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Be healthy, feel virtuous

April, 2010

Health food stores have become one of the fastest-growing segments of the food industry. Somehow you feel virtuous when shopping in these kinds of shops. You can make good lifestyle choices in regular supermarkets, but health food stores often have products that are organically traceable right back to the farmer who grew them. There are networks of thousands of farmers who produce for this market.

Be careful of that word “organic,” though; McGill’s Dr. Joe Schwarcz will tell us that everything is organic.

It is more expensive to buy food at health food stores because of the cost of producing smaller quantities and growing without pesticides, etc.

Your regular supermarket staples are here – grains, beans, flours (spelt, amaranth, kamut, soy, gluten-free), cereals, organic fish, beef, veal and chicken, healthy breads, dairy, candy, chips, freshly ground peanut butter, but also cashew, almond and sesame. There are always lots of teas: green, barley, tisanes.

There’s food to go: stir fries with seitan and miso, millet pie, pizza, spring rolls, homemade soups and desserts, spelt and seaweed wraps and barbecue burgers.

It’s the harder-to-find items that are not usually found in a corner supermarket that draw many into these stores, such as gluten-free, lactose-free and wheat-free products.

Here are some more health food shops around the island:

A Votre Sante, 5126 Sherbrooke St. West at Vendome Ave. Phone: 514-482-8233. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 11- 5:30.

Fleur Sauvage, 5561 Monkland Ave. at Old Orchard Ave. Phone: 514-482-5193. Hours: Mon-Wed 10-8, Thurs, Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5. Other location: Ambrosia, 977 Ste. Catherine W. (514-842-9662).

Healthtree, 3827 St. Jean Blvd. at de Salaberry Blvd, D.D.O. Phone: 514-624-2896. Hours: Mon-Wed

9-7, Thurs, Fri 9-9, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-5.

Club Organic, 4341 Frontenac at Rachel. Phone 514-523-0223. Hours: Mon-Wed 9:30 to 6, Thurs, Fri 9:30-8, Sat 9:30-5.

Food items bought at this store can be traced to the farmer who produced them, as these products are certified by Ecocert Canada, an international regulatory network. If you become a member of Club Organic ($30), you are offered a discount based on the volume you buy each time: a $1-$99 order will yield a three-per-cent discount, $100-$299 is five per cent off, and $300 and up will get you seven per cent off.



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