Community. Connection. Canola.

Food Day Canada is an annual celebration of Canadian food held on the first Saturday of August. It honours farmers, ranchers, fishers and processors by serving local and regional food and beverages.

But this year, I want to turn the tables to acknowledge, celebrate and thank a special community. A diverse, talented, inquisitive and caring community I would never had met without the Canola Eat Well team from the Manitoba Canola Growers.

Over the years they have organized farm tours, community summits, in-person and on-line food events. Opportunities for this prairie farm girl, and farmers from across Canada, to met chefs, registered dietitians, home economists, recipe developers, food writers/bloggers, scientists and media personnel from coast to coast.

It has provided the chance to share stories and have thoughtful, insightful conversations about food and farming. It has created friendships and meaningful connections.

Our #CanolaConnect community is a special one in many ways. The recent, thoughtful actions of those in it have inspired this post. Below is my thank you to them.


Flowering Canola

Dear Canola-Connect Community,

Since China banned Canadian canola exports, your support and concern for canola farmers has been phenomenal. Your response has emphasized the power and importance of connection and community.

So on Food Day Canada, I want to celebrate you – the chefs, registered dietitians, home economists, recipe developers, food writers/bloggers and media personnel. Your voices as food communicators are valued and important.

In the recent months, you have called on Canadians to include canola oil when they ‘support local’. You have highlighted not only the versatility and nutritional value of our made-in-Canada oil, but the impact of exports to farmers, the industry and our economy.

As I’ve watched you on your television spots or Facebook lives, read your blogs or social media posts, I’ve often had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Your shout-outs, your recipes, your unwavering support, really make a difference to me.

It may not change trade disputes or the outcome of this year’s crop, but it makes it easier to deal with the difficulties. Knowing someone cares. Knowing someone supports you. Knowing someone appreciates what you grow.

Using your talents and passion for what you do to share our stories with your audience makes my heart sing. Every time you make a shout-out to farmers, Canadian food, give the facts behind canola oil and food in general, I’m cheering from the sidelines!

Whether we have met in person at Harvest Camp, Canola Summit, cooking demos or on-line through #canolaconnect, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for your curiousity, interest and desire to learn. For connecting with farmers and understanding the complexities of food production. For appreciating where our food comes from as well as the risks and challenges associated with it.

As Ellen Pruden, Canola Eat Well Director, so wisely stated, “Acts of support are like acts of kindness. They do something to lift people up and make a difference.”

Jennifer Dyck photo


#CanolaConnect Blog Posts

Canada’s Crop: Why I Choose Canola

We Support Canadian Farmers

Opinion: A love letter to you

 

 

 

 

 

No sponsorship required

Sometimes there is irony to a post. This would be one such case. 


There is something I always carry in my purse or backpack to avoid being ‘hangry’ — whether it’s for me or anyone else who might be in need. In my life, emergency snacks have always been essential. Over the years, exactly what that is has changed, and my ‘go to’ are now GORP energy bars.

Recently when I shared one at a meeting, and was extolling the virtues, I was asked if I worked for the company.

“No,” I replied, “I just love the bars, the story behind them, the company’s values, the packaging — plus it’s made-in-Manitoba!” Apparently I’m a little passionate about GORP!

I wondered afterwards why, when we praise or promote a product or service, it’s assumed either we must work for, or be sponsored by, a company.

Is it the way advertising is evolving with more endorsement-based promotion on social media? Has society changed to the point that no one believes you will support something unless you get something back? Is that really who we’ve become? Does there always have to be an underlying motive?

I don’t think so. Whether it’s food, or any other type of product or service I love, I share my positive experiences with others. Perhaps it’s to introduce them to something new,  especially if it’s locally-made, or to support a business that provides exceptional service.

No ulterior motive. No freebies needed.  Just a wish for on-going success so I have the privilege of being able to purchase what they are providing, along with the joy and satisfaction of seeing someone succeed. No sponsorship required.