Ethical Eats

Brought to you by Oxfam @ Queen's


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Midterms got you down?

I have spent a lot of time in Stauffer this last week. Like, a lot of time. And I’m sure I’m not the only one because every time I go, there are the same old people puttering away around me. It feels almost as though I’ve become friends with some of you by simple observation. Like this one guy who studies for a while then picks up a newspaper. I’m not sure if you’re reading world events or the comics. Either way, we have really good conversations about these things in my head. Like that Mallard Fillmore comic on Wednesday? What a scorcher. You know whats up, newspaper guy.

All that is to prove Stauffer is driving me insane. I’m in a downward spiral and nothing can save me…….. except perhaps some LOFT goodies.

What? Where, when, HOW? Good questions. If, like me, library living is not the life you long for, have no fear because Oxfam is here! On Tuesday and Wednesday the Food Security Squad will be handing out some LOFT yum-yums in Stauffer to help you power through the midterm blues.

I’m confident that you will LOVE the LOFT, so I’m posting the recipes below. If at any point during your midterm season Buzzfeed articles like “The 27 Most ’00s Photos Of Celebrities In Existence” (yup, that’s for real) just aren’t cutting it procrastination-wise, try making one of these recipes! We got all our LOFT ingredients (like organic flour, fair trade cocoa, and local eggs) from Oxfam’s Fair Trade booth and Tara’s.

http://whatsgabycooking.com/chocolate-dipped-meringues/#.Uw4TJJ2Eiig

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/08/30/flourless-chocolate-chip-cookies/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/top-secret-chocolate-cookies-recipe.html

http://www.inspiredtaste.net/23801/no-fail-blondies-recipe/

Good luck on midterms, may the odds be ever in your favour. Also, may these goodies be forever your favourite flavour.

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Event Recap: Behind the Brands Petition at Queen’s

Last week Oxfam @ Queen’s hosted an advocacy event at the corner of U&U to raise awareness about Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign, collect signatures for a petition, and most importantly: give out chocolate! (It wouldn’t be a Food Security campaign event without some delicious eats!)

Petitioning at U&U!

Petitioning at U&U!

For those that don’t know, Behind the Brands is a global Oxfam campaign that challenges the ten biggest global food brands to improve their business practices relating to seven issues.

The brands: Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars, PepsiCo, Mondalēz, General Mills, Kelloggs, and Associated British Foods.

The issues: land, women, farmers, workers, climate, transparency, and water.

The latest Behind the Brands campaign focuses on land grabs and sugar. Specifically, Oxfam is asking Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and ABF to make sure that the sugar they buy doesn’t lead to land grabs. In order to apply positive pressure to the three biggest sugar-buyers in the world, Oxfam has been collecting signatures over the past month-and-a-half, with a goal of 275 000 signatures. With 251 850 signatures so far, the petition is generating waves in the industry. Coca-Cola has already committed to a zero-tolerance policy for land grabs!

We had a goal of collecting 200 signatures in four hours, and surpassed that goal with 209 signatures! Exceeding our goal was impressive, but we were even happier with the conversations that we had with the students who took the time to sign the petition. You tend to get a lot of blank looks when you talk about an issue like land grabs, but people were genuinely interested in learning more about the topic. We got a lot of great questions about the campaign, land rights, and Oxfam!

Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the wind and cold and came out to hold a poster, give out chocolate, or collect signatures for the petition. Your enthusiasm made the day go by faster!

For more information about Oxfam and Behind the Brands, visit http://www.behindthebrands.org. And sign the petition if you haven’t already done so!

– Hannah Shirtliff


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Certified Local Sustainable

The L in LOFT is not always easily accomplished and can get even more complicated when you add sustainability to the mix.

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Local Food Plus (LFP) is a Canadian non-profit aiming to educate consumers, producers, and distributors about the benefits (and standards) of local and sustainable foods. LFP developed criteria to certify local sustainable foods so that consumers know, and understand, exactly what they’re purchasing.

The definition of local is often ambiguous ranging from 100km radius to within a province or group of provinces. Likewise, sustainable is overwhelmed with limitless conditions. LFP seeks to amalgamate the two concepts identifying local sustainable food as:

  • being grown or caught, processed, and marketed locally
  • financially viable for all stakeholders (not just chain retailers/distributors)
  • ecologically responsible
  • meat from producers who treat animals with respect and without reliance on artificial hormones or drugs
  • socially responsible workplaces (fair wages, fair treatment)
  • energy conservation (low reliance on fossil fuels)
  • water conservation (low water waste)
  • stewards of the environment (biodiversity and protecting wildlife)
  • helping to grow a resilient food system

The LFP label is subject to independent third party expert inspections. And unlike organic labelling systems, LFP does not charge farmers for the entire cost of certification but charges a minimal fee while the rest of the expenses are paid through LFP fundraising (reducing the burden on small-hold farmers).

LFP got its start on the University of Toronto campus proving that the differences students make in their community can extend to the entire food system.

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– Angela


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Growing an Indoor Garden

Fun-Indoor-Herb-Garden-Pots

As students we may not have a large enough backyard to cultivate an at-home garden but that shouldn’t stop us from growing our own food! Indoor herb gardens are an easy and fun way to get creative this spring.

What you’ll need:

-A window sill (or just a window with sunlight)
-A planter (feel free to decorate it to make it your own — but make sure it has drainage holes)
-Herb seeds (which sometimes come with starter-kits to help you out!)
-Or even already grown plants you can buy at the grocery store (but make sure you inspect the plant before you buy it)

What to do:

  1. Fill your planter with your favourite herb seeds (or pre-grown herb) in a bed of quality potting soil.
  2. Place planter by a window where it will get lots of natural sunlight (it’ll need 6 hours a day) but not too hot in the afternoon.
  3. Water the herb occasionally to keep the soil moist.

Some tips to keep you going:

– give your plants plenty of room — don’t overcrowd your pots with too many seeds or multiple herb plants being grown too close together
– water regularly but make sure the water drains through the entire pot to avoid rotting roots
– rotate the planter on occasion to distribute the sun evenly
– most herbs like moderate to poor soil so fertilizer is not always necessary (also better for the environment!)
– let the plan reach about 15cm before harvesting leaves — and only ever take about a quarter or less of the plant at a time — but clip regularly to promote growth

Easy herb suggestions to start you off:

  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Basil — tip: prefer to be watered more frequently than most herbs
  • Rosemary — tip: prefer to be drier than most herbs
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Mint

Your indoor herb garden is ready to go! Fresh herbs while cooking will make all the difference in your meals. And who wouldn’t want to brag about growing what they’re serving.

-Angela


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The Beauty of Fresh Bread

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Upon sitting down to write today, I have been inspired by the meal that currently sits in front of me, begging to be eaten.  Yesterday, as I was strolling by the farmer’s market that sets up every Wednesday in front of the John Deutsch University Centre at Queen’s University, I decided to treat myself to a loaf of Wolfe Island Bakery “Whole Wheat Red River Bread.”  This is a well-known treasure of the local Kingston bakery that is located at 311 Queen Street.  As I sat through my class this morning, all I could think about was when and how I was going to get back to my red river bread, with its fresh, fluffy texture (so fresh, having spent so little time travelling from the bakery, that upon sitting out on a cold spring day its moisture fogged up the bag).  And now it sits before me – two slices toasted and buttered.  So simple – containing only whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, cracked rye, flax seed, sugar, yeast, and salt – and so real (however, the delicately rich taste is actually quite “unreal”).  The ingredients are not the only things that are real about this bread.  What is especially significant to local food culture is that the people are real.  In purchasing this bread, I interacted with an actual person who works in the actual bakery where this bread was made.  In handing over a well spent $5.00, I knew that I was supporting this community member as well as a bakery in Kingston that in turn supports even more community members.  So combine the unreal taste of a fresh loaf of red river bread and the very real exchange between community members and you have a little slice of heaven.  This is the simple pleasure of being able to consume local food that is produced, sold, and bought with care.

-Kathleen


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A Different Kind of Shopping

Picture this:

It’s September. Your classes are done for the day, and you’re strolling down a beautiful street amid old brick buildings. As you pass by the neat shops that line the street, you see an idyllic sight ahead of you. Bright colors and sounds  overwhelm your senses. As you approach, the reason for the crowds of people becomes clear. Heaps of fresh lettuce, carrots, and sweet corn are piled beside baskets of  apples and blueberries. Homemade butter tarts and maple syrup jostle with  fresh pressed apple cider for your attention. The delicious aroma of fresh bread mingles with the scent of fresh-cut flowers. ‘Am I dreaming?’ you ask yourself happily. ‘I’ll never need to shop anywhere else!’

Does this sound amazing? You’re in luck, because I’m describing none other than Kingston Public Market. It’s located a ten minute walk downtown from Queen’s University. You can visit it every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Springer Market Square right behind City Hall, from April through November. Not only is this market a treasure trove of delicious local food, at 212 years old, it is also Ontario’s oldest market! The market  has been providing healthy food and a sense of community to  Kingston residents since 1801. Isn’t about time we  joined the trend?

April’s coming up, so when you need a  break from studying, head on down to check out the Kingston Public Market. Not only will you be buying healthy, high quality food directly from  local farmers and artisans, but you’ll be enjoying a taste experience like none another. In addition, you’ll get to avoid the unnecessary cost that come with processed food from a grocery chain. Metro may be closer, but if you give it a try, you’ll soon find that nothing compares to the satisfaction you will get from market shopping.

http://www.kingstonpublicmarket.ca/

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Being a Vegetarian (or Flexitarian) in Residence: Part Two

So, what can you eat that’s healthy, appetizing, and filling?

– Every cafeteria at Queen’s has a vegetarian and/or vegan station, and the food is usually better because they prepare it in smaller quantities!

– You can usually find vegetarian food at other food stations – just ask!

– Ban Righ and West Campus always have tofu available as a stir-fry option

– Salads in Leonard! Grab a plate from the pizza station and fill it up with lettuce and veggies, then add tofu or beans for protein

– Leonard Cafeteria’s pre-made salad bar often features yummy, high-protein vegetarian options

– The pizza station often serves whole-wheat no-cheese or vegetarian pizza, but it’s not usually listed on the menus near the door

– When nothing seems appealing, or you want a quick snack, have a banana with peanut butter

– Hummus is a great dip for whole-wheat pita bread or vegetables, and it’s a great source of protein

– Cottage cheese is available at every meal, and it’s high in protein and calcium. Try it with fruit at breakfast or as a salad topper at lunch and dinner!

What to Avoid

– The key to good nutrition is variety, so make sure that you don’t end up eating the exact same thing for lunch and supper every day!

– Make sure that carbohydrate-based foods like bread and pasta don’t make up the basis of your meal

–  Cheese is a great source of nutrients, but use it sparingly because of its high fat content

Where are your favourite places to get vegetarian food on campus?  

– Hannah