Just before Christmas I visited the St. Lawrence Market with my boyfriend and family. If you live in or around Toronto and have not gone to the St. Lawrence Market you are missing one of the absolute best things this city has to offer. Go early on a Saturday and you in for a treat. The main market is open as usual and across the street is a farmers market.
Things that you must do are:
- Go to the carousel bakery and order a peameal bacon sandwich (not any other type, just get the bun with peameal bacon on it). If you can’t handle gluten, like me, just eat the bacon inside. I don’t know what they do but its the best peameal I have ever had and I was devastated that I could no longer have the bun.
- Go downstairs and get some coffee in whatever flavour you can imagine and watch them roast it . It’s a great process and the shop smells amazing because of it.
- Go to the farmers market and find the chocolate guy, pictured below. Have a chat with him about how awesome everything he makes is… then realize he is even more awesome because he has a whole section of stuff that is gluten-free. Try the brownies, you will not be disappointed.
The farmer’s market is great and here is where health and new years-y stuff comes into play. I believe in fresh locally grown food. No, I don’t always find time to get local meat and produce but when I do I always wind up thinking I should do it more often.
I have talked before about grass-fed beef and how eating meat that was raised the way it was intended to live is important here. While I was at the Market I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Rowe, owner of Rowe farms. He grows all his meat organically and the meat from his personal farm is finished only with grass. We spoke about how important it is to feed your body well and he pointed out a few things that I hadn’t thought about such as:
- People are all excited about omega 3 eggs, where you feed the chickens flax-seed but no one thinks about the chicken meat. Why aren’t there omega 3 chickens? I know that a lot of people avoid the fatty parts of the chicken anyways, but what if the chicken had good fats like fish? Mr. Rowe explained that by feeding the chickens flax-seed, the fat became healthier and similar to what happens in grass-fed beef, the Omega 3 content is greatly improved. He has begun selling these types of chicken so if you are interested, check out one of his stores, or the St. Lawrence Market.
- Cows that are raised using the conventional farming methods require a lot less work, but a lot more input. According to Mr. Rowe it requires approximately 20 calories of input to creat 1 calorie of beef (remember that calories are a measure of energy) using today’s methods. Using the olde timey method it takes only 1/2 a calorie to produce 1 calorie of beef. I don’t know how he obtained these numbers and am merely quoting them, but I have heard similar things before, which makes me feel better about repeating it. What it does require is way more work on human’s part. He also pointed out that right now in the world there is a limited amount of food, and not enough jobs… so why don’t we create more jobs and limit to quantity of food required to make other food?
- when you take care of the animals, the animals take care of the earth. When you feed cows corn and things they can’t digest, they produce CO2 gas. But when cows have to graze on grass they actually improve the cycle and help to sequester the carbon instead of producing more… awesome.
So there you have it, more reasons to eat grass-fed or naturally raised meats!
Also, look at these beautiful veggies!