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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LOCAVORE by Sarah Elton

Last Thursday evening Susan & I were lucky enough to have the privilege of hearing Sarah Elton speak at the Runnymede Library! She is not only the author of LOCAVORE, but she contributes to the CBC Toronto drive home show 'Here and Now', she writes for the Globe & Mail and The Atlantic's Monthly website! She mentioned kids too! Yikes, now that is busy!
Susan and I had just been talking about the book and her radio show and that she was definitely one of our "people" then, voila, I'm at the library, a favorite place of Sarah's too, and I see the poster announcing that she is coming. If you put it out there, the universe snatches it up! It happens time and time again.

Sarah didn't read from her book, instead she shared some of her favorites stories. She told us about Harold and Kathy Steves, and she talked about some her own experiences growing up. Then she opened up the floor to questions. That was when it got really interesting, not that it wasn't fascinating already! She has a great way of keeping the conversation going and inviting people to ask controversial and provocative questions. I learned more about food in general, in that hour and half, than I've known up until now.

Did you know?
  • That Sarah Elton, and those in the know, believe that the first step to developing a sustainable food source in Canada is by developing a locally sustainably meat.This is scary, because we all know how expensive local organic meat is. We have to change the way we eat! It's as simple and complicated as that. Does that mean we all have to eat less, good meat? How do we make local & sustainable meat more accessible?
  • We have to recognize that we have power as consumers. Sarah mentioned time and again how important it is talk to your grocery manager about providing locally sustainable fruit and vegetables. She spoke of talking to the managers of local Farmers' Markets about staying open later so that working folk can get access to them. Right now, whether we like it or not, it is our responsibility to get access to more local, sustainable food. We have to make this happen.

  • Long Distance Organic doesn't have any real value. It needs to be local & sustainable. We have to get fossil fuels out of our food system. The only way to do that is to buy local. She did predicate that she buys local and sustainable first, but will buy long distance organic over long distance non-organic. This is something that happens in February rather than July.

  • Organic produce is not considered nutritionally richer than regular produce. It's the pesticides that are the issue.

  • There is an Organic Dirty Dozen, if you can't afford to buy everything organic, these are the items you should consider
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

    These are the items that are the "safest" to eat
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

  • We really have to change the way we eat, if we want to support a local & sustainable food source. We have to start eating with the seasons.
  • Most of the farmers in Canada are poised to retire, their average age is 56 years old. Interestingly though there are an abundance of young men and women ready to take their places, what we need is land for them to farm.
  • We need to shape food policy! Check out these websites and
Thank you Sarah Elton for an amazing evening! Susan and I were so impressed by everything Sarah shared with us we have bought a copy of her book, she generously signed it for us and now we are going to give it away to a lucky winner of our very first giveaway ever!

Check us out on Face book and Twitter or keep checking back to the blog for all the details.
Enjoy this beautiful day!

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