Marketing scheme or brilliant waste reduction strategy? The case of ‘ugly’ veggies!

Since composting and waste management has been on my mind lately as we consider the pros and cons of our 4 new poop-filled friends (the chicks!), Here’s a look an an interesting initiative from France, and the ‘inglorious’ fruits and vegetables as a way to combat food waste.

hugging carrots

I think these loving carrots could bring a premium price point…

We throw tons of food away – literally, and this isn’t counting that long forgotten broccoli in the bowels of the fridge.

I find this interesting – is this actually a viable ‘solution’? Or is this another way for supermarkets to sell us something?

Watch the video and comment!


This idea is not new – for a really terrific initiative out of the US, please visit Marin Organic which glean (pick up what would be thrown away) organic produce for use in school food programs! This initiative isn’t backed by a major corporation nor seeks profit.. compare this model to Intermarche’s… vastly different… think about it!

Check out these chicks.. and a key thing you need to know about chickens

The gals had their first free jaunt in the yard this weekend, and it was the perfect opportunity for some glamour shots! They are growing quickly and we are in the process of acclimatizing them for the coop. My go-to site for chicken raising info, The Chicken Chick has some great tips for how to make the transition from brooder to coop here. She takes a more holistic approach to raising chickens that is great!


Dot — the most curious of the bunch

Continue Reading…

MILK! A super brief ‘history’ of the white stuff in Canada


Hi all!

I am currently reading a book in preparation for one of my exams entitled Nutrition Policy in Canada, 1870-1939  by Aleck Samuel Ostry. It was a decent read, only 125 pages!

One of the most interesting things that stuck out was the history of milk in Canada. Im going to do my best to summarise it here.

Milk – now a staple in many Canadian households, this white liquid gained popularity when many women began to step out from their homes to work in many of the industrial manufacturing jobs that boomed in the 19th century.

This was also a time when discoveries such as the value of vitamins and dietary standards were emerging. As with many of the modern day movements surrounding school food and concern over child obesity, particular attention was paid to children and infants (and their nourishment, especially birth weight). Attention to the ‘next generation’ was important in the early 1900s as it is now due to connection to the ‘future of the nation’ and the ‘health of a country’.

Milk emerged as a “protective” food as it contained many essential vitamins that were shown to maintain an acceptable birth weight –  and for the many women who were unable to breastfeed  their infants due to time constraints (such as working!), milk emerged as a cutting-edge alternative for breast milk. This new food also appealed to women as milk was seen as leading scientific discovery in regards to nutritional science.

In a short time, milk went from a highly adulterated and unclean product that was the culprit for numerous infant deaths and the 1927 thyphoid epidemic in Montreal pre-pasteurization to a wonderfully convenient and scientifically cutting edge food.

This boom for milk was also aided by marketing by the Department of Agriculture, following major changes pre-WWI and the War Measures Act from which a centralised food system emerged… please note that marketing has continued to play a MASSIVE role in food, and milk..  does ‘got milk’ ring any bells? I would have added a photo, but there were too many to choose from seeing as how every notable celebrity or athlete has appeared in this ad campaign..


Final thoughts: I love milk in my tea, but  I don’t like being marketed to. I am actively trying to reduce my milk consumption for this reason. Also, we are the only species that drinks milk past infancy, and across species..



Robots deboning Chicken


An article on Gizmodo describes the efforts to develop a deboning machine that will exceed the current human capacity to do so. A few things struck me here:

1) Most of the comments stated how people were surprised at the fact that many chickens were not already being processed by robots. This speaks volumes about how many people are somewhat aware of how our industrial food system operates, and are OK with it, or at least feel powerless to do anything about it. Dear reader: If you have any comments about how this idea can be challenged, please post your comments! I am so interested to hear what others are thinking!

2)Really .. do we need innovation which REQUIRES uniformity to work? Industrial chicken production is already similar enough to the production of any other commodity (..t-shirts, hair dryers…) that a costly machine will surely emphasize greater uniformity of breed, stock, and weight — monocultured birds!

3) Job cuts…??

This article also feeds nicley into another Gizmodo article which questions how chickens should be raised .. for example: as lobotomized ‘vegetative’ chickens until ‘ripe. Here’s a picture of a model from the article.. definitely check it out!

Jamie Oliver fighting child obesity


Here is a link to a great TED talk given by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who discusses the huge impact that child obesity is having in America. Once again, he states Britain and the US, but Canada isn’t far off.

One of the most impactful statements is the idea that children of the current generation are statistically going to live shorter lives than their parents or grandparents due to the state of out food system.