Above all else, the single thing that I love most about Canadian agriculture is… the food. I love to fill my plate with Canadian ag products. I’m a passionate eater: a foodie who at least three times each and every day enjoys the fruits (and veggies and grains and more) of Canadian farmers’ labour. I’m not alone. Though average Canadians are between two and three generations removed from farm life, everyone I know eats. Farming isn’t just for farmers: farming is for all of us.
Do you take a moment at your local grocery store to admire the quality and commitment that goes into the locally-produced food options in front of you, or to appreciate the huge range of grown-in-Canada products?
I sure do. And I take it a step further. I seek out products I know are made from Canadian-grown commodities or made in Canada or, even better, locally produced options. A big fan of pasta, I always choose brands I know are made from Canadian durum, even if they cost a little more than other brands. It makes me happy to think that maybe some CDC Precision is in on my plate, and that each bite supports western Canadian growers. I also love the pride and confidence I feel buying made-at-home and prairie-grown products. I see it as a win-win for me and my local producers.
I especially love choosing items that I know have Alliance Seed products in them. Part of my commitment to the growers who produce Alliance Seed varieties is that I seek out those products as a consumer. I’m proud to be a small part of ensuring that our growers have a market for their products. And, every time I pour oats into a pot to cook up for breakfast, my commitment to supporting our growers at the grocery store reminds me that my job at Alliance Seed isn’t about producing commodities; it’s about producing great food.
Even 50 years ago, a majority of Canadians grew a garden; most had a cousin or uncle or grandparent who still operated a farm. Those direct connections to the land and to production meant Canadians understood that one’s bag of flour didn’t just miraculously appear on the grocery shelf; that each toast one bit into came directly from wheat that required months of careful tending.
Today, we have to work harder at helping average Canadians understand how their food gets from field to table. More than that, we have to help consumers feel PROUD of and part of Canadian agriculture. I think that starts with valuing and celebrating the fantastic food grown in our regions and across our country. Canada is in my pantry and on my table: how about yours?