Tired of dumping your produce grocery bags right after you get home? My friend Dora recently told me about these cool little bags that everyone keeps asking her about. These re-usable plastic mesh bags are great for fruits and vegetables. It sure beats stockpiling the somewhat useless plastic produce bags. Instead you can use these guys and re-use them when you go back to the grocery store.
Grassroots carries them (10 for $1.95). Grassroots is a great little local store that offers environmentally-friendly products. They have carefully sourced products that meet or exceed our environmental standards, respecting and observing fair trade, fair labour, and human rights practices. Grassroots has two physical locations, one on Bloor Street near Brunswick in the Annex, and a second store on the Danforth near Chester. They also have an online store.
Me: Hey Junction, what’s going on? What’s with all the commotion?
Junction: Well, let’s see. A beautiful organic grocery store has opened on Dundas Street West. It’s called the Sweet Potato. Not only does it have a fantastic selection of foods, it has a couch! Yeah, you heard me, a couch and some snacks at a cafe in case you need a little pick me up before diving into grocery shopping.
Me: I’m impressed. It’s not super cheap. But it’s everything else that a great little neighbourhood grocery store would be. Junction, you’re shaping up to be one hot neighbourhood!
We’ve all heard the rumblings about how some plastics and food do not mix.
I finally stumbled across a great article that summarizes things quite clearly. You can access this article here in PDF format.
The site this information came from is http://www.bisphenolafree.org. Check it out if you’re curious.
I was shocked to learn that plastic food wrap is one of the plastics to avoid in terms of contact with food. Hmm… I guess I’ll go back to wax paper.
It seems that Health Canada is also concerned, as evidenced in this excerpt from the Globe and Mail:
Health Canada is calling bisphenol A a dangerous substance, making it the first regulatory body in the world to reach such a determination and taking the initial step toward measures to control exposures to it.
Although the government won’t announce specific bans or restrictions, the designation as dangerous could pave the way for the hormonally active chemical to be listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which would allow Health Minister Tony Clement to issue specific measures to curb its use.
A great little organic cafe and market called “The Beet” has recently opened up on Dundas Street west of Keele Street. It’s a darling little place with simple design, the huge bright windows of an old bank building, and creative use of many recycled materials.
The Beet sells organic foods to take home or eat in at the adorable little cafe. These include a selection of fresh organic breads, produce, eggs, dairy, bulk and packaged goods for your pantry. They also sell fair trade organic coffees, teas, smoothies and baked goods.
Their mission is to provide delicious, nourishing food of the highest quality, while reducing ecological footprint. As an environmentally friendly and sustainable company, The Beet has found and used eco-friendly materials wherever possible throughout the creation of the space.
Spring is starting to appear and it’s time to think about what this year’s garden may hold. Will it be a yard covered by the ever-so-aggressive mint? or a weed by another name? or some luscious sweet peas? Plenty of decisions to be made.
If you are planning on planting some vegetables in the garden and would like to plant organic heirlooms I have a great source for you. Urban Harvest sells all kinds of fantastic seeds that you can plant in your window sill and later transfer over to the garden.
Urban Harvest provides you with options to plant many varieties of plants which have fallen out of favour with big agribusiness and are much more flavourful than those found in most grocery stores.
The sad truth is that vegetables, such as tomatoes for instance, are being bred for shipping date, pest resistance, weather tolerance and not for taste. That explains why some of the beautiful red tomatoes taste like water. Urban Harvest claims that North Americans now eat only a fraction of the diversity of fruit and vegetables that were eaten 100 years ago. That stinks.
Toronto-based Urban Harvest has an online store and ships across Canada.
PS – Another helpful references to gardening is You Grow Girl, a fun book for basic gardening tips and blog written by a charming Toronto native.
I’m not sure about you, but I often feel a combination of guilt and annoyance when I get a call from a tele-marketer. If you feel the same way, I’ve got good news for you.
Since it has been taking the Canadian Government some time to follow the US Government’s lead on launching a Do Not Call Registry, a law professor from the University of Ottawa has taken matters into his own hands. Michael Geist has built his own solution to the problem: a web site called iOptOut.ca. iOptOut helps you request that your name, email address and phone number(s) be removed from various organizations’ active marketing lists. You can do this by selecting groups of organizations, such as Communications, Banking, Finance and Insurance. It only takes a few minutes to do, and it’s free.
“Hurray!” is what I say. I’m in.
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