Monday, October 7, 2013

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 7, 2013

Hey, folks! I’m back at my computer but still not out in the coffee shops and restaurants, so be sure to send me news of any events or great places to eat so that I can share the information.

Citizen Café and Bakery
A new coffee shop is emerging at the former site of Caffe Sola. Citizen Café and Bakery, at 16 – 23 Street East, will open in November and plans to serve quality espresso and from scratch baking that is vegan and gluten-free friendly.

Food Truck Boom and Bust
Food trucks are all the rage, right across North America, but it’s not a sure-fire winner. The Modern Drive Through Food Trucks explores some of the challenges faced by food truck owners in Vancouver, including municipal regulations and location.

Why Did Cavemen Die Young?
I don’t understand the current craze for the Paleo Diet. Does it mean you should cook your meat outside over an open fire? And cavemen certainly weren’t eating cake and chocolate or drinking wine, so I’m not interested.

As a result, I was interested to read this article expressing concern about the Paleo Diet. Experts fault the lack of dairy and grains and the potential risks to heart health due to high meat intake and point out that there has not been enough research to know if it actually promotes weight loss.

Bananas Don’t Come Cheap
Bananas are one of the cheapest fruit options in North American supermarkets. But that’s because there’s a hidden cost that will someday slap us in the face.

Large monoculture plantations in South and Central America all grow Cavendish bananas, a variety that was initially resistant to the blight that wiped out the Mont Michel bananas between 1906 and 1960. But there are new strains of blight, and the Cavendish bananas are now dying off as well.

There are hundreds of varieties of bananas, many of which are much tastier, but the multinational corporations grow just one variety to keep the price down. Didn’t we learn the value of varying our crops from the Irish Potato Famine?

Costa Rica has done a great job of setting up parks and preserving natural areas, but they also grow a lot of bananas – 25% of the United Kingdom’s banana imports in 2007 and top exporter to the United States. Unfortunately, the monoculture crop is susceptible to pests, so the banana plantations are heavily sprayed, with the pesticide runoff steadily making its way into Costa Rica’s conserved waters, harming the caimans and indicating that other aquatic species are also at risk.

Photos: Cordoba, Spain

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products.

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Sarah said...

Interesting story about the bananas. I know when I am in India I can try so many varieties of bananas but have only seen the one kind here, mostly.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that Citizen cafe and bakery is not in the old Cafe Sola spot. They are a block west, in the old Dance Street location. Just a head's up!

Penny McKinlay said...

That's good to know. Thank you!