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    Brazil Raids Illegal Ranches, Gives Cattle To Poor

    Brazil’s new environment minister, Carlos Minc is committed to serious punative action when it comes to the estimated 60,000 cows that are raised on illegally deforested land in the region of Amazonia. In fact, cattle pasture now covers 7.8% of the Amazon region, with an ever growing presence as worldwide demand for beef skyrockets. Illegal […] More

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    Fear of Famine Drives EU Support of Genetically Modified Crops

    The European Union has traditionally been more cautious of genetically-modified (GM) foods than the rest of us. They require more scientific study than other food safety organizations before approving individual seeds and ban a significant number of GM seeds as well. This stands in stark contrast to U.S. policies that encourage GM crop growing through […] More

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    Halal: The Original Ethical Meat Eating?

    Among the decidedly ungreen luxuries I allow myself is a small collection of magazine subscriptions, one of which is Gourmet – the Conde Nast foodie rag that is, to be honest, hit or miss. But this month’s issue was a favorite of mine, mostly because of a moving account by two young chefs of a […] More

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    How Eco-Friendly Coffee Makes a Difference

    Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee each day, which contributes to the coffee bean’s status as the second most globally traded product after petroleum. Now, a recent report from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid has found that regular coffee intake can actually prevent heart disease in women. Coffee is a much needed cash crop […] More

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    Meatless BBQ: Halloumi Cheese Three Ways

    While any red-blooded foodie enjoys a veggie burger now and again, it can get tiresome to keep chowing down on the same prepackaged bulgar patty as meat-eaters feast on a vast array of grilled options from shrimp skewers to pulled pork, salmon sides and steaks. What is the vegetarian-minded BBQer to do amidst the seemingly […] More

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    Cooking With Sea Asparagus

    I went to an unfamiliar greenmarket today and had the pleasure of meeting a whole new group of farmers. One vendor was not a farmer at all, but a forager. In fact, he has an entire network of foragers throughout Canada who trade products, enabling a far longer season than would otherwise exist (the man […] More

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    Chocolate-Goji Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

    Following my goji berry coup in Chinatown last week, I found myself with an embarrassment of riches. What to do with all of these berries? Where before I meted out a small handful to enjoy at the bottom of a tea cup, I was now free to make recipes that included whole cups of goji. […] More

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    Investors Are Buying Your Dinner, But How Will They Trade It?

    Most mainstream business reporting on the agricultural sector has recently focused on the socio-economic impact of rice shortages in southeast Asia or the global price spikes throughout the food chain. But despite the misfortune wrought by desertification, drastic weather changes and other contributing factors, those who trade on the commodities market have seen food shortages […] More

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    Shopping In Toronto’s Chinatown

    Despite a mild insecurity with shopping in grocery stores where the latin alphabet graces few labels, I was overcome with a desire to shop in Chinatown today upon seeing the perfect, sunny weather. More than picking up a few veggies, I was hoping to gather some inspiration. I have gotten into a bit of a […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: Vertical Farms

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. With an ever shrinking topographical footprint and a population in perpetual flux, the modern city has some feeding issues. A recent article in The Globe and Mail described the frustration of farmer’s market organizers over the […] More

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    Who Feeds Us? Women In the Fields

    Who Feeds Us? is my attempt to investigate the lives of our farm workers. Who picks our crops and packages our meals and how are they treated in our name? What do we implicitly sanction as we swipe our debit cards through the checkout line? The accompanying picture is of a migrant farm worker, much […] More

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    Rhubarb on Accompaniment

    In junior high school, I had a quirky music teacher (is there any other kind?) who would occasionally launch into monologues on a myriad of topics including, but not limited to: what a loser her ex-boyfriend was; amusing malapropisms from her overbearing opera coach, Hilde; and life “on the stage.” I remember these well because […] More

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    Nutrient Study Challenges Raw Foodism

    The raw food movement began with a fringe group of eaters in the mid 1970s and has since gained mainstream status along with other alternative diets such as veganism and macrobiotic eating. Most major cities and many smaller ones now boast raw food restaurants. Raw cookbooks abound and celebrities like Carol Alt, Woodie Harrelson and […] More

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    Rice Prices Shut Down School Breakfast Program

    When the World Food Program (WFP) introduced free breakfasts to public schools in impoverished communities around the world, teachers immediately noticed a difference in their classrooms. Not only were students more alert and focused, they attended more regularly and were never late so as not to miss breakfast time. The quality of the students changed, […] More

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    Wild Greens in the Great White North

    While browsing the St. Lawrence Market last weekend, I was elated to spot the paisley-shaped heads of fiddlehead ferns. I won’t get into my love for the regional delicacy too much, as Jennie already posted a great recipe, but I felt that – despite their season of only a few weeks – the wild, gamey […] More

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    Veggie Bahn Mi Recipe

    When we had company unexpectedly this week, I had to think quickly of a dish to serve. Earlier that day, I made some of the raw beet salad that I wrote about last month. I had about two cups of leftover shredded beets + carrots. So I decided to pickle them in a combination of […] More

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    Food Synergy: Why Nutrients Should Not Stand Alone

    During the discussion that followed my blog post on synthetic, corn-derived additives, a debate arose about the relative health benefits of isolated or additive nutrients versus those consumed in the context of their natural whole food. One commenter wondered why nutrients found in whole foods were preferable to their isolated counterparts. I realized that this […] More

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    Corn Aliases: How The King Crop Hides In Everything You Eat

    First, I want to apologize for my absence – I’ve been dealing with a family issue away from home and haven’t had the time or mental energy to post. I am happy to be back and gratefully anticipate your forgiveness (please?). I spent last week following the Ashkenazi diet for the eight day celebration of […] More

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    A Second Chance at Ice Cream

    One thing that I love about cooking the Passover Seder for my family is that I get two chances to make a memorable meal. While the menus always differ between the two nights of celebrations, I usually incorporate a few similar elements to try out twice. I am never going to win with the traditional […] More

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    Report Says We Can Feed the World

    As the prices of basic food staples like corn and wheat have risen 45% since the end of 2006 and food inflation has reached 80% in some countries, the world’s hungry are increasing in number and desperation. A poignant article on the front page of today’s New York Times shows a young girl standing on […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: Intercultural Gardens

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. It is a truth well documented that community gardens foster unity among neighbors, but Germany’s Stiftung Interkultur has taken this logic a step further in the creation of its Intercultural Gardens. Communities in Berlin, Gottingen, Hamburg, […] More

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    What Struggle? The Truth About Healthy School Kitchens

    Much of the press surrounding efforts to improve school lunches focuses on resistance from junk food-addled children who like their potatoes with partially-hydrogenated oil and their fruit juice incased in gelatin and xanthan gum. TV shows like Jamie’s School Dinners show picky children gagging at the sight of tomatoes, spitting out pieces of lettuce. This […] More

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    Are Food Mile Labels Misleading?

    Over the past year, Britain’s grocers have begun affixing an air freighted sticker to food flown in from abroad. Ever since locavorism began to gain ground in this decade (I’d peg it at 2005, but many of you may differ), there has been a murmur about the possibility of labeling food to reflect its environmental […] More

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    Cape Now Far Removed From Cod

    Cape Cod has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve just finished Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, which included a vivid depiction of the Provincetown restaurant scene. As a childhood frequenter of the Cape, I have fond memories of eating my way up and down the elbow. The fried clam shacks, Portuguese fish stews and […] More

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    Is There Such a Thing As Good Additives?

    Let’s talk food additives. Even when I go to the health food store and pick up all-natural, gluten-free, sprouted hemp, vegan cookies (okay, especially when I pick up items that have been so worked-over…), I find ingredients on the back like phosphates, lactic acid, or carrageenen. What should I make of such seemingly blatant contradiction? […] More

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    Tainted Mozzarella Proves That No Meal Is An Island

    After 83 buffalo dairy providers from the Campania region of Italy were suspended after high levels of the toxicant class, dioxins were found in mozzarella made from their milk, two unlikely industries found themselves in the hot seat: independent farmers and traditional cheesemakers. We often think of small farmers and food artisans as immune to […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: Backyard Chickens

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. Behold Gallus Domesticus, the backyard chicken and latest slow food phenomenon. Traumatized by images of chicken warehouses, disgusted by food recalls and perhaps even longing for animal companionship, urban dwellers are becoming enthusiastic chicken owners. Urban […] More

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    Antioxidants, Decoded

    For one reason or another, thinking about, living with and treating cancer has been a big part of the lives of my friends and family over the past year. Perhaps this has something to do with my current location, but I’m not so sure. Frankly, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that […] More

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    Discount Organics: Greenwash Agent or Nutritional Revolution?

    I just read an article about a new in-house organics label from a retail giant here in Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart. Despite the name “drug mart,” Shoppers carries an impressively large inventory of edible items. And while I have always appreciated their supply of organic shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste, I haven’t given the food aisle […] More

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    Pumping Iron, Meat-Free Edition

    In honor of the Great American Meat-Out, I thought it might be a good idea to consider one of the major challenges facing vegetarians and vegans: how to get enough dietary iron. While meat-eaters are supposed to consume 8 milligrams of iron (men and older women) and 18 milligrams (pre-menopausal women) respectively, the recommended USDA […] More

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    Farming: the Next Generation

    The New York Times ran an article today about the growing number of urban professionals in their 20s and 30s who leave their city lifestyle behind and move to the country to farm. Aptly, these people are called “first-generation farmers” as if they have arrived from a different culture altogether. In many ways they have […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: SPIN-Farming

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. What would you say if a farmer knocked on your door and asked to rent your backyard to grow raddichio or sweet peas? My guess is, you might inquire about his medication. But renting backyards is […] More

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    In Defense of Organic: Why Greenwashing Shouldn’t Wash Away the Green

    Our recent guest blogger, Danae DeShazer wrote a thought-provoking piece on the dangers of considering organic food a cure-all for the ills of the food industry . Sharon Troy followed up with some detective work on plastic-wrapped “organic” potatoes at her local supermarket (which would have been hilarious if it weren’t so scary). I agree […] More

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    Tomato Seedlings Warm Up Winter

    Particularly in August, I feel a sort of tomato delirium. I love biting through the slightly resistant outer flesh towards the tart, slippery reward of the inner gel sacs. I make salads and sauces and jellies, bruschetta and gazpacho and homemade catsup. I even make cocktails from the stuff! I probably average a three-tomato a […] More

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    Beyond the Plate, the Many Methods of Composting

    Here at Eat. Drink. Better. we talk a lot about the process through which food moves from farm to market to plate. But responsible food consumption includes accountability for the manner in which food scraps are disposed. It’s all well and good to have a backyard composter if your property includes some green space or […] More

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    One More Reason to Eat Organic: Metabolic Health

    I began eating organic foods because I was worried about consuming compounds that are linked to cancer clusters, spiked infertility rates, and neurological disorders like autism. Once I began to learn about what compounds in conventional food could do to my body, I found factory farmed and processed fare pretty hard to swallow. Despite this, […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: Farm to Table Schools

    The Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. Toronto-based Food Share is an organization that I really admire. They take a wholistic approach to improving inner-city nutrition, employing principles of locavorism, co-op structure, and progressive, action-based learning. I was browsing their site the […] More

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    NYC Gets (Fru)It

    I must say, I am rather proud of my hometown this morning. In municipal legislation that combats basically every negative impact on the food chain reaction, the City Council has voted in a measure to distribute 1,000 new permits for street vendors who sell produce in underserved communities. The measure was proposed in December by […] More

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    More Bad Cow News: Johne’s Disease Linked to Crohn’s Disease

    I guess Thursday is Bad Cow Day. Sorry cows! I love your sweet, cud-chewing faces, but your owners have issues! According to the Humane Society, 17% of the U.S. beef supply comes from spent dairy cows. These cows no longer produce financially viable quantities of milk and are sold at steep discount to slaughterhouses. In […] More

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    Farms To Get Free Pass on Emissions

    Industrial farming costs us dearly in greenhouse gas emission levels. By some measures, the ecological impact of the farming industry outweighs even its economic impact. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock off-gassing (methane, ammonia and others from sheep dung, cow farts, etc) makes up 18% of our total greenhouse gas emissions […] More

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    Picking Fruit

    Sometimes you just can’t find an organic peach. Of course, most grocery stores and markets continue to expand their local and organic produce sections, but we have all faced a produce aisle, dinner party recipes in hand, without a nontoxic eggplant in sight. Should we just go conventional or try to find an organic replacement? […] More

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    Se-se-se-Salba!

    You remember those ads. Clay lamb and dog statues sprouting thickets of green blades, punctuated by an 800-number and a 2-for-1 offer. Last year, I was visiting Mexico with my father and some of his colleagues. One day, we went out for lunch at this gorgeous restaurant called Los Danzantes in Coyoacan – Frida Kahlo’s […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: ecoCity Farming

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. Struck by the high carbon cost of sending food to dense urban areas and communities in extreme climates, Andrew Bodlovich and Hogan Gleeson devised a highly efficient, waste-free aquaponic growing system in which vegetable crops and […] More

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    Pollen: The Bee’s Knees?

    For months, I passed by the beekeeper’s table at my local farmer’s market on Front Street in Toronto. Perhaps it was his proximity to the old guy who croaks Bob Dylan songs from his stackable chair or perhaps it was my fear that the lettuce guy was out of organic arugula that propelled me faster […] More

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    Urban Agriculturalist: Fruit Tree Harvesting

    Urban Agriculturalist is a series on the ways city and suburb dwellers use their land as a food resource. Los Angeles has a dearth of publicly owned fruit trees, but who owns the fruit they produce? The three activists behind Fallen Fruit dare to ask, “Is this my banana?” By their estimate, 22 different crops […] More

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