I remember reading an interesting quote that, paraphrased, said society was losing touch with where food came from and that the increase in urbanization was a death knell for rural life. The quote was from the 1920s. Shocking? A little, but it’s also an excellent bit of perspective for where we sit now, nearly 100… Read More

On the heels of Canada’s National Biotechnology Week, the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is taking place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this week. ABIC, hosted this year by Ag-West Bio, was initiated in 1996 in Saskatoon, and has grown to include delegates from over 60 countries, promoting and discussing the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The conference started on… Read More

The hazards to feeding livestock mycotoxin-contaminated feed seem to be on everyone’s radar, with some very recent issues of ergot poisoning occurring across the prairies. But perhaps some of the lesser communicated risks are those that endanger the health of the very people who work with these feeds. Related: The Feed Industry’s Challenge with Mycotoxins… Read More

There’s a right way and a wrong way to get rid of treated seed. Using up most of what you have is a logical first step, but even the few kernels left in bins, trucks or augers could cause you major headaches down the line. Canada’s grain handling system has a zero tolerance level for… Read More

For people with celiac disease, avoiding gluten — a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale — is a medical necessity. Even small amounts of the protein can trigger bloating, gas and diarrhea, and can lead to eventual weight-loss and fatigue. Yet diagnosed celiac disease accounts for only roughly 1% of the population. Another… Read More

Some of you reading this have likely either consumed unpasteurized milk, or know someone who has, and been perfectly fine for the experience. Ditto for University of Guelph food scientist Prof. Art Hill, a leading authority on milk safety. Some 50 years ago on the family dairy farm on Manitoulin Island, he drank unpasteurized milk… Read More

“It’s an atrocity to block the humanitarian gesture of improved nutrition,” says Kevin Folta, scientist and associate professor at the University of Florida, referring to opposition towards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We saw incredible public interest in food in 2013, with polarizing discussions often centred around biotechnology. Many, including Folta, argue the current debates are largely… Read More

Inspired by the Masters of Beef Advocacy program offered in the United States, Canada’s Beef Advocacy Program will be available to the public in the new year, and will be comprised of two levels. The first level will be for anyone with interest in the beef industry, providing information “right from genetics and breeding all… Read More

The Lancet Infectious Diseases published an editorial entitled Antibiotic resistance—the need for global solutions to mark Antibiotic Awareness Week (which is this week, FYI). The article is as long as the situation is complicated. With twenty-six contributors and nearly 400 references, it looks to address the concerns around antibiotic resistance, factors that cause resistance, and recommended strategies… Read More

“There are no facts, only interpretations,” is a common quote I refer to from poet Friedrich Nietzsche. Modernizing the language, I take it as, “Facts don’t matter, only the perception.” The struggle for perception in food is at an all time high. I talked last month about A&W’s perception of what ‘Better Beef’ represents, despite… Read More

In a surprising move, U.S. company Merck Animal Health has suspended sales of the beta-agonist Zilmax, a cattle growth promotant, according to a Reuters report. The decision comes on the heels of Tyson Foods Inc. announcing last week that the company would no longer accept slaughter cattle that had been fed the feed additive. JBS… Read More