I’m a child of the NAFTA Generation, in much the same way that I grew up never questioning my Charter Rights; I have for years purchased Made-In-America goods without discrimination. I have sought to buy local produce in season because it is fresher, and to support farmers and processors from Ontario because it is the neighbourly thing to do; but during the lean winter months I have never hesitated to buy Florida Orange Juice, or California Avocados, or the entire Trader Joes Product Line.
A few weeks ago when the current US President declared Canada a security threat, and proceeded to insult not only our Prime Minister personally, but all of the people of Canada. Donald Trump has done something that no other person or cause has ever managed to do, unite the left and the right in this Country around a common cause. All Canadians must stand in support of Canadian Farmers and Canadian Industry.
And so it begins, the quest to buy Made-in-Canada. As an aspiring Minimalist, I don’t make a lot of purchases outside of food, so I’m starting with my grocery cart. And yes, I am silently judging the lady in front of me in line at the cash this morning purchasing Product of the USA Corn, and Cherries while ignoring the sales on Canadian Grown veggies and Ontario Strawberries!
This morning, I had to put back several items, including Kettle Chips – I substituted with Lays! Everything in my cart at cash-out was grown or processed in Canada (except the Tonic Water which was from the UK). Here are some tips to buy Canadian this Canada Day.
Buy In-Season: Here in Ontario salad greens, peppers, cucumbers, beans and a host of other local veggies are already ripening in our Greenhouses. I shop at Longo’s which does an exceptional job of stocking fresh local produce (as do many other chains), you can find farmers markets in most neighbourhoods, and of course in Cottage Country I recommend my Aunt’s farm – Molly’s Acres – for sustainably grown greens and other veggies.
Look for Substitutes: from fresh produce to packaged goods, there are locally-grown or processed alternatives to most pantry staples. Well known Canadian alternatives include: French’s Ketchup, Daiya Non-Dairy alternatives, and grains and legumes from the Prairies. Consider buying Avocados from Mexico to support our other NAFTA partner, or tropical fruits grown in the Caribbean or South America.
Get Creative: Cooking is as much an Art as it is a Science! Crack open a bottle of VQA wine, or Canadian Craft Beer and start dreaming up your next meal.
What changes have you made to your shopping habits?