In a bid to reduce food waste, a parliamentary committee is recommending the federal government look into the impacts of eliminating “best-before” dates on groceries.
The House of Commons agriculture committee — which undertook a four-month look at rising food prices in Canada and how to address the issue — is recommending the government work with the provinces and territories to investigate the impacts of scrapping best-before dates.
The suggestion is one of 13 recommendations in a new non-binding report by the committee, which comes amid heightened political attention on the rising cost of groceries. Food prices have been increasing at their fastest rate in more than 40 years.
Lori Nickel, the CEO of Second Harvest Canada, said getting rid of best-before dates on groceries is one of her three top recommendations for what the government could do to prevent food waste.
“Best-before dates are wildly misunderstood. They are not expiry dates,” Nickel told the committee in March. “They refer to a product’s peak freshness. While Canadians struggle to put food on the table, they are also convinced that the best-before dates are about safety and will throw away perfectly good food to protect themselves and their families.”
“Eliminating best-before dates would prevent safe, consumable food from being thrown out and save Canadians money on their grocery bills,” she added.
Nickel said some other countries have already started experimenting with eliminating best-before dates, including the UK and Australia.
“Of course, (the Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has to be involved to make sure that we’re not ever making any food unsafe, but when you see a best-before date on water, coffee or a can that’s good for two years , people think that’s garbage, and they throw it away,” she said. “They could be eating it.”
Nickel also told the committee she’d recommend bringing back a surplus food rescue program and emergency food security funding “while we work on longer-term, systemic policies.”
“There has to be something in between,” she said. “We’re triaging; all these charities are triaged.”
A study last summer from researchers at Dalhousie University, in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute, found most Canadians prefer to keep the best-before dates, even if getting rid of them could spell a reduction in food waste, while only 27 per cent of respondents said they agreed with doing away with the labels.
The agriculture committee report also recommends introducing a windfall tax on large grocery chains if the Competition Bureau finds, which the independent agency did conclude in its recently published report.
The agriculture committee heard form 58 witnesses on the subject of rising food costs in Canada, over a four-month period, ahead of the release of its non-binding report.
With files from CTVNews.ca’s Noushin Ziafati and Melissa Lopez-Martinez
Nutricia North America is recalling 94 cans of TYR Anamix Early Years infant formula because the product contains undeclared tyrosine, a nonessential amino acid.
According to the details published online by the FDA, the recall was initiated on May 17, 2023 and is ongoing.
The recalled products were distributed in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Puerto Rican.
Net Wt. 14.1oz (400g)
The product is a powder packed metal can. 6 cans per case.
Expiration date: 03/30/2024
Batch/lot code 101175408
Case EAN code: 749735102183
Vendor product code: 90218
Anyone who purchased the recalled product should immediately dispose of it and not consume it.
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It’s rare that you’ll ever find someone complaining about free food, but residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood are completely fed up with the unsolicited, free Uber Eats deliveries they’ve received from McDonald’s and other restaurants.
According to reports from the Los Angeles Times and PEOPLEresidents of Range View Avenue in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles are perplexed and annoyed following months of random Uber Eats deliveries.
Although orders have included everything from Starbucks iced matcha tea lattes to bottles of water, McDonald’s seems to be a favorite among the person (or persons) behind the delivery debacle. While it’s typically hard to resist the allure of Mickey D’s irresistibly savory fries, one woman received three deliveries of just a single order of McDonald’s fries.
Another resident, who revealed that they once received 13 orders over a two-day span, told Los Angeles’ KTLA 5 that the deliveries were “half funny and half really annoying.”
So far there are no leads on who is exactly behind the anonymous deliveries, but residents have thrown around everything from Uber Eats promotions to credit card fraud.
“I think it’s low-grade criminals trying to scam credit cards and see if they work,” Richie Kulchar, a resident who has received numerous deliveries, told KTLA 5.
Uber is currently aware of the deliveries and is investigating the matter.
“The reports of unsolicited deliveries are concerning. We have banned accounts related to recent orders in Highland Park and continue to take action. Uber has a dedicated public safety team that is standing by to work with the police,” the company revealed.
Weekend Editor/Contributing Writer
Danielle Harling is an Atlanta-based freelance writer with a love for colorfully designed spaces, craft cocktails and online window shopping (usually for budget-shattering designer heels). Her past work has appeared on Fodor’s, Forbes, MyDomaine, Architectural Digest and more.
The petition to the FDA, signed by the Environmental Working Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Center for Food Safety and Center for Environmental Health, is urging the agency to revoke the chemicals’ approval and engage in the most recent studies of the compound.
The 36-page document notes that titanium dioxide’s approval was based on the belief that the compound is not absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and does not accumulate in the body, but recent research has found that is not the case.
“We now know that very small particles can pass through the gastrointestinal tract and accumulate in the human body, something that the agency did not know or consider in 1973,” the letter states, adding that the risks posed by nanoparticles have become “substantially clearer .”
The current research indicates that the chemical is likely a neurotoxin and immunotoxin, and can damage genes and cause birth defects as it moves through the bloodstream and settles into organs. Previously, it was believed that the particles were quickly excreted, but now it is understood that nanoparticles can remain in the body for years and accumulate.
“A chemical that builds up in the body and could harm the immune and nervous systems should not be in candies and treats marketed to children,” Melanie Benesh, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, said in a news release issued by food and health watchdog The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Benesh added that the EU’s decision to titanium dioxide tires “should have set off alarm bells at the FDA.”
“The agency has failed to take action. It shouldn’t take a formal petition to get the agency to protect consumers,” she said.
While the European Food Safety Authority’s re-evaluation of titanium dioxide found it unsafe for human consumption, a recent Health Canada review reached a different conclusion.
A 2022 “State of the Science” report on titanium dioxide by Health Canada’s Food Directorate acknowledged the EU ruling but noted its decision was based on uncertainties concerning the safety of the compound’s nanoparticles. It did not “identify an immediate health concern” linked to titanium dioxide as a food additive.
Concerns related to the genotoxicity of titanium dioxide, which comes in many different forms, were to a large extent based on variations of the compound that are not considered food-grade, according to Health Canada. Studies that did focus on food-grade titanium dioxide, broke the material down into smaller particles than would normally be found in food, the agency stated.
The report concluded that the available evidence suggests titanium dioxide is not a concern for human health, though it noted it may revisit its position as new information becomes available.
Despite those findings, two California Assembly members introduced a bill earlier this year to create a state-level tire on titanium dioxide, as well as red dye No. 3, potassium bromate and brominated vegetable oil, sold in food in the state. If passed, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2025.
“It’s great that states are starting to step up to protect consumers from toxic chemicals in candy, cookies and other foods, but we believe everyone — not just Californians — deserves those same protections,” Thomas Galligan, principal scientist for food additives and supplements at CSPI said in a statement. “That’s why we’re petitioning the FDA — so we can all enjoy safer products.”
The petition is intended to force a review of the chemical, which proponents are hopeful will happen within 180 days. If the FDA opts to deem the compound unsafe, industry players, such as the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association, will have a chance to respond.
Tom Neltner, senior director of safer chemicals at the Environmental Defense Fund and a co-author on the petition, told The Guardian that safer alternatives to titanium dioxide exist and since it is used simply for food coloring, it’s not an essential ingredient.
“There’s really no excuse for allowing it to be used any longer,” he said.
In this second of a two-part series, we celebrate several dishes from east, south and southeast Asia that can be found in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. With their balance of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, these dishes are among my favourites.
As with part one, this list represents only a few choices of restaurants from many possibilities; some venues are quite popular destinations, others fly under the radar.
Chinese restaurants were once the primary purveyors of Asian cooking, but Waterloo Region and Wellington County now have a wide range of foods from Laotian, Filipino, Cambodian and Korean kitchens.
But even Chinese restaurants have evolved to feature dishes from the many regions of the country — streetside Xinjiang grilling or Lanzhou hand-stretched noodles, for example. While Punjabi and Mughlai dishes have been joined by newer Indian restaurants serving dosas, the delicious and lacy fermented lentil “crepes” of south India.
East Asian cuisine across the region
Korean cooking has grown in popularity considerably. check out WhichYum among the student residences at Linden Square on Waterloo’s Lester Street for dosirak, a set lunch similar to the Japanese bento box.
A couple of blocks away in the University Shops Plaza near University of Waterloo, Seoul Soul has been in business for 14 years. Admire the fascinating art on the restaurant walls while eating the jjajangmyeon, a dark, earthy noodle dish featuring sweet-savoury black-bean based chunjang sauce.
In Kitchener’s Hong Kong Plaza, near the market, Korean BBQthe restaurant has been serving home-style Korean dishes for more than a decade, while Taste of Seoula small take-away and delivery venue on Victoria Street at Park Street, serving classic rice dishes, gimbap rice rolls and a variety of dumplings.
Both venues prepare their own versions of the “mixed rice” dish bibimbap served with a series of delicious banchan sides dishes that might include kimchi, pickled mung bean sprouts, braised and seasoned potato chunks called gamja jorim, and eomuk bokkeum fish cake ribbons.
Manon Korean bakery on Highland Road in Kitchener prepares a wide range of sweet and savory dishes, including a pork “hoagie” and saboro-ppang, a sweet that owner Chae Lee remembers fondly from his childhood.
As for Japan and sushi, Ken Sushi House on Phillip Street in Waterloo is probably the go-to for sushi, and one that is not the standard all-you-can-eat (AYCE) format. Watami Sushi in Uptown Waterloo is another popular destination for nigiri and maki sushi along with tempura, rolls and sashimi.
Also in the à la carte format, Humble Lotus is a new, small take-out shop near Kitchener Market a few blocks away from the popular AYCE restaurant Sushi Stars.
Two other favorite AYCE sushi restaurants are Kinkaku Izakaya in downtown Kitchener and Jinzakaya in Uptown Waterloo. Farther along King Street in Waterloo, you will find a good bowl of udon at GoeN Japanese Restaurant near Conestoga Mall.
Exploring food from south Asia
When we think of south Asian food, India or Pakistan often comes to mind, but when it comes to Bangladeshi food, Kismet Restaurant in Waterloo says emphatically on their website, “Don’t call it Indian food!” Open for 18 years, the restaurant features Bangladeshi dishes that are often touted as some of the Scoville-scale’s hottest food in the area.
In Waterloo, near the convergence of Weber and King streets, I’ve enjoyed haleem, a Pakistani dish of a grain or pulse-like lentil with either beef, lamb or chicken at Urwa’s Pakistani and Indian Cuisine.
Sadly, The Pulao Gals have shuttered operations in Kitchener’s east end. They prepared traditional Pashtun dishes in northwestern Pakistan. Let’s hope the mother-daughter team can re-appear in another culinary iteration.
While there are many Indian restaurants serving Mughlai and Punjabi dishes in the area, a unique dish is Ramandeep Singh’s pistachio chicken, relatively new to the menu at The Grand Mehfil on Weber Street East in Kitchener.
“Chicken thighs are marinated overnight with a pistachio and cashew paste and yogurt, and are cooked in the tandoor oven before being cooked in the creamy pistachio, cashew and onion-based gravy and secret sauces,” says Singh who claims the dish is the invention of the Grand Mehfil kitchen.
Otherwise, sins have recently appeared from both independent and chain brands. They represent the newest dish to the area from south India. Notable are the dosas from Jayalakshmi South Indian Cuisine in Hong Kong Plaza and Shiri’s Kitchen in a commercial plaza off Lexington Road south of the Conestoga Parkway.
Wide range of flavors from the southeast
Finally, there are amazing flavors and foods from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
First up are the Indonesian, Balinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes that have made their mark on Waterloo Region with restaurants like Loloan Lobby Bar and Bhima’s Warung — the latter’s reputation reaching well beyond our borders over its 25 years.
Filipino restaurants have become more popular with the non-Filipino community J&P Filipino Grocery Store’s hot table on Madison Avenue in Kitchener, as well as the growing Sari Sari Filipino Cuisine on Lancaster Avenue Kitchener.
Gayuma Catering has grown immensely since opening. It features Filipino dishes out of a commercial kitchen on Weber Street North in Waterloo. Rosel’s Flavors for Lifealso in Waterloo, offered take-out Filipino dishes from a ghost kitchen in Kitchener before moving across from Wilfrid Laurier University and offering takeaway and dine-in service.
Viet-Thai noodles and curries are well known in our region and have been the anchor of Southeast Asian cooking; the cooking of Laos, a country of the Indochina peninsula, is however lesser known.
One fairly recent exception is the exceptional Champ Kitchen in uptown Waterloo. Owner Outhoumphonh Vongkhamchanh describes her food as a balance of flavors and textures across the plate and the palate.
“It’s spicy. A lot of sticky rice and it’s meaty. It’s cooked more dry because we eat it with our hands a lot,” Vongkhamchanh says.
Try the coconut pork patties, with sticky rice, dipped into jeow bong, a sweet-savoury sauce with galangal and lime leaves.
Calling Laos “the root” of their restaurant — the country being the Chounramany family’s homeland — Choun Kitchen in downtown Hespeler serves unique dishes such as Lao spring rolls with glass noodles and vegan Lao laksa, a coconut red curry on vermicelli. But they also serve inventive dishes that link up with other cultures like Asian churros on Sundays.
Also less familiar, but no less scrumptious, is Cambodian food from the country’s capital Phnom Penh. Located in the southern Indochina Peninsula, Cambodia shares borders with Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. You can find good examples of that food at Taste with Andy in downtown Guelph.
The menu refers to “Khmer,” the Cambodian language and ethno-linguistic group making up most of Cambodia’s 17 million people. Chef and owner Chan Thon “Andy” Phoung says he’s inspired to cook the food his mother prepared for their family.
On his menu are curries, kebabs and noodles in the style of Phnom Penh which pairs well with a quite delicious squash and custard dessert: sankhya lapov, a traditional Cambodian treat.
“You can find the dish at dessert stands in Cambodia. It’s hard to perfect the technique,” Phoung says, adding that it doesn’t matter what he cooks he strives to introduce local diners to delicious Cambodian food.
“My goal is to make the best dishes I can and bring my mom’s Cambodian food to the community,” said Phoung.
Connecting with people through their food and diverse Asian cultures is, I believe, the goal for all these cooks and restaurateurs. And that means a wide range of great food to eat for everyone in the community.
A documentary about Alberta’s most iconic fast-food chain is about to premiere in an Edmonton theater, and it looks incredible.
The Lebanese Burger Mafia examines the history of the Burger Baron, including how it all began, the family that took it over, how it went rogue, its cult following, and its claim to fame — the mushroom burger.
The film was directed by Omar Mouallem, a journalist whose family opened High Prarie, Alberta’s first Burger Baron, in 1987. His work to uncover the convoluted history of the Burger Baron inspired him to create this documentary.
The first Burger Baron was opened in 1956 by an Irish-American entrepreneur, Jack McDonnell, who wanted to create the “McDonald’s of the North.” Over the next four years, the chain rapidly expanded, opening more than 30 franchises in eight Canadian provinces and US states.
Unfortunately, in 1961, The Burger Baron Company Ltd. collapsed under the weight of its massive growth and its intellectual properties were effectively orphaned in bankruptcy.
In 1965, Riad “Rudy” Kemaldean bought his first Burger Baron in Edmonton, seven years after moving to Canada from Lebanon. The location flourished and, as a result, laid the foundation for the Burger Baron that we know and love today.
Over the next few years, Kemaldean would build more locations and recruit relatives from afar to come and manage them. During the Lebanese Civil War, Burger Baron also became a refuge in 1976 for more than 30 of Kemaldean’s relatives and friends, who were given jobs at various Burger Baron locations upon arriving in Canada.
By 1980, recipes and trade secrets were shared between Lebanese immigrants, and the chain became dominated by a loose network of Arab families. As Burger Baron thrived in small towns, locations became vastly different from one another, creating confusion and quality control issues.
“Uncle Rudy tries to reign it in but is challenged by his own charitableness. Despite pressures from his brothers and nephews to exert some control, Rudy will not stand in the way of immigrants trying to do for their families what the Burger Baron did for him,” the documentary website reads.
As for the rest of history, it’s wild, and you’ll just have to see it for yourself.
The fact that Burger Baron locations vary from one to another is well-known by Albertans and, arguably, part of its charm. Even famous Albertans are aware of this, as Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger noted when he told the Daily Hive that the Burger Baron on 118th Avenue in Edmonton has the best mushroom burger.
The documentary also dives into that delicious, savory secret mushroom burger recipe.
This will definitely be a film worth checking out, and we can’t wait to see its debut. The Lebanese Burger Mafia will premiere on May 14 at the Metro Cinema as the closing film of the Northwestfest International Documentary Film Festival in Edmonton.
The Lebanese Burger Mafia
when: May 14 where:Metro Cinema — 8712 109th Street NW, Edmonton Time: 7 p.m Tickets: $14; get them here
There is a varied and often limited ability to test food and manage foodborne hazards in the Pacific, according to WHO.
The World Health Organization (WHO) looked at the food analysis capacity of Pacific Island countries. These nations are often vulnerable to food safety incidents and emergencies because of their geography and dependence on food imports.
The costs of establishing and operating food laboratories are relatively high. Considering the limited number of food samples tested in most Pacific Island countries, it is not practical for them to have sophisticated labs. Food is rarely tested to protect domestic consumers. It is generally only analyzed after it has become the potential source of a complaint or an illness.
WHO said it was crucial appropriate labs were identified prior to a food safety incident or emergency. A guide lists considerations for selecting referral labs and submitting samples to them.
Several nations have implemented sampling and testing of environmental water and fish and fishery products to facilitate the export of fish products. Fiji and Solomon Islands were among the first to undertake such routine analyzes to meet European Union requirements.
Country and pathogen examples Diarrheal agents are the biggest cause of foodborne illness in the Western Pacific region with norovirus, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli among the most common pathogens, affecting millions of people annually. The region also reports the highest death rate globally as a result of foodborne parasites.
No food testing capacity is available in American Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tonga, Tuvalu, or Wallis and Futuna. Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and Vanuatu do have a laboratory developing the capacity for food testing.
Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Solomon Islands have significant lab capacity, being able to test food and water for a range of biological and chemical hazards. However, no labs can detect viral agents or foodborne parasites in food.
Countries associated with the US submit clinical referral samples to the Hawaii State Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Palau usually refers to food samples from Korea, the Philippines, and the United States.
Yersinia enterocolitica is detectable in food only in New Caledonia and Vibrio cholerae in food only in Samoa. The most widespread chemical hazard testing capacity is histamine in fish. One lab in French Polynesia said it could detect ciguatoxin.
None of the labs reviewed reported the ability to test for marine toxins such as domoic acid, lipophilic shellfish toxins, lyngbyatoxin, saxitoxin, and tetrodotoxin. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury can be detected in several countries.
The guide covers accreditation, costs, sample collection and transportation requirements, and border control issues. It also supports the implementation of the Regional Framework for Action on Food Safety in the Western Pacific from 2018 to 2025.
Lab capacity on the radar of the Codex committee Meanwhile, the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for North America and the South West Pacific met earlier this year in Nadi, Fiji.
Emerging issues expected to impact food safety in the region in the next five to 10 years include limited support to manage food regulatory systems; climate changes; innovative food technologies; risk communications; increased foodborne disease transmission; pesticide residues on food crops; antimicrobial resistance; indigenous foods; and labeling of new and novel foods.
Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga also emphasized the need for capacity building in food safety, including analytical support to food analysis labs.
A lack of lab capacity was highlighted by several members and the need for regional collaboration regarding analytical work was identified. The sustainability of national labs in small island countries was mentioned as a challenge.
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Having a well-stocked kitchen means you have a variety of ingredients available to make a variety of wholesome meals throughout the week. I’ve put together a list below of some of my favorite budget-friendly kitchen staples as a guide. All you need to do is add your fresh goods such as fruits, juices, vegetables, salads and proteins (meats, fish, tofu etc).
Store cupboard essentials
Rapeseed oil Tomato puree Stock cubes or powder (choose low salt if cooking for very young children) Herbs and spices (Italian mixed herbs, paprika, oregano, basil, cumin, chilli powder, curry powder, chilli flakes) Tinned chopped tomatoes Cannellini beans Black beans Kidney beans Chickpeas Green lentils (hold their shape so great for use in bolognese, stews, pasta dishes. Red lentils (great for dahlias and soups and for thickening stews & curries) Pasta (spaghetti, pasta shapes, lasagne sheets, orzo for soups and stews) Dry noodles rice Cous Cous coconut milk Nut butter (peanut) pesto Baked beans Dried apricots Dried raisins Tinned fruit (Peaches, pineapples, mandarins) Canned fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines)
Frozen fish (salmon, white fish) Frozen veg (peas, sweetcorn, green beans) Frozen chopped ginger Frozen chopped onion & garlic Frozen fruit (berries, pineapple, mango)