FOLLOW ME FOODIE: What is the definition of ‘local’?

FOLLOW ME FOODIE: What is the definition of ‘local’?

Do Vancouver diners care what a restaurant’s definition of ‘local’ is? What role does exporting play in the security of BC farmers? Mijune Pak explains…

Published: July 26, 2013 1:00 PM
Updated: July 26, 2013 1:35 PM

Where is the bacon from? Gelderman Farms in Abbotsford. And the beef? AAA from Alberta. How about the cheese? Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde in Quebec. The lobster? Nova Scotia.

We are “farm to table”. We are “local”. We are Canadian… local. Huh?

Everyone is jumping on the “eat local” bandwagon, but at the same time many do not even know what it really is. “Local” is being tossed around and marketed to the point of losing authenticity. It is sad that the definition of “eat local” has been stripped away and it is often followed by “as local as possible” or “mostly local”. It gives us that bit of room to source East Coast oysters, French cheeses, use Asian ingredients, or serve Alberta beef without diners making a fuss.

There is nothing governing the marketing of a menu, but at last there is a formal definition of “local”.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is adopting an interim policy which defines “local” as:

  • food produced in the province or territory in which it is sold, or
  • food sold across provincial borders within 50 km of the originating province or territory

It is not the greatest definition, considering the various sizes of every province and territory, but it is a start.

On the other hand, do diners really care? Some do, for sure, but does it prevent them from eating it?

I am very proud of our local products and will promote our farmers and growers who do a good job, but will I eat maple syrup from Quebec? Or strawberries in the winter? Read the full article.

See more Follow Me Foodie stories from Mijune in the WE Vancouver:


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