A nationwide movement to support Canadian agriculture by eating only locally grown is happening today, and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is asking Saskatchewan residents to consider taking part.
Food Day Canada is taking place on July 31, where people across the country are encouraged to dine, shop and cook with only locally grown foods produced in Canada as a show of support for local growers.
“Food Day Canada is a great way for everyone to give recognition for Canada's agricultural sector, whether by enjoying a great meal at home or out at a restaurant," said APAS president Todd Lewis.
Following the lead of APAS, the provincial government and several communities in Saskatchewan have officially proclaimed Food Day Canada as a recognized event, including Regina, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan and Saskatoon.
The idea is for Canadians to check off their shopping list using only locally produced items or to stop for a meal at a restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients in it's kitchen, to promote the diversity and importance of Canadian-grown ingredients.
People are also encouraged to share how they’re supporting local agriculture on social media using #FoodDayCanada, where many organizations have already started posting facts, tips and information on eating Canadian.
The event is meant to spotlight not only agricultural producers like farmers, but also restaurants and chefs, fishers, food processors and grocers who work to provide Canadian food products to consumers.
Organizers have compiled some profiles on restaurants that focus on using local ingredients, including the Sky Cafe & Bistro or Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar in Regina and Harvest Eatery and FreshMarket in Shaunavon, as a handy guide for those looking for a Food Day Canada meal.
As Saskatchewan is one of the top producers of products including meat, dairy, oilseeds, lentils, and fruits and vegetables, Lewis said APAS feels that making an effort to publicly support local farmers and producers during a nationwide event like this is an important gesture.
“Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers are proud of the hard work they do every day to ensure our province's many food products meet the highest standards of quality, and Food Day Canada is about showing appreciation to farmers and ranchers for that hard work,” Lewis said.
Several venues throughout Canada have also pledged to light up their buildings in red and white at 9 p.m. in support of Food Day Canada, including the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon and Farm Credit Canada in Regina — and anyone can join in the movement and shine their own lights at home.
More information, including a map of Food Day Canada restaurants and a list of recipe tips for cooking Canadian, can be found online through the Food Day Canada website.