November 24, 2017

Sobeys, who owns Safeway and is Canada's largest grocer, is closing 5 regional businesses (hubs) in a re-organization into one huge business. 800 folks lose their jobs. They are removing the extra expense of having regional businesses supporting local brick and mortar stores, with the goal of being one huge company, focused on boosting home delivery and e-comerce instead. It will be more  efficient they say, and save millions of dollars for the company. The future is e-commerce they say.

Are we looking at a future where the trip to the grocery store is a virtual experience only, all by yourself with your computer in your house? Are we really choosing that? Are we really too busy to participate in our local economies?

It does not seem that gaining efficiencies by laying off hundreds of employees and closing regional infrastructure translates into any better future for working people: probably better returns for people like Galen Weston, just named the 3rd most wealthy man in Canada.  It does not translate into healthier food or better prices. It does not translate into local jobs.  It does not create community or a local sustainable food supply. It removes the human experience of actually interacting with people. It sucks money out of local communities and eliminates work opportunities.

We vote with our dollars every day. Let's think about it. 

Sobeys (safeway) to cut 800 jobs

 

  chocolate

 ARTICLE courtesy of the Queen of Green, SUZUKI FOUNDATION

The holiday season is now truly upon us, and with it, the season of culinary indulgence. Yum!

If your festivities in any way resemble mine, chocolate is part and parcel of celebration. Bird-friendly, fair trade or organic chocolate, that is — anything else is less than festive.

You've probably heard the research suggesting that eating moderate amounts of chocolate is good for you. It's packed with antioxidants, magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan. Lovely excuses to indulge!

But our favorite temptation is full of dirty secrets. Destruction of rainforests. Child labour. Impoverished farmers and rich corporations. A high price to pay for a cheap treat!

Thank (the Mayan) gods, chocolate lovers can skip this long list of woes and opt out of high fructose corn syrup, wax and other equally unappetizing ingredients by choosing fair trade, organic chocolate.

Certified organic chocolate promotes farm management systems that preserve soil fertility, protect farmers' health and conserve ecosystems. Where conventional chocolate is heavily dependent on pesticides, organic, shade-grown chocolate relies on natural fertilizers and a healthy relationship with the birds and bugs! Like all organic foods, those chocolate treats are also free of synthetic food additives, dyes and genetically modified organisms.

Fair trade means that farmers receive an equitable price for their product and that labour rights meet internationally recognized standards. Children go to school. Working conditions are safe. And most often, chocolate is purchased directly from the farmers or farm co-ops, so communities thrive. The fair trade certification system also prohibits GMOs and limits the use of agrochemicals.

Luckily, some of the most delicious delicacies win the triple crown: bird-friendly, organic and fair trade.

Sure, ethical chocolate costs more. Chalk it up to those fair wages, the lack of child labour and the cost of making sure critters get to thrive too! Then break a nugget, take a bite and savour the melting bliss. Real chocolate is so rich and wonderful, a little less goes a long way!

We'll soon be sharing chocolate bark around the table and sipping homemade cocoa on our nightly neighborhood walks. What about you? Will you visit a favorite chocolatier this season, indulge in a square of organic delight, or whip up a little homemade chocolate heaven?

Sincerely,

Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green

We offer the following options to help you get your delicious groceries home:

  1. fill the bag you brought from home
  2. take a box (which we pull from our incoming shipments)
  3. purchase a lovely RUDDY reuseable shopping bag for $1.99
  4. purchase a recycled paper shopping bag for 25 cents. (we donate proceedes from paper bag sales to the food bank)