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Where to find Ontario’s organic bounty Cook up goodness! Recipes, p. 12

Your guide to local & organic food

Why choose organic? The Organic Council of Ontario / Le Conseil Biologique de l’Ontario is a membership-based non-profit association representing the organic sector in Ontario at both a provincial and national level. With more than 200 members, we are made up of a range of groups involved in organic production—including farmers, processors, marketers, retailers, restaurants, suppliers, distributors, certifiers and others—and we work towards supporting the continued growth of Ontario’s organic sector. The reasons for choosing organic products are countless. They include:

For your health... Organic products are grown following strict environmentally-friendly standards like protecting water systems and building soil health. It makes sense—healthy soil grows healthy food. The result? Fresh produce that’s full of health-promoting antioxidants. And while everyone’s taste varies, many organic consumers agree that organics are more delicious, with no wax or pesticide residues interfering with the taste of the food.

For the environment... Organic cultivating and processing respect the environment and delicate ecological balance by using green technologies. That includes respecting the environment by working in harmony with nature and protecting the quality of the water and soil. Biodiversity is also a key part of organic farming, and organic practices work to preserve biodiversity—which is the variety of species we have on the planet—by practicing crop rotation, using traditional seed varieties and respecting the diversity of their local lands and environment.

For your local community... Many organic farms are smaller, independent operations that work hard to create food for the communities around them. This allows neighbouring consumers to choose local, organic produce and foods whenever it’s possible. 1

Your guide to local & organic food

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What is organic?

Organic agriculture is about more than just growing foods that are pesticide free. Organic food products have been grown in a way that promotes biodiversity, protects the health of the soil, water and air, and uses environmentally sustainable practices. Other goals of organic growers and farmers include giving livestock humane conditions for the health and wellbeing of the animals, and recycling materials and resources to minimize using non-renewable resources.

So what’s not being used in organic food? Organic production doesn’t allow using: >synthetic pesticides or fertilizers >sewage sludge >genetically modified organisms (GMOs) >ionizing radiation >growth hormones for animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products

OCO members grow and produce a wide variety of organic foods.

How is organic food different from ‘natural’ food? The word ‘natural’ does not have a uniform

How do I know that what I’m buying is really organic? Accredited certification bodies inspect and label farms as ‘certified organic’ and they inspect supplies, production processes, environmental conditions and more. Once a certification body gives its approval to a farm or processor, their products can be labelled with the Canada Organic logo. The farm or processor will also be inspected annually. Learn more at 2

definition and may not fully represent the values you are expecting in the food product you’re buying. Labelling a food as ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s organic—or even healthy—since there are very few regulatory rules around using that specific term on foods. Instead, look for products that are certified organic to be sure your food is produced with your health and the environment in mind. Organically certified products are marked with the certifier’s logo and certification number.


Your guide to local & organic food

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real food, real people plan B Organic Farm Branchton, Located on 50 acres of sandy loam and backing onto the Beverly Swamp where 100 acres of bush and wetland filters its water, Plan B Organic Farms is ideally situated to grow certified organic produce. First established in 1997 by Rodrigo Venturelli, Alvaro Venturelli and Melanie Golba, this year marks its 13th organic produce growing season. And while its name is Plan B, its commitment is not—this farm, Certified Organic by OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada, is dedicated to cultivating delicious, quality vegetables, herbs and fruits using farming methods in sync with its environment. Another commitment Plan B makes is to build its community, hence its status as a multi-farm Community Shared Agriculture (CSA). As one of approximately 1,000 CSA farms in North America, Plan B grows and sources certified organic produce—from cucumbers to melons—from 12 local farms in Southern Ontario. And to further connect with its local community, Plan B members are invited annually to join its Farm Day Celebration every September, providing more evidence that Plan B truly believes in building local connections and providing local organic produce. 4

Saugeen Country Dairy Markdale, Saugeen Country Dairy keeps things simple.

Pfenning’s mixes historical discoveries with modern innovation to cultivate organic foods.

Pfenning’s Organic Farm Baden, Farming is in the Pfenning family’s roots;

Find fresh leafy greens and other produce and herbs at Plan B.

the benefits of buying local Not only does buying local and organic foods promise you the consumer the freshest foods available, but in buying local you’re also supporting your communities. Buying local means you’re directing your dollars to support local farms—and that helps build future food security.

they have farmed since the early 1600s in Germany, back when all farmers cultivated organically, and in 1965 Wilhelm and Barnhild decided to return to organic farming ways. In 1981 the Pfennings brought their organic practices to Baden, Ont. from their native Germany. And now Pfenning’s Organic Farm, tucked into a curve on the Nith River, focuses on local production first. Pfenning’s Organic Farm’s belief in sustainability moves beyond its produce and into its practices— its new packing shed incorporates cooling technology which redirects heat from the storage areas to the hot water and in-floor heating in the work area. Its seeds are organically sourced. And vegetables that don’t meet Canada’s #1 specifications are put back into bins as animal food for organic meat farmers or used as field compost. In the end, Pfenning’s Organic Farm believes in a past/present/future philosophy: they mix historical discoveries and modern technology with an eye to—and respect for—the future.

It makes one product: yogurt. And in that product are only two ingredients: milk from the cows on its 560 acres of rolling land, and bacterial culture. Nothing else, because Saugeen believes the shorter the ingredient list is, the better the food tastes. Certified by Ecocert Canada and Demeter Canada, Saugeen’s milk comes from its 50 milking Holsteins. (The farm is also home to two breeding bulls and about 50 head of heifers, who are also raised on cow’s milk.) Each cow supplies about 25 litres of milk daily, and that milk is nonhomogenized. Why? Because not only does the non-homogenization make it easier for customers to digest the yogurt, it often tops the yogurt with a thin layer of delicate cream. Meanwhile, the land Saugeen sits on is as unique as its organic yogurt—it’s in parts rocky, steep and wet, too wet for traditional farming, yet still quite ecologically intact. And that unique land is the very foundation of Saugeen’s mandate to operate a holistic and organic farm … that makes one creamy yogurt.

Milk from its 50 milking Holsteins and bacterial culture make Saugeen’s creamy yogurt.


Your guide to local & organic food

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HOW Buy from aWhether farmer it’s through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm or farm-gate sales (when you buy directly from the farm), Ontario’s organic farms offer a wide selection of food choices. 1 Connaught Acres, Chesterville Organic produce & meats –farm-gate sales and Kemptville Farmers Market –Sunday 2-4 pm. CSA delivery, wholesale available. 2 Garden Party, St. Agatha Come celebrate local & organic food all year long with produce, an on-farm kitchen, plant nursery, cutting gardens and workshops and events. Garden Party — where its OK to play with your food! 6

Can I find local & organic food? Check out members like these – find more at

3 Huzevka FarmS, Petrolia 519-882-2229 Certified organic producers of grass-fed beef (hamburgers), garlic, and birdfeed (cracked corn, wheat, and spelt). Bulk organic corn, wheat, or spelt available. 4 O’BrienView Farm, Cameron 705-887-3974 Farm-gate sales of beef and some vegetables. See us at the Bobcaygeon Farm Market, where everything is sourced within 100 km. 5 Plan B Organic Farm, Branchton Get your box of local, certified organic, vegetables, salad greens, herbs, and occasionally fruit every week for our 18-week harvest season.

Visit a retailer More than just groceries, some organic retailers offer healthcare products and prepared foods. 6 The Big Carrot, Toronto Specializing in organically grown, non-GMO & environmentally safe products. Featuring fresh food from 50+ Ontario organic farms. 7 The Healthy Butcher, Toronto & Kitchener A leader in sourcing the best quality organic and local meat, sustainable seafood, and gourmet foods. 8 Nature’s Buzz, Ottawa Making the world greener by supporting organic and

Shopping tip Carry your organic products in style with Enviro Threads’ certified organic cotton shopping/ storage bags.

sustainable food. Your doorway to total health! 9 Nature’s Emporium, NewMarket Your leading organic & health food store in New­market– largest organic retailer. 10 Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Mississauga We proactively bring to market natural, organic and local foods and products within a co-operative network.

Look for these products Many of our OCO member products are available at your local grocery store and specialty food retailers. 11 Crofter’s Food, Parry Sound Manufacturer of certified organic fruit spreads.

12 Field gate Organics, Zurich Field Gate Organics is a certified organic food production, processing, marketing and distribution company that is owned by certified organic farmers.

14 Life Choices, Toronto Life Choices and Living Right use only premium organic and natural ingredients that help contribute to a balanced diet and are great tasting.

16 Pfenning’s Organic Farm, Baden With centuries of family farming history we are a grower, packer and wholesaler dedicated to sustainable organic farming and social justice.

13 Hallelujah Organics, Aurora Certified organic and traditionally raised meats, wild caught ocean fish, variety of prepared products. Visit our new retail store in Aurora.

15 Organic Meadow, Guelph Organic Meadow is deeply rooted in organic, ecological farming and in the values embodied by family farming.

17 Saugeen Country Dairy, Markdale Since the fall of 1994 we have been making organic yogurt with milk from our cows, right here on our farm.

Did you know you can hire a catering service for local and organic dishes? Alex and Dan Catering offers everything from hors d’oeuvres to full meals. 18 Sweet Pea Baby Food, Toronto Providing nutritious, delicious organic baby foods since 2004.

Your guide to local & organic food

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Can I Buy local & organic food? at these and other members’ locations– more ONLINE at PARRY SOUND









9 13 6






7 5






At farms across ontario The green areas on this map show the different concentrations of certified organic and transition farms in Ontario.* For more information, including areas in central and northern Ontario, please visit *by 2006 Agricultural Census Consolidated Subdivisions. Information Derived From Census Canada:



Legend Numbers refer to oo listings on pages 6&7 0 farms/no data

1-5 farms 6-10 farms 11-17 farms 18-27 farms


Your guide to local & organic food

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Online resources Directories Consumer Health Organization of Canada Essex / Kent / Lambton COG Directory Organic%20Growers%20Brochure.pdf Foodlink Waterloo Region A non-profit organization that promotes local food, supports farms and food businesses and provides local food education. Green Ontario’s Listings Hamilton Chapter COG Directory of Organics London Area Organic Growers Ontario CSA Farm Directory Province-wide listing featuring over 150 CSA farms. 10

Organic Advocates Organic Advocates/Feast of Fields, a non-profit organization of organic producers and environmentally-minded food professionals, was established in 1989 by chefs Jamie Kennedy and Michael Stadtlander. Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada’s Ontario Directory Organic council of ontario Online Directory Searchable database of Ontario-based organic businesses/ associations by product, location, sector, service, business. Save the date: January 2011 The Guelph Organic Conference is Canada’s leading mid-winter grassroots organic marketing event at the Guelph University Centre. Details at

Ottawa COG Directory ottawa-organic-directory Where to Buy Organic in Toronto Guide COG_Toronto/ Directory_files/ Directory.pdf

General info Beyond Factory Farming Coalition dedicated to humane and sustainable livestock practices. Biodynamic Agriculture in Ontario Canada Organic or Learn about Canada’s new organic standards and logo. Eat Well Guide Local, sustainable, organic searchable database.

Food Secure Canada Uniting people and organizations working for food security across Canada and globally.

Learn to farm Everdale Farm, located in Hillsburgh, has been training new organic farmers since 1999.

Planet Friendly organic.html

Get certified Ash Street Organics helps retailers and processors understand how to meet Canada’s new organic regulation & standard.

OTA’s Consumer Site

Rodale Institute A global organic transformation will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and restore soil fertility–learn how!

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All recipes courtesy of Foodland Ontario For more recipes, visit


Featuring organic chicken Preparation time: 15 min. Cooking time: 10 min. Serves 4 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 4 small organic chicken breasts, boneless, skinless salt and pepper 1/2 Ontario organic leaf lettuce head 8 thick slices Ontario organic tomatoes 1 Ontario organic cucumber, sliced 4 pita bread rounds, cut in half, warmed Easy Tzatziki Sauce (see recipe below)

Easy Tzatziki Sauce Featuring organic yogurt 1 cup (250 mL) plain organic yogurt 1/2 Ontario organic cucumber, shredded, squeezed dry 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sugar Salt and pepper Combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1¹⁄³ cups (325 mL). 12


Featuring organic milk Preparation Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: 55 min. Serves 4 2 tbsp (25 mL) dry bread crumbs 6 large slices firm white stale bread 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter 3 cups (750 mL) sliced cored peeled Ontario McIntosh apples 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar 2 eggs 2 cups (500 mL) hot milk 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1 pinch salt 2 tbsp (25 mL) red currant jelly, melted

Photo courtesy of Foodland Ontario

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over mediumhigh heat. Sauté chicken on both sides until lightly browned and no longer pink inside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Slice chicken lengthwise into strips. Layer leaf lettuce, chicken, tomatoes and cucumber in each half-pita pocket. Top with Easy Tzatziki Sauce.

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Sprinkle crumbs in well-buttered 8 inch (2 L) square baking dish. Remove crusts from bread; spread bread with half of the butter and cut into quarters. Line dish with half of the bread, buttered side up. In large skillet, melt remaining butter over medium high heat; sauté apples for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the sugar; sauté apples for 3 to 5 minutes longer or until apples start to turn golden. Do not let apples become mushy. In bowl, beat eggs well; beat in remaining sugar. Gradually whisk in hot milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt; pour half of the mixture over bread in dish. Evenly spread apple mixture over top. Cover with remaining bread and pour remaining egg mixture over top. Place baking dish in larger shallow pan. Pour 1 inch (2.5 cm) boiling water into larger pan and bake, uncovered, in 325°F (160°C) oven for about 45 minutes or until custard is almost set. Remove baking dish to wire rack. Brush currant jelly over top of pudding. Serve hot or warm.


Featuring organic canned tomatoes Preparation Time: 30 min. Cooking Time: 55 min. Serves 6 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef 1/4 cup (50 mL) fine dry bread crumbs 1 egg, beaten 1/4 cup (50 mL) milk 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped Ontario onion 3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt, pepper and dry mustard 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil 6 cups (1.5 L) finely chopped Ontario Savoy cabbage or green cabbage (1 medium head) 2 Ontario onions, sliced 5 cups (1.25 L) beef stock 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) whole organic tomatoes, undrained 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme 1 pinch sugar 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup (125 mL) uncooked macaroni In large bowl, stir together beef, bread crumbs, egg, milk, onion, 1 tbsp (15 mL) parsley, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Shape into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook meatballs in batches, turning, for 5 to 10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels. In same pan, cook cabbage and onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in stock, tomatoes, thyme, sugar and bay leaf. Return meatballs to pan, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, adding macaroni for last 15 minutes. Serve in heated bowls, garnish with remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) parsley.


Naturegg™ Organic eggs are produced by Burnbrae Farms.

Photo courtesy of Foodland Ontario

Apple bread pudding continued

Learn more about all our great eggs at P R O U D L Y


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the global Picture Organic Food and Climate Change Are They Connected? Organic production is fundamentally based on a pro-environmental stance— it cultivates and farms food without adding synthetic toxins and chemicals, and it also involves replenishing the soil and water involved in the process. Practices that organic farms don’t take part in include using synthetic hormones, sewage sludge, artificial ingredients, or irradiation and other similar procedures. But the organic link to climate change is rooted in the very earth that grows these organic products. Organic farmers care as much about their soil as they do their products, so they work hard to care for it by rotating crops to balance the soil’s nutrients, using ‘green’ manures, composting and other ecological practices. Together this improves the quality of the soil as well as significantly lowering the carbon footprint of our food system. Today, new research shows that farmlands are turning out to be a better carbon ‘sink’ than reforestation alone to handle the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. While reforestation is critical, organic agricultural farming could have a significant impact 16

on the global warming crisis. While it’s recognized that it’s not the ultimate solution, it’s one way to improve the globe’s climate change predicament.

Learn more at

Specializing in organically grown, non-GMO & environmentally safe products. Featuring fresh local food from over 50 Ontario Organic farms.

Supporting Organic Growers Preserving Organic Integrity The Big Carrot, organic leader for 26 years, is proud to be one of Canada’s 1st retailers to certify to the new Canadian Organic Standard. Now certified to process and package over 700 organic products. Look for the logo throughout our store.

Genetically Modified Organisms

Natural Food Market 416.466.2129

What Can We Do? The technology behind

Wholistic Dispensary 416.466.8432

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) takes genes from plants and other organisms and plants them directly into other species’ cells. It’s a practice that’s directly opposed to the kind of farming organic farmers believe in: farming that’s environmentally respectful and works with nature. The overriding concern is that we have no way of tracing GMOs in the foods system, and later, their long-term impact on human or ecological health. So how can you avoid GMO foods? Eating organic is the best way because organic farming prohibits the use of GMOs.

Learn more at and

Organic Juice Bar Free Evening Lectures • New Cooking Classes Free Nutritional Store Tours

348 Danforth Ave. Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-9:00 • Sat 9:00-8:00 Sun 11:00-6:00


10 reasons to go organic 1You can trust it

6 It defends diversity

2 It’s money well spent

7 It reaches out rurally

3 You’ll cut chemical use

8 There’s no limit

Organic products must meet strict standards of organic certification. So you can be certain your food is both grown and handled according to organic standards. Though organics can cost a little more than traditional food, prices are based on the true cost of production. Organic agriculture reduces the risk from agro-chemicals polluting the air, water and earth sustaining us.

4 Nature is nourished

By not using chemicals and nitrogen that leach into the soil, organic food protects and conserves our water resources and builds richer soils. Organic agriculture encourages environmental protection and enhanced biodiversity on the farm.

Biodiversity, that is. Biodiversity is the variety of species living on our planet, and studies show many organic fields contain more wild plants, species and birds than regular farms. Organic agriculture supports small farms and offers new markets for local farmers.

Today in every food category, you can find organic alternatives. And more and more non-food agriculture products–such as cotton, something most experts believed couldn’t be grown organically–are also developing organic alternatives.

9 It’s good for the earth

Like reforestation, research is showing that organic agriculture could positively impact the global warming crisis.

5 It encourages innovation 10 You’ll feel better

Organic farmers have developed their farming practices to minimize agriculture’s impact on the environment.

Organic Council of Ontario 5420 Highway 6, Unit 237 RR5, Guelph ON N1H 6J2

T 519 - 827-1221 F 519 - 827-0721 info @

Organic food is rich with nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Learn more at

This project was funded through the generous support of the Ontario Market Investment Fund, Agriculture Adaptation Council and our Industry Partners

Guide to Local and Organic Food  

Where to find Local and Organic food in Ontario, presented by the Organic Council of Ontario

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