Menu Trending, the Truth on Who Decides What We Eat

Remember when menu trending buzzwords like low-fat and low-calorie, sugar-free was everywhere?  Found on menu’s to granola bars and chocolate chip cookies. These menu trend buzzwords were synonymous with healthy living. Then it began to gradually take on another meaning. Consumers were becoming educated on what they were consuming. Sugar- free is just another word for aspartame, an artificial sweetener gaining increasing evidence of being a serious health risk. One ingredient found in aspartame is methanol, which is a chemical used to make antifreeze.

Today’s Menu Trending Buzzwords

Ingredient/
  Term
Penetration Growth
Gluten 3.2% 72.5%
Grass-Fed 1.2% 43.8%
Quinoa 1.9% 30.3%
Farro 1.2% 30.3%
Vegan 2.9% 19%
All Natural 4.3% 15.4%
Local 6.7% 8.3%
Organic 9.2% 6.4%
Whole Wheat 15.3% 6.1%
Diet 1.5% 1.3%
Fat Free 6.3% 0.2%

source: http://www.datassentialsurveys.com/mtd/newsletter/2012/130/index.html

Gluten is making a huge headway, which up until 5 years ago no one knew about.  For some of us it is a medical condition, for others they believe it’s a path to a healthier lifestyle

Although consumers, myself included, may not know what the labels truly mean just yet, we understand the general implication, food that is better for us.  Or is it? Are we falling for another marketing ploy or are there substantial benefits to eating organic, gluten-free, grass-fed versus the conventional produce.

I found out a local Vancouver chef, only imports organic produce within Canada, asserting that the USDA organics label is worth shit. What the hell, what have I been eating the past few months, paying double for organic produce?

In the next few weeks I will be launching a Food Series: Demystifying Our Food. Along with Hello Vancity,  we will be on a mission to uncover the truth behind what we are consuming.

What does organic exactly mean and does it justify their prices? Since when has the label “organic” changed to “all natural” and why?  Farmed versus Wild, Grass fed versus Grain fed, Fair Trade isn’t as fair as we like to think. In the next few weeks I and a team of bloggers will be featuring local farmers, chefs and businesses around Vancouver, BC.  Stay tuned.

Edible Canada – Seasonal and Local Ingredients

Granville Island is one of my favourite neighborhoods in Vancouver. There is so much culture, travelers and of course fresh and local produce.

I can’t believe I haven’t written about Edible Canada, I’ve been there so many times! This may be slightly overdue but, I promise it will be good.

They have a little gourmet snack and spread section at the back of the store carrying an array of delicious candies, spreads and, more sweets. The layout reminds me of Manzo at Eately in New York

The patio wraps around from the front to the side. As much as I love patio’s be wary of sitting close to the flower beds during bug season. There was a huge clusters of flies, not so appetizing. I always ask for a table inside. I’ll tell you about the horrific bug experience at Minami’s patio another time. I must warn you, it was so disturbingly graphic that I downed two shots of vodka to make me forget and that is saying something, I’m not usually a shots kinda girl. No really, not lying, I can hear you skeptics.

Edible Canada features a mix of local seasonal produce and seafood.

I just love it when I snap pics and you catch people discreetly checking each other out. In her case she had bug eyes and a smirk, not so discreet. I wonder if she got the guy?

Started with Togarashi Rice cracker crusted wild albacore tuna, warm fingerling potatoes, peas, kale, wild mushrooms $15. This was refreshingly pleasant on the palette. The dish was simply flavored, which allowed the quality of the ingredients to come through. 4/5

Togarashi Rice cracker crusted wild albacore tuna
Togarashi Rice cracker crusted wild albacore tuna

Sloping Hills Pork Duo, Slik spice crusted grilled 8oz pork chop, braised pork belly, hot & sour vinaigrette $24. A huge dish, the braised pork belly was so tender and flavourful. The grilled pork chop was a little over cooked making the meat a chewy. 3.5/5

Sloping Hills Pork Duo
Sloping Hills Pork Duo

PEACE COUNTRY BRAISED LAMB PASTA, rigatoni, wild mushrooms, peas, sorrel. $22 Lamb pasta was yummy, our favourite dish of our meal. 4.5/5

PEACE COUNTRY BRAISED LAMB PASTA

PEACE COUNTRY BRAISED LAMB PASTA

KASU & BIRCH SYRUP SABLEFISH, fava beans, asparagus, peas, northern beans, Swiss chard $26. Sable fish was silky smooth. I would definitely re-order this dish 4/5

KASU & BIRCH SYRUP SABLEFISH
KASU & BIRCH SYRUP SABLEFISH

LOIS LAKE STEELHEAD SALMON local Dungeness Crab croquette, wild salmon caviar, smoked tomato vinaigrette. We ordered this because they had crab croquettes. Apparently, it was very delicious I didn’t even get a chance to try it. I did try the salmon, which was very fresh 3.5/5

LOIS LAKE STEELHEAD SALMON
LOIS LAKE STEELHEAD SALMON

I’ve been back a few times already and the food has been fairly consistent. The service was a slow, it took 10 minutes to get our water refills.

Edible Canada at the Market on Urbanspoon