Monday, January 31, 2011

Guelph Organic Conference, the aftermath

I arrived at Guelph Friday night,  what a drive, i was delayed in Madoc and therefore hit traffic at 4 pm going over Toronto.  None the less i arrived at my friends house by 6 pm.  We went out to diner to the Fat Duck where an organic menu was offered in support of the the Organic Conference being held.  this is the first time that 7 restaurants in the city are working with local meat and veggy  suppliers`and teh conference committe.  After the meal a ballot was filled out on what we thought of the meal and that is submitted to the conference commmitee to review.  Also, there was a coloring contest for kids under 12.  the kids had to answer the question  similar to"What does local food mean to you?"  Not a hard question for my 11 year old to answer!  local means support to farmers! there are monetary prizes for the best submission.

I did not atttend any workshops at the conference this year.  I was helping out with our coop both, the Quinte Organic Farmers Coop.  On Saturday, Ken, Lorrain and Aric manned the booth.  On Sunday Ken and Idid.  We talked a lot about ourselves and how we support each other within the coop.  One topic that came up a lot was the lack of Provincial governement support in enforcing the language use of  √≤rganic` in labelling.  In Ontario,  anyone can use the word organic and not necessarily be Certified.  this is worrisome since then anyone can claim organic farming methods but Don`t have third party inspection to prove it. 

Of course there were lots of discussion about global food policies, distribution and environment issues.  A book called `let them eat junk` How capitalism create hunger and obesity  written by Robert Albritton  was offered for sale at our table.  there are still some left if anyone wants a copy. 

The trade show was amazing with many businesses promoting organic products.  Mapleton organic ice cream was to die for!  A new product I noticed was a organic bouillon stock in the dried form, vegetable, beef and chicken and other variation of flavours was on offer.  Ilike to use these products when i don`thave time to make my own stock, it`s nice to see something that isn`t laoded with artificail flavours, MSG and salt!

On Saturday I took the opportunity to visite St Jacobs farmers market. I was disappointed.  there was nothing that i could see that is  Organic.  Lots of hormone, antibiotic free and `naturally`raised meats!  Again for those products there are no third party inspection and one could say anything about the meats.  The mennonites had a table of veggies obviously for the toronto food terminal, no one grows asparagus in the winter!  there were some homemade baking, pickles, pasta and prepared foods.  Idid also see some `real`crafts, but not much, a lot of cheap imported junk, the same you can find in many dollar stores!  It was an experience, i would like to go in the summer and see what there is in local produce ect.  I suppose its an income for these vendors and they`ll do what they need to.