Hello! My name is Laura and thanks for checking out EnviroCommPosts! I’ve decided to start my blogging career writing about one of my favorite things – food! In today’s fast paced, globalized world, we often forget that where our food comes from can be as important as how we eat it. As awesome as being able to buy pineapples in November is, sometimes we need to question how a truckload of nearly-ripe pineapples ended up in Montreal.
Good Food Boxes?
Usually when I’m in the basement of the SSMU building, I’m lurking in a corner of Gerts crying about my last midterm but, a few weeks ago I had a better reason to be down there – to pick up my groceries! That’s right, a McGill group, Femmedére, coordinates the Good Food Box program which sells boxes of produce that you pick up right on campus. No need to make a trip to Metro on the weekend, you can conveniently pick up your groceries after class! If you’re like me and are addicted to fruits and veggies, it’s an amazing value. My roommate and I split a large box and it lasted us weeks. For only $18, our large food box included:
– 1 bunch of parsley – 1 bunch of radishes – 5 GIANT red and green peppers (seriously, we were overwhelmed) – 4 onions – 5 carrots – 1 head of cauliflower – 13 oranges- 5 tomatoes – 10 apples – 8 potatoes – 1 spaghetti squash – 10 bananas
Try getting all that at Provigo for $18! If there’s anything in the box that you find particularly off-putting, you can exchange it for something else from the GFB team or with someone else at the pick-up.
The Good Food Box program is coordinated by Moisson Montréal and brought to McGill’s downtown campus by Femmedére McGill. Femmedére is a student-run group at McGill that encourages healthy and nutritional food choices through workshops and food programs like the GFBs. The boxes are also way more sustainable than traditional grocery stores since they purchase from local farmers whenever possible. This means the food travels less distance and doesn’t need as much refrigeration during storage and transport. Plus $2 of every sale goes to Femmedére’s nutrition workshops that run within women’s shelters in Montréal.
Using the Food Box
With such a wide variety of ingredients, we took this opportunity to unleash our inner master chefs. Although my roommate and I ate a good amount of the box raw since we’re too lazy to cook 75% of the time, I did whip out the pots and pans for a few meals. I kind of wing it when I cook so I’m going to try my best in describing a few of these creations.
Breakfast Potatoes (~20-30 minutes)
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but it’s also my favorite. I could pretty much eat eggs and bacon for every meal for the rest of my life but I usually add some greens to the plate in an attempt to convince myself I’m eating healthy. I whipped up some awesome breakfast potatoes using the onion, green peppers, and potatoes from the box.
First, I cut everything into chunks. I’d recommend cubing your potatoes a little smaller than I did in the picture since they took a while to cook (or fry your potatoes just a little before you add the onion and pepper). I tossed everything in some olive oil, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes before frying in a little butter.
Mashed Cauliflower (~30-45 minutes)
Another recipe we tried was mashed cauliflower. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower but mashed cauliflower is so creamy and delicious it tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating potatoes.
Get some water or stock boiling in a pot, then wash and break the cauliflower into small pieces. Cook it in the boiling water for 7-ish minutes. Drain, pat dry, and throw it into a food processor with some sautéed garlic, butter, cream, salt, pepper, or whatever you would add to regular mashed potatoes. Eat as a side, meal or straight out of the food processor (no judgment I promise). You could also garnish it with some that parsley if you really want to be a food box champ.
Since the produce varies between each delivery I can’t guarantee any of the ingredients for these “recipes” will be in the next box. The variety of produce within each box makes them great for making salads and snacks. I’ve been eating apples and oranges between classes for weeks.
Sustainable, local, and an amazing value. If you’re broke, always hungry, lazy or just love being environmentally conscious, this is a dream come true.