Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Other Omnivore bloggers!


Don't just take my point of view into consideration!

Read some blogs created by some fellow Chef students from my class!


- Katie

Question 1: How has Michael Pollan changed the way I think about food?

Hey All,

Sorry for the the lack of posts... other school assignments and work took priority last week.
I've decided to look into some of the assigned questions for the next few blogs, I think they will bring up some good points and possibly aid in how to be a conscious eater in Toronto.

The first question from the list is:
How has Michael Pollan changed the way I think about food?

Well I think that Michael Pollan’s book is a really great excuse to get us to start thinking about the food that we eat. 
I feel as though I was pretty aware of how food gets to my table, but I was also aware of that fact that like many, I choose to ignore certain aspects of how our food is produced. Michael Pollan’s book forced me to stop being ignorant to those aspects about the food industry and to become better educated on the food that I make for myself, and my loved ones.

Before reading the book I had wanted to start eating more organic products, mainly meats. But reading the Omnivores Dilemma has really made me seek out those organic products, and grocery stores.
In a city like Toronto we have such a wide array of stores and markets that carry organic products, right now I think that the price tag is the only thing that holds consumers back.

I can happily say that I have several organic products at home and did not have to go out of my way, or break my bank to do so.

I have organic soy milk, spinach, apples, celery, beer, crackers, pasta, rice, tea, quinoa, peanut butter, coffee, bread, oats, and meat.

I was able to obtain these products from stores and markets in my neighbourhood.

I will even break down where I was able to find these products:

  • Apples (PC brand), Spinach, Celery, Rice Crackers and oats (also PC) from No Frills at Lansdowne and Dundas 
  • Soy Milk (Silk brand), Bread (Dimpflmeier brand) from Price Chopper at Queen and Gladstone
  • Mill St. Organic Beer- From LCBO
  • Rice, Pasta, Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Tea (Numi brand), Coffee (Kicking Horse brand)- All from Strickly Bulk at Bloor and Ossington
  • Meat- From Rowe farms in Roncesvalles  
On this list there are only two specialty stores, if you keep an eye out organic products are becoming more and more prominent in Grocery Stores especially ones like No Frills that carry more alternative products.

If a student like myself can do it so can you... right!?

I will link you to some of the stores I mentioned in this blog.

Rowe Farms

Strictly Bulk

No Frills @ Lansdowne

Price Chopper

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Are Locavores that bad?

I’ve been reading over some of the suggested questions for us to consider for this project, I may not write about all of them (unless I can do it before the deadline!), but there are some questions that may start a discussion or generate feedback, I will start with those first.

A friend just shared a link to Toronto Life’s website which often has articles and other things the Magazine doesn’t feature… the link brought me to a page called the dish and titled “Locavore, shmocavore—a roundup of the new foodie backlash”

An article basically calling out foodies for preaching the local way but not having sustainable eating habits, which is the whole point behind the movement right?
It also mentions an article in The Atlantic, in which the author takes shots at food writers such as Michael Pollan… It should prove to be an interesting read.

Locavore, shmocavore- a roundup of the new foodie backlash

Thanks Suzi for the link!

Portlandia: Is It Local?

Since high school I've been obsessed with Portland Oregon, I loved bands from Portland, I read books about Portland, and have day dreamed of the day I get to go...
It’s a city that involves everything that could possibly interest me, music, art, wine, coffee, nature, food. So when I discovered there was a new show that's based on Portland I was already on board.
The show pokes fun at all the characters of Portland, and stars SNL's Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of the late band Sleater-Kinney.
Clearly this sketch is an exaggeration, but this is happening now in restaurants foodies want the life story behind their chicken. It is totally reasonable of customers to want to know about their food... so is this what is in store for restaurants now?
I mean even KFC is advertising that they have grain fed Canadian chicken.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma

ok the last video for those of you who may not want to read the book...

this is a rather long video but its great lecture that revolves around the book.

Oprah 1 week vegan challenge complete show - pt. 1 of 3 - Feb 1, 2011

Link to Oprah's website for the video

Even Oprah loves Michael!

And if my brief period of working at Chapters has taught me anything... whenever Oprah whispers that she likes something the whole world follows... well maybe at least all the middle aged women who loyally watch her.

This clip is great it promotes veganism which is as he says a cool idea, but I like how he plays the devils advocate.

Be a conscious eater.

Food Inc - Official Trailer [HD]

This is a great documentary, Michael Pollan makes an appearance to talk about the industrial corn industry.

I highly recommend it and again if you're not into reading the book its another way to learn about what we eat and the impact.

The Book

The Omnivore's Dilemma 
By Michael Pollan

Here is the assigned book.

There are also some Children's and Youth editions if you want to share with your family.

The book brings attention to the common household question  "What should we have for dinner"? Michael Pollan uses this question to reflect on how our society is  almost schizophrenic with their answer. Eating take-out one night, organic the next, eating an all vegan diet, or all protein, even perhaps hunting and growing our own food. Our society basis its diet for the most part on what’s trendy.

The omnivores dilemma touches on all of these trends but its main focus is not what to eat for dinner but how your dinner got to your table. To find out Michael Pollan examines each one of the food chains that sustain us, these chains include industrial, organic, and food we hunt or grow ourselves. He follows the source right to our table.

This book takes a deep look into the American way of eating and how we need, no HAVE to be aware of the impact we have or can make by being aware of our food and where it comes from.

Michael Pollan breaks this book into three sections or parts, the first being corn, the second Grass, and the third is the Forrest.

My projects section is the Forrest in which he talks a lot about the process of hunting, gathering, and growing his own food.

As I've mentioned the local food movement is getting more and more popular in Toronto, thankfully books like this are helping in this popularity. I would like to look more into this movement, and others like the 100-mile diet, and L.E.A.F certification.

If you haven't read this book already I strongly suggest it. It is more academically written and sometimes can get a little dry but what you can learn completely makes it worthwhile. 


If you're not a reader there are many documentaries, lectures, and interviews that Michael Pollan does available.

I will post some links and videos for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Purpose of this blog

Hi All,

The reason for creating this blog is to discuss the last section (The Forest) of Michael Pollen’s book "The Omnivore's Dilemma"...

This is first off an assigned project, and its purpose is to assist our group in contributing to discussions/questions/or opinions about the book... but who knows where this project or this blog may take us.

The third part of this book talks a lot about Michael Pollan's experience of hunting and gathering the food for his own table. This got me to thinking about how the local food movement is becoming more and more prominent in Toronto.

I think I've found my topic!

Oh and no longer does this blog belong to a group, it is now my own.

I encourage any readers I may acquire to start discussions, as questions and partake in this topic as much as they want.

I'm much more excited to be doing this project on my own, I have much more flexibility in what to share and discuss, and way less trouble trying to get group members to post here.


I will start with a introduction of myself...


I'm Katie; I am a 23-year-old second semester chef training student at George Brown College.

This blog is the product of an assignment for my Food Theory Class; hopefully this will keep going after the project is complete.

Chef Training is the second program I've attended at George Brown, the first being Food and Beverage Management. I actually purchased this book while in my first program and had read half of it... Now I have an excuse to finish it.

I am in school part time, and spend the rest of my time managing a restaurant on Queen West.

I am a lover of food, wine, and coffee.

I try hard to eat local and organic (alas being a student makes that a little hard).

I am a tough critic, and hard to please.

I make a fairly good effort to try as many restaurants in the city, if not my own neighborhood.

I hope that I can incorporate these qualities/values/stories into this project. Scratch that I plan to.

As a first time blogger, I hope you enjoy your read, and feel free to give me any feed back on where I can improve.