The good news at the heart of rising food prices in Canada

Wages are on the rise, and the food and hospitality industry is flourishing

The good news at the heart of rising food prices in CanadaCanada's food inflation rate remains at four per cent, yet there are encouraging signs for the consumer. Statistics Canada's recent consumer price index numbers, for example, show that the gap between the general inflation rate and food inflation is shrinking – the general inflation rate now stands at two per cent, its highest point in nearly two…

Cauliflower hysteria offers lessons for Canadians

Food inflation is hammering Canadian consumers, but there are ways to reduce the price pressure

Cauliflower hysteria offers lessons for CanadiansFood inflation is top of mind for Canadian consumers, with rampant claims about produce being grossly overpriced. And the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report won’t calm Canadian shoppers any time soon, since food inflation stands at 4.1 per cent. That's a significant contrast to the -0.4 per cent in food inflation reported in the United States…

Five things you should know about food insecurity in Canada

Over four million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, will experience some level of food insecurity this year

Five things you should know about food insecurity in CanadaBy Carolyn Shimmin George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Valerie Tarasuk University of Toronto This year, over four million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, will experience some level of food insecurity. Food insecurity, also known as ‘food poverty,’ can cause significant anxiety over diminishing household food supplies. It also results in individuals…

Butter politics show our supply management system is outdated

The nationwide shortage of butter proves that our system of quotas and tariffs on imports is obsolete

Butter politics show our supply management system is outdatedButter politics are making a case for dairy supply management reforms, to the ultimate benefit of Canadian consumers. Canada is apparently experiencing a nationwide shortage of butter. Most consumers have not been directly affected yet — mainly bakeries, restaurants and other institutional purchasers have experienced supply shortages so far. But sporadic reports have filtered out about retail stores running…

Higher food prices in Canada not a bad thing

Higher food prices lead to better quality and service and more selection than ever before

Higher food prices in Canada not a bad thingWhy do Canadian consumers face escalating food prices while most of the industrialized world is seeing lower food inflation rates? And should we be concerned? Again this year, Canadian consumers had to cope with higher grocery prices: the cost of food in stores rose by 4.1 per cent, which was significantly above the nation's overall inflation…

Food banks permanent feature of Canadian landscape

We have to find ways to make sure food banks are needed less in the future

Food banks permanent feature of Canadian landscapeFood Banks Canada's annual report paints a discouraging picture: more Canadians visited food banks this year than last year. The newly-released report says that in the snapshot month this year, March, 852,137 people visited a food bank, up 1.3 per cent from last year. While this year’s number is lower than the 10-year high figure of 2013, when 872,379…

Rise of the gluten-free heroes

The fact that the gluten-free movement overlapped with the increase in food prices is no coincidence

Rise of the gluten-free heroesGluten has divided consumers into two camps: those who can't get enough gluten-free products, believing that eliminating the little protein composite leads to a healthier life, and those who dismiss its sudden popularity as a cultural phase. Even if you are puzzled by the gluten-free trend, it has clearly benefited the industry and, most importantly,…

The economics of vegetarianism

The number of vegetarian consumers in the Western world has not significantly increased over time

The economics of vegetarianismWhat do Confucius, Albert Einstein and Leonardo Di Vinci have in common? Well, not much professionally, but they were all vegetarians. Einstein once claimed that “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” With recent record meat prices, some might…

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agriculture

But banking only on a lower currency and inexpensive input costs not enough to build our competitive advantage

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agricultureThis past March was declared the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880. In fact, 2015, statistically speaking, is the warmest start of any year on record. It’s not surprising, therefore, that things are really heating up around the world, and particularly in California. After enduring its fourth rain-free season, one of the most…

The ugly side of food waste

Everyone wins from Loblaw’s campaign to reposition “imperfect” produce in its stores

The ugly side of food wasteWe waste a lot of food; tons of it, in fact. Indeed, some studies suggest that the overall cost of food waste in our country exceeds $100 billion annually. In response, Loblaw has decided to take action. The company now sells bags of “Naturally Imperfect” apples and potatoes in select grocery stores across Ontario and…