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Food News 2006
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Latest Food News 2006

posted Dec.20 2006

The Milk Debate

From Dufferinpark website editor Jutta Mason:

A notice was sent out by e-mail, that Michael Schmidt had been persuaded to end his hunger strike (see the Glencolton web site), that the case has been taken on by Clayton Ruby, and that some chefs were coming to Queen's Park to stand in front of Mr.Schmidt's blue bus and talk about their support for this cause. So I went to see. Here's the story:

There were about 80 people there, and it was hard to see much at first because there were so many cameras at the front.

But I found park friends Melanie and Martti Lemieux with their two little sons (their family owns part of a Glencolton cow), and we watched together.

Melanie and Martti, with Kian and Aiden

There were some young people holding posters, for instance this one:

religious freedom

I had to try and get around the cameras to see Jamie Kennedy, who introduced his fellow chefs. Jamie has been a long-time friend of markets in general, as well as our park and the ovens -- one of the first park cooks, Dan DeMatteis, now works for Jamie. The other chefs told stories about what they buy from Mr.Schmidt (lots of variety), and at the end of their presentations, they each drank a glass of milk. (They all own part of a cow.)

chefs, Jamie Kennedy in the center, holding the sign



A man from the Landowners' Association spoke (sorry, I don't remember what his name is). He gave me a copy of "Landowner magazine," which says on the masthead that it's "a new and gutsy magazine for people with land." I've put the magazine in the rink house where people can look at it.


After the talking was done, suddenly a cow came around the corner, led by one of the Glencolton farmhands and surrounded by other people. The cow's name is Amelie, and she looked pretty scared. The security people at the legislature were even more scared, though, and mad. Their boss was walking up and down gesturing toward the cow, and then she and her guards cleared out all the nearby school classes who happened to be sitting on the steps of the Legislature.

Amelie being led in

Things looked a little grim, as though the cow might be a terrorist threat, and there was talk of charges being laid. But the chefs had presented a basket of food to the Durham member of parliament, asking him to take it up to the Premier as an offer of good will. The M.P.P. was standing there with his basket, telling Security that Amelie the Cow is so peaceful that she'd probably just lie down and go to sleep if they didn't take her back to the truck. The Security guy started to smile and the mood got lighter.

M.P.P. Murdoch and Security

Amelie with Michael Schmidt, and a glass of milk

Security chief, at center, is not pleased

kids removed from vicinity of cow

Then Dufferin Grove Park friend Melanie Lemieux went over to Mr.Schmidt to give him two loaves of Dufferin Grove bread, baked in the park ovens. He looked at the bread and said: "This is the first thing I'll eat," and he broke off a bit of bread and drank a glass of milk.

Melanie gives the park oven bread

eat and drink

And after that it was pretty much milling around. M.P.P. Murdoch talked to Mr.Schmidt's son-in-law and to the publicist (who is giving her services for free). Other signs were held up.

right to choose

friendly M.P.P. Murdoch

Judith McGill, whose e-mails on this subject have been forwarded all over the world, talked to a reporter with a big wind sock over his mike. Then the police came, on bikes, and took out their note pads. Everybody talked to them and they began to joke around, and on that note, I went back to the park.

Judith McGill


posted January 2007

Raw Milk


Food News 2006

posted December 1, 2006

Michael Schmidt

Raw Milk in the News

Michael Schmidt, the farmer who was raided by MNR officials for providing raw milk to the owners of his dairy cows, has been on a hunger strike since November 23.

There are several ways you can show support for a change in the government's position on raw milk (which is that you can't even give it away, for anyone who's wondering).

A Private Members' Resolution will be put forward by MPP Bill Murdoch at Queen's Park on the morning of Dec. 7 to ask for an investigation into the issues surrounding raw milk. Supporters are asking for attendance there from 10-12 am next Thursday (the vote will take place between 11:30 and 12), because a packed house helps the government realize people care about the issue. [ed. see "Attending a Session of Parliament"]

If you'd like to send a message to the premier:

If you'd like to write or call an MPP, this website lists contact info:

This was forwarded to the market as well:

We found out that there is a City TV telephone number where you can call to count yourself in with a vote to say that you agree with the use of raw/unpasteurized milk. All you have to do is call the number (416) 870-2242 and your vote will be counted in as a "YES".

For more information, you can visit: (Globe and Mail: Raw-milk debate scalds Sorbara)

We have also recieved these images taken of the raid from Beverley Viljakainen of Glencolton Farms:

Michael Schmidt

posted September 20, 2006

CropLife Canada and Produce Prices

The August park newsletter contained a piece by Jutta Mason about our discovery of a strange and alarming pro-pesticide ad in the "Harvest Ontario" guide to markets and farmstands. We were eager to learn more about "CropLife", the organization behind this ad.

Thank you to Ecological Farmers of Ontario for permission to post this article from their newsletter. To learn more about EFAO, and issues affecting organic farmers, visit their website at

CropLife Canada and Produce Prices

By: Ann Slater, President Ecological Farming Association of Ontario
Published: July - August, 2006
Source: Ecological Farming in Ontario

CropLife Canada is the trade association for the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pesticide and GMO products - companies like Monsanto and Sygenta. Over a year ago it launched a campaign called ‘Food for Thought’, designed to help the public “learn more about the crop protection methods and rigorous standards that provide Canadians with a safe, abundant and affordable food supply.”

Part of their crusade is an ongoing attempt to smear and discredit organic food and production. The latest attack was brought to my attention by a couple of newspaper reporters in western Ontario in April. CropLife Canada is sending dieticians to talk to the editorial staff of daily newspapers across Ontario, to make the case that organic produce is 40% more expensive than non-organic and 0% more nutritious. Read more >>

posted June 29, 2006

Genetically Engineered Plum Campaign

Here is a message sent to us by former Greenfields employee Tarrah Young, on the subject of genetically modified plum trees. It explains some of the issues, and calls for help lobbying to stop the approval of these trees for commercial cultivation in the US.

Please read this and do something about it! There is a fair bit of information below, and no easy petition to add your name to here, but there is a link to to a US government website where you can submit your comments, or just paste the points listed. It won't take too long, and the deadline of July 17 will be upon us in no time. Please spread the word and have your say.


posted June 22, 2006

Slow Food Fundraiser, 2006


Slow Food’s new initiative is Terra Madre: a world meeting of food communities.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
6-9 pm

Jamie Kennedy Jamie - Kennedy Wine Bar and Restaurant
Michael Stadtlander - Eigensinn Farm
Anthony Walsh - Canoe


SOMA Chocolate
Monforte Cheese Dairy
Fun Guy Mushrooms
Forbes Wild Foods
and others

the private buildings on-site at the Don Valley Brick Works, an industrial heritage property in downtown Toronto. Get a sneak preview of the cultural centre under development by Evergreen.

us for a convivial event and show your support for tasty, sustainable and ethical eating.

Terra Madre conference (October 26-30, Turin, Italy) is a biannual meeting of 5,000 small-enterprise food producers from around the world who grow, create, distribute, and promote food in ways that respect the environment and protect the health of consumers.


Proceeds will be donated to Terra Madre delegates.


The Don Valley Brick Works is located off of the Bayview Extension,
550 Bayview Avenue. Tel: 416-596-1495

posted on May 24, 2006

Farmers' Markets Go Beyond Green

The Organic Farmers' Market business environment is changing. Here's another example from New York...

Farmers' Markets Go Beyond Green

Published: May 24, 2006
New York Times

IN 2004, Nina Planck, who had just been dismissed as director of the New York City Greenmarkets, wrote in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times: "Perhaps it is time Greenmarket itself had some competition."

Next month, that meditation will materialize when Ms. Planck opens two outdoor food markets in Lower Manhattan. Every Saturday, these "hybrid" markets, like weekly markets in Europe, will offer more diverse products than a strictly defined farmers' market. With local makers of guacamole and sorbet selling alongside organic farmers, Ms. Planck is striking a symbolic blow at the farmers-only Greenmarket model. Read more >>

posted May 18, 2006

Farmers' markets exempt from regulations

Farmers' markets exempt from regulations

Broadcast News
Published: Thursday, May 18, 2006

TORONTO -- People who sell homemade goods at farmers' markets and roadside stands will have some extra breathing space this summer from Ontario health inspectors. Read more >>

posted May 18, 2006

Farmer direct marketing

There are issues around marketing organic produce to consumers by small farmers. Here's a proposal by the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario to deal with it:

Farmer Direct to Consumer Chicken Marketing Exemption
by Ann Slater, 24 April 2006

On March 23, EFAO, the National Farmers Union and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario sent a joint proposal to the board of the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) requesting an exemption for farmer direct to consumer marketing of chicken. Below are a few excerpts from the proposal. If anyone would like to see the full proposal please contact me. Read more >>

posted May 16, 2006

Wal-Mart to sell organic foods

From the New York Times:

Starting this summer, there will be a lot more organic food on supermarket shelves, and it should cost a lot less.

Most of the nation's major food producers are hard at work developing organic versions of their best-selling products, like Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Kraft's macaroni and cheese.

Why the sudden activity? In large part because Wal-Mart wants to sell more organic food — and because of its size and power, Wal-Mart usually gets what it wants.

Read more (pdf)>>

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