Ethical Eats

Brought to you by Oxfam @ Queen's

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Putting Your Local Apples to Work: Yogurt Batter Apple Rings

These apple rings are a quick and easy way to treat yourself over this busy study break, with many of the ingredients being organic or in season/local.

1 cup organic, all-purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 large egg
– 1 cup plain yogurt (I like Liberte)
– 6 apples, cut vertically into ~1/4inch thick slices (Granny Smiths are good for cooking, but so are many others!  Try to use what’s in store at your local farmer’s market – many varieties are in season now)
– Canola oil
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2-3 tsp cinnamon

If you don’t mind doing some preparation ahead of time, I also recommend using some vanilla beans to make a vanilla bean sugar by scraping the bean seeds into an airtight container, and simply letting the sugar sit with the seeds buried inside, for 2-3 weeks.

Cooking Instructions
1) In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt with the one egg and combine well.
3) Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and set that bowl aside.
4) Slice the apples with a round cookie cutter or simply use a knife.  Do not throw away the remains of course – you can either create different shapes (instead of rings) to make use of the apple as a whole, or simply leave remaining apple pieces for snacking later.
5) In a deep and large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat.
6) Dip the apple rings into the batter mixture, then place into the oil in batches carefully. Cook for a few minutes, flipping to brown either side.
7) Set out a plate of mixed sugar and cinnamon (and any other spices that you like) and dip the rings into the sugar mix while hot to allow the coating to stick.

Easy stuff, local ingredients, and decently healthy.  Alternatively, cut down the sugar and use spices and honey to coat.  You could also try baking on a rack over a baking sheet if you have dinner that is expected to go in the oven, so that you use your energy efficiently, and have dessert all ready to go after your meal.


Revised from:


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Land Grabbing – Not Just “Their” Problem

As Victoria wrote, the Food Security Campaign hosted a speaker event at the Sleepless Goat  on January 27. PhD candidate Andrea Collins came to share her experiences in Tanzania researching land grabs and gender issues. She spoke about how, with global population increases, land is becoming more scarce and more valuable. Multinational companies buy up huge tracts of land for development or speculation, which results in displacement and disenfranchisement of locals, particularly already marginalized women. According to Andrea, often the culprits of land grabbing are Canadian multinational corporations. What she did not discuss is how Canadians are also the victims.

As a human geography major, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about Canadian land use policies in many of my classes. In the last few decades, extensification (AKA sprawl) has been a major trend of urban and suburban development. Although not necessarily land grabbing, this trend can be have the same results when improperly executed. When a region does not have strict development policies or when policies are bypassed, developers are allowed to buy up tracts of land and use them in unsustainable or even harmful ways. Agricultural or cultural lands can be repurposed for suburban growth, mining operations, or even military purposes to the detriment of the community.

That probably sounds quite theoretical, but even very light research yields some compelling examples. Only a few weeks ago The Globe and Mail published an article about a land grabbing situation in Trenton (only an hour from Kingston). Farmer Frank Meyers has been struggling with the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton. The Base plans to “annex” 200 acres of his family’s 227 year old farm for a new headquarters.

Another article from Alternatives Journal discusses an epidemic of corporate land buying schemes in Ontario’s Greenbelt. As in the Meyers farm situation, whole traditional communities could lose their way of life through the process of corporate land acquisition and development. Just as important is the real threat land grabbing poses to food production. The Greenbelt is supposed to hold some of Canada’s best farmland. The soil is rich and deep here. Purchasing of this delicate and important land by offshore multinational corporations is therefore a threat to Onatrio food security. And as one woman in this video expresses, “it is such a contradiction to have all our farm land bought up when the local food movement is thriving”.

So it seems that land grabbing is not just an issue “over there”. Land acquisition by multinational corporations also has negative impacts on Canadian rural life and food security. The imperative for us to continue support for LOFT food efforts is clear. Thanks for your support of Oxfam thus far! We’ll keep doing what we’re doing!

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I’d Rather Taste than Waste


Making clever concoctions out of food past its prime turns me on. Don’t laugh. I love not wasting food, first because its despicable, second because it saves money, and third, because of the priceless feel of beating the system. It’s even better when its my housemates food because I didn’t even pay for that in the first place. I was the last one in my house before Reading Week, but before I left I got creative with the 5 pounds of broccoli my housies left in the fridge. Now who has enough soup to last through the next ice storm? We do. Its a matter of getting creative and refusing to throw out food just because you don’t know what to do with it. I also freeze things a lot, which some people have problems with. Just so everyone knows, you can freeze cheese, it just gets a bit more crumbly. You’re welcome.

 Did you know that in Europe (and I expect North America is much the same) over 50% of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables never make it onto a plate? We have high aesthetic standards for our produce, and a single bruise or blemish is enough to condemn an apple to the trash. Along the same lines, the reduced produce counters at grocery stores and even farmers markets is literally the best thing about food shopping. You can buy 4 mangoes for 99 cents, and there isn’t even anything wrong with them. In the winter, a bag of carrots or potatoes is only 1$ at the farmers market, because they’re been in storage since the fall. Of course, if you’re going to spend money on fresh food, the farmers market is the best place to do it, but there comes a time when everyone needs a deal. Sometimes I let a package of overripe pears convince me that I need to take them home with me. I can’t say no, especially when I also have wrinky apples begging to be put into a crisp together.

Don’t let food stress you out. If it’s not rotten, it’s probably okay to eat. Turn it into a game and see how little you can throw away. Make soup, muffins, juice, crisp, or just cook and freeze it. Look up recipes for milk and yogurt that’s gone a bit sour! Make french toast with stale bread. Bring those scalloped potatoes over to your friends house before they go bad and have a potluck. Post it on Free and for Sale. But what ever you do, don’t throw out good food.

mushroom soup (Turkish recipe)