2018 has been a mammoth rollercoaster of a year, with high ups and very low downs. I remember last year at this time, I was filled with optimism for what I thought was going to be a vibrant 2018. It didn’t quite turn out the way I expected.

The rollercoaster started with an unexpected low, and all my energies were needed elsewhere. As the year progressed though, I found 2018 was also a time where I was offered the most opportunity to learn and grow and rebuild.

Posing on stage at #GrowCanada18 in Ottawa

The story from farm to table

Early in the year, I was invited to attend the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s annual convention in Vancouver. Fruit and vegetable growers and suppliers from around the world were brought together under one roof to share the best and brightest from the produce industry. I was hosted by the people at Half Your Plate and had the chance to learn and share about the work that goes into stocking our grocery shelves. Boy, is it a lot of work!

The opportunities didn’t end there though. During the year I attended events where I was able to focus my love for truth and transparency to delve deeper into where our food comes from and THE WORK that goes into making sure our families – yours and mine – are able to make the right (for us) choice.

Have you ever visited a farm with your kids? Put that on your 2019 list of resolutions? You’ll leave with a new appreciation for the food we eat, and the people who grow it.

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
Posing in an apple orchard – the bounty of nature courtesy Ontario Apple Growers

The learning experiences continued with the support of companies and associations that I collaborated with. Like Ontario Apple Growers who invited me to visit apple farms in Ontario and experience first-hand the story behind the ever-present grocery bag of apples.

And then last month was the cherry on the sundae. When is the last time you had a sundae? If you can’t remember put that on your 2019 list of resolutions as well.

Grow Canada 18 with #CanolaConnect

I was invited by Canola Eat Well for Life to attend the Grow Canada Agriculture Conference in Ottawa. It was here that I met with farmers and media, scientists and people in the food industry to discuss ways to improve agriculture and the food we cook and serve our families every day.

The team that hosted me, Canola Eat Well For Life, is an education and marketing organization that brings food professionals together and connects them with Canola farmers around Canada. What a great initiative to help raise awareness for this very Canadian crop.

The #CanolaConnect community – I’m right there in the middle. Photo courtesy: Crop Life, Canada

Truth vs. Trust Dilemma

In the last few years spent writing about food, the biggest struggle I’ve faced is finding trustworthy sources of information. What I write is always derived from my personal experience, my family’s knowledge or based on scientific research. Sometimes its a combination of all 3. Searching anything on Google, on the other hand, is a quagmire. Separating fact-based information from the crazy fads is tough especially when the crazy often sounds “right.”

Humans are wired to feel first and think second. And when those feelings are around food and how we raise our kids, it’s easy to hit the roof. I see this every day on social media. You know what else I see on social media – made-up fake news.

There is a Problem With the perception of Food

We live in a time where we have the most trustworthy and dependable food system ever, but as the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity found out in their research recently, the public’s trust in food is the lowest level it’s ever been. There’s so much false information that people don’t trust what they hear from farmers, scientists and researchers anymore. We have a big problem when we don’t trust experts who are sharing the truth. This needs to change.

If you want a revolution, you have to create it. You have to even be ready to lead it.

– Ron Tite at #GrowCanada 18,

2018 was a year filled with opportunity to learn and share about food that tastes good and that’s good for us. I started on this journey to share real food made with real ingredients and big flavours. In 2019 I will continue that momentum. I am looking forward to going behind the scenes of the food we enjoy so much and share what we need to know about making healthy balanced choices for our families.

There is a place for both truth and trust, and it is here.

What are your biggest concerns around food?

Share here or on social media. Let’s have the conversation that is top of our minds.