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Sometimes it’s easy to turn a blind eye to all the pesticides, hormones and garbage that gets infused into our foods. Often, we think it’s too much work to shop locally or invest in organic foods while having a Toronto fast-paced lifestyle. But you would be surprised how easy it is to shop healthy and how close your local food markets are! We listed some of our favourite local food markets in Toronto…
1. The Sweet Potato – The Junction
The Sweet Potato is a natural foods grocery store where you can find not only your usual local organic produce, fresh bakery, organic meat and dairy, BUT also homemade dips, soup and salads, and baby, beauty and household items. They also take the stigma out of high-priced organic shopping as most their products are well priced competitively.
2. Golden Orchard – St. Lawrence Market
This family owned business has been in the organic market since 1993 -their business dating back to the 1950s. While there are a plenty of fresh choices at St. Lawrence Market, Golden Orchard has a traditional and old fashion feel. With organic asparagus, organic strawberries, tomatoes from a Mennonite farmer and a special variety of sweet corn called chocolate sunrise. It’s old fashioned, the way corn used to taste and the way corn used to look.
3. Healthy Butcher – Midtown and Downtown
For the meat lovers in Toronto, you definitely need to visit the Healthy Butcher located in Midtown (Eglington & Avenue Road) or Downtown (Queen & Spadina). Outraged by how corporations treat live stock, former lawyer Mario Fiorucci aimed to restore an area of the food industry that has wrongly disappeared. Whether you are buying fresh organic meat to be used in your own food creation or buying our gourmet prepared foods to be eaten by candlelight accompanied by a nice glass of wine, they ensure that what you’re eating instigates within you a passion for food and most importantly, has been produced the way nature intended.
4. Rowe Farms – 7 Locations!
Rowe Farms is very accessible with seven stores in the Toronto area: Leslieville, Beaches, Uptown, Bloor West, Roncesvalles, Annex and at the St.Lawrence Market. Planning your grocery trip is also manageable as most of the stores are open 7 days a week. What’s great about Rowe Farms is that their meat and poultry is raised locally in Ontario. Their focus is not necessarily on organic labels, but on organic animal feeding (which is usually more expensive and difficult to source locally).
5. Sorauren Farmers’ Market – Parkdale
Located in Toronto’s West end, their year-round market has grown in size and popularity since they first opened in 2008. Here you can find fresh, local, organic or self-sustained grown foods -everything from bread to meat to kale to sweets. The market is a one-stop-shop and an essential way to connect eaters with farmers with strong support for new farmers and producers. Unfortunately, they are only open on Mondays from 3-7PM. Their sense of community will draw you in though and their delicious food will bring you back.
6. The Big Carrot – The Danforth
In 2009, The Big Carrot strengthened its commitment to good organic stewardship by certifying their processing and packaging activities to the new Canadian Organic Standard. Ecocert Canada has certified The Big Carrot to process and package over 700 organic products in the juice bar, bulk, spice, cheese and produce departments. What’s really cool is that their store offers a range of great services like cooking classes, free nutritional store tours and free weekly lectures on health and the environment. If you’re unsure how to jumpstart your new-found nutritional lifestyle, The Big Carrot is a great resource to visit.
7. Stonegate Farmers Market – Park Lawn
Located at Park Lawn Road in the parking lot of Christ Church St. James Anglican Church, the Stonegate Farmers Market features local conventional and organic produce, honey, bread, cheese, meats and more. Unlike other farmers markets, the market at Stonegate not only showcases fresh produce but hosts local entertainers and special events throughout the season. A great aspect of the Stonegate Farmers Market is the Stonegate Market Money. Funded by donations, Market Money coupons are given to community members who have difficulty affording the fresh fruits and vegetables they need. It will run every Tuesday from 4pm to 7pm, June 24th – October 7th, 2014.
Do you have another local food market in mind?
If you have a few locations you’d like to share, definitely comment below or tweet me @onepercentguys. Or if you’d like to contact me directly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have a follow up to this article WITH YOUR suggestions.