Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Delicious Revolution Rocks Barrie

I buy a lot of frozen pizzas and chicken fingers. There! I said it. My secret is out. Ironically, those  purchases are mostly the result of my busy life as a full time cook who produces endless healthy, from scratch meals for low income people, and my part time endeavor writing about said healthy food! Well, how do you like that? Hopefully, that little confession of mine makes you feel just a little bit better about your own less-than-perfect shopping/dining habits, but you and I can do better. Yes, we can.

Real food is the best food. We all know that. The days of Beaver Cleaver's mother baking (non-bagged) cookies in her high heels and pearls are long gone, but we can try, little by little, to reclaim some of the lost skills of our grandmothers and re-introduce some wholesome foods back into our kitchens. Plant a little veggie garden - even a tomato plant in a balcony pot. Make a one dish casserole - Heaven knows there are enough online instructional videos for those! Shop more often at a local organics/health food store, farmers market, farmer, or simply spend more time in the meat, dairy and produce areas of your grocery store, leaving those highly processed foods in the centre aisles alone for a bit. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it!

It's not that we don't want to eat healthy food - we really do! Life often gets in the way of eating the good foods that we need for that healthy life. Lucky for us in Barrie, there is a growing movement by some smart-minded local businesses towards creating healthy convenience foods. Many of these small producers are also offering delivery services. I met a few of them at the recent Food Revolution Day event at Barrie's Southshore Centre.

Whoa, back up a minute, what on Earth is Food Revolution Day? The movement, started by chef Jamie Oliver, aims to tackle some very important issues facing our food supply - good food education, access to nutritious food, food waste, sustainability of our supply, cooking as a life skill and supporting ethically produced foods. Food Revolution Day is held worldwide every year in May and as Jamie Oliver puts it, "Food Revolution Day is an opportunity to shout about good foods, get inspired to cook great food from scratch and be empowered to help change the global obesity crisis ... "

Cool. So what do we do now? I recommend baby steps - educate yourself, make small gradual changes for the better and most of all, be good to yourself. You and your family deserve to eat good things and be healthy. We know that time is always in short supply, so here is a welcome and radical concept - healthy fast food. It really does exist and you can get it in three (soon to be four) locations of AvocoBar in Barrie. curiousnibbler.blogspot.ca/avocobar-new-kid-on-block

Start your day off right, or snack time, or anytime  really, with the non-GMO, preservative free, hand made in small batches goodness of Not Yer Granny's Granola, created right here in Barrie. I have met the ever effervescent Fran Kruse before and watched her and her husband, Mark, work their magic as they create their tasty wares with the funky names - maple me happy, hello orange, pumpkin pizzazz and javanola mojo. curiousnibbler.blogspot.ca/confessions-of-granola-convert

I was very inspired by 2 young entrepreneurial sisters, Grace and Madeleine Dufault, of Y.U.M. (Your Ultimate Meals), who produce fresh baking, salads in jars and many other delights for sale online or at the Barrie Farmers Market.  Equally impressive was another young one, the teen son of Earth's Emporia's owner, who spent his entire day happily helping other vendors with their heavy loads, then bravely stepped up to the microphone to speak about healthy eating.

I also re-met two new faves of mine, from the recent Savour The Flavours Show, Chris of Momma Mari's Dressings and Sauces and Ally of Rabbit Food Bakery & Deli. I bought a bottle of Sneaky Momma barbecue sauce from Chris and we are really enjoying it with our barbecued foods at home. The sun dried tomato almond cheeze that I purchased from Ally called to me incessantly from the fridge and was eaten by me in one sitting. Sorry but it was damned good! curiousnibbler.blogspot.ca/the-curious-nibbler-returns-to-food-show

From my seat at the welcome table, I had a great view of Barrie's Garden Centre's lovely green display. My own small veggie garden at home is sitting empty right now waiting for me to get planting my pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, lettuce and eggplants. I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty! There is a great feeling of satisfaction that comes from growing your own food from seed/seedling to something that can be eaten. Maybe challenge yourself to grow one small thing this summer, be it a pot of chives or planter of cherry tomatoes, that you can use in a meal later on.

Bring a little of the Food Revolution into your own kitchen and treat yourself the way should be treated. Be kind to your body, your family and this little blue planet. Viva la revoluci├│n!

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