Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery store

Metro plans to let customers bring their own containers to stores in Quebec. You can bet other retailers will follow suit

Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery storeMetro announced recently that it would become the first major grocery store chain in the country to allow customers to bring their own reusable containers for packaging of individual products. It's a significant step forward for the industry, but it comes with risks. The policy, which only applies in Quebec, will take effect on April…

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?

The iconic Canadian brand is expanding south of the border. The decision makes perfect sense and national dithering is to blame

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?Maple Leaf Foods, the largest pork processor in the country, has opted to build its new meatless plant south of the border. Unfortunately, the decision makes perfect sense. The iconic Canadian food company recently announced plans to spend US$310 million on a 230,000-square-foot processing plant in Indiana, where its Lightlife Burger and other products will…

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be done

We need clear warning labels on the front of unhealthy food products and legislation that protects children from marketing

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be doneBy Andrew Pipe and Yves Savoie Heart & Stroke The new Canada’s Food Guide has the potential to help challenge the impact of diet on Canadians’ health. But more must be done to realize that potential. The updated version of this vital document, the first such major change to the Food Guide since 2007, has been…

Food inspectors getting tough on olive oil fraud

Food fraud affects many food categories, but stakes are a little higher with olive oil due to potential allergens in substitute ingredients

Food inspectors getting tough on olive oil fraudOlive production in Italy was hard hit last year due to an early frost. The country’s production dropped by 57 per cent. Greece and Portugal suffered similar fates, along with pest issues, and saw their production drop by 35 and 15 per cent, respectively. Short food supplies generate economically-motivated adulteration, that is, adding a inferior…

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the world

Scientists have found no negative differences in the health of people eating GM and non-GM foods

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the worldThe changing environment means we face weather patterns that haven’t been seen in generations. And that means new challenges in feeding humanity. But we have the tools. Storms and floods are more frequent and widespread. Changing temperatures affect oceans and lands, wildlife and crops. Because we haven’t seen such changes before, we often don’t know…

Food safety is up against a wall over U.S. government shutdown

Canada is by far the largest destination for U.S. exports of high-value agricultural products. But is that food safe?

Food safety is up against a wall over U.S. government shutdownThe U.S. government shutdown poses a threat to food safety in the United States and Canada. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for 80 per cent of all food facilities in the U.S. It announced recently that it has had to change its daily operations as a result of the partial shutdown, which…

Romaine calm returns but produce safety not guaranteed

If we don't mitigate the risks that come with relying on global food supply chains, one mistake will affect many

Romaine calm returns but produce safety not guaranteedWe went from a slew of alerts on romaine lettuce this fall to a series of clearcut recalls affecting various produce items – including romaine lettuce and cauliflower – when Canadian consumers were at their most vulnerable. At this time of year, the Canadians economy is particularly vulnerable when safety issues arise in imported produce,…

Front-and-centre nutrition alert labels on the way

Health Canada's food labelling proposals should help Canadians deal with an epidemic of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases

Front-and-centre nutrition alert labels on the waySupermarkets are crowded with around 40,000 products, yet most shoppers spend fewer than 10 seconds selecting an item. That’s certainly not enough time to review current Canadian nutrition labels, which are on the back or side of packages and contain detailed information that’s often too complex for many consumers to understand. But nutrition labeling is…

All you can eat, including the packaging?

However, a strong case for taste and food safety will have to be made before consumers will be willing to eat their garbage

All you can eat, including the packaging?Within a year, single-use plastics and excess packaging have become public enemy No. 1. Everyone is talking about how our lives are overrun by too much plastic. A recent Greenpeace-led audit looked at waterways waste and companies involved. Much of the plastic trash cleaned up from Canadian shorelines this fall was traceable to five companies: Nestlé,…

The trouble with edible marijuana products

Edibles scare Health Canada and the food industry, since they’re discrete, convenient and potentially dangerous

The trouble with edible marijuana productsOn Oct. 17, smoking cannabis will become legal in Canada. Cannabis edibles, on the other hand, will be legal in a little less than a year. Once cannabis-infused food products are available, things will get complicated in Canada’s food industry. But with the right regulations, this is a profit opportunity that doesn’t come by every…