A Picture Is Worth...Why is it Hard to Find Ontario Garlic in Ontario

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I write this from the northeast corner of Muskoka, Ontario, near the hamlet of Dorset. They grow a lot of garlic in this part of the world; the lady down the road used to sell it by the bunch and would have the entire ceiling of her shed covered in hanging garlic. just 15 miles down the road in Baysville, Big Ass Garlic produces a big-ass 8,000 pounds of it. The stuff lasts all year, but when you go into the local branch of Sobeys, a big Canadian chain, all you can chose from is from Argentina or China.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

To their credit, the Robinsons who run the Sobeys stock the local bottled stuff in their gift and specialty section. But in the real supermarket, we are trapped in the big food system where it all comes in semi-trailers from the Sobeys warehouse somewhere. We won't see a fresh local blueberry all summer unless we go to the farmers markets.

Pierre Desrochers and his kind would tell us that this is wonderful. He has written about the local food movement:

Our modern globalized food supply chain is a demonstrably superior alternative that has evolved through constant competition and ever more rigorous management efficiency.

Perhaps that's true. But it has also delivered wooden strawberries and tasteless garlic that are essentially made of fossil fuels. It's ridiculous.

Tags: Food Miles | Ontario

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