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I am a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ingredients, Locavores, and Magic Oven.

Pin It Last night Carter and I went to see "Ingredients" the movie. Here's the movie's description:

North American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. INGREDIENTS explores a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected and dangerous place to eat. Discovering better flavor and nutrition, INGREDIENTS is a journey that reveals the people behind the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities.

I was very interested in this for a few reasons. Being a Science and Phys Ed teacher, local farming is something I think kids need to be educated on and it would only help me to be better aware of what is available to them and their families. I also knew that Eric, the owner of Fabarnak restaurant would be leading the Panel after the screening to answer any questions we might have.  

If I look shocked, it's because I got a "YEAHHHHH" from a passing car when I was posing. Yesssssss.
I usually love some serious candy at the movies, but I figured a movie on locally grown food did not lend for diet coke and sour kids.  

Damn you, local food movie.

This movie was SO inspiring. As a consumer, I've given up a few things for the environment (red meat and pork, as the grazing process contributes most to greenhouse gases), but I never put my ideals on other people. Do what you want to do, but allow yourself to be inspired by others. I'm not a flexatarian or pescatarian or chocolatarian... okay, well maybe the last one... but I've been more careful with where my food comes from in the last year. I love Farmer's Markets and living in Toronto where this type of food is available to me. 

Here's the movie trailer: 

The movie had many things that stuck out to me, but a few in particular: 

1. "Pay the doctor, or pay the farmer."
We have an obesity epidemic and more allergies than ever before. We also have more processed, fast food than ever as well. Coincidence? 

2. Sustainable agriculture needs to lean more towards the mainstream. 
I'm not naive that "organic" foods are much more expensive to buy. But local foods are not necessarily more expensive than those from the grocery store that have been shipped from thousands of miles away. They taste better and have better nutritional value. We need to help our farmers because they work tirelessly. 

3. Kids are more likely to eat vegetables if it is available- even more than the recommended daily intake. 
This was in the movie showing that kids WILL eat vegetables if they are available in their school cafeterias, or if they were involved in the growing process. I have NO green thumb, but this movie inspired me to think about planting a few vegetables in my backyard next year. 

4. We eat according to the season. 
Who doesn't love a fresh tomato or peach in the summer, orchard grown apples in the fall, hearty soups in the winter, fresh salads in the spring? We do it anyway. Our taste buds and body reacts to the seasons and we eat accordingly, so why not try to eat produce that is available locally for that time of the year?

The screening was inspiring enough, and then Eric and Darcy took to the front of the theatre to answer some questions. They fascinated me with their knowledge of resources available to Torontonians about local food. 

My camera sucks in movie theatres. Sorry guys. 
Eric told us about an amazing website for Canadians called Local Food Plus which is a website detailing all the retailers, markets, and restaurants that serve/carry locally grown foods. It is AMAZING and such a great tool to have! We found a farmer's market close to us that we didn't even know about. Darcy told us about Food Forward- to educate, advocate and connect with local companies and people who want sustainability in local farming. Thank you SO much, guys!

Another thing I liked about the screening/panel was how real it was. Why wouldn't you want to meet the farmer who grew your food? It doesn't mean we can't have chocolate (thank God!) or bananas or coffee, but when foods are available in your area, we need to do a better job at supporting them. 

Carter and I were so inspired we went on Local Food Plus's website and searched for restaurants. We came across Magic Oven on the Danforth and popped up there for a late dinner (since we were starving from our lack of candy eating at the movie). 

Best. Decision. Ever. 

Check out this hot guy I picked up.

The only thing missing from their motto is "wine" instead of "water". 

In spirit of the night!

Their adorable pizza boxes! 

We were only a little bit hungry.

How pissed is Carter right now. He is dying to EAT and I want to take a photo.

Carter got the Tandoori Chicken Magic pizza, and I got the Hot Thai Chicken Magic.

Now, normally I'd be wary if my food had the word "magic" in it. But not when it looks like this. 
We spent the entire dinner talking about what Farmer's Market to go to and researching what stores to hit up when the farmer's markets come to a close in October. It was such an amazing night and I highly recommend both Ingredients and Magic Oven!!!!!! 

1. Are you conscious of where your food comes from?
Labels like "organic" and "free-range" are so often thrown around because they can. Looking at where your produce and meat come from is a good practice that I've tried hard to adopt- I've been living off Ontario grown produce this summer not only because of where it's grown, but because of the TASTE! There is nothing better! Of course I love my chocolate and bananas and things not available here in Ontario. But it's worth it to me to try!


  1. BarbaraAug 27, 2011 11:28 AM
    We eat local and/or organic as often as we can. We like to "vote" with our shopping dollars. Stores don't care what they sell...they will sell what we buy so buy organic and it will become readily available!
  2. Jennʻs AdventureʻsAug 27, 2011 12:16 PM
    GREAT POST! People definitely need to start caring where their food comes from -- how can it not be a concern when you're consuming it!?! I try to control what I can and accept what I can't, resulting in local/fresh organic as often as possible. Enlightening people is a process, and this post is definitely helping that process!!
  3. ElleAug 27, 2011 03:23 PM
    We eat local wherever we can too. Fresh is best.

    If we had a yard of our own again, I would be growing the biggest garden I could.

    That is one thing I have missed since we gave up our house and moved onto the boat.
  4. Suz and AllanAug 27, 2011 05:13 PM
    Having both my degrees in agriculture has given me real insight into not only knowing where your food is coming from but knowing specifically who is growing/raising it. To me, it's like picking up a jar of jelly canned by your grandmother. You pick it up and see her face. What if all of our food had a face and name to go with it?
  5. BrianaAug 27, 2011 05:27 PM
    Oh man. I MUST see this movie. My husband and I are total locavores and do all that we can to buy from local farmers and eat what is FRESH and IN-SEASON! I totally agree with the 'pay the doctor or pay the farmer' argument. How do we stop this obesity epidemic?!
  6. JuliaAug 27, 2011 10:42 PM
    that restaurant looks yummy!!! i am so terrible at the "eating by the season" fact. In the summer I crave fresh things ALL the time and then in the winter I just want ANYTHING warm...usually a huge bowl of pasta ALL the time. oops. This movie sounds super interesting!
  7. Wealth is HealthAug 28, 2011 08:07 AM
    The movie looks very interesting! I am going to be sad when Farmers Market season is over :( That Magic Oven pizza looks amazing!
  8. Kristine @ Running on HungryAug 29, 2011 09:54 AM
    Such a great post - I really want to see this movie!

    I try to buy local and what's in-season at all times. . . we have great farmer's markets in SF and I try to support local farmers as much as I can! I swear it tastes better!

    I need to be in Canada RIGHT NOW for some of that Magic Pizza!!