Easy Ways To Eat Green, All Year Long

Grocery prices are through the roof these days, but one thing we have going for us is that it’s the season of local. That means plenty of choice when it comes to produce, usually combined with more affordable price tags and a freshness that no strawberry travelling all the way from California can rival.

How to eat fresh

There’s nothing quite like visiting your local farmers’ market to pick up your favourite and freshest ingredients. Even better, visiting an outdoor market gives you a chance to learn about new-to-you fruit and veggies, or to discuss how the product was grown and harvested – often by the very person who’s standing on the other side of the table.

It’s a fun outing and a great way to support sustainability in your corner of the world.

If you need a little help finding out about local farmers’ markets in your area, check out Canadian Farmers Markets. This site is made up of a variety of farmers’ market associations across Canada and offers up lists of local markets, while encouraging integrity, authenticity, and traceability throughout Canada’s farmers’ market sector.

Options for eating fresh out of season

Canadian entrepreneurs are also looking for – and creating – innovative ways to offer fresh and affordable produce all year round. One such success story comes out of Welland, Ont., the home base of Vision Greens, a recently launched food brand that includes a variety of lettuces, arugula and basil, that average around $4 a pop. These pesticide-free, non-GMO greens are delivered to grocers soon after they’re harvested, and are available year round. How? Well, the produce is “vertically farmed” which is exactly what it sounds like – crops are grown up rather than outward in a climate and light controlled environment which uses 95 per cent less water and land than traditional methods.  

“Vertically farmed food provides us with a clean and sustainable way to eat because it requires far less land and water to produce, and is pesticide free. It also enables year-round growing in Canada, and when transported locally reduces emissions and eliminates supply chain issues,” said Mike Dixon, professor of environmental sciences and director of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility at the University of Guelph.

But, the clincher is the taste of this stuff! It’s fresh and crispy and it’ll last longer in your fridge because it didn’t spend extra weeks in transit.

“The greens are the ultimate in freshness and flavour…the basil takes me right back to Italy,” said Eron Novalski, chef and owner of Toronto’s Noce Restaurant and Aria Ristorante, who features Vision Greens’ on his menu – and who treated local media to a luncheon showcasing the product.

Check out one of his amazing recipes – a zesty summer salad.