The primary headline in this week’s food news was the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s seemingly sudden suspension of Canada’s largest kosher plant, Ryding-Regency Meat Packers. The Toronto-based beef slaughter and processing plant had recently been under scrutiny from animal rights activists in the region for its perceived inhumane treatment of its livestock; however, the CFIA has only stated that the suspension was due to “non-compliances related to control measures.”
The University of Guelph revealed the results of a unique study that saw food economists rifling through the trash of 94 neighbouring households to determine exactly how much once-edible food is being wasted by Canadians. The report stated that roughly 2.5 kilograms of food worth approximately $18 was being wasted weekly, and that producing and disposing of that much food generated roughly 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases.
Finally, after McDonald’s commenced a soft launch of its new plant-based product in Ontario, Forbes journalist Micheline Maynard decided to find out why major chain restaurants use Canada as a testing ground for their more eccentric offerings. It turns out that in addition to a reduced sample size with a mitigated risk, Canadians also offer a more adventurous and sophisticated set of palates than our neighbours to the south.
Here are six stories you might have missed in food news this week.
Toronto-based meat packing company under CFIA investigation
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has officially suspended the licence of Ryding-Regency Meat Packers. The Toronto beef slaughter and processing plant is considered Canada’s largest kosher meat plant, and many kosher consumers across the country are now concerned about a forthcoming reduction in nationwide supply. Since the investigation is ongoing, the CFIA have only stated that the suspension was due to “non-compliances related to control measures.”
Find out more at CBC News.
Parks Canada issues statement to hikers regarding biodegradable foods
As children, many of us were taught that throwing biodegradable foods such as banana peels and apple cores into the woods was not considered littering. This past week, a representative from Parks Canada issued a statement to dispel that train of thought. The human-wildlife conflict specialist stated that the rate at which such foods decompose is so slow that in most cases, the food will still be disruptive to the surrounding wildlife and can pose a risk of producing non-native plants.
Head to CBC News for more.
Food waste still a major problem for Canadians
A unique study was recently conducted by University of Guelph food economists that revealed Canadian families throw out roughly 2.5 kilograms of food worth approximately $18 every week. To obtain their data, Guelph researchers sorted through the trash of 94 households in the region to find what they determined to be once-edible food. The report also stated that producing and disposing of that much food generated about 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases.
Get the full report from Huffington Post.
BC Food and Beverage award-winners announced
The results of the BC Food and Beverage Awards were revealed last week at the Gala Dinner at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. The 2019 Product of the Year winners were selected by a panel of expert judges that included Mijune Pak of Top Chef Canada, Alexandra Gill of the Globe and Mail, and more. The event’s top placing went to Lita’s Mexican Foods, while Farafena took home the Sustainability Award, and SmartSweets received the Innovation Award.
Find the full list of winners at Food in Canada.
Why fast food chains test plant-based products in Canada before U.S.
Like other major fast food chains before it, McDonald’s recently launched its new plant-based sandwich exclusively in Canada. This week, Forbes released a report detailing all the possible reasons for this course of action, including Canada’s more focused sample size, the mitigated downside of an unsuccessful run, and that Canadians have a greater affinity for trying new things and, as a result, have more sophisticated palates.
Head to Forbes for the full story.
Food Network Canada star Carl Ruiz passes away at 44
This week, the food world came together to mourn the tragic loss of Food Network Canada star Carl Ruiz, who passed away in his sleep last weekend at the age of 44. The talented chef appeared in multiple episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and participated as a judge in Guy’s Grocery Games. Ruiz had just opened his own restaurant La Cubana in New York City this past June.
Find out more at ET Canada.