October is Non- GMO month

October 22, 2012

non-gmo-monthBy Paul DeCampo – Slow Food Toronto member

The protection of biodiversity, solidarity with food producing communities, and advocacy for fair access to food and agricultural resources are all fundamental to the Slow Food mission. Because of these values, opposition to genetically engineered [GE] seed and food products has always been a clear priority of our movement.

Advocates of GE crops are well-funded, and have vigorously made the case that GE crops are necessary in order to adequately meet the nutritional needs of the global population. Opponents of GE seed and industrial agriculture in general have been dismissed as naïve, and enviro-romanticists. However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that the benefits promised  by GE seed purveyors have not been realized. The Union of Concerned Scientists have compiled this research into a compelling report.

Continue reading October is Non- GMO month

The Dan DeMatteis Slow Food Memorial Fund

Dan-Matteis-slow-food-torontoThe Dan DeMatteis Slow Food Memorial Fund, generously established by his family and friends, honours the wonderful memory of Dan who sadly passed away on July 4th 2012.

This special fund is dedicated to sharing Dan’s spirit, his values, and, as beautifully described by friend Brad Long, his “work and ethic, his ethic and love”–
“He nourished.
He harrumphed at frill and waste.
He held precious the simplest, the honest, the clear and clean.”

Dan was born in Toronto in 1979, but grew up in Wolfville, N.S. He graduated from the University of King’s College, Halifax, N.S. where he made many lifelong friends. Since graduation Dan worked as a chef in Halifax, Montreal, La Bottegaia in Pistoia, Italy, ending up in Toronto where he cooked at Dufferin Grove Park, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and recently as Executive Chef at Café Belong at the Evergreen Brick Works.

Dan loved everything about food, from the farm to the table, as well as books, Leonard Cohen and, most especially, his friends. He was a kind, gentle, generous, loyal and loving man.

Continue reading The Dan DeMatteis Slow Food Memorial Fund

Map Your Honey Bee Haven

Bees are in trouble, and policymakers just aren’t acting quickly enough to help them. But backyard gardeners, sideline beekeepers and ordinary people all over the country have been stepping up.

To that end, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new website and resource center HoneyBeeHaven.org to help advance the cause.  But we need your help to spread the word:

1. Take the pledge. Take the pledge to protect pollinators – bees need access to pesticide-free food, water and shelter and every bit of habitat makes a difference.

2. Map your Honey Bee Haven. It’s easy to do, and will demonstrate the groundswell of citizen support to protect pollinators from pesticides – by creating Honey Bee Havens and Pesticide-Free Zones – now.

3. Share with your networks. Please share this email or link (http://bit.ly/zFYem5) to the new site on Facebook and Twitter (#honeybeehaven).

Continue reading Map Your Honey Bee Haven

Seeds – A Documentary

seeds-documentary-slow-food-torontoCentering on the four-year legal showdown between biotech giant Monsanto Inc. and Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, SEEDS leads us through a high-voltage labyrinth of political maneuvering, patent wars, cash-fuelled science and the global domination of the planet’s seed supply. A bold new documentary play by award-winning Annabel Soutar and director Chris Abraham.

When: February 18 to March 10, 2012 – 8:00 to 11:00pm
Where: Young Centre for the Performing Arts (Distillery District) – 55 Mill Street, Building 49, Toronto – MAP
Tickets: $25-$35 – PURCHASE TICKETS

For more information email [email protected]

Slow Food Toronto Launches Slow Fish

Toronto, ON (February 24, 2012) — Swept up by a vibrant current of fantastic fish tales and deep-water adventures, Slow Food Toronto is going ‘Fishing After Dark’. On Saturday March 3, 2012 you are invited to join us for an evening that will define a new era in sustainable fish awareness for Torontonians. The launch of Slow Fish Toronto, at Hooked, 888 Queen Street East, from 9pm to 11pm, sets the stage with special guests and inspired creations prepared by local chefs, connecting Canadians to one of our greatest resources, our fish. “Going fishing, the slow way, to rediscover traditional recipes and methods of cooking and preserving seafood, is just one of the exciting things we plan to do with Slow Fish Toronto in the years to come,” says Slow Food Co-Leader Voula Halliday.



Canadian Press: Young people put slow food on front burner

January 10, 2012

Read the article by the Canadian Press published on Metro New’s Toronto website on January 5, 2012, on why young people are focusing on the idea of ‘slow food’ and the Slow Food Movement, why farmers’ markets are appealing and the gratification they feel after preparing a home-cooked meal.

Click here to be taken to the article or read it below.

TORONTO – The notion of trekking to a farmer’s market and labouring over a stove to prepare an evening feast may tempt some people to dial their nearest takeout joint, but a dinner prepared the old-fashioned way is Stephanie Kolk’s idea of a happy meal.

The 23-year-old revels in the labour associated with producing quality food, particularly when she can be involved at every step of the process.

For Kolk, collecting homegrown tomatoes from a local greenhouse, dicing them for a caprese salad or simmering and seasoning them to turn them into the perfect pomodoro sauce are all part of the joy of cooking. It’s a pleasure she fears too many members of her generation are missing out on as they stand in line to buy a sandwich or reheat the contents of a package bought at a supermarket.

Continue reading Canadian Press: Young people put slow food on front burner

Slow Food Spotlight: Chocosol

November 2, 2011

Interview and article written by Lea Phillips, copywriter and communications specialist – passionate about local, sustainable, delicious food!  www.leaphillips.com.

choco-sol-slow-food-toronto“Chocolate is a vehicle for my expression, my voice, my hopes, my love of people, community and health”, says Michael Sacco, founder of the Chocosol Learning Community and Social Enterprise. Visionary, inventor, actionist and steward of indigenous knowledge – he is truly inspirational.

In 2003, Michael founded Chocosol with a group of innovative and dynamic individuals in Toronto and Mexico. The trans-local relationship between the growers in Mexico and artisanal chocolate makers here in Toronto is a shining example of true horizontal trade. The resulting chocolate is an expression of beauty – food for the body, mind and soil. As a community, Chocosol believes that sustainable foods should be fun to make, pleasurable, and an outlet for creativity.

Sacco learned to make chocolate in a small village near Oaxaca, Mexico. Working alongside indigenous farmers and artisanal chocolate makers, he learned ancient, time-honoured traditions. The dark, exotic cacao bean was an integral part of ancient Oaxacan culture – the tradition continues today. This knowledge he now stewards and passes on to others, “People ask me if I’m a chocolatier – I’m not creating chocolate, I’m stewarding that knowledge, regenerating that knowledge. Because it was here long before me and it will be here long after me.”

As a born actionist, he believes that ordinary people can do the extraordinary – the point is to just start doing it. The goal being “to really work with civil societies, communities and lead by example. Always bringing the means and the ends together, the living, the researching, the working, and take the busyness out of life. Find a way to make living and learning a more holistic expression of the art of living and dying with dignity”.

Continue reading Slow Food Spotlight: Chocosol

Slow Food Spotlight: The Stop’s Community Kitchens

the-stop-slow-food-torontoBy Michele Vernet – Michele currently works at Sunnybrook Hospital in the Odette Cancer Centre. She loves fresh, beautiful produce and local food initiatives that build capacity and healthy communities. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health.

Anyone with a love of food can attest to the joy of cooking with friends and family. You could chalk it up to a shared love of delicious food but there seems to be more to it than that. Something happens when people gather in a kitchen to create a meal together and celebrate their labour. Kitchens have long represented comfort, warmth and intimacy; where stories are shared and relationships take shape. Many of us take the ability to cook and share meals together for granted. For those who are marginalized be it for reasons related to socioeconomic status, age, ethnicity or mental health, the Stop seeks to reach out and create a community within a community through cooking. I sat down with Wei Su, a registered holistic nutritionist and the Community Kitchens Coordinator, to talk about The Stop’s different programs. Continue reading Slow Food Spotlight: The Stop’s Community Kitchens

Slow Food Spotlight: Culinarium

Interviewed and written by Jackie Pal

Kathleen Mackintosh is the courageous and passionate owner of Culinarium, the only store in Toronto to be solely offering 100% local Ontario goods. “All Ontario, All the Time” is her sermon and she’s preaching to Toronto to join in. Other than a few industrial items, you won’t be able to find a single product that’s not parading the “Made in Ontario” stamp. They offer a range of organic, natural, artisanal and sustainably produced products. Wild leeks, duck eggs, peanuts, birch syrup, artisan cheeses, preserves, and barrel-churned butter are just among the few of the many savoury Ontario products Kathleen has proudly stocked on her shelves.


Walking into Culinarium, I was instantly transported to rural farm country. I paused for a moment to listen carefully for the sonorous sound of a familiar moo, but instead, I was greeted by one of the smiling, friendly staff at Culinarium, who is just as passionate about the food to fork mentality as Kathleen herself.  Culinarium is very much a family affair. Kathleen’s got the whole fleet working somewhere in the store; whether it be mom on the books, dad doing handy work or her husband, who she likes to call the CSO (Certified Schlepping Officer), on call for any emergency.

It’s a beautiful store. Formely a flower shop, Kathleen has done a marvelous job at creating a fresh and inviting retail space. Squeezed between a Dental Office and a Frame Store on Mount Pleasant Road, Culinarium is a little “off the beaten track.” But Kathleen has marvellously created an urban farm-like oasis on this semi-suburban strip. Regardless of location, the store has a constant flow of locals and passers by coming through to get their daily dinnertime fix.  Kathleen knows many of them by name. You can see this is truly a community-supported store and Kathleen deeply cares about each customer she serves.

Continue reading Slow Food Spotlight: Culinarium

Introduction to Organic Gardening + Permaculture Workshop

Permaculture gardening is the conscious design of garden ecosystems that mimic the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. We ask and observe, what would nature do? This hands-on workshop introduces permaculture theory and ways to apply it in your home or community garden.

Topics: organic gardening basics; permaculture design and practices; working with water; plant guilds (plants that grow well together, help soil tilth and support the larger ecosystem); dynamic accumulators (plants that accumulate nutrients & feed the soil); plants and plant selection; starting new gardens and soil building; cover crops & mulches; composting; humans and other animals; working less for more; diversity gardening.

In partnership with York Region Food Network and Transition York Region.

When: Saturday April 30, 2011 – 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: York Region Community Gardens (Newmarket).
Cost: $60-$90 sliding scale, includes resources. Pre-registration required.

Event Info: [email protected]
Event Contact: [email protected] / [email protected]

Other Info:
This is a family-friendly event
Nature of Event – Taste, Education, Sustainability, Conviviality