Stop! Before you put that fork in your mouth, did you stop to think where the food came from and just how fresh is it?
There is a growing movement across the country that is discovering the abundance of food that is locally grown and produced. Even in Sault Ste. Marie, it is possible to eat locally produced meat and vegetables. To demonstrate that fact, the Algoma Food Network is hosting an “Edible Algoma” dinner on Sunday September 27th at the Sault Ste Marie Golf Club. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit local food banks.
“It’s the best of what we have,” says Brigit Kroll of the Algoma Food Network.
The dinner will feature local produced beef and lamb, as well as a variety of vegetables from local farmers, and even locally made goat cheese.
Kroll said area restaurants were eager to get on board with the dinner. “There is a real excitement about the movement,” says Kroll.
Some of items on the menu include pizza from Solo that will include locally made goat cheese from Honeybrook Farms. Waterfront Inn will turn local vegetables into vegetarian lasagna, and Absolutely Delicious will provide Blueberry Cheesecake squares. Check out the full menu at the end of the article.
But the dinner isn’t just about eating. It is also about education. It’s learning about food security, making sure that everyone is fed, and that there is a safe and bountiful supply of food.
Let’s face it… many us pick up food in the grocery never thinking where it came from or how it was grown. A lot of our food comes from Mexico. You don’t know the time span between picking and it ending up on the shelf.
When you purchase local food, there is a connection. “It’s picked when it’s fresh, not picked to be fresh when it arrives in the store,” says Kroll.
Kroll points out there are three area Farmers Markets, at which locally produced food is available. The Sault Ste. Marie Farmers Market takes place at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion on Saturday mornings. On Saturdays and Wednesdays, there are farmers markets on St. Joseph Island, and there is also one in Desbarats. “Each one is different and unique,” says Kroll.
While we can’t rely on all our food to be local because of the shorter growing season, Kroll says that there is plenty of variety available from local producers. “It’s about doing the best with what we have, and achieving a balance between global and local.”
“Small farmers are very busy,” says Kroll. “Too busy to market their goods.” But that’s where the Algoma Food Network comes in — to provide information to local consumers and increase awareness of local producers.
Kroll calls Edible Algoma a good exercise for the Algoma Food Network to gauge interest in the local food movement.
Kroll says over the winter, the Algoma Food Network will be working on their website as well as putting together a food charter. A food charter is a document that talks about how food is grown and distributed.
There are still tickets available for Sunday’s dinner. Kroll will be selling tickets at the Pavilion’s Farmers Market on Saturday morning, and they are also avaialble at Stone’s on Queen Street.
You can visit the Algoma Food Network online at algomafoodnetwork.wordpress.com to learn more about the local food movement and what is available in Algoma.