Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour & Green Expo

Earth Hour is today. From 20:30-21:30, people around the world are turning off their lights. A main premise of Earth Hour is that each individual can make a contribution. In December 2009 world leaders meet in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change. One billion people voting with their light switch during Earth Hour will create a powerful mandate for our leaders to take strong and decisive action on climate change in Copenhagen.

Last weekend, I went to a local expo promoting all things green (transportation, food, households, alcohol, etc...). R and I are slowly trying to incorporate more and more green options into our life. Almost all of our bulbs are compact fluorescent, I'm switching over all of my cleaning products to natural products, and we use cloth bags for about 85% of our shopping. There's more that I would like to do like composting and eating more organically. I'm thinking organic milk might be a good first step.

Giz - I bought plates and cups from this stand for the Saturday night wedding event. If you think it's too casual, we can switch to plates, but at least we have a biodegradable option.

One of my favourite parts of the show was a food demonstration given by John Taylor from Domus Restaurant. Domus is a local restaurant that works very hard to acquire their food locally or regionally. They market themselves as "The first in Canadian, Regional, Seasonal Cuisine with menu items consisting of only the freshest of local ingredients provided by Canadian suppliers and directly delivered from local-area farms".

Here's a video of John promoting buying locally and some of what they do to have access to local products year round.

One message that consistently came across during the show was the power of the consumer. Products are on the shelf because people buy them. If consumers are demanding more local foods or organic options, your grocers will stock them.

I wasn't expecting the drama toward the end of the show. John asked if there were any questions and someone from the audience started to question Domus' practice of using foie gras on their menu. There is a fair bit of controversy when it comes to foie gras.

Among a slew of accusations, the man in the audience claimed that the ducks were factory farmed. When asked if the accuser had visited a foie gras farm, he said, "no".

Here's the tail end of the argument:

My experience at a foie gras farm certainly showed no evidence of factory farming. The ducks had plenty of space and could roam pretty freely in- and out-doors.

I wouldn't say that John handled the situation particularly well. What you don't see in the video is John removing his headset and going into the crowd to get up in the guy's face. It seems for a second that things would get physical (they didn't). On the other hand, I can understand John's frustration and felt badly for him. I think Domus is doing a lot of good work to spread the word about local food and that line of questioning undermines their work.

The show ended relatively abruptly from there. But, we were given a tasty sample of a mushroom bean soup:



melissa said...

I don't blame him for being frustrated either. What drama. I appreciate that the gentlemen is concerned about farming practices, for sure, but there's a time and place. And John was trying to promote something good, after all.

Good for you for going green!

OhioMom said...

It really is up to us as consumers to buy locally and in season, great post! Kudos!!