general | at home
are what you eat,
so why not eat local, organic, pesticide-free
and non-GMO foods?
Local Flavour Plus
(LFP) is an award winning non-profit organization
that brings farmers and consumers to the table to
share in the benefits of environmentally and
socially responsible food production.
half of your diet should be local and sustainably grown
For organics, the easiest
thing to do is find a health food store in your neighbourhood. There you will be able to find a
full range of natural foods and products. Search for "Health Food
Retail" in the Yellow
Pages online. But you should also be able to
scout out grocery stores (big and small) in your area that offer organic
For local, read the labels on your
produce and try to avoid the stuff that has traveled the world to get to the
As for the big question everyone
is asking -- should I eat local or organic? -- use your best judgement and
avoid foods that are heavily sprayed with pesticides. There are several
lists of the top foods to buy organic, with strawberries,
raspberries, grapes, cantaloupe, peaches, apples, spinach, winter squash,
tomatoes, and potatoes being high on the list. Fortunately, our friends at
Local Flavour Plus have developed a rating system for local
and sustainably grown produce that will help take the guesswork out of what to
The Ontario Greenbelt foundation has an
extensive list of local farmers markets. Build community and eat
healthy at the same time -- not a bad deal!
Organic Food Boxes
There are several
organizations and companies that offer a weekly or
bi-weekly organic food box. Check them all for
price, sizes, range of produce, and frequency of
to Table -- Good Food Box or Organic
Field to Table is a program of Foodshare, a not-for
profit organization founded in 1985 to address problems
of hunger and foodbanks in Toronto. They have
developed a number of innovative programs, including
community gardening and food distribution. The
Good Food Box emphasizes locally-grown produce and often
includes organic produce.
Door Organics (Toronto)
Organics deliveries certified organic produce and
groceries to your Toronto home. You can choose a
fresh box CUSTOMIZED to your individual preferences, or
you can go for the simplicity and economy of a BASIC
box. Front Door Organics also carries over 350
organic grocery products that can be added to your fresh
Earth Organics (Toronto)
Green Earth Organics is a home delivery service- offering delivery of farm-fresh organic produce to homes throughout the Toronto area.
Deliveries will be made weekly or every 2 weeks - you decide.
Plan B Organics
Plan B uses
a community-shared agriculture model. You buy a
share (or half-share) from them and you will receive a
weekly supply of fresh produce. A share is 14 - 20
items each week for 20 weeks and is enough to feed 4
Foods (Weekly Organic Wonder)
(Greater Toronto Area, including Barrie and Guelph)
You can create your own Weekly Organic Wonder (WOW) Box by choosing from a selection of over 2,000 fruits, vegetables, meats, and grocery items. You can also choose a pre-packaged WOW Box of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Back to Nature Beef
Chatham, Back to Nature will deliver in southwestern
Ontario and Toronto.
Located in King City, Beretta offers free delivery in
the Toronto area for orders over $75.
Field Sparrow Farms
Farms is a family-run business. Henry and Sarah Bakker believe
responsible and innovative farming strategies benefit our
customers, producers, the community as a whole, and the health
of the earth. Available in Toronto at the Sorauren Park Farmers
Market on Mondays in the summer.
(Greater Toronto Area, including Ajax, Hamilton, Georgetown
Grocery Gateway is offers some organic and natural
products (including cleaners). Run the demo on the
website and search for "organic".
Food Buying Clubs and Co-ops
Natural Foods Co-op
If you are serious about buying natural and organic
foods and home supplies, and if you can find a few
like-minded friends around the neighbourhood or office,
then you should look into setting up a buying club
through the Ontario
Natural Foods Co-op (ONFC).
The ONFC supplies its members and customers with a broad range of high quality products: cheese, juice, grains, beans, pasta, nuts, prepared foods, and household and personal care products. Many of these products are organically grown, without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
can purchase foods at a discounted rate, with a
further discount for orders over $1,000.
Deliveries are made to a drop-off point (usually a home)
where the group meets to divide the order.
A cooperative or co-op is an organization owned and controlled democratically by its members.
They offer similar discounts on organic and natural
foods. Members are required to work a certain
number of hours at the co-op.
For a list
of Ontario cooperatives (many of which are food
cooperatives), see the North
American directory of Co-ops produced by the Common
Ground Co-op in Illinois. In Toronto, visit
trade" is an international effort to ensure that
3rd world workers receive a decent wage and standard of
living in exchange for their product. Coffee is
one of the major products grown by fair trade
Canada has a directory
of Fair Trade retailers across Canada, with over 70
retailers in Ontario. You can do a search for your town
(Ctrl-F) to find the Fair Trade retailers in your area.
The 100 Mile
If you are up for a challenge, try the 100
mile diet. It's the ultimate in local sustainability (short of growing all
your own food). To help you, there's a neat website
you can order the book of the same name by Alisa Smith
and J.B. MacKinnon.
From veggies to berry
bushes, you can turn your yard into a productive source
of food which you can eat fresh or preserve.
Toronto Vegetarian Association has a wealth of
information, great recipes, a meal planner, and a cool "Veggie
Put it all
Create your own food
plan! Aim for at least 60% locally grown and/or
organic food in your meals. You can also set a
goal to reduce your meat consumption (or go vegetarian).