Buying locally produced foods such as meat and poultry is better for the economy and the environment. But how do you really know where your food is from?
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Martin Vanderwood: This is something an increasing number of Ontario consumers are looking for. Launched in 2007, the homegrown Ontario logo showing a red barn and trillium makes it easy to identify meat and poultry products form Ontario. Keely Schierl knows the meat business and she knows what her customers want. Growing up, Schierl worked at the family’s small farm and meat packing plant. She now operates her own retail market in central Ontario. Keely Schierl: People are interested in where does the product come from. What has it been fed? How far did it travel to get here? These are all linked to environmental questions and we’re happy to answer them. Its just makes perfect sense today right here on Ontario. In our store we sell a lot of these standard grilling items that are wonderful for the summer. Steaks, chops, sausages, but I like to offer some other choices preferably if I can offer some Ontario fresh choices. Martin Vanderwood: She’s also quick to add that buying Ontario products creates economic benefit for Ontario farmers and retailers and because Ontario producers and processors meet strict food safety standards, consumers can be confident about the meals they serve to their families and friends. For award winning cook book editor and recipe developer David Zimmer, there’s another big reason to seek out Ontario meat and poultry David Zimmer: For me its all about taste. You just can’t beat the freshness and the flavor that you get from something that’s produced locally right here on Ontario, and were lucky right now because were in barbeque season and there’s all kinds of things you can do that add an extra element to your dishes that come from the grill. Traditionally we use sauces or glazes, and we’ve got a great one that’s home grown Ontario fig barbeque glaze. It combines the rich sweetness of figs, and the tartness and acidity of good balsamic vinegar. And it makes a great complement for, pretty well anything that goes on the grill whether it be pork, or veal, you might have turkey or some lamb chops would be fantastic with. Martin Vanderwood: You’ll find homegrown Ontario meat and poultry at many grocery stores and butcher shops around the province if you don’t see it, be sure to ask your butcher about it. For a complete list of retailers, you can visit homegrownonterio.ca. Martin Vanderwood reporting.