Food politics

My Whole Food Plant-Based Guide. A Nutrition Education Tool.

I’m thrilled to be promoting my newly released Whole Food Plant-Based Guide this month, created in collaboration with Montreal-based illustrator Laucolo. Designed to encourage healthy cooking at home, to inspire people to explore a wide variety of colorful foods, and to serve as an alternative to the conventional food guide. Frame it or tack it on your fridge – a visually engaging education tool for everyone to enjoy!

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Rocky Montana. Tribute to a Montreal Food Institution. 1991-2016.

For 25 years, Rocky Montana has been a fixture on Sherbrooke Street West, in Montreal’s N.D.G, but sadly, they are closing their doors this month. Owned and run by Ramesh Velauthapillai aka Ramesh, and his wife, Rocky Montana was a special food shop that supported the local community. Committed to offering the lowest prices possible, Ramesh provided healthy fresh food, including plenty of organic items, to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds in the city. News of Rocky’s shutting hit close to home, as I had frequented the grocery store for many years, having grown up just a few blocks away. I have fond memories of shopping there with my mother, listening to the colourful Sri Lankan music they played, and enjoying the Buddhist art on the walls. After learning that they were closing, I went to visit Ramesh at the store, for the last time, to get the backstory from him directly.

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Plant-Based Nutrition Presentation. May Market. Montreal.

Grateful for the opportunity to be participating at the Marché de mai // May Market! I’ll be discussing a whole-food, plant-based diet and its benefits on human health and the environment. There will be a Q&A period after the presentation, so I welcome you to join the conversation! Taking place on Saturday May 14th between 1:00 pm and 2:15pm, at Esplanade: 6750, avenue de l’Espanade, #102, in Montreal’s Mile-Ex.

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Farm Red Orach. A Small Organic Vegetable Farm. Just outside of Montreal.

Red Orach Farm is a 2-Acre organic vegetable farm located one-hour outside of Montreal. Run by my friend, farmer Nick Kuepfer, and owned by Kiva Stimac and Mauro Pezzente, of Montreal’s fantastic restaurants/venues Casa Del Popolo, La Sala Rossa, La Vitrola, and Popolo press. Nick grows a variety of organic heirloom vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms, providing a number of the city’s chefs with high quality produce. He also offers an annual CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture), delivering Farmers’ baskets to your door each week, from June to August. I had the pleasure of spending a day at Farm Red Orach, and learned a great deal about sustainable agriculture. In conjunction with my visit, I interviewed Nick about his personal experience being a small-scale organic farmer in Quebec, and am happy to share these insights with you!

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A Plant-Based Diet: Healthy & Environmentally Sustainable.

One of the most powerful & positive things we can do to improve our environment, is to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet. This does not necessarily mean vegan/vegetarian, it means eating mostly plants and less animal products. This dietary approach not only benefits human health, but is also much less exhaustive of precious natural […]

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Alvéole. Urban Beekeeping & Honey Company. Montreal.

Alvéole is a young and inspiring Montreal-based Company, founded and run by my friends Alex McLean, Declan Rankin Jardin, and Etienne Lapierre. These passionate and hardworking entrepreneurs are committed to supporting the plight of the bees, by educating people about the important practice of small-scale, sustainable beekeeping. Alvéole’s primary service is setting up home hives, either on the roof, the balcony or in the yard, providing people with the opportunity to produce their own natural honey, while supporting the local honeybee population. The team offers ongoing guidance to beehive owners, and pay regular visits to the hives, to ensure that the bees are in good health. Come Fall, the team extracts the organic honey from each hive, about 10kg worth, which can be enjoyed and shared with friends and family. This experience of caring for a hive allows people to connect with nature, and appreciate the amazing world of honeybees!

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D.A.D’s Bagels. Food Institution & Community. Montreal.

D.A.D.’s Bagels has been an institution in the Montreal neighborhood of NDG for 20 years. Sadly, this independent family business shut its doors last week, as they were not able to continue their lease. The owner of the building gave the lease to Dollarama, located next door, for further expansion. D.A.D.’s may have been a small business, but it had a big impact on the community it served. Owned and run by Kashmire Singh Randhawa and his lovely wife Kuldeep, D.A.D.’s was famous for it’s classic Montreal style handmade wood-fired baked bagels. While St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel are the most well known bagel bakeries in the Mile-End neighbourhood, D.A.D.’s was NDG’s equivalent. What made D.A.D.’s special however, was the traditional Indian cooking that Kuldeep prepared and sold at the bakery. This mixed blend of food cultures was a microcosm of the neighborhood that supported D.A.D.’s and of Montreal itself, a diverse city that is home to many different ethnicities.

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Maïs. Restaurant & Urban Rooftop Garden. Montreal.

Restaurant Maïs is a 2-year old Mexican style restaurant in Montreal’s Mile-End, run by chefs & co-proprietors Will Cody, Gil Macnutt, and Dave Schmidt. Maïs is a special and unique restaurant in that is has it’s own rooftop garden, from which some of their summer produce is derived. When I learned about Maïs’ food growing project, I was inspired to visit the urban garden and document the activity! My friend Will Cody, the head grower at Maïs’ garden, generously agreed to let me shadow him around the rooftop over the last few months, to observe the gradual growth of his edible plants.

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The Urban Garden Daycare. Food Education. Montreal.

Garderie le Jardin Urbain aka the Urban Garden Daycare is a unique and inspiring model of childhood education, based in Montreal’s Little Italy. Founded and run by my friends Danny Guarino & Karina Smith, partners in life and work, the team started the daycare two years ago, when they had their own first child. Danny, a chef and Karina an English teacher, have combined their skills and passions to create this special, educational environment for kids. I had the pleasure of visiting the Urban Garden Daycare and was energized and encouraged by this positive experience!

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