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The Locavore Spirit

By on August 28, 2013

While the Hundred-Mile Diet may have started as an intellectual challenge for environmental activists and foodies, the idea has caught on in a big way.

According to the third annual BMO Food Survey of consumers’ grocery patterns, most Canadians check where products originate when they shop for groceries. An overwhelming majority – 98 per cent – say that their shopping cart contains at least one local item some of the time, with some shoppers estimating that they frequently or always do so. Province by province, shopping patterns reflect the individual nature of the geographical area. Not surprisingly, beef is big in Alberta, while the Quebecois proudly serve and enjoy their bread and cheese. British Columbians are keen on their produce. On the east coast, residents enjoy fresh seafood and Ontario residents take advantage of the excellent quality of wines from the Niagara region.


What does this mean for you?

This is a bandwagon you can hop on both personally and professionally. Individual choices that you make for yourself and your family may feel more powerful knowing you are part of a large group of Canadians. If you plan a conference in any of these areas, remember to showcase local fare during meals. Participants will appreciate it. Not only will the freshness and quality be superior, but everyone is beginning to understand the importance of bolstering the local economy, supporting farmers and creating jobs. Furthermore, your clients may respond positively to green suggestions such as meetings where lunches are not only paperless, but also feature local goods. The Planner has long supported and published efforts in this regard, from rooftop gardens to local sourcing. Every little bit counts.


Marilyn Lazar is an independent writer; after graduating from Concordia University in communication studies, she continued her education in travel writing at Ryerson University Toronto and Mediabistro in New York. Marilyn can be reached at,


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