Local Food 101
Have you ever wondered why certain foods are labelled Organic and others Natural. What is the difference between Grass Fed Beef and Corn Fed Beef? Should you buy the Free Range Eggs or those from Free Run Hens? Are there Nutritional advantages of one over the other? And who makes the decisions concerning Certification and Labelling in Canada? If you have asked any of these questions, then this section is for you!
Based on some of the most commonly-asked questions about our food, Foodlink has compiled Local Food 101 to help you navigate through the confusion that surrounds food and agriculture terminology today.
Choose topics to explore from the categories listed below. This list will grow over time. Should there be a term that's not here that you'd like to see covered, please let us know. We'll do our homework to help get you the facts on your food!
Certifications, Brands and Labelling
Cooking, Food Preparation and Storage
Food and the Environment
Food Marketing and Sales
General Agriculture and Food
Nutrition and Health
Companies that can make the claim to be ‘certified’ organic have received accreditation from a recognized certifying body. In Canada, over 40 such bodies exist. Both farms and food processors must be audited to ensure that organic standards are met throughout each stage of production.
Organic farming promotes the sustainable health and productivity of the ecosystem – the soil, plants, animals and people. This means that organic foods are farmed in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way, focusing on soil regeneration, water conservation and animal welfare.
In 2009, the federal government introduced the Canada Organic Standard. Organic producers are prohibited from using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides, antibiotics, and GMOs. Animals must have access to the outdoors. Organic producers focus on soil health, and employ agro-ecological practices like crop rotation, companion planting, and composting.