Finding Local and Organic Produce in Ontario

By Mary Wales- For the shopper looking for certified organic food in Ontario there are many options. Spring, summer and fall months mean an assortment of colourful fresh fruits and vegetables. From asparagus in May to kale in September, with months in between, Ontario’s organic bounty can be found in grocery stores, at farmers’ markets, through CSAs (Community Shared Agriculture) or home delivery programs or at natural health food stores.

Many major retailers now carry certified organic produce either in separate items or alongside conventional items. Look for the Canada Organic Logo or the Foodland Ontario Organic logo to ensure products are grown in line with the Canada Organic Standard.

Farmers markets across the Province offer organic products, while some markets sell certified organic products only. Aren’t sure whether you are buying something organic? Ask which certifying body certified the product or what production methods are used. Farmers’ Markets Ontario has prepared a list of markets across Ontario.

pfennings_tomatoesCSAs have boomed in recent years across Ontario. Before the growing season, CSA shares are sold to customers at a prearranged price. Then, throughout summer and fall months, customers pick up their produce at a specific location. Often CSA supporters receive new vegetables in their baskets and start to get more creative with cooking!  Most CSAs sell shares in fall or spring, so remember to plan ahead.

Home delivery companies have also sprung up in cities across Ontario. Produce and other certified organic products are delivered right to your door step. This option allows you to select exactly what you would like to have before it is delivered. Use an internet search engine to find a home delivery service near you. 

Natural/health food stores have been supplying certified organic food for decades since the health benefits of organic food have long been supported. There are small and large natural and health food stores in many larger and smaller cities across Ontario.

And lastly, if you are looking for a specific product, the Organic Council of Ontario’s online directory lists certified organic products, businesses and stores.

Think before you eat! Choose organic today!  

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