It’s finally here! Eating locally in Toronto

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One of the promises I made to myself in my student years, was that, when I was earning a fair wage, I would do my best to buy local fresh food. 

Localised eating makes sense on so many different levels. Personally, it’s less about offsetting carbon emissions, and more about supporting local farmers. A commitment to eating local, on most occasions, is inherently a commitment to eating food that is in season. Plump pumpkins in October, vibrant vines of tomatoes in August, rustic roots in the winter…mmmm. These are commitments that I’m pretty comfortable making.

The quote about strawberries really makes me smile; I never understood the need to eat berries 52 weeks out of the year. Sure I love a sprinkling of strawberries on my salad in February as much as the next trendsetter, but I’m also willing to forgo fad for reason.

But I digress…

After researching, much rationalizing, and tip-toeing around the idea for far too long, I finally joined a local organic food delivery program. In Toronto, we’re spoiled for choice on companies that offer this service. In the end, I just chose the one whose van I often saw outside my condo building: Mama Earth Organics.

I received my first organic local food delivery last night. This is what I had waiting outside my condo door, after, what seemed to be the longest work week ever:

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I know what you’re thinking, and let me just answer it for you- YES! This is the bin they delivered the produce in. This is the bin that kept my vegetables safe outside my door. This is the bin they will collect at next week’s delivery, clean, and use again and again for future deliveries!

I chose the ‘local’ option, which means all of the produce in my box is grown in Ontario. At first, it seems mildly pricier than going out and buying my own produce. But there is something empowering about this box; For one, it allows me to plan & prep my meals out ahead of time, which will * hopefully * decrease how much I eat out. So, in theory, it may prove to be quite pocket friendly. What’s more, I know I have to use everything that’s in it, and that gets the creative juices flowing!

Sure, I absolutely love love love grocery shopping. But, as the days get colder and the work hours get longer, this delivery service is a welcome relief. But, it’s only day 2, so let’s see how I feel after a few deliveries…

What are your feelings on the “eat local” and/or “eat seasonal” movement? Maybe a glimpse into this box, will change your mind:

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10 thoughts on “It’s finally here! Eating locally in Toronto

  1. This would be nice if I knew how to cook. lol. Not a veggie person (you know me), but I like carrots, broccoli, coleslaw, and okra to name a few.. or the only few! 🙂 — maybe you can introduce me to a new tasty veggie? — Enjoy the box! Save a me a carrot! 🙂

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  2. I ordered from Mama Earth a few times already and I loved it! Main reason for me is the organic factor. I agree with the local growing as well. Supporting local farmers, eating where you rest and eating for the season! It’s all completely logical! Peace and enjoy your food 🙂

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  3. Eating seasonal I’m loving more and more. As a cook I look forward to certain times of the year when you can get fresh and specific ingredients. If you eat out alot though it can get pretty redundant out there with the city chefs using very similar produce. It still beats steamed broccoli and carrots as the ‘seasonal vegetables’ on the side.

    I’m on the fence with eating local though; well maybe just exclusively local. I wont argue that local produce isn’t the freshest but I can argue that it isn’t always the best produce.

    I do like the look of that basket though. I find sometimes when I’m looking for vegetables in the supermarke, I choose what I know will be easy or quick to tack on to a meal instead of trying new things. With us meat eaters, we tend to choose our veg and grains as the sideshow to the main protein. The seasonal basket could reverse that type of thinking Though. Hmmm…

    What are the greens in the middle? Spinach, cress? And what’s on the bottom right?

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    1. Hey Shel! Recently, I have found myself drawn to eating locally, more than ever before; but that’s not to say that I exclusively eat local. Unless someone in the GTA starts growing alphonso mangoes 🙂

      One of the things that excites me most about this basket is that I’m using ingredients that I might not readily buy- even vegetarians & vegans can be guilty of buying the same old, quick & easy options when it comes to produce (I definitely speak for myself on this point).

      In terms of greens, the stuff in the middle was ‘live Arugula’ (basically Arugula in a planter), under the leeks there’s some bok choy, and to the far left are the carrots leaves.

      This week I have some parsnip coming in- I don’t usually use that, so I will try and have some fun with that! Any ideas?

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      1. I usually use parsnips like carrots or potatoes. So mash or purees are good. I prefer to roast then glaze with honey or maple syrup. They do fine in soups too but don’t have the starch of potatoes so don’t expect them to thicken anything too much. The flavor is more like a rutabaga or turnip.

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