Ontario Celebrates Food Day Canada

Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, issued the following statement on tomorrow’s Food Day Canada:

Ontario is home to an incredible group of hardworking farmers across 49,600 farms producing over 200 nutritious and delicious food items for our province, our country and the world. On Food Day Canada, I want to recognize and thank our farmers, food processors and researchers who feed and nourish us every day while making Ontario’s agri-food sector a global leader.

We know good things grow in Ontario and this all starts with the bright minds at the forefront of exciting agricultural and food innovation in the province.

My ministry’s long-time partnership with the University of Guelph, known as the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, has produced remarkable discoveries in science, technology and even entirely new foods.

Whether baked or boiled, the delicious and versatile Yukon Gold potato variety was developed in 1966 right at the University of Guelph. Researcher Gary Johnson created the potato to appeal to the emerging preference for yellow-fleshed potatoes.

The constant change in consumer tastes creates exciting opportunities for researchers to innovate. Brothers Erik and Francis Lo, also at the University of Guelph, are the minds behind Yoso, a vegan yogurt made with organic soybeans grown in southwestern Ontario. University of Guelph researchers have also introduced the world to DHA and omega-3 enriched milk and omega-3 eggs.

Ontario is known around the world for producing high-quality staples everyone enjoys — milk, eggs, potatoes and more. But Ontario also produces the most diverse foods across Canada, including hazelnuts, bok choy, quinoa and even crickets!

Last month, I was honoured to present our inaugural Excellence in Agriculture Award to Entomo Farms, in Norwood, which harvests sustainable and protein-rich crickets to make food for people, pets and livestock around the world.

In Turkey, 80 per cent of the world’s supply of hazelnuts are grown. But when Ferrero — the maker of Nutella and the largest purchaser of hazelnuts in the world — opened a plant in Brantford in 2006, this launched a huge opportunity to increase hazelnut production right here in Ontario.

I invite all Ontarians to pick up the many delicious foods produced in the province (there are more than 200!) not just today, but every day.

Ontario food, and the Ontarians who make it, are all worth celebrating. Happy Food Day Canada!

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