Main Content

May 17, 2018

Sharing the fruits of research: studying the state of the apple industry in the Okanagan

The amount of land in the Okanagan Valley dedicated to growing apples dropped by 35 per cent between 2001 and 2011 — a shift that led to substantial changes in the industry, with broad repercussions for processing and distribution, and inspired two Okanagan College School of Business professors, Lee Cartier and Svan Lembke, to examine the situation and the new opportunities it has given rise to. Their work looked in particular at the links among “clusters” — the interconnected businesses, suppliers and other organizations in a geographic area that are all involved in the same industry. Cartier and Lembke found... Read more
Read more
May 17, 2018

A big problem for Little Harbour

In picturesque Little Harbour, Nova Scotia, the livelihoods and pastimes of residents are inextricably linked to the water. More than 650 permanent and seasonal homes, along with six commercial shellfish harvesting areas, lie along Little Harbour’s 31.5 kilometres of shoreline. But the beauty and prosperity of the area is being undermined by water contamination levels in the harbor, which have been on the rise for some years. The main contaminant is fecal coliform—the bacteria found in feces, and one that can accumulate in shellfish tissue. The presence of fecal coliform and the disease-causing pathogens it can contain has had an... Read more
Read more
May 17, 2018

Waste not, want not: Red River College and local microbreweries take an innovative approach to leftovers

Who knew there’s more to beer leftovers than what lingers in the bottom of a stubby at the end of a party? Red River College and two local microbreweries in Winnipeg teamed up make use of the spent grain that’s left at the end of the brewing process, in an experiment that shows how far a little imagination and innovation can go. Together, they made a new kind of miso — the thick paste that’s normally made from fermented soy beans and is a staple of Japanese cooking. Spent grain is a by-product of the brewing industry and generally used... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

A bit of research today keeps the doctor away — from the apples

Apples, the fruit that famously keeps the doctor away, are getting some help to keep away unwanted visitors themselves. Ontario’s apple trees are facing damage from a new pest – the apple leaf curling midge. The galls (bumps that appear on leaves) produced by the midges can interfere with the normal growth and development of the terminal shoots of young apple trees, which delays or stunts their structural development. It’s a particular problem in Durham Region, where the amount of land dedicated to growing apples has doubled in the last five years, because young trees are particularly affected, but apple... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Students add flare to a foodie favorite

Longshore Fisheries is a family-owned lobster fishery that employs most of the residents in Sonora, Nova Scotia — but it is just one of over 400 seafood processing companies in the Maritimes. The company experienced steady and gradual growth and over time expanded its building and added equipment, new products and services. “The lobster industry is very competitive,” says Krysta Hanley, whose family set up the company in a shuttered clam plant. “We realized very quickly we need to have something that nobody else has.” The family-owned business realized it needed help to be innovative, so they approached the New... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Integrating kosher and food-safety guidelines

While there is much overlap between kosher and food safety programs, they have been kept markedly separate. Until now — thanks to the Kashruth Council of Canada and Niagara College’s joint project to develop an efficient way to integrate kosher certification with food safety planning. The council, a not-for-profit organization, is Canada’s largest certifier of kosher food. Its inspectors are responsible for determining that products made at more than 1,000 facilities across Canada and around the world meet the standards of Jewish dietary laws. At the same time, most of the world’s leading food retailers and manufacturers participate in the... Read more
Read more
April 20, 2018

Not paving, but paradise — creating an organic garden

White Oaks Resort and Spa in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, wanted to convert 1,152 square feet of its property from grass into a sustainable garden. The area abuts a road and is exposed to high winds, car residue and pollution. Michael Wakil, White Oaks’s chief development officer, said the original plan was to extend the resort’s parking lot but he just couldn’t go through with it. “I realized when you look out, it would just be asphalt. There’s the parking that’s already here, then a roadway and then [another] parking lot. That’s a lot of asphalt,” he said. “It’s... Read more
Read more
April 19, 2018

Parisian Pastries from Prairie Pulses

The rich food value of dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas has been known for centuries — their collective name, "pulses", comes from puls, a Latin word that means both "seeds" and "porridge". Pulses are widely consumed both as animal feed and in savoury dishes for humans around the world, and research continues to expand their uses. Some of those new uses are remarkable — the crowning achievement of this project was to create a nut-free, egg-free French macaron using navy bean flour as a butter substitute. Best Cooking Pulses is a family-owned Canadian processor of pulse crops grown in... Read more
Read more
June 22, 2016

Looking for a Way to Nurture Systems to Feeds Us

Agricultural land is an irreplaceable natural resource and we are not looking after it as we should, according to Kent Mullinix, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. “Nations and provinces and municipalities create policy and law and regulation all the time to advance their vision, their agenda, and somehow we have decided a sustainable food system isn’t worth doing that for,” Mullinix said in a telephone interview. Mullinix is the lead researcher on Fostering Regional Food Systems, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, from its Community and College Social Innovation Fund.... Read more
Read more
June 22, 2016

Returning to Traditional Knowledge for Solutions to Modern Problems

In Northern Québec, just inland from James Bay, stands the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, a new home for an ancient people. The history that brought a nomadic nation to this small village caused disruption in every aspect of life, culture and knowledge. Now, the Chisasibi nation is working with researchers, led by the Cégep de Victoriaville, to establish new approaches to food security based on traditional knowledge. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, out of its Community and College Social Innovation Fund. There are about 4,000 Chisasibi Cree. For them, as for other northern... Read more
Read more