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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!


An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals that damage cells through a series of chain reactions. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and by becoming oxidized themselves into a more stable form.

Many reactions taking place in our bodies require oxidation and free radicals are, therefore, constantly being produced. Exposure to various environmental factors, including airborne pollution, toxins in food, tobacco smoke and radiation, can also lead to free radical formation.  Both sources of free radicals may ultimately result in tumour growth, cancer and heart disease.

Since oxidation reactions at the cellular level are crucial for life, animals and plants have evolved unique, inherent antioxidant profiles.   When we consume a wide variety of whole foods, we also ingest their antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, selenium, vitamins C, E, and A, creating a strong defence again free radicals.