ICYMI:Canada ranks poorly in UN food waste report, New York Times' odd Nanaimo bars and more

Some of this week's top Canadian food and drinks stories

The founder of Toronto’s Tap Phong kitchen supply store recently passed away at the age 100. A heartfelt Toronto Star article reflects upon his life; from leaving his home country of Vietnam with his family in 1979 to opening up a ceramics store, evolving to what it is today.

In a somewhat similar vein, food writer Pay Chen had the opportunity via the same news outlet to share her thoughts on being raised as an immigrant restaurant kid in Halifax. Chen writes about her memories of her parents and their food stall in a farmer’s market.

A United Nations report suggests that Canada is one of the countries that has a high percentage of food waste per household. The United Nations Environment Programme released a report, in which humans waste approximately 17 percent of the foods produced annually.

From food waste to food misrepresentation, hot off the heels of last week's saga of failed Canadian dishes (a la The Bachelor), the New York Times Cooking section's recipe and photo for the iconic Nanaimo bar has caused much dismay.

Get caught up on these top stories and more in our latest Canadian food news roundup.

The passing of Tap Phong founder Dat Chuong


Dat Chuong Tran founded Tap Phong in 1984 when he took over a ceramics shop from its previous owners. For those who are tapped into Toronto’s food and drinks scene, Tap Phong is well-known for its overflowing of items piled as high as the ceiling and one could find literally everything they might need for their kitchen. The article further talks about his history and how the store came to be.

Read more on the Toronto Star.

Pay Chen’s reflection on growing up at an immigrant restaurant

Photo credit: Facebook

Chen was born in Taiwan and moved to Halifax with her family in the early 1980s. Her parents owned a food stall that featured traditional Taiwanese food. With the food stall recently closing after decades of success, Chen regales us with memories of a camaraderie between food vendors in the farmer’s market to her father selling tofu in Nova Scotia in the 80s, she talks about moments of her parent’s stall to when they closed down. She reflects on her appreciation towards her parents’ and the impact the stall had on her.

Read the full story in the Toronto Star.

UN report estimates each Canadian wastes 79 kilograms of food annually

The United Nations Environment Programme released a report in regards to food waste. According to the report, it estimates that humans waste approximately 17 percent of produced food they purchase. Furthermore, Canada is a culprit for high food waste, with Canadians each on average wasting 79 kilograms of food per year. In comparison, the United States wastes 59 kilograms of food and the United Kingdom with 77 kilograms. Furthermore, Canada is labelled as one of the worst household food wasters in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Head to CTV News to read the full story.

Winnipeg restaurant under review after signage blows up on social media

A social media post by a Winnipeg police officer was discovered online allegedly encouraging people to boycott the eatery and "call in fake orders" in retalitation to its support of the organization Winnipeg Police Causes Harm–whose goal is to abolish policing. The restaurant has since received a massive amount of support from Winnipeggers.

Head over to the Winnipeg Free Press to read more.

Canadian Cannabis Company launches first CBD beverages in the US

Canada's leading cannabis company Canopy Growth is launching their line of CBD-infused sparkling water beverages, Quatreau, in the United States. The drinks will join companies such as BioSteel and Martha Stewart in the burgeoning CBD beverage line. A bit behind Canada when it comes to the cannabis industry, the Biden administration has recently favoured relaxing cannabis laws.

This includes removing cannabis from the dangerous drugs list. The country awaits the Senate and White House’s approval for the policy.

Read the full story on CTV News.

Quebec sugar shacks creating gourmet meal boxes for survival

Sugar stacks are establishments that hold a long-tradition in Quebec. The typically operate in March and April. However, like many businesses during the pandemic, some sugar shacks had to permanently close and some are barely holding on. In a silver lining moment, a group of sugar shacks had united to create the “Ma cabane a la maison” (My Cabin at Home) box. This meal box includes products that is traditional to Quebecois culture, bringing the sugar shack home.

CTV News has the full story.

New York Times’ disastrous Nanaimo bar recipe


A post shared by NYT Cooking (@nytcooking)

The New York Times Cooking section took a lashing via social media this week for their misrepresentation of Canada's beloved Nanaimo. Their take on the West Coast-invented dessert had a variety of issues including extremely uneven layering and incorrect topping.

We, as Canadians, won't stand for it!

Read more about this and see some social media reactions over on CBC News.