Eatin’s Canada February

I read something recently on twitter on a new follower’s page:

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.

To Achieve

That kind of describes Eatin’s Canada. I knew what I wanted to do, but there just wasn’t time. I looked ahead and couldn’t for the life of me imagine when there would be. So, I just did it anyway. That fact means the first few months are going to be a scramble, developing the editorial calendar and building the site.

Thankfully, several people have offered to participate in this project. Thanks to Glen Synogrand (recipes and photography), Wayne Kwok (coffee, reviews and essays) , Gaddabout Eating (restaurant reviews, recipes), Lindiwe Sithole (recipes, particularly form Zimbabwe), Ryan Wolman (recipes and essays about food), Alison Cole (vegan cookbook  and recipe reviews), Gurpreet Chana, and others to be announced soon. I am thrilled to have each of them participating and look forward to their contributions.

Eatin’s Canada has several goals, providing recipes obviously, but more than that, looking at how to cook so that one need not be dependent on products or fast food for everything in your life.

So, there are two sections with recipes, one, imaginatively entitled: Recipes for meals for one or two people, and one titled Putting Food By, for making food in large quantities, either for preserving, freezing, or cellaring, or for entertaining large groups. By the time the end of the year rolls around, we’ll have gone through a full cycle of preserved food recipes that provide a foundation for a wide range of other dishes.

This month our recipes section features Zimbabwean traditional foods from Lindiwe Sithole, pickles from GaddAbout Eating, and Indian Chilly Chicken from Gurpreet Chana.

There are Reviews, and a Review/Directory for food products, restaurants and tools, because while in my mind, one should be capable of making pretty much everything you need to live a comfortable life, you should have options. With few exceptions, reviewed products are from small to medium family owned companies or collectives. They are not all available in Canadian stores…yet.

The directory contains only those products that have been favourably reviewed. Product reviews are skewed to the positive side mainly because I personally prefer to review the products I like…not the least of which is because if I don’t like a product, I stop eating it and really have little to say on the topic. If it was sent for review, I look for a colleague whose taste I trust, to try it and if they like it, to comment on my behalf.

Restaurant reviews are more likely to have some negative content, as food is seldom so poor one leaves the restaurant with the plate untouched, and the spend is generally higher than with ingredients. People really need to be told if the experience is not going to match their investments of time and money.

Food for Thought is the editorial piece and will also eventually be a section with articles from multiple contributors looking at issues related to food. This month we have Alison Cole of Animal Voices with an article and radio interview about the human cost of the chocolate industry.

I grew up in the food industry. in gumboots on the floor of the family business, a fish plant. Food is personal for me. All of it, how to really cook in a way that is a joyful and social part of life, how we treat food, how it is produced, how we treat the animals and plants that we eat before we eat them, quality of life for farmers and their workers.

I want Eatin’s Canada to present some of the most forward thinking ideas about humane food production. Sometimes that will come out of a piece written for us, and sometimes its going to be content that we find and present here with an introduction.

Both written in house and curated here.   Food is central to our lives, we need it, and to get it, we have to kill. It is one of the things that we share with all other living beings on the planet. Everything that lives eats something that used to live. I believe that we should respect our food and the gift that it gave us.

I think preparing food beautifully, so that it tastes wonderful is part of honouring what we eat.   The same is true of how we produce food. We are part of a chain of life, with  extraordinary power to affect everything else in the chain.   Many places, but this month, let’s talk about the children of the chocolate industry and  returning humanity to the food industry.