Eating Local: Four Myths Debunked

While Quebeckers are more inclined to buy local food than ever before, some myths surrounding the movement still persist. Here are four misconceptions that must be debunked!

Eating Local Is Complicated

Myth! In fact, it’s becoming easier to eat Quebec products than ever before. There are many popular initiatives that favour local purchasing of food, such as public markets, and through agrotourism. And major grocery stores are getting involved as well. Indeed, IGA, Provigo, Maxi and Walmart have all put initiatives in place to offer more products from Quebec. Metro launched its local purchase program for agri-food products back in 2013. Today, nearly 1,000 fresh and processed products from 150 local suppliers are on their store shelves in several regions of Quebec. Hotels and restaurants are also following suit with supply policies promoting Quebec products. In addition, food services at educational institutions such as McGill University are also doing their part by favouring local purchasing.

Eating Local Is Just for Hippies

Another myth. Fans of the green movement may have been among the pioneers of locally sourced food, but they are not the only ones looking for home-grown products. A majority of Quebeckers have adopted this purchasing practice. According to the Responsible consumption barometer, published in 2016 by the Responsible Consumption Observatory of the School of Management Sciences at UQAM, more than 66% of Quebec consumers favour shopping locally because it’s a practice that responds to their concern of protecting the environment. And contrary to popular belief, proximity transactions are not just for young people. Those who are 65 years old and over top the list at 77%, compared to 69% for the 25-to-44-year-old cohort.

Eating Local Is Expensive

Not true! Going for locally sourced food on a budget is totally possible. It's all about comparing prices and looking for discounts. In mainstream grocery stores, many Quebec products are regularly featured in flyers such as meat, dairy, pastries and more. You should take advantage of the deals! Choose Aylmer tomatoes to make your spaghetti sauce, go for Bondelle canned vegetables or stock up on Leclerc soft bars for your afternoon cravings. These are purchases that encourage local businesses without affecting your budget.

Another way to support the local industry without spending too much is to go right to the source. This includes going to public markets or dealing directly with local producers. Direct sales eliminate middlemen, which significantly affects the food cost.

Eating Local Is Only Good for Summertime

Not. It isn’t only during the harvest season that we can get local food. Too often, we associate home-grown products with fruits and vegetables while producers and processors offer a wide range of food that can be found on grocery store shelves. You can also go local throughout the year from greenhouse companies that grow a wide variety of vegetables. More and more companies are also offering online grocery services where you can order fresh, vacuum-packed or frozen products, including meat, fish and seafood. And don’t forget all your favourite products certified and labelled Aliments du Québec and Aliments préparés au Québec that are available in supermarkets all year round. What a delight!