Dairy data: Canada’s declining per capita milk consumption

Glass of milk.jpgOver the past 20 years in Canada, the per capita consumption of fluid milks has declined, with the exception of chocolate milk.

That’s probably not surprising considering…..

* There are fewer kids today, therefore fewer milk drinkers.

* Milk competes with far more beverage options today than were available 20 years ago.

* In the minds of some kids, drinking milk isn’t that cool. Sadly, sports drinks and soft drinks or pop are often the beverages of choice. (Dairy farmer organizations are working hard to change that thinking with their current ad campaigns – Get a Load of Milk (and the Got Milk? campaign in the US) and the active promotion of the nutritional benefits of milk – Dairy Farmers of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Why Milk?)

* The make-up of the Canadian population today includes more immigrants from countries where milk drinking isn’t part of their traditional foodways.

There are a few dairy products we’re consuming in greater quantities than we did two decades ago. It seems we like our cream – table, half and half, whipping and sour! Although the per capita consumption of these foods is still well below that of fluid milk, it would appear we are increasingly finding ways to enjoy these higher fat dairy options.

It will be interesting to see a comparison of these statistics in another few years.

These are Canadian dairy consumption stats (litres per person) for 2007 (black) and 1987 (red):

2% milk  – 38.03 L / 62.53 L
1% milk – 18.3 L / stats not available until 1990
3.25% milk – 11.97 L / 28.59 L
Skim milk – 8.79 L / 5.26 L
Chocolate milk – 5.67 L / 3.99 L
Table cream (18%) – 3.11 L / 0.43 L
Half & half cream (10%) – 3.03 L / 2.89 L
Sour cream – 1.46 L / 0.80 L
Whipping cream (35%) – 1.21 L / 0.90 L
Buttermilk – 0.45 L / 0.52 L

Source: Statistics Canada and Harrowsmith magazine, February 2009

Come eat chocolate with me!

chocolatexsmallChocolate lovers are invited to join me for a chocolate cooking class at Household China & Gifts cooking school in Waterloo on Thursday, Feb. 5th.

I’ll be demonstrating sweet and savoury recipes with the help of cooking school co-ordinator Donna-Marie Pye. There will be lots of chocolatey samples as well as tips on working with chocolate. We’ll be doing some chocolate tasting and, if we can fit it in, an easy hands-on chocolate “craft”, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The class runs from 6:30 until 9 p.m. and costs $70.00.

Sign up for Chocoholics Rejoice by calling 519-884-2792 or visiting Household China at 300 King Street North in Waterloo.

Be sure to check out the other cooking classes in Household China’s Winter Cooking class schedule.

Take my chocolate poll below to vote for your chocolate preference – milk, dark or white. (Yes, white chocolate is technically not chocolate because it doesn’t contain cocao solids but I’m including it anyway since many people consider it chocolate.)

Cloth grocery bags are a great idea! If only I could remember to bring them into the store with me.

groceries-in-cloth-bags

What do you use for your groceries? Plastic, cloth or paper bags? Plastic bins? Take my poll below.

Two days ago, I finally remembered to bring cloth bags with me to the grocery store to bag my groceries.

This is a big deal for me!

I’ve been carrying half a dozen cloth bags with me in my vehicle for a long time, fully intending to bring the bags into the store with me each time I go shopping, but never remembering! I’d get partway through my shopping and remember I’d left my cloth bags in my car. Again!

That all changed a couple days ago. For some reason, that day I remembered those bags as I was getting out of my car at the grocery store.

Wow, a break through! Finally! I’m hoping this means I’ll be able to repeat the experience regularly from now on because…….

Yesterday, a couple grocery stores I usually shop at, announced that starting on Earth Day (April 22), it will be charging $0.05 for each plastic grocery bag. Zehrs and the Real Canadian Superstore (RCS) are joining numerous stores worldwide that now charge for their shopping bags.

(Please Note: Loblaws, the parent store to Zehrs and RCS, just started a fee-for-plastic-bags campaign this week in select stores in the Toronto area. Instead of using cloth bags, another option is to use plastic bins for your groceries. Between now and January 22, you can get a free G.R.E.E.N. Box if you spend $25 or more at certain stores in the Loblaws family of grocery stores. See Loblaws website for a coupon for the bin and a list of the participating stores.)

I usually bring home about eight plastic bags full of groceries on my weekly grocery shopping excursion. Come April, that will be about $0.40 worth of plastic bags. That’s a pittance really per week, and only about $21 for the year.

But the money may just be that extra bit of motivation I need to remember those darn bags in my car, and in the process, contribute in a small way to a greener planet and a healthier environment!

What do you use for your groceries? Take my poll below.

COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, shuts its doors and files for bankruptcy

COPIA - the center for xxxx in Napa, California

COPIA - the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California

Last February, I followed my nose – which is trained to sniff out all things chocolate – to Napa, California for Death by Chocolate, a day-long chocolate-themed extravaganza of tastings, classes, and cooking demonstrations, and a chocolate marketplace. The event was organized by and held at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.

Curious to see what was planned for Death by Chocolate 2009, I logged onto COPIA’s web site today, only to find the following message –

COPIA is currently closed. COPIA has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and is currently not open for business, visitation or future bookings.

COPIA is, or I guess I should say was, a venue created by American vintner Robert Mondavi to celebrate wine, food and the arts. It closed its doors on December 1, 2008. Up until then, it housed a food-themed gallery, Julia’s Kitchen restaurant (named after Julia Child), and edible gardens. It also played host to seminars about food and wine, photography and art exhibits, concerts and movie nights.

Although my connection with COPIA is limited to my experience at Death by Chocolate last year (which was great!), it appeared to me that the center served a vital role in the world of food and wine. However, it also seemed to be a controversial creation, not fully embraced by the local residents. It was also a victim of current economic conditions. And, no doubt there were many other reasons for COPIA’s demise.

You can read more about COPIA and its closure in the Napa Valley Register.

Garlic salt used to melt icy roads

Garlic salt helped prevent slipping and sliding on the snow and ice-covered streets of Ankeny, Iowa (a suburb of Des Moines) this past week.

It’s normal to use salt on roads and highways to melt snow. But garlic salt? That’s a new option! Apparently the garlic salt (18,000 pounds of it!) was donated by Tone Brothers Inc., a spice producer in Ankeny.

The garlic salt had been destined for the landfill, but instead road crews mixed it with regular road salt and sprinkled it on the roads and highways to melt the snow and ice.

It’s not surprising that the crew reported being hungry after their shift distributing the salt. They were probably craving garlic toast or a nice steak with some sauteed mushrooms.

Spray on the enticing aroma of flame-broiled meat

Who would have thought the aroma of flame-broiled meat would be considered the scent of seduction?

Burger King considers the smell of cooked meat to be enticing – as they should considering they’re in the business of cooking meat, and selling that cooked meat! But enticing enough to be made into a men’s cologne??

It seems so!

The aroma of BK’s signature flame-broiled burger – the Whopper – has been captured in a cologne for men, and appropriately dubbed Flame. A 5 mL (.17  ounce) bottle sells for $3.99.

The perfect Christmas gift for the man who has everything…..or the woman who wants her man to smell like he’s been cooking over an open fire…..