20 Minute Makeover

Message from Facilities and Services follows

Once again, the University will be participating in the City of Toronto’s 20 Minute makeover this Friday April 23rd.

From 2:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. Toronto is having everyone get out and help tidy up around the city. Details can be found here: www.toronto.ca/litter/clean-up/20minute.htm

On campus we will have staff at the following areas handing out bags and gloves:

•Robarts Library, south west corner – Harbord Street at Huron Street
•246 Bloor St. west – corner of Bloor St. west and Bedford Avenue
•Sidney Smith patio – 100 St. George Street
•Front Campus – intersection of King’s College Road, Galbraith Road and
King’s College Circle
•Philosopher’s Walk – Hoskin Avenue, west of Queen’s Park
•Soldier’s Tower – Back Campus at Tower Road

Can’t join in? You can always take the time to think about how you can reduce your impact on the environment around you.

U of T’s bees in the news

Remember our post about Bees on campus? Brian Hamlin’s bee hives were so successful last year, that he is expanding his project. A group of student volunteers (anybody is welcome to join) is setting up apiaries on campus, and some of the honey (and related products like beeswax candles) will be sold at the U of T Farmers’ Market!

Torontoist did an awesome write-up about bees in Toronto, and Brian Hamlin’s work. You can check it out here: TORONTO’S BLOOMING BUZZTROPOLIS.

If you want to see the video shot on a windy winter afternoon at the New College bee hives, click here for the original UeaT post.

If you would like to get in touch with the student volunteers, leave a comment here and we can email you the information.

Image courtesy of Torotoist.

Carrotmob comes to Toronto!

Tomorrow (Saturday), a mob of buyers will enter G’s Fine Foods with empty reusable bags in their hands and cash in their wallets. They will purchase food items like they do on any other Saturday, and they will feel good about it. Why? The wonderful people at G’s Fine Foods have promised to use 100% of the money they make on Saturday towards increasing environmental sustainability in their store. They will also connect with Local Food Plus and their environmentally-awesome list of local farmers to provide fresh food for their shoppers. In return, the Carrotmob has promised a mob of customers to their store on Saturday.


Since G’s Fine Foods is so close to campus, we recommend that you (and your friends and family) join in the festivities tomorrow. There will be music, an after-party and a mob of environmentally aware people…fun!! And the best part is that your dollars (which you were going to spend on groceries anyways) will support an LFP farmer who treats the livestock on the farm with love, uses environmental sustainable practices on the farm, and ensures that all staff are paid a fair wage.

For more information on LFP farmers, check out the LFP website.

(Interesting fact: U of T is the first University to become LFP certified!!)


Not quite sure what a Carrotmob is?

The Carrotmob Toronto blog explains: “Carrotmob is an emerging form of activism. This is not a brutal fight – this is about partnership for change. Carrotmob is community organized consumer power that partners with businesses to reward them for their socially and environmentally choices. A “buycott”, the anti-boycott, that travels in masses to help consumers see the change they want, and rewards businesses who are willing to compete and act for profits.”


How does this Carrotmob work?

“Buycotting allows consumers to vote with their dollars,” says event organizer Nico Koenig, a graduate student in the Adult Education and Community Development Program of OISE/University of Toronto. “Through Carrotmob, people are making a significant difference in the fight for environmental responsibility – and against climate change. In these hard times, Carrotmobs are economically feasible – all we ask is that people buy groceries they would already be buying. Every dollar counts!”


Why is it important for U of T??

U of T students are part of the Carrotmob organizing team as well as the “mob” that will hit up G’s Fine Foods at the corner of Bloor and Huron.


You can find videos, cartoons, discussions, and other cool stuff on their website:


Are you a muncher or a starver during exams?

Dear UeaTers,

It was three years ago when I was sitting in the library, just like you, dreading the upcoming exam period. I had a short attention span coupled with terrible eating habits. When stressed, I ate donuts, muffins, cookies, croissants, chips, and twinkies (okay so I had a sweet tooth!). I was the stereotypical “muncher”. I would study for an hour, daydream for the next hour, eat a couple of cookies, check my Facebook for 30 minutes, go get a slice of pizza, and call it a night. My mouth had to be constantly chewing to make my mind work. Or so I thought!


My study-partner, however, was quite opposite. She fretted for two hours, made a “To Do” list, fretted some more, studied an hour, and ate nothing because she felt sick during exams. She was the epitome of a “starver”.


At this point, you may want to review your own study habits and figure out if you are a starver or a muncher.


On the last day of exams, I (4 lbs heavier) and my friend (4 lbs lighter) would crash, complain, and sleep for a week.


One night, two days before my Physics exam, I had my “light-bulb” moment (appropriate timing, no?). I woke up at 6am, went for a 15 minute jog, showered and got myself a nice big breakfast of eggs, oranges, toast and coffee. Suddenly energized, I grabbed a bag of blueberries and opened up the books. By noon, the blueberries were gone, my white t-shirt had one purple smudge, and I was 6 chapters smarter. I took an hour long break, had a nice meal of steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and chicken breasts, yumm. And lots of water. Another four hours with the books, dinner and 5 more chapters later, I felt like a new man! (err, woman!).

The point of all this is that if I treat my body right, it functions well, specially during exams. On that note, read on for 10 simple ways you can change your eating habits and conquer those exams! 



  1. Don’t wait until exam week to eat healthy. If your body is used to twinkies twice a day, it will not understand why you are eating an apple instead. You have to give it time and let your body get used to apples! So try to keep your diet healthy throughout the year. Yes you can eat twinkies sometimes, but allow your body to extract the goodness from fruits everyday…that will keep your blood sugar regulated, and you will not feel lightheaded or tired
  2. Keep snacking. Nuts, berries, apricots, raisins, yogurt….eat something small every three hours! Again, it keeps your blood sugar and energy constant.
  3. Try to cut back on coffee. If you must have coffee, go with decaf. Cappuccinos and lattes are the devil. Instead, ask them to fill half your cup with milk and top it with decaf coffee and very little sugar. Or try teas. They keep your stomach feeling like it’s full.
  4. Do sleep. Eight hours, ten hours, whatever is normal for you. There is nothing as important as getting your daily sleep fix.
  5. Drink a lot of water, Keep a bottle close at hand, and take a few sips every fifteen minutes.
  6. Relax! Worrying will not make things go any smoother. Try meditation or yoga for a few minutes each day.
  7. Exercise, for a few minutes each day. It helps bring up the motivation levels, clears out your head, and keeps your heart smiling (I mean pumping).
  8. Do not skip meals. Even if you are a starver, you have to eat. Don’t let stress get in the way of your appetite. Your three main meals a day should be spaced out…and try to not look at a book while eating. A meal should be a way to wind down, treat yourself to something yummy, and not think!
  9. Chew gum. It keeps your mouth busy and has very little or no calories.

Best of luck!!

FROM FIELD TO ART: Discussing the Link Between Food, Art and Social Justice

FROM FIELD TO ART: Discussing the Link Between Food, Art and Social Justice
*A multi-disciplinary panel discussion on food issues*


Please join the Hart House Art, Farm and Social Justice Committees for a
multi-disciplinary discussion on the links between food, art and social

Artist Ron Benner, Geography Professor Sarah Wakefield, Slow Food
co-chair Arlene Stein and student food activist and The Hot Yam! member
Dulcie Vousden will discuss the various perspectives on today’s important
food issues and the valuable contribution of art to social justice.


*Date*: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

*Time:* 3:00 – 5:00 pm

*Location*: Debates Room, Hart House, University of Toronto

*Cost:*  Free


RON BENNER – A Canadian artist, whose work encompasses a wide-range of food
and social justice issues. Benner will be exhibiting his work and discussing
the role that art plays in social justice.

ARLENE STEIN – Co-chair of Slow Food Toronto and Director of Catering and Events at Hart House. Stein is an active member of the local food community,
who is dedicated to food security and sustainability issues.

SARAH WAKEFIELD – Associate Professor, Department of Geography at the
University of Toronto. Wakefield’s research interests include urban food
security and the effect of municipal environmental regulation on
environmental and social justice.

DULCIE VOUSDEN – Hot Yam! member and student food activist. The Hot Yam! is
an all-volunteer vegan collective. Each week, the collective cook up a
delicious, mostly local, mostly organic and entirely vegan lunch for the
University of Toronto community.

For additional information contact:

Kelly Robertson-Reinhart


dark.creamy.yummy ChocoSol at the Farmer’s Market

Tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon, the U of T Farmer’s Market will be running inside UC from 2:30pm until 5:30pm. Among the fabulous local farmers, we have a chocolatier with an amazing story.

Mathieu is one of the people who works at ChocoSol: local chocolatiers who produce pedal-powered, stone ground chocolate right here in Toronto. We asked Mathieu to give us a quick introduction to ChocoSol, and here is what he had to say:


We are ChocoSol Chocolatiers. We make stone-ground dark chocolate directly from the cacao bean here in Toronto. We make locally processed chocolate which is made in a traditional Mexican style instead of an industrial factory. Traditional Mexican chocolate is like the “Drinking Chocolate Pucks” (sold at the market) which are used to make chocolatey which is a traditional form of Mexican drinking chocolate. Chocolatey comes from the word xocolatl which means “bitter drink” in Mayan. We draw our inspiration from the tradition of chocolate from the region the chocolate is grown in. Our project in Toronto has an educational component. We try to connect people here with the tradition of cacao and inform them of where chocolate comes from. We also combine this chocolate with local Toronto ingredients like local hemp seeds from Peterborough and locally grown chillies and mints, some of which are grown on our green roof. It’s a wholesome dark chocolate that is ecologically produced, nutritional and delicious. You can come out and try the chocolate any time- we have free samples here. We are here every Wednesday. Everything is done on bicycles around the city, so we are all over the downtown core.


They encourage volunteers to join ChocolSol and participate in the production of chocolate the way it has been done for centuries in the Mayan regions. There are no skills needed, and no predetermined hours. It is a great way to connect with the food you consume. Feel frère to ask Mathieu about volunteering, and to try some of the free chocolate (by the way, the vanilla seed chocolate is to die for!).


So drop by the Farmer’s Market tomorrow afternoon, bring your own mug, sip on some of the best hot chocolate in town and learn about chocolate-making, from the fields in Mexico to the Farmer’s Market at U of T.

Your Food, Your Choice: A one-day conference on Organic Foods

Your Food, Your Choice:  Grounds for Change

Presented by Canadian Organic Growers in association with The Big Carrot

Saturday, February 20, 2010

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

University of Toronto Conference Centre

89 Chestnut St., Toronto

$85; COG members $55

Rates for seniors, students and unwaged

Organic lunch included !

Info and registration:  www.cogtoronto.org or 416-466-4420

Do organic pigs get swine flu?  Why did McCain’s say no to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the potatoes for their french fries?  This conference will celebrate a forward thinking company taking GMOs off its shelves and a man who has fought against the odds.  Be inspired by how the organic sector perseveres in producing the healthiest, safest food possible.  Keynote speaker is Baerbel Hoehn, the first Green Party agricultural minister in Germany.  Her support of organic farming programs in Germany helped the turnaround in German agricultural policy towards more sustained development, including payments for farmers transitioning to organic.  Also featured are Percy Schmeiser, the Saskatchewan farmer who challenged Monsanto, Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, Michael Schmidt, the dairy farmer recently acquitted of all criminal charges related to producing unpasteurized milk,and scientists, politicians, farmers, retailers and consumers.  This conference is about your health and your food choices.  Above all, it is about choosing food with spirit!

Local Food and Food Justice at York University

Good morning UeaTers!

If you are interested in food justice, and have some time tomorrow (Tuesday), be sure to head up to York University for an exciting event. Details below:


When? 19 January 2010

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm


Professor Deborah Barndt of York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies and other partners of the Foodshed Project will speak, moderated by Professor Harriet Friedmann of the University of Toronto.

Toronto has been the site of innovative food initiatives transforming the food system at all stages of the food cycle. The growing demand for local food is complicated by diasporic communities who bring their own agricultural and culinary practices to this process of transformation. How can the “local” be reframed through the lens of food justice?

The Foodshed Project, a participatory action research collaboration between the University of Toronto Munk Centre, the Faculty of Environmental Studies and 30 local organizations, will probe the organizational ecology, generational and cultural renewal of these initiatives. Community partners from rural and urban contexts will bring their perspectives to the issues of local food and food justice.

Who will be there?

Harriet Friedmann (University of Toronto)

Lord Abbey (The Stop Community Food Centre)

Graham Corbett (Whole Village Community Shared Agriculture)

Evelyn Encalada (Justicia4Migrant Workers)

Anan Lololi (AfriCan Food Basket)

Sally Miller (West End Food Coop)

For more details, visit http://www.yorku.ca/yuevents/index.asp?Event=18453&Category=0&ShowCal=Y&TimeSame=Jan&Month=1&Year=2010


In the coming week, we will update you on our very own Food Justice event coming up in February…so check back soon!

New Farmer at your Market: The Cutting Veg!!

Hey UeaTers!

Please join us in welcoming The Cutting Veg, our newest farmer at the U of T Farmer’s Market (held on Wednesdays). Come on down to the Farmer’s Market and pick up their fresh produce, brought to you from their farm in Brampton.

The Cutting Veg (TCV) is not just a farm, it is a community-health promotion enterprise rooted in organic farming.  TCV runs programs aimed at cultivating personal, social, environmental, and economic health, and grows a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, which are sold at the U of T Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.

The Cutting Veg also runs the “Global Garlic Project.”  They grow over a dozen varieties of garlic from around the world, including Tibet, Persia, Italy, Russia, Korea, and Israel. 

TCV also provides Food Coaching Services, which offers garden & composting project support, educational workshops & urban farming internships, dietary & meal planning support, and food-career counselling; and one-on-one “Wellness Counselling” for individuals who want to take steps forward with their health and happiness.

And guess what? They have a blog with lots of pictures! You can check it out here.

Or better yet, you can come on down to the U of T Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm (inside University College) and speak to The Cutting Veg farmer while buying amazing local produce from Brampton, Ontario.

See you there!

Eat Local! at U of T: A passion for food politics

Dear UeaTers,


Have you ever pondered over whether it is really possible to be a 100% locavore? Ever wondered if local trumps organic? What about culturally symbolic foods that can’t be grown in Ontario soil? Is the 100-mile diet just a trend?


To help you with your ponderings, we would like to introduce you to Eat Local!, a student run initiative on campus to promote eating local, sustainable foods. This group of students has worked very hard to put together an annual Eat Local! Day on campus which features information tables, guest speeches, a local farmer’s market and….A FREE VEGAN LUNCH!


Here is what one of the organizers of Eat Local! had to say about this initiative:



Guest Post by Lynnette Choo


The Eat Local! event started off as a group project for an enviro course in our undergraduate years. We were challenged to find something that we were passionate about and find a creative way to express that. Anne, Mina and I were all passionate about food politics and were particularly intrigued by the idea of eating locally. Since we all volunteered with the Hot Yam!, we decided on a public awareness event to show the benefits of eating locally and supporting our local food producers. And, most importantly, to show that there are so many diverse fruits and vegetables that can be grown in Ontario…not just potatoes.


With a free vegan, local and mostly organic lunch made by the Hot Yam! and partnering with UTERN, Eat Local! has grown, attracting over 200 attendees in the past. Last year we’ve included a small farmer’s market, a speaker’s series (from professors to chefs to farmers), booths from organizations like Local Food Plus (LFP), the Greenbelt, Foodland Ontario, and more. At Eat Local!, you can find useful resources such as a list of local farmer’s markets, small sachets of local and organic sprout seeds donated from Toronto Sprouts….and many more ideas on how you can start to eat locally.


We realized that eating locally is one of the many big food issues out there. We understand that when it comes to eating locally, we’re all struggling with our own dilemmas. Does local trump organic? What about culturally symbolic foods that can’t be grown in Ontario soil? Is the 100-mile diet just a trend? Is it really possible to be a 100% locavore? This event is here to spark interest and discussion. Food politics is everywhere.

So come out and join us at the third annual Eat Local! in October….it will be hosted on October 21, 2009 from 12:pm to 4pm at the International Student Center.


For more information, send us an email: eatlocaluoft@gmail.com