Food Smackdown: Dr. Yoni Freedhoff Tackles “Healthy” Processed Foods

Yoni Freedhoff is a family doctor, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute – a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre.  He’s also a critic of so-called “healthy” processed foods.

What’s more, he’s a wonderfully dry video blogger.

I stumbled upon his videos earlier today and couldn’t help but share.

In this first one, he skewers Dempster’s Garden Vegetable bread.  Spoiler alert:  It isn’t nearly as healthy as they promote it to be.

Now, of course, my Farm to Table readers know that the best source of carrots is our local farmers — and you can that you find plenty of heritage varieties throughout the winter at the Saturday Farmers’ Market.

Next he takes on Nutella.  Again, I’m pretty sure you know how this is going to go down.

This third one is my absolute favourite.  Not only does he rake SunRype’s FruitSource Bites over the coals, but he lays a pretty good smackdown on the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation for endorsing them.

Gotta love it when one of the good guys attracts followers with his message.  And right now, Dr. Yoni is making some pretty good internet rounds.

And deservedly so.

You can find Dr. Freehoff’s blog at .  Or follow him on Twitter at @YoniFreedhoff

Heart Shaped Veggies

enhanced-31802-1392116020-12OK, Peterborough (and readers from further afield), here’s a cool idea for your homegrown veggies.  From the fine folks at Buzzfeed (and Sutton Seeds in England), heart-shaped fruit and vegetable moulds.

“The moulds let you shape medium sized fruits like ‘cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes…  and others.  Which means adorable heart-shaped veg for your valentine.”


BPA in Cans: An Article for the Kids Ink Series of Magazines

Can_the_Canned_Food Feb14-PK.inddI’ve written an article on BPA in canned foods for the Kids Ink series of magazines.


“Food packaging and food production companies argue that the resins used in canned foods are inert – that they don’t leach significant levels of BPA – and that it would take the consumption of hundreds of kilograms of canned goods to pose any health risks. They also claim that BPA is processed and rapidly excreted through urine.

Several significant studies have recently challenged these claims, including a Harvard Medical School paper from last year that showed a dramatic increase in BPA levels in people who regularly ate canned soup. In one experiment, researchers found over 1000 times as much BPA in the urine of people fed canned vegetable soup once per day for 5 days, as compared to people fed the same amounts of fresh vegetable soup. The study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, is one of the first to measure BPA urine levels soon after the consumption of canned foods.”

Click on the magazine cover to read the full story. Or visit the websites for Peterborough Kids, Lakeridge Kids, and Northumberland Kids magazines.

Game Changer: How to REALLY Eat Chicken Chicken Wings ~ Bonus Jerk Wings Recipe


I bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?  As far as I can tell, this wing eating technique is relatively new.  Or at least has only gotten buzz of late.  Now you too can be one of the cool kids!

Makes me think I’ll be making some wings this weekend.

And what kind of wings?

My favourite, of course. Farm to Table’s own Jamaican Jerk Wings with Habanero Death Sauce.  Unlike most of my recipes, they are not particularly local in the ingredient category.  But they are darned good.

Here’s the marinade:

  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs (you can split whole chicken legs rather than buying separately).
  • 3 green onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (depending on size)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 habaneros, whole (if I’m cooking for those who are used to Jamaican food, I use a couple more)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients (except for the chicken) into a food processor.
Process it on “turbo” setting until it is a smooth liquid (or as smooth as it gets — there will probably be a bit of clumpiness).

I find a good 24 hours of marinating makes these bad boys really tender and flavourful.

As for cooking them, there are a couple of options.  The preferred method is to use your BBQ — yes, even in winter.  Preheat to medium/medium-high and cook for 20 minutes or so, flipping regularly.

You can do them in the oven.  Although I have no idea why you would want to.  Cook them for 15-20 minutes in a 450 degree oven.  Flip the wings and rotate the baking sheet.  Cook for another 10 minutes or so until they are browned and crispy.

There wings have some zing, but aren’t seriously hot.  I’d rate them somewhere around a “medium.”  Serve with the Farm to Table Habanero Death sauce — recipe to come later this week — to kick up the flame factor.