Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunity

One of the major pieces to building a strong immunity system is eating more fruits and vegetables

Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunityAccording to the United Nations, 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Many couldn’t care less about a proclamation from a global agency that has been criticized over the years as being inner-looking and out of touch. Some of this criticism is certainly warranted but depending on the topic, these campaigns can bring…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

Betting on the booming plant protein food market

Many consumers are revisiting their relationship with animal proteins, both at the meat counter and in the dairy products section

Betting on the booming plant protein food marketThink plant protein is just a passing fad? Think again. You likely noticed that the plant-based counter at your favourite grocery store is growing. There’s good reason: people are buying. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos surrounding containment and vaccination rules, consumers are quietly enjoying products made from plant proteins and milk alternatives. According…

Trudeau’s carbon tax short-sighted in so many ways

No thought as to how it could put many Canadian families in a state of food insecurity by 2030

Trudeau’s carbon tax short-sighted in so many waysCOVID-19 has had an impact on Canada’s food industry but, over time, resilience will prevail. However, the federal government’s pre-holiday announcement that it will increase the carbon tax to $170 per tonne by 2030 will have a long-term impact on consumers. Climate change is a real and significant problem. We need to act quickly, and…

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonuses

COVID-19 has made us realize that many people whose jobs are too important to be interrupted are the ones earning the least money

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonusesAlmost everyone agrees that grocery store workers should earn better wages, especially during a pandemic. In Canada, their hourly rate hovers around $15 an hour. New hires get about $13 an hour, while the highest paid earn almost $50,000 annually, or about $25 an hour. In a high-volume, low-margin world, salaries are what they are.…

The new pandemic-induced pet food economy

The pet economy represents tremendous growth potential for the food service industry. Pets are already influencing the market

The new pandemic-induced pet food economyAccording to a recent report by Narrative Research, 18 per cent of Canadians say they got a new pet since the start of the pandemic. That means more than 6.8 million pets were adopted since March. That can be added to the more than 16 million cats and dogs Canadians had in 2019, prior to…

The year’s top food-related stories

From lab-grown meat to grocery store staff bonuses to the food-service crisis to gardening and cooking at home to panic buying

The year’s top food-related storiesThe year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At No. 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’…

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?

The pace of food inflation is unmanageable for many

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices rise by as much as five per cent in 2021, according to the recently-released report. That’s the highest increase ever predicted by the report’s authors, a group of 24 scholars from four universities. For a family of four, the…

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of food

If livestock farmers were threatened by the plant-based revolution, they haven’t seen anything yet

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of foodFor thousands of years, humans have had to kill animals to eat meat. This is no longer the case – at least in Singapore. Cultured meat is now legal in the city-state. The Singapore Food Agency has approved chicken nuggets from a San Francisco-based company called Eat Just, which is known for its cultured meat.…

$2 billion(!) payment to dairy farmers all about politics

The Trudeau government is raiding our Covid-19 starved pockets to send $36 from each of us to rich dairy farmers

$2 billion(!) payment to dairy farmers all about politicsAgriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau chose a Saturday, hours before a long-awaited federal economic update, to offer more non-COVID-19-related compensation to Canada’s supply-managed farmers. Eighty-one per cent of dairy farmers are located in Quebec and Ontario. Compensation was expected but how it was done was a little strange. Few in the industry knew what…

Eliminating humans from the food supply chain

Loblaws will be able to move food from automated picking facilities multiple times a day to support its online grocery service

Eliminating humans from the food supply chainLoblaws is partnering with Gatik, an autonomous vehicle provider from the United States, to launch the first autonomous food delivery fleet. This is a solution to the ‘middle mile,’ assuring links between distribution centres and stores. Consumers won’t see autonomous vehicles drive up to their homes yet but that day will surely come soon. These…

Food industry keeps adapting to changing times

The food industry is in a much better position going into a second phase of lockdowns. But some risks remain

Food industry keeps adapting to changing timesMany Canadian regions will likely go through a second COVID-19 lockdown soon. And questions about the resiliency of our food supply chain are emerging again. With potentially 60,000 new COVID-19 national cases a day within weeks, it seems inevitable. Further lockdowns could well include even the Atlantic bubble. The COVID-19 virus knows no borders and…

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a time

Many Canadians are fleeing cities only to realize how poorly serviced rural regions are in terms of internet access

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a timeThey say food connects us all. So does the internet these days. Along with the provinces, the federal government says it is now on a path to give 98 per cent of the Canadian population access to high-speed internet by 2026. This is a much more ambitious target than the previous goal of 95 per…

Fake commuting for a coffee is healthy and normal

People need to get replenished, energized and to physically separate themselves from the workplace, even if it’s home

Fake commuting for a coffee is healthy and normalFake commutes are apparently a thing. According to human resources professionals, some people will simply take their cars, the bus or the metro to start the day, or else for a break to establish some sort of daily routine. It seems unbelievable and not much data exists to prove how often it’s happening. But it’s…

Loblaw’s joins Walmart, Metro in supply chain bullying tactics

Major grocers are off-loading in-store and digital operations costs unto suppliers

Loblaw’s joins Walmart, Metro in supply chain bullying tacticsMajor Canadian grocers in Canada are at it again. After Walmart and Metro, it was Loblaw’s turn to make changes to its vendor policies, implementing new fees to support a $6-billion plan to improve its in-store and digital operations. A letter written by Loblaw Companies president Sarah Davis was leaked to the media. Over the…

How do we solve the local food paradox?

Most of us want to pay more for locally-grown food and will say so, but few actively look for opportunities to do so

How do we solve the local food paradox?Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and impacting purchasing habits, our relationship with food was different. The pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and to look more at local supply chains. Discussions are about producing food in Canada, year-round, while offering products to consumers at reasonable prices, especially…

Job rebound sluggish in Canada’s agri-food sector

Job rebound sluggish in Canada’s agri-food sectorStatistics Canada's recent September job market data is reassuring, overall. But for the agri-food sector, the reality is quite different. Overall, employment in the country increased in September, creating 378,000 jobs, the majority of which were full-time. This increase in September brought total employment to 720,000, shy of the level we had before the pandemic.…

Canadians embracing the joy of pandemic gardening

Canadians embracing the joy of pandemic gardeningThey say gardening is good for the soul. Apparently many Canadians agree as they have opted to ‘pandemic garden’ this year. The Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, recently released a study on home gardening, just in time for Thanksgiving. The survey was conducted earlier this month and included more…

Chinese Covid-19 propaganda an attempt to placate its own citizens

Unfortunately, some Canadians have come to believe some of the false claims coming out of China

Chinese Covid-19 propaganda an attempt to placate its own citizensAs the number of COVID-19 cases reach new heights, China is jubilant. In the country where the pandemic began less than a year ago, there have been 91,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded, with about 4,800 deaths. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) also tells us that China has conducted more than 160 million tests,…

Subway faces a rough road to restore its reputation

With sales falling and too many locations, many Subway franchisees are struggling to make a profit

Subway faces a rough road to restore its reputationCOVID-19 has not been kind to restaurants, as we know. But for Subway restaurants, the problems are much broader. Subway is the world's largest restaurant chain with nearly 42,000 locations, more than Starbucks or McDonald’s. But the chain is shrinking rapidly. It was already experiencing difficulties pre-pandemic and closed several thousand restaurants in North America.…

Your grocery bill is rising and Covid-19 will make it worse

It’s high time to evaluate the possibility of a guaranteed minimum income, for greater financial equity for all

Your grocery bill is rising and Covid-19 will make it worseEvery month, Statistics Canada reminds us that life is getting more expensive. But for food, the situation has been unique over the last few decades. Based on numbers released recently, the price of a typical grocery basket has increased by about 240 per cent since 2000. Some will think such a percentage is expected, given…

Trust the food industry to keep delivering

Looks like we may be heading for a second COVID-19 wave. If that’s the case, we should keep calm and grocery shop in this new normal

Trust the food industry to keep deliveringMany months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know more about this relentless virus and how it behaves and spreads. Using this limited but growing scientific knowledge, public health measures have kept us largely safe. Back in March, given the unknowns we needed to manage, the only solution possible was a complete lockdown. It came into…

As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada depends on imports for fruits and vegetables. We need to think differently about how we feed ourselves during cold months

As California burns, so does our winter lettuceCalifornia is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. And as fall approaches, the California fires could affect Canada’s food supply for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting Canadian farmers this summer, this is certainly…

The restaurant industry can help save the economy

But the federal government and most provinces have failed to help the hospitality sector. Only New Brunswick is making a difference

The restaurant industry can help save the economyThe best way to get an economy going again is to get to Canadians’ wallets by way of their stomachs. But it’s a long road. Up to 25 per cent of restaurants in Canada have closed for the season and perhaps for good. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce expects 60 per cent of restaurants to…

Fear creating costly food waste in Canadian homes

Canadians are throwing away more food, in part because we’re cooking more at home but also out of irrational fear

Fear creating costly food waste in Canadian homesFood waste creates an invisible bill you must pay every day. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average Canadian household wasted a little more than two kg in food a week. But since March, our lives have changed and most Canadians have spent more time at home. So are Canadians generating more food waste at home?…

Walmart flexes its muscles and food processors suffer

Food manufacturing in Canada is dying a slow death. The sector has lost 12 jobs a day every day since 2012. This won’t help

Walmart flexes its muscles and food processors sufferConsumers got a glimpse of how food supply chains work – or don’t – at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Walmart is giving them a chilling new perspective. The sight of empty shelves in grocery stores is certainly a strong indicator at the retail level that something is amiss upstream. Reasons at the…

Here’s why things will never be the same at the grocery store

From online grocery shopping to home delivery to cooking with fresh ingredients to higher prices to fewer choices in stores

Here’s why things will never be the same at the grocery storeMore than five months into the pandemic, we can start to see how life will look on the other side. At the grocery store, some changes will disappear while others will stay with us for the foreseeable future. Food is getting more expensive everywhere, including Canada. We expect prices to increase by four per cent.…

The dark side of tipping your server

Tipping promotes age, race and gender bias, and make servers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from customers

The dark side of tipping your serverIn North America, the tipping culture has always been a source of pride, giving customers the last word when human interaction is involved. Good service deserves a good tip, while an unsatisfactory experience results in no reward for the server. In some European and Asian countries, the tip is included in the price at the…

The making of the COVID-19 generation

The lockdowns, and the economic wrath that followed, will leave a definite scar on the lives of many young people

The making of the COVID-19 generationPeople under the age of 30 will pay a dear price for the global pandemic and could even be renamed the COVID-19 generation. After almost five months, most would agree that the older generations – although perhaps medically affected by COVID-19 – have been largely unscathed economically. Baby boomers and older generations have lived long…
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