other affected departments have lost at least 50 percent of their crops and fishing activity is reportedly paralyzed as boats and equipment were washed away.
“Many people I have met are surviving by eating fruit from fallen trees,” said Veloso. “What we are bringing to their families is nutritious food to help them rebuild their lives.”
As the lead agency of the Logistics Cluster, WFP is setting up a logistics group to provide coordination and facilitate common services including storage space in Les Cayes and Jérémie to support the emergency response of the whole humanitarian community. Telecommunications assistance from WFP is also being provided.

“We work closely with the government to determine the most affected locations where we need to intervene in priority,” said WFP Representative in Haiti, Carlos Veloso.
Ice River Springs Launches Ice River Green Sparkling Water
SHELBURNE, ON, Oct. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Ice River Springs is launching a line of sparkling spring water under the Ice River Green brand name. There are four varieties of Ice River Green Carbonated Spring Water. One is unflavored and the other three have natural organic citrus flavors: Lemon, Lime and Orange Tangerine in 1 litre (34 fl. oz.).

The three flavors are made with organic fruit oils that are pressed from fruit grown in organic orchards. The flavors are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), a U.S.based international organic certification company that is USDA-accredited.

The source of spring water is Feversham, Ontario from the exceedingly pristine aquifers of Grey County. The brand has the favorable characteristics of famous brands of sparkling water imported from Europe, yet is sourced locally.

As the product is shipped from a North American source rather than transported from Europe, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are minimized.

The brand will be available in leading supermarkets and food service operations in Canada and the United States.

The bottles are made from green PET and are fully recyclable.

About Ice River Springs
Ice River Springs is a family owned Canadian company that began operations in 1995 and is now one of the largest water bottling manufacturers in North America with twelve bottling plants. Ice River Springs provides both branded and private label water as well as operating a large scale plastic recycling facility producing 100% recycled PET bottles in a closed loop system. For more information visit www.iceriversprings.com

"The market for sparkling spring water is growing extremely rapidly," stated Sandy Gott, Co-owner of Ice River Springs. "Contemporary consumers want a completely healthy beverage, without calories, sugar, artificial sweeteners and sodium, and with a choice of zesty organic flavors."
Halton Region hosts Harvest Halton, an authentic farm-to-chef experience, in downtown Oakville Oct 16
 OAKVILLE, ON, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Harvest Halton, the region's culinary event bringing Halton's finest restaurants and local farmers together for an unforgettable farm-to-chef experience, takes place Sunday, October 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. in downtown Oakville. Tantalize your taste buds and sample unique dishes created by award-winning chefs from Halton region's renowned restaurants. Each chef is paired with a local farmer who will provide ingredients fresh from the harvest.

Halton Region, in partnership with the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Association and the Town of Oakville, will showcase Oakville's finest food establishments, including: Black Forest Pastry Shop, Corks Restaurant, Coriander Green, The Crepe Kitchen, Just an Olde Fashioned Butchery, Noble Bistro, Paradiso, Piazza Bistro and Seasons Restaurant. Each restaurant will be paired with Halton farmers, including: Andrews' Scenic Acres, Busy Liz's Farm Shop, Cody's Cows, Stonehaven Farms, Mabel May Farms, Wheelbarrow Orchards/Harvest Goodies and Cristan Farms. This local food festival of sampling, beginning in Downtown Oakville's Towne Square and stretching along Lakeshore Road in front of participating restaurants, is an outdoor event that will run rain or shine.

In addition to the sampling on the day of the event, downtown Oakville's Towne Square will come alive with the high energy, foot stomping rhythms of the BelleRegards, a Simply Local farmers' market, stories about the history of local agriculture and horse drawn wagon rides.

Harvest Halton passports can be purchased online (cost $20.00 including HST) and can be picked up in the Towne Square on the day of the event. Passports will guide event attendees to participating restaurant locations and the chefs who will be preparing delicious tastings for guests. Space is limited to 300 participants. Passports will be available online as quantities last. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets online prior to the event, as tickets will sell out fast. Roasted corn and fresh apple cider will also be available for purchase ($1 each) on the day of the event for everyone to enjoy.

Visit halton.ca/harvest for more event details.

Harvest Halton is part of the Region's annual Pumpkins to Pastries Trail, running from September 12 to October 31, 2016. The Region invites Halton residents and visitors to follow the Trail, which highlights all the best local cuisine, on-farm markets, specialty shops, events and attractions in Halton. To learn more, visit halton.ca/p2ptrail.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children's and seniors' services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region's website at halton.ca.
 "Bringing family and friends together to enjoy locally grown food and fun activities helps us support our local agricultural community and our regional economy," said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. "Halton has deep agricultural roots, and harvest time provides us with wonderful opportunities to showcase our local farmers, retailers, restaurants and attractions."
Eating pulses is a great way to show your support for World Food Day, says Chef Michael Smith
WINNIPEG, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Chef Michael Smith is asking Canadians to support World Food Day on October 16 by taking a climate-friendly approach to food and eating more pulses. This year's World Food Day theme is "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too."

Pulses are an earth friendly food. They have a low carbon footprint and are a water-efficient source of protein. Pulses also improve soil health by feeding soil microbes.

"When farmers grow pulses, they feed millions of people in a way that actually gives back to the land. Pulses, in partnership with a range of other foods, represent how Canadians can make a positive impact on the environment," says Denis Tremorin, Director of Sustainability at Pulse Canada.

In addition to being good for the planet, pulses are a low-fat source of protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals. Pulses are an affordable part of a healthy diet and play an important role in the management of diet-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. More information about pulses can be found at www.pulses.org.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

According to the FAO, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable.
Pulses are in the spotlight in 2016 as the world celebrates International Year of Pulses. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to celebrate pulses' contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability.

Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of dry peas and lentils and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the world, and plays an important role in sustainable food production.

Pulses and Environmental Sustainability Facts

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the production of food has the largest environmental impact of any human activity.

Pulses are among a small group of crops that draw their own nitrogen from the air we breathe. As a result, pulses require less commercial nitrogen fertilizer than other crops.

Pulses are able to do this through a symbiotic relationship between the nitrogen fixing soil bacteria and the legume root.

Pulses are efficient users of water. They require only 1/2 to 1/10 the water needed to produce other sources of protein. Many pulses are adapted to dry environments making them well suited to dry environments such as the Canadian Prairies.

Growing pulses in rotation with other crops like wheat and canola enables the soil to support larger, more diverse populations of soil organisms that help maintain and increase soil fertility.

Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas).
"Every Canadian family can make a positive and immediate impact on our climate by eating pulses," says Chef Smith, who has served as Canada's International Year of Pulses Ambassador. "Peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils are good for your health and the health of the planet."
Celebrating the Best Value Winners from InterVin

Twenty-two wines received the Judges’ Award for Best Value at the 2016-2017 InterVin International Wine Awards competition, an intensive three-day tasting conducted by 21 wine experts at White Oaks Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake. These are wines that received a gold or silver medal grade and retail for $15 or less in some part of the country.
Top-scoring, bargain bottles are always in demand. As a result, this lineup of the top-rated, value-priced wines from this year’s competition become an essential reference for many — the interest often equals or surpasses the Gold medal report outlining the best reviewed wines that often retail at premium prices. (Only three of the 48 Gold medal winners from this year’s InterVin rank as Best Value winners.)
InterVin’s award-winning bargains come from prod ucers working around the world, with strong representation from wineries in Canada, Spain and Italy. The full list of winners will be published in the InterVin Awards issue of Vines Magazine and posted online at intervin.ca later this month.
Gold Medal & Best Value Award Winning 
Bottega S.p.A. Petalo Il Vino dell'Amore Moscato
Ego Bodegas Gorú 2014
Velenosi Brecciarolo Gold Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore 2014
Silver Medal & Best Value Award Winning
Bottega S.p.A. Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé
Boutinot Limited Le Clairon Des Anges Costières de Nimes AOP 2015
Deinhard Green Label Riesling 2014
Diamond Estates Winery Fresh Perspectives Satin Red 2014
Diamond Estates Winery EastDell Gamay Noir 2014
Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG 2014
Gruppo Italiano Vini Bolla Soave Classico 2015
Konzelmann Estate Winery Pinot Blanc 2015
Marques de Riscal Rueda 2015
Obikwa Shiraz 2015
Peller Estates Niagara-on-the-Lake Family Series Riesling 2015
Rosewood Estates Winery Süssreserve Riesling 2015
Sacred Hill White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc 2014
The Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Caberne t Sauvignon 2014

For more information on the InterVin International Wine Awards, please visit  intervin.ca

Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Audit Reveals Outdated Fisheries Management
TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 05, 2016) - Tuesday's audit from Canada's Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner takes a critical look at the current management of Canadian fisheries and lack of reliable data.

Similar to Oceana Canada research, summarized in Here's the Catch: How to Restore Abundance to Canada's Oceans, the audit reveals that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) lacks key information to make informed management decisions, and in many cases has not implemented the tools needed to sustainably manage our fisheries. Oceana Canada also found that only 24 per cent of Canada's fish populations can be considered healthy.

"Canada's fisheries have the potential to be a model for how to balance economic benefits to communities with responsible environmental practices. A healthy and diverse ocean will support the Canadian economy and vibrant coastal communities," said Josh Laughren, Executive Director, Oceana Canada. "At a time when Canadians are debating how to move the economy and environmental agenda forward, the government must start focusing on rebuilding our fisheries as renewable sources that can provide increased benefits for generations to come."

Wild seafood requires minimal fresh water to produce, emits little carbon dioxide, does not use arable land, and is a renewable resource. In 2015, the Canadian fishing industry was responsible for $6 billion in exports and employed over 79,000 Canadians.

"We're encouraged to see that the government has accepted all the audit's recommendations, and in the last budget committed significant new funds to fisheries science," said Laughren. "Oceana Canada is now calling for swift implementation of these commitments, including making information publically available, so Canadians can reap the benefits of a healthy ocean and well managed fisheries."

To address the vulnerable state of Canada's fisheries, Oceana Canada is hosting a symposium with leading experts to develop a vision to recover and protect our oceans. Rebuilding Abundance: Restoring Canada's Fisheries for Long-Term Prosperity, takes place on October 26, 2016, in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Westin Hotel.

Additional audit findings:

There are no comprehensive plans available for 44 of Canada's 154 major fish stocks. Of those that do exist, many have unclear objectives to measure how well the DFO is managing the stocks and are out of date or incomplete.

For 12 of the 15 major fish stocks that are in the critical zone, DFO has no plans or timelines for developing rebuilding plans.

About Oceana Canada

Oceana Canada was established in 2015 as an independent charity and is part of the largest international group focused solely on ocean conservation. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with an ocean surface area of 7.1 million square kilometres, or 70 per cent of its landmass. Oceana Canada believes that we have an obligation to our country, and the world, to manage our natural resources responsibly and provide a sustainable source of protein for a growing world.

Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers and government to return Canada's formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada's oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits, and protect our future. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.ca.​

Updated Food Recall Warning - Sliced deli meat products sold at Tre Rose Bakery recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes

'Trace My Catch' leverages unique codes on every Clover Leaf product
OTTAWA, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - The food recall warning issued on September 28, 2016 has been updated to include additional product information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) food safety investigation.

Tre Rose Bakery is recalling sliced deli meat products from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

The following products were sliced and sold at Tre Rose Bakery, 2098 Kipling Avenue, Toronto, Ontario from September 30, 2016 to October 4, 2016, inclusively and might also have been incorporated into sandwiches and other products made in-store by the retailer.

Recalled products

Classic Turkey
Starting with 2 100049
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Lily O. R. Turkey
Starting with 2 100252
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Bittners O. R. Turkey
Starting with 2 100302
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Fletch Blk Frst Ham
Starting with 2 100255
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Garlic Roast Beef
Starting with 2 100048
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Spicy Turkey
Starting with 2 100331
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Country Deli Ckd Chicken
Starting with 2 100329
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Corned Beef
Starting with 2 100019
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Cajun Chicken
Starting with 2 100310
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Montreal Smoked Meat
Starting with 2 100009
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively
Cooked Ham
Starting with 2 100336
All PACKED ON dates from SE.30.16 to OC.04.16 inclusively

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased an affected product are advised to contact the retailer.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Learn more about the health risks

Sign up for recall notifications by email, follow us on Twitter, or join the CFIA community on Facebook, or join the CFIA community on Facebook
View our detailed explanation of the food safety investigation and recall process

This recall was triggered by findings of the CFIA as part of an ongoing food borne illness investigation. The CFIA continues to conduct a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products.

There has been one reported illness associated with this investigation.

New program from Clover Leaf traces fish from catch to can

'Trace My Catch' leverages unique codes on every Clover Leaf product
TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Clover Leaf Seafoods today announced a unique traceability program that will enable Canadians to trace all Clover Leaf tuna and salmon products from the ocean to their plates. "Trace My Catch" is designed to provide consumers with an unprecedented level of transparency around the company's sourcing and production processes.

Every Clover Leaf tuna and salmon product now features a unique code that, when entered online at CloverLeaf.ca, provides detailed information - including the species of fish, fishing method, ocean of catch, vessel name(s) and flag(s), fishing trip dates and the location the fish was processed - for the fish in that specific can, pouch or cup.

"We know that today's consumers want to know where their food is coming from," explained Ron Schindler, President, Clover Leaf Seafoods. "Trace My Catch provides that information in incredible detail. The level of transparency that we're offering is unique to our industry, and we couldn't be more proud to be sharing this information with our customers."

Trace My Catch collects information from more than 600 vessels in four oceans across the globe.

"At Clover Leaf, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do," concludes Schindler. "We've been committed to sustainable and responsible fishery harvesting and management since our founding, and Trace My Catch is an exciting evolution in our sustainability story."

Clover Leaf is a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and works with them on an ongoing basis to ensure that all of its tuna comes from non-depleting fish stocks.

Trace My Catch codes are available on products produced after January 2015. For consumers without a current traceable code, sample codes are provided at CloverLeaf.ca that allow visitors to interact with the site and learn about the process.

Spirits Canada: a Thanksgiving Celebration

TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - The nip of fall in the air means a return to heartier stews, tender pot roasts, root vegetables and warm apple crisp. The harvest season produce – beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and squash provide a lush pallet for chefs to choose from.  This bumper crop of autumn fruits and vegetables offer a range of intense flavours that cry out for a robust beverage to complement the rich spiciness of these more robust dishes.

The key ingredients of Canadian Whisky – wheat, corn and rye – are also part of fall's bounty.  What could be a more perfect complement to autumn menus?  Tip:  Whisky is great as a marinade for strong meats was well!
"Chef Corbin's Canadian Whisky Stuffing"
A recipe that adds a touch of Canadian Spirits to your Thanksgiving
Yield- 10 servings


½ bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup onion, chopped fine
1 cup celery, diced fine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ LB Chorizo sausage (raw)
1½ cups apples, diced small (2 skin-on apples)
½ cup dried Apricots, rough chopped
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon, chopped fresh sage
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
14 cups sourdough bread diced
1½ cups apple juice
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup Canadian Whisky
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped and toasted
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chef Corbin is an Executive Chef and Food Network Celebrity Chef. Host of Incredible Food Race, Restaurant Takeover and Dinner Party Wars on Food Network Canada.

Jesson + Co. proudly represents Spirits Canada. Jan Westcott, President of Spirits Canada is available to talk about the importance of the fall harvest and Canadian farmers in the production of one of Canada's heritage industries. He can also recommend great food pairings and talk about ways to include Canadian Whisky cocktails in all your fall entertaining.

Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the cut bacon, diced onion and celery into the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the cooked bacon, onion and celery mixture from the pan and set aside. Using the same skillet, sauté the sausage meat in the olive oil until cooked through; approximately 6 minutes. Remove the cooked sausage from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked bacon mixture and the cooked sausage meat along with the diced apples, dried apricots, nutmeg, cinnamon, fresh sage and parsley.
Add the diced sourdough bread to the mixture along with the apple juice, chicken stock, Canadian Whisky and toasted pecans.

Gently toss all of the ingredients together and season the stuffing with salt and pepper.

Transfer the stuffing to a non-stick or greased loaf pan and bake inside the oven for 30 minutes or until set and golden brown.
Ontario Wine Judges at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
 TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair proudly shone a spotlight on the dynamic wine industry in Ontario and the impressive VQA vintages that are produced in the province in its 7th annual Royal Wine Competition.

Now entering its 94th year, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair aimed to uncork its biggest wine competition yet. Judging took place on Saturday, September 24th.

The event, run in co-operation with the Independent Wine Educators Guild (IWEG), serves up an opportunity for wineries to earn recognition for their wines from a judging panel of some of the province's most respected experts. "This year's competition produced tight races in several categories, including Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. This is good to see as it signals that many wineries are competing at the same level of high quality, in those grape varieties that do best in our climate," says John Switzer, Director IWEG and Chief Judge of The Royal competition.

Wineries were able to enter a range of classes for white, rosé, red and dessert wines. There was a Best in Show winner selected for each category and an overall Best in Show prize.

The best in show winners for The 2016 Royal Agricultural Wine Competition are as follows:

Overall Best in Show and Best in Show Red: 2013 Cabernet Franc, Estate Grown Small Lot Cab Franc 101, Southbrook Vineyards
Best in Show White: 2014 Riesling, Fielding Estate Winery
Best in Show Rosé: 2015 Rosé, Gamay 70%, Fielding Estate Winery
Best in Show Sparkling: 2013 Sparkling Riesling (Iridesence), Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
Best in Show Dessert: 2012 Riesling Icewine, Palatine Hills Estate Winery
A selection of winning wines will be served at dining venues at The Royal and featured at various events during the Fair's 10 day run from November 4-13.

"It was great to see so many top quality Ontario wines entered in our Wine Competition," said Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal. "We're thrilled that The Royal Wine Competition is growing. Ontario wines have a well-deserved reputation for quality – and The Royal is all about celebrating excellence in food and agriculture."
10,000 Free Coffees in 10 Days: Tim Hortons Challenges Canadians to Pay it Forward
    OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - This National Coffee Day, Tim Hortons is asking Canadians to let their kindness shine by helping the brand share at least 10,000 free coffees in 10 days. Starting September 29, Tim Hortons will start a pay-it-forward chain by releasing 100 special-edition Tim Cards across the country for guests to enjoy and share. Recipients will be encouraged to first treat themselves to a free coffee using the Tim Card, and then pass the card along to a friend or stranger to do the same. The pay-it-forward chain will continue until 10,000 cups of coffee have been shared, or 10 days have passed, whichever comes first.

"There is nothing more quintessentially Canadian than spreading kindness, and our Guests demonstrate this generosity in our Restaurants every day," says Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada. "This National Coffee Day, we're excited to continue the pay-it-forward movement along with our Guests by encouraging them to enjoy and share a free coffee on us."

The Tim Cards will be distributed randomly in Tim Hortons Restaurants across the country and at public locations, such as airports, train stations and urban centres. The special-edition Tim Cards will be valid for one free brewed coffee, any size per transaction. After each coffee is purchased, the Tim Cards will be automatically reloaded and can be used again and again throughout the 10-day campaign.

"We're relying on our Guests to keep the pay-it-forward Tim Cards moving across the country, one act of kindness at a time," says Sam Heath, Head of Marketing for Tim Hortons Canada. "We're looking forward to seeing how quickly Canadians can treat each other to 10,000 free coffees or more! Hopefully there are a lot of special moments created along the way."

Guests are encouraged to post their pay-it-forward story online at www.everycup.ca and on social media using #WhyWeBrew. A special Snapchat Geofilter is also available in Tim Hortons Restaurants across Canada so Guests can snap and share pictures as they enjoy their favourite brew on National Coffee Day. The Tim Cards expire on October 8, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST and are valid at participating Tim Hortons Restaurants across Canada.

Join the conversation online:
Subscribe to Tim Hortons on Youtube, youtube.com/TimHortons
Like Tim Hortons on Facebook, facebook.com/TimHortons
Follow Tim Hortons on Twitter, @TimHortons
Follow Tim Hortons on Instagram, @TimHortons
Add Tim Hortons on Snapchat, timhortons

One of the Best Beers in the World: Thornbury Village 'Pickup Truck Pilsner' wins title of World's Top Pilsner!

THORNBURY ON, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The World Beer Awards honoured Thornbury Village Brewery with a Gold Medal win for  World's Best Czech-style Lager for its Pickup Truck Pilsner!
After winning the title of 'Best in Canada' in the category earlier in August, this next stage of the competition saw the gold medalists from each country competing to be named the best beer in the world for the respective categories. Pickup Truck Pilsner outperformed stiff competition with 16 entries from 12 countries competing for top honors in the category.

The World Beer Awards are the global awards selecting the very best internationally recognized beer styles. The competition took place in Norfolk, United Kingdom with over 1,500 entries from around the globe. The final round was held in London, where 50 international brewers, industry experts, and journalists tasted and voted on the World's Best in each of the eight categories.

"It has always been our goal to take the time to produce true to traditional style quality craft beer that the consumer will enjoy," said Thornbury's Brew Master, James Wilson. "Being named the top Pilsner in Canada last month was amazing, but to now be named the top in the world is beyond incredible. We are proud to bring Canada to the world stage and come out on top."

"We are very proud of another fantastic win for Thornbury" said Jim Clark, President. "Congratulations to our whole Brewery staff for all the hard work that goes into making a world-class Pilsner!"

Thornbury Pickup Truck Pilsner is available at select LCBO, The Beer Store, grocery store and licensee locations in Ontario.

Thornbury Village Brewery was acquired by Colio Estate Wines in February 2016, and operates in the heart of Nobleton, Ontario. With plans to join its partner and producer of the number one selling Thornbury Premium Apple Cider, the brewery will relocate to its namesake town bringing Thornbury Village Cider House and Brewery under one roof in scenic Blue Mountain apple country. Thornbury Village Brewery is the gold-medal recipient for both the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards' and the 2015 World Beer Championship for Thornbury's Pickup Truck European Styled Pilsner. With a commitment to crafting stylistic, ultra-premium beer Thornbury Village Brewery has earned immediate recognition with both discerning beer drinkers and critics alike.

The Colio Estate Wines story is one of patience, determination, and perseverance – qualities that remain today at the heart of our winemaking practices and spirit. It was along the Lake Erie Shore, the southernmost and warmest wine region of Ontario, where three Italian bricklayers named Alfredo, Enzo and Tiberio decided to fulfill their life dream of building a world-class winery, leaving a legacy of sophisticated domestic viniculture.

Over 35 years later, consumers continue to enjoy the rewards of the hard work and craftsmanship that go into every bottle of Colio Estate wines. The picturesque winery is located in Harrow in the heart of the Essex/Pelee Island Coast Wine Country. Our wines are available at LCBO stores and any of the 14 Colio Wine Boutiques across the province.

Farm to Fork On Common Ground,Saturday September 24-25, 2016

By Walter Tautorat
This past weekend Fort York and the Toronto Non-gmo Coalition teamed up to celebrate Canada’s national Organic Week with this incredible 2-day event called Farm to Fork on Common Ground.

A weekend full of music, art, workshops and activities designed to raise awareness about the very food we eat and what it is that we are eating.

The air was filled with the smell of seasonal vegetables, fresh ground organic coffee and the memory that back in the day everything was real food.

It is nice to see people out in such good numbers too.

The movement seems to grow with each event and will continue to, based on the vibe and smiles evident here

From well informed speakers, incredible music and lots of samples as well as an awesome lunch.

Thanks to all the volunteers and vendors,can’t wait until next year!

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IKEA Canada Announces Move to Cage-Free Eggs

 BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - IKEA Canada announced that as part of its commitment to more sustainable food offerings, it will only be serving cage-free eggs in all its IKEA Canada restaurants as of November 2nd, 2016. This supply chain improvement also supports the well-priced food offerings at all IKEA restaurants.

"At IKEA, we want to improve our contribution to a better everyday life through a wider offering of delicious, healthy food that is sustainably produced and well-priced. We trust this latest transition to offering cage-free eggs in all our restaurants will be meaningful to our customers while influencing the advance of animal welfare," said Danielle Beauchesne, IKEA Canada Country Food Manager.
Why cage-free eggs?

IKEA believes that good animal welfare practices is an important criteria for high quality food products, and offering cage-free eggs is integral to its food offering.

It's good for the people and planet, and also good for business.
Cage-free eggs means the hens are housed in an open concept barn where they can move about freely with nests and perches to lay their eggs. IKEA Canada restaurants also offer chicken on the menu. These chickens are raised on Canadian farms following organic practices, with birds enjoying a diet of non-GMO, pesticide- and herbicide-free grains, with no animal by-products added. These chickens are never treated with antibiotics and, like all chickens raised in Canada, are raised without the use of added hormones.

"We are pleased to support IKEA in their transition to serving only cage-free eggs in their restaurants in Canada. IKEA sets an impressive standard for businesses wanting to give their customers humane and wholesome options. They know that people want food choices that better reflect their core values including sustainability, positive impact, compassion and health. Making the switch to serving only cage-free eggs can deliver that. We applaud IKEA for giving hens in Canada a better life," said Josey Kitson, Executive Director, World Animal Protection.

IKEA is one of Canada's largest restaurants, serving over 9 million visitors a year. That's why it's important for IKEA to serve a variety of healthy and sustainably produced food for everyone to enjoy eating. IKEA's ongoing commitment to offering good quality food at affordable prices includes announcing in April 2015, its new veggie ball, GRÖNSAKSBULLAR, a good alternative to the popular IKEA meatball, offering tasty pieces of vegetables and a good protein level to support a main meal. Then in September 2015, IKEA announced it would only sell and serve fish and seafood in its stores from sustainable and responsible sources certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This includes all IKEA salmon from the ASC, and all wild caught fish and shrimp served and sold at IKEA from fisheries independently certified by the MSC.

Harvesting Freedom Caravan stops in Toronto to join rally at the Ontario Food Terminal

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Migrant rights activists and community members will be converging this morning at the Ontario Food Terminal to welcome the Harvesting Freedom caravan in support of migrant workers and their calls for permanent immigration status.
The caravan of migrant farm workers begun their month-long 1,500km journey in Leamington, Ontario, and are travelling to Ottawa to demand the Federal government do more to protect migrant workers and ensure better protection of their rights.

The rally at the Ontario Food Terminal will greet the caravan as they make their first Toronto stop and will aim to raise public and consumer awareness about the many injustices migrant farm workers face in Canada.
"The Terminal is the largest food distribution center in Canada and is the place where migrant worker labour is being profited from," said Gabriel Allahdua, farmworker organizer with Justice for Migrant Workers and the Harvesting Freedom Campaign. "We want to send a message that the exploitation of migrant farm workers will no longer be tolerated. It is only by receiving permanent immigration status that workers can get the fair treatment and dignity they deserve".

Over 30,000 workers come to Canada under the 50-year old Federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. However, they are often exempt from or denied basic labour and human rights due to their lack of permanent immigration status.
Masterfeeds Sponsors The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair's National Junior Beef Heifer Competition
TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadian animal nutrition company Masterfeeds, an Alltech Company, announced today that it will become presenting sponsor of the Masterfeeds National Junior Beef Heifer Show (NJBHS), which will take place Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th in the Ring of Excellence at the 94th annual Royal.

"We're thrilled that Masterfeeds has stepped up to sponsor our premier youth beef show," says Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. "Masterfeeds has been a long-time supporter of Royal Beef shows through its sponsorship of the Masterfeeds Supreme Beef Champions. By extending their support to the National Junior Beef Heifer Show, they give our youth exhibitors a memorable experience at a premier event."

About 350 4-H members from across Canada participate in the NJBHS as the culminating event to their 4-H year-long beef projects. The National Junior Beef Heifer Show will kick off livestock shows at The Royal this year and will be the inaugural event in the relocated and expanded Ring of Excellence.

"Masterfeeds is all about creating a strong future for Canadian farmers," says Rob Flack, president and CEO of Masterfeeds, "and there's no better place to start than with youth in agriculture. We're happy to lend our support to this great show.

We also appreciate the opportunity to support all the volunteers who put the Junior Beef show together each year," Flack adds. "They give so much of their time and effort to ensuring these young people have a great experience at The Royal."

"The Junior Beef committee at The Royal is very grateful to Masterfeeds for agreeing to sponsor the show," adds Charlie Johnstone. "Masterfeeds' generosity has given our hard-working committee and staff an extra incentive to put on the best show ever when The Royal opens on November 4.

About Masterfeeds

Since 1929, Masterfeeds has served farmers, ranchers and poultry producers through research-based animal feed diets, ingredient innovations and feed manufacturing technologies. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Masterfeeds is an Alltech-owned company. Masterfeeds employs more than 650 people, operating 22 locations, 14 feed plants which includes one dedicated poultry feed facility and Certified Organic plant, six premix facilities throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and two distribution centres. Masterfeeds markets animal nutrition products to farmers and ranchers through direct sales and an extensive 340+ dealer network. Masterfeeds offers bulk and bagged feeds, supplements, blocks and minerals, premixes, organic feeds, ration balancing, in-barn assessments as well as specialty animal feeds, equine and back yard animal feeds, and a complete pet food line.

About The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, The 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 4-13, 2016, in at Exhibition Place in Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario
Italian Food Marketplace Eataly to open first Canadian location in Toronto in 2019
TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Today Eataly announced plans to open its first Canadian location in early 2019 as an anchor tenant of the newly renovated Manulife Centre in the heart of Yorkville. Eataly, a vibrant Italian food marketplace including a mix of food markets, restaurants, and eateries will span three stories for a total space of 50,000 square feet.

The Italian company, brought to the Americas in 2010 with the help of Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich and Adam and Alex Saper, is partnering with the Selfridges Group and Terroni Restaurants for its entrance to Canada, leveraging local expertise to develop a truly distinct Toronto Eataly experience. Eataly is known for its unique offering – customers can shop for high quality products reflecting the biodiversity of Italy, eat at one of the many restaurants and counters, and learn about the stories behind those products – all within the same marketplace. Eataly is not a chain, it's a family, and each location is distinct and highlights the city and people who reside there.

Commenting on the expansion into Canada, Eataly Founder Oscar Farinetti said: "Eataly Toronto will be spectacular. Firstly, the city of Toronto values high quality food. And we do too. Secondly this will be our first Canadian location, and with every first in a new market comes something full of excitement and adrenaline. Lastly, and above all, we are entering the market with people we fully trust and we share the same passions with. We can't wait to get to work and start this partnership!"

The launch of Eataly Toronto is part of a larger transformation of the Manulife Centre, which together with Holt Renfrew, reinforces Bloor and Yorkville as the ultimate destination for Toronto shoppers and food lovers.

About Eataly

Created by Oscar Farinetti, and brought to the Americas with the help of partners Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich and Adam and Alex Saper, Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world. From the opening of the first location in Turin in 2007, Eataly's philosophy has spread to the rest of the world: "Shop, Eat, and Learn." The marketplace offers a place where it is possible to discover high-quality food and drink at accessible prices. Consumers can experiment with new combinations of flavors at the various restaurants throughout the marketplace and shop for products, before learning more about the Mediterranean culture with educational courses on food, wine, and nutrition. Eataly already has nearly 30 locations in Italy, Japan, Dubai, Turkey, Brazil, and the United States.
Wayne Gretzky introduces new No. 99 'Red Cask' Canadian Whisky
Wayne Gretzky and Andrew Peller Limited are proud to introduce the first ever Wayne Gretzky No. 99 'Red Cask' Canadian Whisky.

Made with locally-sourced grains that are individually distilled, matured and blended, then finished with premium red wine casks from the Wayne Gretzky winery, Wayne Gretzky No. 99 'Red Cask' Canadian Whisky is made the Canadian way for a smooth, elegant and rich whisky.

"I have always enjoyed a good whisky and was thrilled to work with Master Distiller Joshua Beach to create a new fabulous Canadian whisky," said Wayne Gretzky. "What's truly exciting is we are using oak wine barrels from our red wines to finish the whisky for a really smooth and refined taste."

According to Master Distiller Beach, this process polishes the whisky, adding rich oak, vanilla and spice, and balancing all of the elements to produce a refined and smooth, very drinkable whisky.

 "What makes us stand out is that each of these barrels has a story and they all bring together this unique and consistent taste profile with aromas of caramel, toasted oak and a hint of allspice for a truly elegant and rich taste," said Beach. 

Wayne Gretzky No. 99 'Red Cask' Canadian Whisky can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in premium cocktails including: "Top Shelf", "The 99" and "The Great Old Fashioned".
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery

The new Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake will open to the public in the spring of 2017. Nestled among the vineyards, the distillery will be home to state of the art distilling equipment, while the winery will feature a beautiful barrel fermenting and aging cellar and tasting room. The 23,000 square foot facility is the first of its kind in the region, featuring both wine and distilling production and tasting rooms. The springtime water feature that guests will see when the property opens will become an ice rink in winter, complete with a 'loonie' buried at centre ice, dropped by The Great One himself at the groundbreaking ceremony in September, 2015.

The Product:

Wayne Gretzky No. 99 'Red Cask' Canadian Whisky is made in small batches from grain (rye, malted rye and corn) that has been individually mashed, fermented and distilled. After aging, the whisky is finished with red wine casks from the Wayne Gretzky winery.

Master Distiller:

Canadian Joshua Beach completed his MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot Watt in Scotland and then gained experience in brewing and distilling in Europe before starting a distillery in Vancouver. He is proud to be the first Master Distiller at the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery in Niagara.
Beau's All Natural launches Rwanda Craft Brewery Project
Eastern Ontario craft brewery Beau's All Natural has announced a project that will help a female entrepreneur start up a locally owned and operated craft brewery in the African republic of Rwanda. Beau's will be providing financing, expertise, and hands-on employee training to the start-up brewery, and has sourced brewing equipment from industry suppliers. Beau's is also launching a Kickstarter campaign for the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project that aims to raise $95,000 in donations over the next two months to fund the purchase of a bottling line.

At the heart of the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project is owner Josephine "Fina" Uwineza, a Rwandan woman who is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Uwineza is a successful restaurateur in Rwanda's capital city of Kigali, where she opened the city's first-ever Chinese restaurant. It became a go-to destination for tourists and the embassy crowd, and at one time, between her two popular restaurants, she had more than 50 staff employed.

More recently Uwineza shared a business idea with the CG Group's Nancy Coldham, a Toronto-based consultant who has traveled to and worked extensively in Rwanda as a mentor to female entrepreneurs. The connection with Coldham sparked an idea for a Canadian-inspired craft brewery in Rwanda. Coldham reached out to the Ontario Craft Brewers association on behalf of Uwineza, who connected the women with Beau's.
  A team from Beau's that included CEO Steve Beauchesne and CFO Tanya Beimers travelled to Rwanda this past spring to meet Uwineza in person and get a sense of the scope of the project, as well as some of the specific challenges associated with it. The team also met with officials from the City of Kigali as well as the Republic of Rwanda, and were offered a warm welcome and assistance to help get Uwineza's Rwanda Craft Brewery Project off the ground.

"Meeting Fina with her passion and confidence, and then also seeing the support from the government, women's groups and the community, we knew this was a project that we had to be a part of," says Beimers.

Beauchesne and Beimers appealed to equipment suppliers on behalf of the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project to see if special funding considerations were a possibility. The request brought the donation of a brewhouse from BC-based Newlands Systems Inc. (NSI). Their COO, Christian Riemerschmid von der Heide, has experience brewing in Africa and will work with Beau's brewmaster, Matthew O'Hara to help develop a beer recipe that will be a fit for the Rwandan market.

Beau's co-founder Steve Beauchesne is careful to point out that no profits from the new brewery will flow back to Beau's or to the other partners. "We have always done what we can to help other craft breweries, be it lending supplies and equipment, or looking over business plans. This project is significantly more involved, but it's rooted in the same principles of being open and willing to help."

Some elements of Uwineza's craft brewery are still in development, but her current plans are for a brewpub-style set-up in downtown Kigali that will offer onsite tastings as well as packaged beer to take home. The plan is also to use as many local ingredients as possible from nearby co-ops that provide employment for women who grow and harvest crops, as well provide health services and invest in their education and training.

Uwineza has travelled to Canada to help kick off the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project Kickstarter campaign, as well as spend some time learning more about beer and brewing hands-on at Beau's in Vankleek Hill. She will be a guest of honour at Beau's Oktoberfest September 23 and 24, and will be speaking on a special panel about the project on the Saturday afternoon.

The next steps of the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project require $95,000 in funding to purchase a bottling line, which is what the Kickstarter campaign is intended to achieve. To lend support to the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project visit www.beaus.ca/rwanda.

Beau's All Natural is an employee-owned and totally independent Canadian craft brewery. Founded in 2006 by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau's brews interesting, tasty beers using best-quality certified organic ingredients & local spring water. Beau's has been a recipient of more than 85 awards for brewing, packaging design and business practices. Beau's beer is available in Ontario, Québec, BC, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and New York, and is coming soon to the rest of Canada. Oh yeah!

Website: www.beaus.ca

Twitter & Instagram: @beausallnatural
Facebook www.facebook.com/beausbrewery

Number of baby boomers accessing food banks in Toronto rapidly increasing

The annual Who's Hungry report reveals people 45 and older have become the fastest growing demographic using food banks in Toronto. This is an outcome of unaffordable housing, rising costs of food and insufficient incomes. Many of these individuals have been struggling since the recession, unable to secure a job or living with disabilities, and having to rely on social assistance.

"In 2006, 26 per cent of clients were 45 and older, that number has climbed to 35 per cent in 2016," said Richard Matern, senior manager of research and author of the report. "On the other hand, fewer children are now accessing Toronto food banks, and with the implementation of the federal Canadian Child Benefit, we are hoping this trend continues."
The Who's Hungry: 2016 Profile of Hunger in Toronto report was released today, based on over 1,000 comprehensive, face-to-face client interviews in 36 food banks across Toronto. Limited job prospects in Toronto means many people on social assistance programs – Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program – are left struggling to fight hunger and poverty. The basic income pilot project, soon to be outlined in a report being released by the provincial government and led by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal, can provide the evidence needed to transform the income security support system in Ontario.

 "We have made strides in social policy with the municipal, provincial and federal government, but hunger and poverty are multifaceted issues that will require continued efforts," said Gail Nyberg, executive director, Daily Bread Food Bank. "We need a social safety net that better supports people in a fragmented labour market. A constant advocacy for change, and continued support from partners, donors and volunteers will bring us closer to reducing poverty, and its symptom, hunger."
Other notable findings from the Who's Hungry: 2016 Profile of Hunger in Toronto report:

59 per cent of clients have a disability or serious illness in 2016, versus 49 per cent in 2006.

More people accessing food banks have post-secondary education – 36 per cent of clients in 2016.

Poverty is pushing outwards: inner suburb food bank visits have increased by 48 per cent since 2008.

For more information, or to download a copy of the Who's Hungry report, please go to www.dailybread.ca.

The Daily Bread Food Bank is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. As Canada's largest food bank, Daily Bread serves people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in almost 170 member agencies across Toronto. We know feeding hungry people won't solve poverty; that's why Daily Bread does more. We work to support people by conducting research and creating public awareness to end hunger through public policy change.

MPPs Sort Food to Raise Awareness of Hunger in Ontario in Support of Hunger Action Month

 September 16, 2016) - MPPs from across the province gathered today at The Mississauga Food Bank to sort food and raise awareness of hunger in Ontario. This MPP food sort is one of eight similar events taking place across the province today in support of the Ontario Association of Food Banks' Hunger Action Month.

"Hunger is a solvable issue," says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks. "But we need the support of our provincial and municipal governments if we are going to see long-term change."

The Ontario Association of Food Banks has made three recommendations to the provincial government on how it can address the root causes of hunger. These are: to follow through on the Basic Income Pilot project as outlined in the 2016 Provincial Budget; to strengthen policies that make housing affordable for all Ontarians; and to improve social assistance rates immediately, while testing better methods for lifting people out of poverty.
"Food banks provide a depth of programs to help address both short and long-term hunger," says Stewart. "This includes everything from meal programs and cooking classes, to accredited training programs and child care. But we know that sustainable change comes from good public policy that ensures all Ontarians are able to meet their most basic needs, like safe, affordable housing and nutritious food."

The most recent Hunger Report, released by the Ontario Association of Food Banks in December 2015, revealed a 35% spike in the number of senior citizens accessing food banks over the previous year. It also showed that while food bank use has remained consistent in the last three years, it is still 14% higher than pre-recession numbers in Ontario.

"Our government is taking a leading role in combating poverty in Ontario through initiatives like our Basic Income Pilot, our Affordable Housing Working Group and our Poverty Reduction Strategy," says MPP Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance and MPP for Mississauga South. "I am proud to be here today to help raise awareness of the important work that food banks do in our community every day."
The Ontario Association of Food Banks will be meeting again with MPPs next week at its Day of Action at Queen's Park in support of National Hunger Awareness Week (September 19th - 23rd, 2016). To learn more please visit www.oafb.ca.

The Ontario Association of Food Banks would like to thank the generosity of its sponsors, Ontario Pork and Conestoga Meats, who helped make the event possible.

About the Ontario Association of Food Banks

The Ontario Association of Food Banks is the province's leading provider of emergency food support to frontline hunger-relief agencies and the leader in province-wide hunger research. Our mission is to strengthen communities by providing food banks with food, resources, and solutions that address both short and long-term food insecurity.

Every month, the OAFB food bank network provides food and support to more than 360,000 adults, seniors and children facing hunger. Through 125 direct member food banks, and over 1,100 affiliates, inclusive of breakfast clubs, school meal programs, community food centres, and emergency shelters, the OAFB provides over 8 million pounds of fresh and non-perishable food to those who need it most. For every $1 donated the OAFB can provide three meals to someone in need.

The OAFB is not government funded and relies exclusively on the generosity of caring individuals and organizations to support and achieve its vision of a hunger-free Ontario. Visit: www.oafb.ca
Big Rock Brewery celebrates Toronto Beer Week with new Etobicoke brewhouse open house and free tours Saturday, Sept 17th, 1-5 pm
Big Rock Brewery Inc. is opening its doors on its new brewery in Etobicoke, just in time for Toronto Beer Week. The custom built craft brewery, located at 1589 The Queensway, is the next step in Big Rock's journey to bring fresh, hand crafted, quality beer, to more Canadian communities.

On Saturday, September 17th from 1 – 5pm, Ontario Brewmaster Connor K. Patrick will be welcoming the public into his brewhouse for free tours and beer tastings, plus food and live music. The new brewery also has a taproom with growler bar, cold beer sales, plus a 'tour and taste' booking option.

With the launch of the Etobicoke brewery, Big Rock ensures craft beer fans are getting the freshest and finest Big Rock beer possible, using locally sourced ingredients… AND local talent.

About Big Rock Brewery Inc. Big Rock Brewery Inc. headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, also has local breweries in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Etobicoke, Ontario. Big Rock produces premium, all-natural craft beers. As one of Canada's founding craft brewers with over 30 years of brewing experience, Big Rock boasts a family of exceptional ales and lagers, Rock Creek Cider®, and an ongoing selection of seasonal beers. Big Rock products are sold in nine provinces and two territories in Canada, and are also available in Korea.

For more information on Big Rock Brewery visit bigrockbeer.com,
Follow us on Twitter @BigRockBrewery or like us on Facebook
Canada Celebrates Seventh Annual Organic Week Sept. 17-25, 2016
September 17 to 25, 2016, marks this year’s National Organic Week, the largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country. With hundreds of events and thousands of retail promotions taking place across Canada, Organic Week showcases the benefits of organic agriculture and its positive impact on the environment, animal welfare, as well as our well-being. Supported by regional partners and coordinated by the Canada Organic Trade Association(COTA), Canadian Organic Growers (COG), and the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), Organic Week shines a spotlight on why Canadians should choose to think before they eat.

“With the number of organic products on the market continuously growing, it’s easier than ever to go organic,” says Rochelle Eisen, president of COG. Many of Canada’s top organic farms, wineries, retailers and restaurants take part in Organic Week, offering Canadians the perfect opportunity to experience firsthand the bounty of Canada’s organic harvest. “Whether it’s hosting a potluck picnic for friends or sampling organic wine and beer, we encourage Canadians to help spread the word about how choosing organic means supporting sustainability and promoting animal welfare.”

Some new and exciting trends have been revealed thanks to the Canada Organic Trade Association’s second national consumer survey to be released later this year. The study aimed to understand consumers’ awareness of the benefits of organic agriculture, uncover consumers’ organic purchasing habits and gauge the level of trust Canadians have in organic and non-organic claims.

Key findings from the study show:

  • The face of organic is changing as more “millennials” are shifting towards organic in Canada; one in five (twenty-one per cent) shoppers from 18 to 34 years say they are buying more organic, while shoppers in older age groups are holding steady.
  • Eighty-six percent of Canadians expect to increase or maintain their organic spending in the near future. 
  • The number of consumers that are regularly buying organic in the country is around 20 million (fifty-six per cent of Canadians).
“Governments are following in the footsteps of consumer trends,” says Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director of COTA. “Federal investment in the organic sector and provincial initiatives supporting farmers to transition to organic show how consumer-led efforts can truly make a difference. We’re proud to be involved in the continued growth of the organic movement alongside its passionate ambassadors this September.”

More and more Canadians are looking to reduce their exposure to synthetic chemicals and genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients with the aim of taking better care of themselves, their families, and the environment. Coast-to-coast Organic Week events range in scale, from smaller organic farm tours to community-wide organic festivals. Hundreds of health food stores, farmer’s markets and grocery chains will be showcasing organic products and educating consumers.
“With events taking place in communities all over the country, there are so many ways Canadians can support and get involved in the Organic Week celebration,” says CHFA president, Helen Long. “Last year, we saw everything from pickling workshops and farm tours to recipe contests and organic food and drink tastings. These happenings represent the creative ways Canadians are choosing to go organic and how they are making a conscious decision to protect their bodies and the environment, all while supporting local farmers.”

To find out more about Organic Week events or promotions being offered near you, please visit organicweek.ca.

Organic Week was made possible this year by champion sponsors UNFI Canada, Sobeys Inc., Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Nature’s Path Foods, Clif Bar & Company, alive Publishing Group Inc, PC Organics, Mike and Mike’s Organics, Cal-Organics Farms, Yorkshire Valley Farm, Green Organic Vegetables, Field Farm Marketing Ltd., DOM International Limited, Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Earthbound Farm Organic, Wholesome!, True Organic Juice, DeeBee’s SpecialTea Foods, Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds, Ecocert Canada, Organic Meadow, Pacific Organic Seafood Association, Organic Garage, The Homemade Organics Company, Fromagerie L’Ancêtre, Pro-Cert Organic, Patience Fruit & Co, The Big Carrot, Hippie Foods, Ethical Bean Coffee, Quality Assurance International, and Fairtrade Canada.
This Hunger Awareness Week, Let's Draw the Line on Hunger
Food bank use across Canada is 26 per cent higher than during the 2008 economic downturn. This is an unacceptable fact in a country as affluent as Canada. This year during Hunger Awareness Week (September 19 – 23), Food Banks Canada is calling on Canadians to draw the line on hunger and share how we can make an impact on this solvable issue.

The first food bank was established in Canada in 1981, as a short term solution to address the growing need for food assistance. Today, there are over 800 food banks and 3,000 agencies and food programs working to provide essential food for people living with household food insecurity.

Food banks across the country will be supporting Hunger Awareness Week by inviting community residents and businesses to participate in local events and activities. And this year, supporters are encouraged to Draw the Line on Hunger by creating and sharing their own drawings, images and ideas on the hunger issue.

Learn about the impact hunger has on families and individuals who find themselves needing the assistance of a food bank at www.hungerawarenessweek.ca
Join the conversation by using the interactive drawing tool to create and share your messages or share your own images using #HungerWeek
Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with @foodbankscanada
Watch the Hunger Awareness Week video on https://youtu.be/7T6XOw8vtb4
"Food Banks Canada and the food bank network is asking all Canadians to tell us where to draw the line on hunger this year," says Pam Jolliffe, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "We are asking supporters to take pen to paper, their cameras or their smartphones by collectively drawing and sharing their concerns and thoughts on how we can make an impact and find solutions for hundreds of thousands of people across the country that struggle with hunger."

For the last decade, Food Banks Canada and the food banking network has organized a national awareness initiative to educate Canadians about the issue of hunger across the country and the role food banks have in assisting communities in need. Hunger Awareness Week, now held each year in September, kicks off the important charitable giving season by asking people to donate food, funds and time to their local food banks.
During any given week, more than 200,000 Canadians go hungry, including almost 70,000 children. Together, Canadians can make an impact on the solvable issue of hunger in Canada. For more information on Hunger Awareness Week visit www.hungerawarenessweek.ca.

The national Hunger Awareness Week campaign is supported by Hunger Champion Farm Credit Canada, a long term supporter of the hunger cause in Canada through many national and local initiatives including their long-standing FCC Drive Away Hunger campaign which has raised 27 million meals to date.

About Hunger Awareness Week
Hunger Awareness Week (hungerawarenessweek.ca) was created in 2006 to provide food banks with an opportunity to educate about the reality of hunger in Canada and to encourage all Canadians to make a choice to help those in need. This is the first year that Hunger Awareness Week is being held in September. Together, Canadians can make an impact on the solvable issue of hunger in Canada. Follow the conversation at #HungerWeek.

About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of over 3,000 food-related organizations in every province and territory that assists more than 850,000 Canadians each month. Together our network shares over 200 million pounds of essential, safe, quality food annually, provides social programs that help to foster self-sufficiency, and advocates for policy change that will help create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Follow Food Banks Canada at Facebook.com/FoodBanksCanada and on Twitter @FoodBanksCanada.

Stats drawn from: HungerCount 2015, Food Banks Canada. For the complete 2015 HungerCount report please go to foodbankscanada.ca/hungercount2015.
Starbucks® Canada Introduces Calories on Menu Boards Nationwide
Starbucks® today announced it will include calorie information on menu boards at all company-operated and licensed Canadian Starbucks® stores beginning September 29, 2016. The launch of menu board labelling, will complement the food and beverage transparency the company already provides to customers - through a nutrition tab on Starbucks.ca

http://www.starbucks.ca/menu/nutrition-info and through the Starbucks® Mobile App.

"Menu labelling is yet another step to extend our long-standing commitment to ensuring our customers across Canada have the information they need to make informed decisions," said Rossann Williams, president Starbucks® Canada. "Every day, our Baristas support our customers' individual preferences by helping them understand all the ways that they can customize their beverages, there are over 170,000 possible customizations that can be made to Starbucks® beverages!"

Providing the Right Offerings

Starbucks® offers customers high quality products - from fully customizable beverages, to a variety of wholesome breakfast, lunch and snack options. Starbucks® dedication to this commitment is illustrated through the many steps in the company's journey to becoming a place to find varied options to accommodate nutrition and taste preferences.

Starbucks will post calorie counts to accompany each beverage listed on the menu boards, as well as on tags to accompany food in the pastry case. Each beverage is listed as a standard recipe, though each is fully customizable, such as ordering without whip cream, choosing a different milk or dairy-substitute, or sugar-free syrup option. Customers can expect to see the new menu boards in all stores in Canada beginning September 29, 2016 and pastry case labels November 2, 2016.
Listening to customer and partner feedback and bringing relevant options with real, natural ingredients, in moderate portion sizes and sensible calorie amounts have been a core part of Starbucks® approach to food and beverages. A few of the steps Starbucks has taken include:

  • 1997: Sugar-free syrup with zero calories and zero grams of fat was added to the existing line of syrup flavours.
  • 2003: Introduced beverage customization, offering a way to personalize for nutritional preferences.
  • 2007: Announced 2% milk as the standard for core beverages in North America, saving customers 17 billion calories per year, equaling nearly 5 million pounds of fat. The switch reduced our core beverage offerings calorie content by 14 percent, fat by 36 percent and saturated fat by 38 percent, on average.
  • 2009: Offered new pastry items, eliminating artificial flavours, artificial dyes, glucose-fructose (high-fructose corn syrup), as well as artificial preservatives and artificial sweeteners where possible.
  • 2010: Launched However-you-want-it Frappuccino® blended beverage globally, allowing customers to personalize their drink to their lifestyle and taste preferences by selecting from a variety of milks, choosing the intensity of coffee, and picking any combination of syrups or toppings.
  • 2011: Introduced grab-and-go lunch items, providing balanced nutrition on-the-go, all for less than 500 calories.
  • 2015: Launched new all-natural Salad Bowls, each less than 450 calories.
  • 2016: Evolution Fresh™ juices joined Starbucks® stores in January - offering cold pressed juices.

In addition, Starbucks has committed to all beverages being free of artificial flavours by the end of 2017 and reducing average added sugar in indulgent beverages by 25 percent by the end of 2020.
50 Shades of Green: How One Coffee Company Is Combatting Greenwashing
 Have you ever read a company's sustainability information and tried to pin down exactly what they're talking about? The effect is called "greenwashing". According to the David Suzuki Foundation, a consumer product report done by TerraChoice revealed that 98% of products claiming environmental benefits were committing the "crime of vagueness".

In the corporate world, green-washing is just as common, and just as misleading. The coffee service industry is a notorious offender, selling controversial products with dubious production backgrounds and waste management solutions. Statements like "Single-Serve products reduce beverage waste" or "Purchased from responsible farms," leave enough room for interpretation to give the appearance of responsible practices.

However, there are changes on the horizon. Office Coffee Solutions (B2B and retail coffee supplier) and Mindful Snacks (B2B provider of healthy office snacks) are a partnership that avoid shades of green and sticks to concrete facts. Their latest venture is committing to Bullfrog Power's green fuel for their entire delivery fleet. Bullfrog Power ensures that renewable fuel is injected into the Canadian fuel system to match the amount of conventional fuel that Office Coffee Solutions' delivery fleet uses, litre-for-litre. Bullfrog Power's green fuel is an earth-friendly, renewable alternative to fossil fuel, enabling climate-conscious businesses in Canada to reduce the environmental impact of their transportation.

It's a clear step forward in the endeavour to cut back on fossil fuels. The B2B delivery world of course comes with inherent environmental challenges due to their business model. Adopting a green fuel initiative is one of the most prominent ways of decreasing the footprint left by delivery services. But the coffee world is a fairly insular place, when one company adopts a practice, it's bound to be mimicked by their main competitors. It poses a frustrating marketing model, since this replication of initiatives causes a loss of unique selling points. Office Coffee Solutions' CEO Claudio David embraces, even encourages, this behaviour from his colleagues in the industry:

"I did not start this business with a goal to grow it to a certain size and this continues not to be my primary goal. My real focus is to bring higher standards to the industry; be it service, products, or sustainability. It's all about raising the bar, pushing ourselves to always do better and surprising our clients with what we offer and how we offer it."

So the bar has been raised. Going beyond this, Jessica Pelchat, the Chief Sustainability Officer at Office Coffee Solutions, talks about another recent alliance: "In conjunction with our Bullfrog green fuel initiative, we are now working together with Partners in Project Green to review further optimization of our commercial fleet. From a holistic standpoint, I would encourage all businesses to demand a high level of social responsibility from their providers. It's through tangible, actionable initiatives like these that we effect change."

Whether it's through an identical initiative to the teams at Office Coffee Solutions & Mindful Snacks, or a comparable one, the only way for the industry to improve is by one or two companies to encourage change through competition, based on concrete information rather than shades of green.  
An Experimental Blended Scotch…in a Classic Manhattan?
 From the Scottish Highlands to Downtown, NYC, the first unorthodox blend in a series of new experimental whiskies from Johnnie Walker gets two thumbs up from US mixology experts.

A new, experimental Scotch blend from Johnnie Walker has been given an enthusiastic thumbs up by some of New York's most influential mixologists and bartenders when it replaced traditional American rye whiskey in a classic Manhattan cocktail.

Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch is a new range of experimental whiskies and the first release, Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Red Rye Finish, is inspired by the bold flavours of American whiskey. It was created by the whisky maker's small team of expert blenders, led by master blender Jim Beveridge.

At any one time there are hundreds of ongoing flavour experiments being carried out by the blending team in Scotland, and Red Rye Finish is whisky fans' first chance to taste the results of some of these.

To mark the release of Red Rye Finish, which can be enjoyed neat but was designed specifically to create perfect cocktails at home, Johnnie Walker blender Emma Walker journeyed from Edinburgh to the home of the Manhattan to see how the new Scotch blend stacks up against its American cousins. Her adventure can be seen in a new film from the Scotch whisky maker entitled: Blenders' Batch - Emma's Red Rye In New York.

A tentative Emma put Red Rye Finish before the eyes, noses and palates of some of New York's most influential mixologists and taste-makers including Dave Arnold, founder and president of the Museum of Food and Drink and owner of the cutting edge Booker and Dax; legendary bartender-cum-philosopher Peter Napolitano of Brooklyn's Melody Lanes Bowling Alley; and bitters and mixology expert Sother Teague, beverage director at Amor y Amargo in Manhattan's East Village.

Emma said: "We're proud of every blend we make and know that people choose Johnnie Walker because of its quality. This blend combines all the characteristics of Scotch, matured in first fill American Oak casks with a Rye Cask finish. That's something I think people won't expect and I wanted truthful, face-to-face feedback from the people in the know. I was a bit nervous - getting the approval of New York's top mixology experts for a Manhattan featuring a Johnnie Walker blend instead of traditional American whiskey but, happily, it went really well."

In the film, Dave Arnold - well known for his whip-smart commentary and opinion - is in no doubt: "There's an old drink called a Rob Roy which is like a Manhattan but made using Scotch and I hate that drink. But this Red Rye Finish Manhattan drinks like a 'real' Manhattan. It's delicious." While Sother Teague added: "I'm really into this whisky."

Blenders' Batch - Emma's Red Rye In New York has been made as part of the Storyline initiative from Johnnie Walker that sees the brand working with a global network of storytellers - including writers, directors, photographers and filmmakers - to give people a voice to tell inspiring stories of positivity and progress.

Filmmaker Oliver Wuerffell was fascinated by the film's characters: "The richness of the personalities in the film revealed a completely new world for me. Like discovering the incredible complexity and craft that goes into creating a whisky like Red Rye Finish, or seeing how Emma thinks about how it will work in the hands of legends like Dave, Jack and Sother was amazing. It's a great story to be able to tell."

Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Red Rye Finish is one of the results of hundreds of ongoing experiments into flavour that take place at the brand's home in Scotland. It includes malt and grain whiskies aged in first-fill bourbon casks and finished in rye casks. It took more than 50 experiments exploring 203 malt and grain whisky samples to hit upon Red Rye Finish and it was created using a blend of just four whiskies, including Cardhu single malt for its vibrant, fresh fruitiness, along with creamy, vanilla grain whisky from Port Dundas.

Jim Beveridge said: "Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Red Rye Finish is inspired by my own fascination with the bold flavours of American whiskies which first developed while I was working with bourbons and ryes in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1990s.

"When making blended Scotch whisky, we like to think 'from the bar back', ensuring bartenders and people at home have the perfect liquids at hand to serve neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation of a flawless Scotch-based cocktail - such as Emma's Red Rye Finish Manhattan.

"In the case of Red Rye Finish, the end result is an incredibly contemporary whisky. It is smooth, sweet and deliberately light - to my mind, the complex character of Scotch given an exciting twist inspired by the best traditional American whiskey flavours."

The Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch range lifts the lid on the skill and never-ending pursuit of flavour that drives the blending team. At any one time, there are hundreds of experiments into flavour being carried out by the Johnnie Walker blenders which include the study of distillation conditions, the types of wood and grain used, cask finishes and other elements of whisky-making in the pursuit of exceptional new flavours.

Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Red Rye Finish is available from September in more than 50 countries with an RRP of EUR20.

To make the perfect Red Rye Finish Manhattan at home:

Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2oz. Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Red Rye Finish with 1/2oz. sweet vermouth; 1/2 oz. dry vermouth and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Stir well, for about 20 seconds, then strain into cocktail glass. Add cherry or twist lemon peel directly over drink to release essential oils, and serve. 

Veg Food Fest, Harbourfront Toronto, September 11, 2016


Walter Tautorat

 It is always a pleasure to venture down to Harbourfront. This weekend saw the 32nd. annual Veg Food Fest.

Hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association the show has become the largest of it’s type in North America. The show offered a wide and interesting variety of things that can be done with vegetables. From snacks and appetizers to meals and desserts. From spicy and savoury to sweet and decadent. Something for everyone’s taste.

As well as the many vendors this afternoon featured some great musical entertainment from Toronto’s own Danny Marks.

While I can’t pretend to be a vegetarian myself my diet has changed to a lot more plant based food over the last year.

I have noticed a change and feel lucky that in my neighborhood there are many green grocers within walking distance. This isn’t the case in all of this city and maybe one of the things shows like this will do is create awareness in people, particularly young kids, about the value and means to eat a healthy diet! 

Rabba survey reveals quirky facts
about how Ontarians feel about meal planning and school lunches


60 per cent of Ontarians often or always plan ahead before shopping for groceries.

60 per cent of Ontarians say they pop in to a grocery store for same-day meal ingredients at least once per week.

72 per cent of parents with families say they get more serious about grocery shopping in September. (the majority of adults without children don’t change their regimen).

There are more Ontarians who LIKE to prepare school lunches than those who dislike it! 54 vs 40 per cent.

Parents who prepare lunches are confident their kids like their meals! (80 per cent are confident).
With school in session, Ontario families will be getting back into a routine and getting serious about meal planning. A survey conducted by Rabba Fine Foods and Leger in late August reveals that nearly half of Ontario residents agree that when September comes around, they tend to get more organized with their groceries in an effort to plan better meals and school lunches.

One of the factors behind the drive for better meal and grocery planning is the school lunch we’ve all at one time or another either loved or hated. Nearly 40 per cent of Ontarians living with children under the age of 18 say they dislike packing lunches for their school-aged children; however more than half (54 per cent) say that they enjoy it. Respondents go on to say that the most frustrating aspects when preparing lunches are picky eaters (34 per cent) and finding balanced or healthy choices (32 per cent).
"We know that planning meals and preparing lunches for each day of the week is time consuming," says Jiries Rabba, Marketing Manager for Rabba Fine Foods. "That’s why our buyers have worked throughout the summer months to source simple meal options for parents. We're confident that our customers will find the right ingredients and convenient meal options they need to get the job done, day in and day out."

The survey also shows that grocery shoppers with children are more likely to plan their family’s meals for the week before going grocery shopping (72 per cent vs. 53 per cent), but are also just as likely to “pop into” a grocery store for that day’s meal(s). The study also shows that nearly four-in-10 (38 per cent) of Ontarians prefer shopping at smaller grocery stores, when given a choice.

"This survey helps us to better understand our customers and how their grocery shopping habits change going into the fall season,” says Rabba. “Our goal is to be the trusted neighbourhood market for our customers by providing them with access to a large variety of ingredients and supplies to make quick and delicious meals that the whole family will enjoy."

Ban alcohol sales through grocery store self-checkouts: OPSEU

 The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is demanding that the government ofOntario rethink its guidelines surrounding alcohol sales through self-checkouts, and ban the practice entirely.

The call comes after the union learned that a member of the public lodged a complaint with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission ofOntario (AGCO) after seeing a visibly intoxicated man purchasing beer through a self-checkout kiosk at a local grocery store.

"Under the current regulations, grocery stores can decide for themselves whether to sell beer through self-checkouts," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "As far as I'm concerned, this is an open invitation to intoxicated and underage customers to try to purchase alcohol illegally."
Denise Davis, chair of the Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED), is also wary of the lax laws,
"Where is the social responsibility in this?" said Davis. "How can the government tell us it is liberalizing alcohol sales in a socially responsible way? If we look at the track record so far – 'Sandy's Law' not being implemented until we publicly demanded it, creeping privatization of the LCBO without public consultation, and now, intoxicated people buying alcohol completely unhindered – it's pretty clear there is no regard for socially responsible alcohol policies."
OPSEU has already been vocally opposed to the government's decision to liberalize and privatize the sale of alcohol in Ontario, citing cases where other provinces that did so saw increased alcohol-related harms and costs.

"The havoc wreaked by liberalization and privatization of alcohol sales is twofold. Thanks to liberalization, we will have increased availability of alcohol, which means increased harms and costs for emergency services, law enforcement, health care, lost work-time, and so on. And thanks to privatization, we will have reduced public funds to cover those extra costs," said Thomas.

"Who's winning here? It isn't Ontarians."
Tawse Winery announces the release of Cuddy by Tawse wines
Tawse Winery is pleased to announce the launch of its newest wine brand, Cuddy by Tawse. This exciting new label was born from a longstanding partnership with Canadian music icon Jim Cuddy. This collaborative effort between Cuddy and the award-winning winemaking team of Paul Pender and Rene Van Ede has given birth to two new VQA labels that are now available at the winery. The 'Cuddy by Tawse' brand will also be available at select LCBO retailers starting September 17th.

"After many years of drinking great wine, it is my good fortune to work with Tawse and actually create some. I am very proud of the two new Cuddy Wine varietals we are presenting and hope that people enjoy tasting the wine as much as we enjoyed making it," says Cuddy of the first release that includes a Chardonnay and Cabernet Merlot blend.

The grapes for both wines were carefully sourced from select Niagara Peninsula vineyard sites that use best-in-class farm practices to produce expressive fruit that are true representations of terroir. The Cuddy by Tawse Chardonnay is barrel fermented and aged and displays notes of minerality accompanied by ripe apples and pears with allusions to citrus and toasty oak. The Cabernet Merlot blend is a food-friendly wine showing black fruit, plum, cocoa nib and a richness that hints at dark chocolate.

Mr. Cuddy will be showcasing his new line of wines at the Summerhill LCBO location on Saturday September 17th from 11 am to 1 pm. Visitors to the store will have opportunity to meet the singer, sample his two new wines and purchase autographed bottles. For more information about Cuddy by Tawse, including where to find it at a store near you, visit www.tawsewinery.ca.

About Tawse Winery: Tawse Winery is an ultra-premium Niagara winery whose portfolio is comprised of the Tawse, Cuddy by Tawse and Sketches wine brands. Owned and operated by the Tawse family, Tawse wines are sold nationally direct-to-consumer as well as in the LCBO and other provincial liquor jurisdiction stores. The company received recognition in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016 from Wine Access Magazine/Wine Align as Canadian Winery of the Year. Paul Pender and Rene Van Ede handcraft all of the wines within the Tawse Winery portfolio.
Fresh Idea: Drive-Thru Access to Local Food
Fresh City, an award winning farm and online farmers' market, announced a new partnership with Penguin Pick-Up, a network of convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. The partnership will make local, organic food more accessible for the millions of GTA residents who live within a few minutes' drive of a Penguin Pick-Up.

Fresh City, a certified B Corp, farms in Toronto's Downsview Park and sources directly from over 80 farmers and makers across Ontario. Founded in 2011, they are the largest organic meal delivery company in Canada and deliver produce, groceries, recipe kits, salad jars and smoothies directly to homes and offices.

"We deliver to thousands of homes, offices and apartments weekly," said Fresh City CEO, Ran Goel. "But many customers live outside our current delivery area or prefer to pick up their order, especially given Penguin Pick-Up's super convenient drive-thru service. Partnering with Penguin Pick-Up lets us reach more people."

Customers will place their order online with Fresh City and have the option of picking up their grocery bag Monday through Friday at one of several Penguin Pick-Up locations across the GTA including Scarborough, Oakville, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. Penguin Pick-Up are conveniently located at SmartCentres and Fresh City waives the delivery fee for customers who pick up their bags.

Egil Moller Nielsen, Senior Vice President & Head of Business at SmartCentres said, "We are delighted to be partnering with Fresh City to make eating healthy, local food easier for people across the GTA. Fresh City's offerings complement the many other online services we have available and make collecting online purchases at our Penguin Pick-Up's that much more valuable."

About Fresh City
Fresh City is a city farm that delivers farm-fresh meals and groceries. We work with like-minded makers to deliver a food experience that respects our bodies, our planet and our shared tomorrow. Fresh City was launched by Ran Goel in 2011 after leaving his Wall Street lawyer job to help change the way people think about and shop for food. To learn more about Fresh City visit www.freshcityfarms.com.

About Penguin Pick-Up
Penguin Pick-Up is a network of FREE convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. Penguin Pick-Up offers a customer-focused drive through experience that allows online shoppers to come and pick up their packages in 90 seconds or less. With extended operating hours, customers can collect their online purchases at a time that is convenient for them. Penguin Pick-Up is a "one-stop pick-up" for all e-commerce purchases, including groceries and dry cleaning services. Penguin Pick-Up locations can store fresh and frozen food as well as hard goods such as electronics and apparel. Customers can ship almost anything to Penguin Pick-Up from anywhere in the world and any online retailer.

Penguin Pick-Up and Penguin Fresh selling farm-fresh food, are owned by developer Mitchell Goldhar, founder of SmartCentres which has developed more than 265 shopping centres in Canada and Chairman of Smart Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which acquired the SmartCentres development platform. For more information, please visit www.PenguinPickUp.com and www.PenguinFresh.com.
Eat Healthy at Home
 (Family Features) Even if you've mastered the art of a smart workday lunch and can pick the most nutritious items on a restaurant menu like a pro, eating healthy at home is an unexpected downfall many people face.

When you find the chance to take a break from the busy pace of life and spend some time at home, it can be easy to slip into an all-indulgence mindset. Just remember that doesn't have to mean going all-out on junk food.

Enjoy the comforts of home and keep your eating on track with these helpful tips.

When you're spending time with family
It's easy to catch a carefree spirit while you're running the bases in an impromptu game of backyard baseball or being tempted by yet another imaginary dessert from the kiddie kitchen. When playtime winds down for dinner, there's no reason for the fun to stop. Have kids get hands-on to help assemble a healthy meal everyone can enjoy. Skip the cutting, peeling and mess by using Dole Jarred Fruit to prepare salads, desserts and even main dishes that satisfy the whole family's sweet tooth.
When you're tackling chores

From seasonal landscaping to the myriad projects you've been putting off, the list of chores around the house may seem never-ending. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you're working outdoors, and be sure you make time to eat, even if it's just a quick bite to keep you fueled. Air-popped crackers and hummus is a smart alternative to chips and dip, or get your pick-me-up from a handful of nuts and a serving of sweet, juicy fruit.

When you want to be a couch potato
When a new TV season begins this fall, keep your guilty pleasure in check with quick, healthy dishes to enjoy as you binge watch your favorite shows. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.

For more recipes you can enjoy at home, visit dolesunshine.com..
Pineapple Parfait
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Pineapple Chunks
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 vanilla wafers, crushed
Measure 1/2 cup drained fruit.
Spoon pineapple chunks into dessert glass. Spoon yogurt over pineapple. Sprinkle crushed wafers on top.

Tropical Rum Raisin Dessert
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Tropical Fruit, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup Dole Seedless Raisins
1/4 cup spiced or coconut rum
2 cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, divided
4 teaspoons toasted shredded coconut, divided
Place fruit in medium bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins, rum and 1/4 cup reserved juice. Allow raisins to soak at least 20 minutes until plump. Drain off liquid.
Combine fruit and rum raisins; spoon into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup scoop of ice cream and top each with 1 teaspoon toasted coconut.
Tip: 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 1/2 cup reserved juice may be used instead of rum.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1
1/2 cup refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
2 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
1/2 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
2 teaspoons slivered almonds
1 tablespoon light Asian salad dressing
Divide chicken equally inside two lettuce leaves, making two wraps.
Add 1/4 cup of Dole Mandarin Oranges and 1 teaspoon slivered almonds into each wrap.
Serve lettuce wraps with light Asian salad dressing for dipping.

Orange Chipotle Avocado Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 avocado, diced or smashed
1/3 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
1/2 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1/4 lime
Lightly toast whole-wheat bread and top with diced avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In medium bowl, toss oranges with chipotle peppers.
Spoon oranges over avocado toast and finish with a squeeze of lime.
Tip: For spicier toast, include pepper seeds. For more mild heat, remove seeds. A sprinkle of chili pepper can also be used to add spice.
Sweet Treats

Tickle your taste buds with these tricks that transform a kitchen staple like jarred fruit into a tasty treat:

Brighten up bland yogurt or frozen waffles with a serving of jarred fruit, such as sliced peaches or mandarin oranges.

Dip jarred pineapple chunks in melted chocolate and pop them in the freezer until hardened.

Top a serving of jarred tropical fruit with coconut flakes for an island escape.
Lay's® and Swiss Chalet® team up to create the ultimate Canadian chip
 Brace yourselves Canadian chip lovers! For the first time ever, Canadians will have the chance to enjoy the savoury Chalet sauce they love on the country's favourite potato chips. Lay's and Swiss Chalet have partnered to bring Canadians a truly Canadian delicacy, Lay's Chalet Sauce potato chips.

"Lay's is constantly in pursuit of new flavours to excite Canadian chip lovers and Lay's Chalet Sauce potato chips are no different," says Shereen Yasseen, Senior Director of Marketing - Frito-Lay Core & Global Brands, PepsiCo Foods Canada. "This creation combines a classic Canadian flavour with Canada's favourite potato chips made from homegrown potatoes, giving our fans a new way to enjoy a taste they love."

Swiss Chalet's secret recipe sauce has been a staple with Canadian families since 1954, developing a cult like following where Canadians will do just about anything for (and with) the signature dipping sauce – drink it with a straw, swim in it, even bathe in it. It was this fanatical love of the sauce that inspired Lay's and Swiss Chalet to create the most Canadian chip ever.

"Partnering with Lay's was a natural extension for our brand," says Lindsay Robinson, Director of Marketing – Swiss Chalet, Cara Operations Limited. "We pride ourselves on being Canadian, from our 62 year food print, to our product quality story and heritage, and our friendly "home away from home" service. This uniquely Canadian potato chip was the perfect way to bring two iconic Canadian flavours to the masses in a new and exciting way."

Canadian Chalet sauce lovers need to mark their calendars. Beginning September 2016, Lay's Chalet Sauce potato chips are only available in-restaurant at participating Swiss Chalet restaurants while quantities last. The potato chips will be available in 255g bags and 40g bags.

Indulge in a variety of vegan cooking and change your mouth’s mind at
Toronto Veg Food Fest

 the biggest vegan food fair in North America is back for its 32nd year in a row. Taking place September 9-11 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Veg Food Fest will feature the best in plant-based fare. 

“This year’s Fest will offer tasty dishes from over 130 vendors, local restaurants and bakeries, plus free workshops, live music programmed by Toronto Downtown Jazz, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of veg-friendly products,” says Alyssa de Hoop, Special Events Coordinator at Veg Food Fest. “We truly pride ourselves in being able to offer our guests the unparallel opportunity to sample the very best in vegan food, and this year is no different.” 

Come celebrate explosive innovation in today’s vegan industry, and learn from the pros in vegan cooking, animal rights, health and nutrition, and more. From Sept. 9-11, choose from a number of seminars including but not limited to:

·         Live Long and Prosper with Dr. Greger, Dr. Mangles, Dr. Mehta, and John Lewis;

·         Women in Animal Advocacy with Dr. Keri Cronin, Jo-Anne McArthur, Dr. Aysha Akhtar and Susie Coston;

·         Bad Ass Vegan Fitness with John Lewis;

·         What a Fish Knows with Jonathan Balcombe, PhD;

·         Veg 101 with the Toronto Vegetarian Association and

·         How Food can Heal the Planet with Rachael Parent.
Learn tips and tricks from the culinary masters at this year’s cooking demonstrations, as top vegan chefs and home cooks create their own versions of traditional vegan foods. Explore vegan cooking with celebrity chefs Doug McNish of Doug’s Public Kitchen at 7 p.m. on Friday, and 2016 MasterChef Canada Winner, Mary Berg, on Sunday at 4 p.m. Join Candice Hutchings Saturday at Noon as she shares her vegan journey and re-purposes familiar favourites to re-create childhood cravings and other delicious vegan dishes.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Lettuce Love Café, as they showcase delicious recipes from their new cookbook, Made with Love. Become a vegan cheese connoisseur with Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy, as they prepare their favourite cashew-based cheeses from their own cookbook, DIY Vegan.  

Toronto Veg Food Fest is not only an opportunity to enjoy an infinite variety of local foods; it is also the perfect occasion to indulge in diverse culinary pleasures. Find The Viet Vegan on Friday at 6 p.m. and watch her create quick and easy Vietnamese vegan meals.  Let Taymer Mason, author of Caribbean Vegan and Caribbean Smoothies; take you on a culinary adventure on Saturday at 4 p.m., as she makes fresh, healthy and imaginative Caribbean meals.  Explore exquisite vegan cooking with renowned Chef, Terry Hope Romero, author of eight amazing cookbooks including Vegan Latina, Salad Samurai and Protein Ninja. Finally, treat yourself to authentic Indian curries with incredible flavour from Preena Chauhan of Arvinda’s.

“A visit to this year’s Veg Food Fest will surely excite the palate of those who attend, as it is the perfect event for veg eaters and curious foodies alike,” adds Alyssa. “It will feature all kinds of plant-based deliciousness from burgers and hot dogs, to cupcakes, cookies, and more.”

Be sure to check out some of the new additions to this year’s festival, including live music programmed by Toronto Downtown Jazz, children cooking and gardening workshops, an expanded venue, additional vendors, Veg Out Zone, and more. Within the list of registered restaurants, chefs, and exhibitors are YamChops, Sweets from the Earth, Well Juicery, So Delicious, Apiecalypse Now Pizza and Bakery, Boon Burger, Cosmic Treats, Nanashake, and more.

For a full list and schedule, please see attached, or visit Veg Food Fest. Follow @VegFoodFest or ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

DATES & TIMES                           *FREEADMISSION*
Friday, September 9, 2016, 4pm-9pm 
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 12pm-9pm 
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 12pm-6pm
Harvest Wednesdays 2016 features Jamie Kennedy, Bob Blumer, Brandon Olsen, Suzanne Barr + more!
The Gladstone Hotel's beloved Harvest Wednesdays are back by popular demand! We invite Toronto’s urbanites to experience our food philosophy through a series of local food events harvested in the natural rhythm of Ontario’s growing season. Harvest Wednesdays offers a simple flavour-forward approach to enjoying fresh food. Let the real taste of Ontario produce blow your freakin’ mind!
Each week, Gladstone Hotel's Chef Katie Venables-Lloyd will collaborate with guests chefs including Jamie Kennedy, Chris McDonald, Bob Blumer, Brandon Olsen and Newcomer Kitchen! Together, they will create family-style Harvest Table Dinners or Sip + Savour Food Fairs inspired by produce from farmer Sherry Patterson of Chick-a-Biddy Acres CSA. Each event will be perfectly paired with complimentary wine, beer and spirits from our Harvest Wednesday Partners. See the full list of Harvest Wednesday events + tickets  here.

Corby Spirit and Wine & Four Seasons Hotel Toronto launch Perrier-Jouët Champagne pop-up patio

d|bar patio at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto transformed into Perrier-Jouët 
garden oasis – on now until September 18th in celebration of TIFF

Corby Spirit and Wine and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto are celebrating the 41st Toronto International Film Festival with the launch of a Perrier-Jouët garden oasis pop-up patio. This enchanting outdoor hideaway at Yorkville's d|bar patio is the perfect setting to sip champagne and enjoy "bubbles and bites" inspired cuisine.

On now until September 18th, the patio at d|bar will feature a menu specially designed to complement Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2007 – one of the world's most iconic champagnes. Guests can escape the hustle and bustle of the film festival with this luxurious hidden paradise designed by Teatro Verde. The terrace features custom Perrier-Jouët décor surrounded by lush palms and florals. This summer's most Instagrammable patio is the ultimate spot to lounge all day or enjoy champagne before or after a movie screening.

"We are thrilled to debut the Perrier-Jouët pop-up patio in Canada with this first-of-its-kind partnership with Four Seasons Toronto," says Erika Neudorf, Brand Manager of Perrier-Jouët. "The d|bar patio will be showcasing Perrier-Jouët's iconic Belle Epoque 2007 vintage champagne, which is considered to be one of the finest vintages in the past 20 years."

Perrier-Jouët champagnes are world-renowned for their aromatic richness. Light gold with an almost radiant clarity, this vintage Belle Epoque presents aromas of magnolia, honeysuckle and citrus, clothed in just-ripe pear and peach notes with a hint of minerality.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2007 vintage Champagne is also available now for a limited time as part of LCBO's Vintages August Classics Catalogue.

The patio at d|bar is open daily from 11:00 am until close, on a first come first serve basis. To be enchanted, follow @FSToronto and the hashtag #PerrierJouet.

About Corby Spirit and Wine
Corby Spirit and Wine Limited is a leading Canadian marketer and distributor of spirits and imported wines. Corby's portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including J.P. Wiser's®, Lot No. 40®, Pike Creek® and Gooderham & Worts® Canadian whiskies as well as Lamb's® rum, Polar Ice® vodka and McGuinness® and Criollo® liqueurs, produced by its sister company, Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., based in Windsor, Ontario. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., a global leader in the spirits and wine industry, Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT® vodka, Chivas Regal®, The Glenlivet® and Ballantine's® Scotch whiskies, Jameson® Irish whiskey, Beefeater® gin, Malibu® rum, Kahlúa® liqueur, Mumm® and Perrier-Jouët® champagnes, and Jacob's Creek®, Wyndham Estate®, Stoneleigh®, Campo Viejo®, Graffigna® and Kenwood® wines. In 2016, Corby was named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada by The Great Place to Work® Institute Canada for the fifth consecutive year, and was also listed for the second time among Greater Toronto's Top 100 Employers. Corby is a publicly traded company based in Toronto, Ontario, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols CSW.A and CSW.B. For further information, please visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter (@CorbySW), and Instagram (@CorbySW).
Healthy is the New Sexy with Costa Rica's Gallo Pinto
Adding a sexy, healthy spin to our familiar breakfast menu of pancakes, eggs and cereal is now easier than ever with Costa Rica's "gallo pinto." A recent study published by Nutrition Journal found that the pairing of any type of beans with rice can help stop unhealthy blood sugar spikes in adults with type 2 diabetes. With 25.8 million people in the U.S. living with this condition, Costa Rican "gallo pinto" is both a healthy and creative alternative to the mundane breakfast menu.

A side dish traditionally served in Costa Rican breakfasts, the typical mix of rice and beans, also known as "gallo pinto," can now be served with a Costa Rican flair that includes an elaborate selection of nutritious ingredients for those seeking to lead a healthier lifestyle with a little bit of spice. And everyone agrees that adding a bit of spice is a great, sexy move!

As firm believers of the farm-to-table movement since before it became popular, Costa Ricans are experts at creating delicious meals from fresh, local ingredients grown through sustainable farming methods. The National Plan for Healthy and Sustainable Food, one of Costa Rica's latest efforts to promote its competitiveness as a culinary destination, encourages the revival of highly nutritious and tasty traditional dishes such as "gallo pinto." Previously lost in Costa Rica's culinary offerings, the nutritional value of the classic mix of rice and beans has been rediscovered.

The following is a contemporary recipe for Costa Rican "gallo pinto":


1 ounce of fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves
2 ½ tablespoons of chopped onions
2 ½ tablespoons of chopped sweet peppers
2 ½ tablespoons of butter
3 teaspoons of salt
2 ½ cups of cooked rice
1 cup of drained black or red beans
½ cup of beans broth
Worcestershire sauce (a substitute to the local Costa Rican sauce)

Sauté onions, sweet pepper and garlic with 2 ½ tablespoons of butter until crystallized. Add beans and broth until the broth is reduced halfway. Then add salt, cooked rice and mix well. Once mixed, add Worcestershire sauce to taste. At the end, add cilantro and check the seasoning.

*Serves 3-4 people
**Additions may include tomatoes, green onions, and protein sides.

For more information on Costa Rica, visit www.visitcostarica.com

About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located in Central America between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south; it is bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean. With an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates this small country proudly shelters approximately five percent of the known biodiversity in the world. In order to protect and preserve its wealth of natural resources, Costa Rica has become a global leader in sustainable practices with protected areas comprising 26 percent of its land mass. With a peaceful spirit, emphasis on education and an economy based on tourism, technology and exportation, Costa Rica offers one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Visitors to Costa Rica enjoy a highly organized tourism infrastructure among a tropical paradise of lush rainforests, mystical volcanoes and cloud forests and beaches that meet mountains filled with monkeys and macaws. Offering a broad terrain of activities and accommodations, visitors to Costa Rica will find a range of hotel options ranging from small beachside bed and breakfasts to authentic intimate boutique mountain lodges to major international business hotel brands and everything in between. Costa Rica's accommodations offer something appealing for everyone's desires. The phrase "Pura Vida" can be heard echoing throughout Costa Rica from coast to coast. Used as a greeting or expression of happiness, the phrase literally translates to "pure life," however its true meaning is "full of life," which accurately describes the adventure and wonder that await visitors.

About Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT)
Established in 1955, the Costa Rica Tourism Board spearheads the vital task of regulating and promoting Costa Rica's extensive of tourism offerings. The ICT and its partners in the private sector work tirelessly to garner recognition, standardize practices, provide insightful research data and foster cultural development for the country's coast to coast one-of-a-kind tourism products and resources.

Food Recall Warning - Five Star Shellfish Inc. brand oysters recalled due to Salmonella

 Five Star Shellfish Inc. is recalling Five Star Shellfish Inc. brand large standard and mixed oysters from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

The following products have been sold in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

Recalled products

Five Star Shellfish Inc.
Large Standard Oysters
100 count
Harvest Date: 13-Aug-16
Harvest Location: PEI 1Q
Five Star Shellfish Inc.
Mixed Oysters
100 count
Harvest Date: 13-Aug-16
Harvest Location: PEI 1Q

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

Learn more about the health risks
Sign up for recall notifications by email, follow us on Twitter, or join the CFIA community on Facebook
View our detailed explanation of the food safety investigation and recall process

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

More information

Five Star Shellfish Inc.: 902-831-2906
CFIA: www.inspection.gc.ca/contactus  

Indulge in a variety of vegan cooking and change your mouth’s mind at
Toronto Veg Food Fest

The biggest vegan food fair in North America is back for its 32nd year in a row. Taking place September 9-11 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Veg Food Fest will feature the best in plant-based fare. 
Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Lettuce Love Café, as they showcase delicious recipes from their new cookbook, Made with Love. Become a vegan cheese connoisseur with Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy, as they prepare their favourite cashew-based cheeses from their own cookbook, DIY Vegan.

Toronto Veg Food Fest is not only an opportunity to enjoy an infinite variety of local foods; it is also the perfect occasion to indulge in diverse culinary pleasures. Find The Viet Vegan on Friday at 6 p.m. and watch her create quick and easy Vietnamese vegan meals. Let Taymer Mason, author of Caribbean Vegan and Caribbean Smoothies; take you on a culinary adventure on Saturday at 4 p.m., as she makes fresh, healthy and imaginative Caribbean meals. Explore exquisite vegan cooking with renowned Chef, Terry Hope Romero, author of eight amazing cookbooks including Vegan Latina, Salad Samurai and Protein Ninja. Finally, treat yourself to authentic Indian curries with incredible flavour from Preena Chauhan of Arvinda’s.

“A visit to this year’s Veg Food Fest will surely excite the palate of those who attend, as it is the perfect event for veg eaters and curious foodies alike,” adds Alyssa. “It will feature all kinds of plant-based deliciousness from burgers and hot dogs, to cupcakes, cookies, and more.”

Be sure to check out some of the new additions to this year’s festival, including live music programmed by Toronto Downtown Jazz, children cooking and gardening workshops, an expanded venue, additional vendors, Veg Out Zone, and more. Within the list of registered restaurants, chefs, and exhibitors are YamChops, Sweets from the Earth, Well Juicery, So Delicious, Apiecalypse Now Pizza and Bakery, Boon Burger, Cosmic Treats, Nanashake, and more.

For a full list and schedule, please visit Veg Food Fest. Follow @VegFoodFest or ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

Friday, September 9, 2016, 4pm-9pm
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 12pm-9pm
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 12pm-6pm

Toronto’s Veg Food Fest is the largest vegan food festival in North America, celebrating 32 years of delicious food that you never thought could be vegan. Enjoy free samples, live music, cooking demonstrations, presentations, new products and scrumptious food that will change your mouth’s mind. Veg Food Fest is presented by the Toronto Vegetarian Association and takes place September 9-11 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
“This year’s Fest will offer tasty dishes from over 130 vendors, local restaurants and bakeries, plus free workshops, live music programmed by Toronto Downtown Jazz, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of veg-friendly products,” says Alyssa de Hoop, Special Events Coordinator at Veg Food Fest. “We truly pride ourselves in being able to offer our guests the unparallel opportunity to sample the very best in vegan food, and this year is no different.”

Come celebrate explosive innovation in today’s vegan industry, and learn from the pros in vegan cooking, animal rights, health and nutrition, and more. From Sept. 9-11, choose from a number of seminars including but not limited to:
  • Live Long and Prosper with Dr. Greger, Dr. Mangles, Dr. Mehta, and John Lewis;
  •  Women in Animal Advocacy with Dr. Keri Cronin, Jo-Anne McArthur, Dr. Aysha Akhtar and Susie Coston;
  • Bad Ass Vegan Fitness with John Lewis;
  • · What a Fish Knows with Jonathan Balcombe, PhD;
  • · Veg 101 with the Toronto Vegetarian Association and
  • · How Food can Heal the Planet with Rachael Parent.

Learn tips and tricks from the culinary masters at this year’s cooking demonstrations, as top vegan chefs and home cooks create their own versions of traditional vegan foods. Explore vegan cooking with celebrity chefs Doug McNish of Doug’s Public Kitchen at 7 p.m. on Friday, and 2016 MasterChef Canada Winner, Mary Berg, on Sunday at 4 p.m. Join Candice Hutchings Saturday at Noon as she shares her vegan journey and re-purposes familiar favourites to re-create childhood cravings and other delicious vegan dishes. 
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
FoodShare Academy

6:15 - 8:45pm Workshop run time
Beginner Garden Planning - March 24, 2016

Intermediate Garden Planning - March 31, 2016

Vermicomposting - April 7, 2016

Seed Starting Workshop - April 14, 2016

Mead Making - April 19, 2016

Mead Making - May 10, 2016

Container Gardening - May 12, 2016

Direct Seeding & Transplanting - May 19, 2016

Organic Pest Control - June 2, 2016

Backyard Composting - July 7, 2016

Season Extension - September 15, 2016

Putting Gardens to Bed - October 20, 2016

Discounts are available for students/seniors. Please contact us to enrol as a student/senior.

Student/Senior Rate: 1 for $40, or 2 for $70, 3 for $100, 4 for 130, 5 for $160, or 6 for $190.

With our Introduction to Organic Growing Certificate, you can combine 6 of the above workshops and a required 12 volunteering hours at a local community garden. You'll receive a certificate at season's end with a group celebration. Contact [email protected] for more details. Please note: Mead Making will not count towards the Certificate.


Garden Planning – either Beginner (March 24) OR Intermediate (March 31)

Seed Starting - either Seed Starting Workshop (April 14) OR Direct Seeding & Transplanting (May 19)

Composting – either Vermicompost (April 7) OR Backyard Composting (July 7)

Putting the Garden to Bed (October 20)

Please note that if you take both of the compost, garden planning or seedling workshops, one will count as an elective.


The Organic Growing Certificate requires taking TWO of the following electives:
Container Gardening (May 12)
Organic Pest Control (June 2)
Season Extension (September 15)

Bursaries are available to people and front line organizations. Please contact [email protected] for details.

FoodShare Toronto - 90 Croatia Street, Toronto, ON M6H 1K9 
We are excited to launch this year's FoodShare Academy Series . Each workshop offers fun, hands-on educational opportunities to learn the essential skills of food growing and composting. We look forward to seeing you here at FoodShare!
Harvest Wednesdays Pop-Up Returns to the Gladstone Hotel
Our beloved Harvest Wednesdays is back by popular demand! The Gladstone Hotel invites Toronto’s urbanites to experience our food philosophy through a series of local food events harvested in the natural rhythm of Ontario’s growing season. Harvest Wednesdays offers a simple flavour-forward approach to enjoying fresh food. Let the real taste of Ontario produce blow your freakin’ mind!

Each week, Gladstone Hotel's Chef Katie Venables-Lloyd will collaborate with guests chefs including Jamie Kennedy, Chris McDonald, Bob Blumer, Brandon Olsen and Newcomer Kitchen! Together, they will create family-style Harvest Table Dinners or Sip + Savour tastings inspired by produce from farmer Sherry Patterson of Chick-a-Biddy Acres CSA, as well as local meats, cheeses, wines and beers from our Harvest Wednesday Partners. See the full list of Harvest Wednesday events + tickets here.

Newcomer Kitchen!
First up, we've got the Gladstone Hotel x Newcomer Kitchen Harvest Table on August 24, at 6:30pm. Newcomer Kitchen is a project that invites newly-arrived Syrian refugee women to cook a weekly meal in the Depanneur's kitchen. The meals are sold online for pickup or delivery, and the proceeds shared among the cooks. For our first Harvest Wednesday, the ladies from Newcomer Kitchen will be setting up shop in our kitchen to prepare a traditional Syrian meal using local Ontario ingredients! Come out, meet the chefs, and enjoy an authentic meal, served family style!
Take Your Taste Buds on a Vegan Culinary Adventure around the World
One of the many wonderful things about plant-based eating is the opportunity to discover and enjoy flavourful cuisine from around the world. Caribbean, Italian, Mexican, Asian, or Ethiopian— there are infinite options when it comes to exploring new ethnic dishes.   

“You don’t have to travel the world to take your taste buds on a culinary adventure,” says Alyssa de Hoop, Special Events Coordinator for Veg Food Fest. “Gone are the days of microwave noodles and bread. Vegans can now spice up their routines with ethnically-inspired dishes full of new spices and flavours.”

Here are a few delicious ethnic vegan dishes from around the world, some of which you will find at this year’s Veg Food Fest:

Begin your tasteful journey in the exotic country of Thailand, where you can find a variety of vegan options to suit any type of craving. Visit Green Earth Vegan and enjoy their spring rolls made with textured vegetable protein, fresh mint, lettuce, cucumber, and vermicelli rolled in thin rice paper served with peanut sauce. Continue with Tom Yum; a spicy Thai soup with tamarind based broth, lemongrass, mushroom, tofu, cabbage, bamboo shoots, tomato and fresh basil.

Stop by beautiful India, known for its delicious cuisine full of abundant flavours. For a quick yet delicious starter, try a vegan twist to the traditional Indian Samosa, made plump with potatoes and green peas in a golden pastry and served with tamarind sauce. Visit Soneli Indian Cuisine in Toronto for similar delectable Indian options such as Channa Masala and Dal Makhani. Check out Arvinda’s premium spice blends to try your hand at preparing truly authentic Indian curries.

Revel in delicious vegan meals as you visit Ethiopia where cuisine consists of vegetables and tangy spices. For a traditional Ethiopian meal visit Nunu Ethiopian to start with a rich hearty saffron onion soup and continue with Azefa; black lentil, red onions, and green pepper in a tangy mustard sauce served cool. Be sure to order Ethiopia’s famous injera, a food that just about all Ethiopians eat made from an ancient grain called Teff, mixed with water, left to ferment for its signature sour flavour and then fried like a pancake. 

 Travel to Jamaica where popular dishes include fried dumplings, Jamaican patties (vegan, of course), rice and peas, fried plantain and everything ‘Jerk’. At Vital-Life Vegan you will find various mouth-watering options such as Sweet n Sour Tofu, Lima bean strew, Jamaican Callaloo, Millet Pillaf, and fried plantains among others.

Continue this adventure by savouring layered tortilla pie of eggplant, caramelized onions, refrito beans, and roasted jalapeños found in Mad Mexican’s Pastel Azteca. This tasty meatless dish is served with salsa verde, topped with fresh onion, coriander and pasilla marinated jimaca.

End the trip on the right foot and reward yourself with crunchy biscotti— an Italian almond biscuit known to have originated in the city of Patro. Tori’s Bakeshop makes a fantastic pistachio biscotti made with ginger, coconut milk, flax, unrefined cane sugar, canola oil, cranberries, almond flour and various other ingredients.

With so many naturally meatless dishes from all over the globe, you will find that the world is truly a vegan’s oyster.

For more information, please visit Veg Food Fest. Follow @VegFoodFest or ‘Like’ them on Facebook.
Students For Liberty Protest Proposed Soft Drink Tax
SFL Canada will be taking over a Toronto corner store on Thursday August 11th to mock the rise of the nanny state and ridiculous lifestyle regulations. Toronto's first "government approved" corner store will open its doors at 9:00am.

"We've decided to create a Nanny State Corner Store to mock the increasing level of lifestyle regulations being passed by all levels of government. We at SFL Canada want to ask the very simple question: Do we want a government that treats adults like children? Or do we want a society that respects an adult's freedom to choose?" David Clement, North American Programs Director with Students For Liberty.

Whether it is adding additional taxes on pop, proposing to put graphic labels on alcohol, or plain packaging tobacco products, more laws are being passed that limit consumer choice, and curb individual freedoms. This is true for both consumer and personal behaviour. At every turn the government is trying to regulate what we can buy, sell, consume, eat, smoke, vape, drink, gamble and much more. 

SFL Canada's Nanny State Corner Store will open its doors at 9:00am on August 11th. The store represents what corner stores would look like if the government had its way, and overtaxed, over regulated or straight up banned everything that is bad for your health. Join us for some government approved chocolate bars, chips and pop. The address for the store is 3148 Bathurst St, North York, ON M6A 2C2. 

About Students For Liberty
Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world. Our mission is to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty. We are the largest libertarian student organization in the world. SFL works to promote the ideals of economic freedom, social freedom and academic freedom. For more information on SFL Canada's #FreeToChoose campaign, go to www.nannystate.ca​
‘Veganize’ Your Fridge This Summer