Food at the Green Living Show

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Photo: LoraxGirl

Good things were happening this weekend at the Green Living Show in Toronto. I saw NickelBrook there, as well as Organic Meadow (who we’ll be talking to on Friday on The Grapevine) and so many other good food producers!

It seems that I always see Mapleton’s Organics, from Guelph, at events and festivals in Ontario. This weekend they are promoting their new Ginger, Dandelion and Vanilla flavour of ice cream, made with fresh milk, eggs and cream from the same farm where the ice cream is made! I had an organic spelt cone of it for breakfast on Saturday. Delicious! The dandelion had a kind of earthy sweetness, similar to honey.

The Farm Fresh Fare, essentially the food court of the festival, was extremely well done. There was a variety of food laid out, all delicious and reasonably priced. All dishes were Ontario-grown, and provided by a local farmer and prepared by a restaurant chef. I sampled: pasta carbonara made by Chef Rodney Bowers with ingredients provided by Rowe Farms,

Photo: LoraxGirl

porchetta on a wood-fired crusty bun by DuBreton, Ravine Deli and Bakery & Niagara Specialty Foods, an Ontario fruit smoothie with organic honey, a lamb and beef burger with feta and mint,

Photo: LoraxGirl

and finally a smoked white fish, marinated fingerling potatoes and spring greens by Purdy’s Fisheries Limited and Woodlot. I also tasted a couple of VQA wines, but my favourite was a smooth, fruity white from Southbrook Vineyards from Niagara, which they told me will be available at the LCBO very soon.

It was nice to see such a well put together food section, from the actual food producers to the support around them – Local Food Plus and Foodland Ontario were there in force, giving out literature and promoting Ontario growers. And this kind of visible collection of values has put pressure on bigger companies; Loblaws was there promoting their initiatives to ensure that all of the wild and farm-raised seafood and fish in their stores is sustainably sourced by the end of 2013. But then again, Tim Hortens was there too and I am too skeptical, or maybe cynical, to believe that they are doing anything substantial to promote sustainability.

The Conscious Food Festival, which will take place in mid-August, handed out cards on recycled cardboard, printed on with stamps. I understand why exhibitors would give out cards and pamphlets about their company and products, but this is so much more environmentally friendly!

The Green Living Show included sections dedicated to energy and green building, fashion, home and garden, kids and pets, transportation and health and wellness, but I think the food section was particularly good. Next year if you’re around Toronto I’d recommend checking it out, but hopefully Hamilton can support a festival of this kind very soon!

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