Tag Archives: Toronto Star

Is toxic dirt from GTA developments being dumped on Ontario farmland?

From Moira Welsh, on TheStar.ca

“Here’s what we know: In peak construction years, up to 50 million tonnes of dirt are excavated in Ontario projects, most from the greater Toronto region, at an annual cost of $1.7 billion, according to the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario. Industry experts say that roughly 15 per cent of that soil, as much as 7.5 million tonnes, is contaminated and should go to approved landfill or remediation sites. How much of those 7.5 million tones went to approved sites is unknown.

So where’s all that dirt going? It’s impossible to miss the dump trucks. They thunder across country roads to the north, east and west of Toronto, leaving sleepy towns in their dust. Talk to truck drivers at the Tim Hortons in Schomberg and they all say they’re carrying fill from downtown Toronto construction sites. They all say their dirt is clean, but most don’t know what they are carrying.

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Paleo diet getting ink in Toronto paper

From Carola Vyhnak on theStar.ca

“One can only guess what a cavewoman would have taken to a potluck party some 2 million years ago. But Jennifer Bruer, who’s committed to eating the way our primal ancestors did, shows up with almond-flour banana bread.

It’s a bit difficult, the modern mom admits, when “everyone else is eating pie.” But that’s a small sacrifice in return for feeling healthy and being 50 pounds lighter since starting down the paleolithic path two years ago.

Known as paleo, primal or caveman, the diet has blossomed into a lifestyle for devotees who believe the ancient past holds the secret to lean bodies and good health.

At a time when scientists are starting to grow burgers in a lab, paleo enthusiasts are going whole hog for real food, nature’s way. Food that cavemen would have consumed — although critics argue that point. Continue reading

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CFIA fixes their definition of local food to include food from all of Ontario

From Tim Alamenciak in TheStar.ca

“Food produced and sold in Ontario now qualifies as “local,” thanks to updated rules from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which critics say was following outdated policies.

The federal agency’s original policy said food was only “local” if it was sold 50 kilometres from where it was produced or in the neighbouring municipality. This meant produce like blueberries from Thunder Bay wouldn’t qualify as local if sold in Toronto. Continue reading

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How the CFIA defines “local”, “natural”

Remember the story that was in the news April 2nd about that Alliston gourmet burger restaurant that ran afoul of the CFIA when someone apparently complained that their “advertised as local” burgers weren’t local enough. How was local described there?

“The CFIA has told him the term local can only be used if the product was manufactured, packaged or processed in the municipality where his business is located or its neighbouring municipalities, which in this case includes Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Innisfil, King and Caledon….”

Doesn’t sound like a very definitive definition, does it? Not exactly something you could apply to any other situation or locality. Well now, at least, we’ve got a better definition from the CFIA. And it’s a very strict definition. Continue reading

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Elk banished after falling for cow

From Wendy Cox, CP, via The Star.com:

100 MILE HOUSE, B.C.—Somewhere east of this Cariboo community wanders an enormous bull elk, stripped of its six-point antlers and a misplaced attraction for one of Greg Messner’s cows.

The elk, a loner that had been turning up at the century-old 100 Mile Ranch to check out Messner’s herd for three years, was relocated earlier this month for its own safety and for the probity of the cow.

“He stuck around for a couple of days the first year,” said Messner, whose wife has had the ranch in her family for its entire history. Continue reading

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Editorial calls for compulsory flu shots for all Canadian health care workers

From “Health workers should be required to get flu shots” in the Toronto Star:

“Every year, as many as 8,000 Canadians die from the flu. Another 20,000 are hospitalized. They are often old or sick and are already in the care of doctors and nurses. So there is more than a little irony in the fact that many of these medical professionals are reluctant to get their annual flu shot.

While most of us take the routine jab-in-the-arm like good citizens, too many health care workers don’t get vaccinated, exposing patients in their care to days of fever and chills — or worse. Continue reading

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ADHD drugs linked to suicide in kids

From David Bruser and Andrew Bailey on The Star.com:

“Adverse Reaction Report No. 324764

Submitted by: Health Professional

Date: 2009

Location: Canada

Patient: Male

Age: 15 years old

Suspect Drug: Strattera

Side Effect: Completed Suicide

This is just one of nearly 600 cases of Canadian kids suffering serious, sometimes fatal side effects suspected to have been caused by ADHD medications in the past 10 years.

A Toronto Star investigation has found a growing number of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and parents are reporting that they believe attention deficit drugs are causing major health problems in patients, many as young as 6 and 7 years old. Continue reading

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Abducted sheep case grows woolier as Michael Schmidt is investigated over statements to the media and the police

A roundup of coverage from Toronto newspapers:

Above image from The Star.ca website story. Click image to go there.

From Adrian Morrow in the Globe and Mail:

“A flock of a rare breed of sheep is ordered destroyed after one of its members tests positive for a deadly disease. Before they can be culled, the animals are kidnapped in the dead of night, only to turn up weeks later on a farm several hours away. Now, an outspoken raw-milk activist says federal investigators raided his property, looking for clues in the case.

But the bizarre mystery hanging over a group of Eastern Ontario ovines has only deepened. Continue reading

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The party that supports raw milk poised to win in Monday’s Alberta election

A few days ago we ran a story which included an email statement from the Chief Policy Correspondent of Alberta’s Wildrose Alliance party stating that “…We support the right of our dairy producers to sell their product wherever demand exists for it, along with the right of Alberta consumers to purchase unpasturized milk if they so desire…”. Well that’s the party that, judging by the polls, seems poised to form the next Alberta government. Could this be a turning point for raw milk in Canada?

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith gets close to a mother goat during a campaign stop at a family farm near Chestermere, Alta., on Wednesday. Albertans go to the polls on Monday. Photo: JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

From the Calgary Herald “Wildrose steams past Tories…”:

“Danielle Smith and her Wildrose party are surging even farther ahead of Alison Redford’s Progressive Conservatives on the campaign trail, but the battle is shaping up to create a north-south provincial split, according to a new poll.

The Leger Marketing survey of 986 voters across Alberta, commissioned by the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal, shows Wildrose has steadily increased its support as the campaign has rolled into its second week.

Among decided voters, Wildrose has 41 per cent of support, while the PCs have 34 per cent. The NDP is polling at 12 per cent, the Liberals at 10 per cent and the Alberta Party at two per cent. Continue reading

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Farmers markets at the front lines of food access, as Loblaws exec Galen Weston says they’ll kill people

A story today in the Toronto Star reports that at a recent food conference sponsored by Loblaws, Galen Weston said that while farmers markets are great, someday they’ll kill some people. Meanwhile, in Portland, Maine, farmers are going to be able to legally sell raw milk at the local farmers market without warning labels:

A farmers market in Portland Maine where you'll be able to buy raw milk without a warning label. The Portland Press Herald reports that city councilors Monday authorized dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk at Deering Oaks, above, and Portland's other farmers markets without having to explain the risks of consuming raw milk. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette. Click for story.

First from Food Editor Jennifer Bain, in the Toronto Star:

“An off-the-cuff remark by Galen Weston at the Canadian Food Summit has enraged the farmers’ markets community and local food lovers.

“Farmers’ markets are great. . . ,” Weston said Tuesday during a speech to about 600 people at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, but added: “One day they’re going to kill some people though.” Continue reading

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