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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!

Blanching

Blanching is a preparatory step in cooking that accomplishes several things: it loosens the skins of thin-skinned foods such as tomatoes and peaches so they can be removed easily; it kills any bacteria and inhibits cellular breakdown by enzymes before freezing or canning; and, it creates an attractive bright color to vegetables, such as green beans, that are going to be cooked only until they are crisp-tender and then used chilled, such as in a salad.

In a recipe calling for a blanching, vegetables are briefly cooked in boiling water, then submerged in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.