ICYMI: University of Guelph creates mental health program for farmers, Canada's first floral cafe and more

Some interesting Canadian food news stories to get caught up on

In more recent years, mental health has been front of mind in the foodservice industry, but what about the agricultural sector?

With long hours under constant pressure–sometimes including financial and generational pressure–and the heavy workload, the reality is that a farmer's mental health takes the back seat. University of Guelph, along with the Ontario Veterinary College, are working on a program to improve the mental health of Ontario farmers.

With International Women's Day taking place earlier this week, the topic of equality in the restaurant industry is alive and well. It should come as no surprise that many local establishments and companies are run by women. However, being a women-led company as a primary reason why some are getting noticed rather than what they are offering is not enough.

Speaking of impassioned female business owners, Edmonton's Cecilia Baguiwong and Samantha Pham have just opened up what is believed to be Canada's first floral cafe–a cafe and flower shop hybrid–and the city is abuzz.

These are some dynamic Canadian food stories that you might have missed this week.

University of Guelph developing a program to improve farmers’ mental health

The Ontario Veterinary College and the University of Guelph have teamed up to create an innovative program for farmers. Developed by Dr. Andria Jones-Biton and Dr. Briana Hagen in the department of population medicine, the goal of the initiative–which has already been introduced in Manitoba–is to improve the mental health of Ontario farmers.

The stigma of mental health within the farming community is strong, with resilience being considered as part of the nature of the job. A survey conducted by Dr. Jones-Biton shows high numbers of the surveyed farmers with high stress labels, as well as anxiety and depression. Working long hours with financial (and sometimes generational) pressures plus a continual heavy workload are all factors that could lead to serious mental health issues.

CBC News has the full story.

Equality advancements in the food and beverage industry

The idea that things have come a long way, but there is still much work to be done is the underlying theme of this recent feature on women food and drink entrepreneurs across Western Canada. The article touches on the realities of being a women-led/female-owned food and drink business and why equality should still be on the forefront of our minds.

Read the full feature over on The Globe and Mail.

Quebec government working on bill to cap fees on third party delivery apps

Following the footsteps of provinces like British Columbia, the Quebec government is proposing Bill 87, which will cap all delivery app fees for restuarants at 15 per cent.

During the second lockdown, many people from Montreal and Quebec City has been relying solely on takeout, pickup or delivery to support their favourite eateries. However, many delivery apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash have been eating away at profits that were meant for the restaurants themselves.

Read more about it in this Global News story.

New Edmonton café and floral delivery service opens and everything is edible


A post shared by BREW+BLOOM (@brewandbloom)

The fantasy of everything in a room that is (mostly) edible conjures up memories of a particular scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Edmonton’s new café and floral company definitely feels like its in a similar vein.

Newly opened, Brew+Bloom offers not only beautiful flower arrangements, but also food and drinks that are infused with a variety of flowers. This innovative concept shows not only the passion that the co-owners have for food and flowers, but also how florals can be utilized in an ever-changing menu.

Read more about this interesting new concept on CTV News.

Montreal restaurants remain closed for in-person dining for the near future

While most regions in Quebec were allowed to resume in-person dining at limited capacity on March 8, the Greater Montreal region remains closed for indoor dining. With the cautious optimism about the decline and plateau of COVID-19 cases, there is some worry that the recent viral variant may end up causing a third wave in the province.

Head to Eater Montreal for the full story.

An explanation on how food companies influence eating habits


A post shared by Michael Moss (@michaelcmoss)

The author behind the New York Times bestseller SALT SUGAR FAT: How the Food Giants Hooked Us and former investigator reporter Michael Moss has just released a new book, HOOKED: Food and Free Will and How Food Giants Exploit our Addictions.

The book explains on the psychology and reasoning behind why different food companies can influence our choices of food. At times, the author finds that processed foods can be more addicting than drugs or alcohol. Yikes.

Head to CTV News to read more about it.