Category Archives: meat

Incubator uses Growing Forward 2 funding to give local food businesses a start

This week’s story comes to us from the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

By Lilian Schaer

Toronto – A not-for-profit food business incubator in Toronto is helping entrepreneurs get their fledgling food companies off the ground.

Food Starter offers food prep, processing, packaging and storage facilities to industry entrants at a reduced rate, as well as courses to teach entrepreneurs about key aspects of the food industry, like food safety, regulatory compliance, labelling, accounting, marketing, business management and human resources.

The Toronto Food Business Incubator partnered with the City of Toronto to access funding from Growing Forward 2 to develop and launch Food Starter in November 2015.

“A lot of people here are good at recipes but don’t know about all the other things needed to run a food business,” explains Carlos Correia, Food Starter’s Facility Manager. “We cover all aspects of business development to give them information they didn’t know existed but would be road block to keep them from moving forward.” Continue reading

Online marketing opens consumer doors for Ontario beef farmers

Rob and Maryjo Tait of Celtic Ridge Farms

By Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario

Dutton – Ontario beef farmers are taking ‘local’ online to reach new customers.

Farm to City, a new marketing model with a web-based ordering system, is opening up direct-to-customer marketing opportunities for beef farmers such as Rob and Maryjo Tait, of Celtic Ridge Farms.

The young farm family recently launched the online ordering system and was thrilled by the response from customers.

“We knew our farm meat products needed an online presence,” said Rob. “Our customers are shopping, researching and sharing their food experiences online. The Farm to City online model is attracting new customers and opening up new opportunities for us.” Continue reading

A gut full of health

Emma Allen Vercoe Close-Up_University of Guelph_Photographer Martin Schwalbe_DSCF0262 - webBy Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – The key to better health is through our gut. At least that’s what Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, has concluded from her research on the human gut microbiota ecosystem.

It’s a big term but simply put, microbiota is a collection of microbes found within the gut. And those microbes are important, because they’re strongly linked to the overall health of a human or animal.

Dr. Allen-Vercoe’s latest research is applying what she’s learned about the human gut microbiota to pigs to enhance the gut system and improve the overall health of the animal. Because just like humans, better health means less disease and less antibiotic use.

“Our goal is to reduce the use of antibiotics in pigs,” says Dr. Allen-Vercoe. “If we can naturally improve an animal’s health by colonizing its gut with healthy microbes, the animal’s overall health will improve and reduce the need for antibiotic treatments.” Continue reading

DNA testing chicken meat will ensure consumers get what they pay for

DNA Laboratory - webBy AgInnovation Ontario

Toronto – When you go to a restaurant for an expensive dinner, you expect that you’re going to get exactly what you ordered.

But what if the restaurant or its supplier substituted your sword fish for a cheaper product like tilapia and didn’t tell you? The products might be similar in taste and appearance, leaving you misled about what you really paid for.

The same problem can exist in poultry. Consumers and importers expecting to purchase fresh chicken raised by Canadian farmers could potentially be deceived into buying meat from older laying hens (called spent fowl) that are a by-product of egg production.

While birds called broiler chickens are raised for meat consumption and are the product most frequently found in meat counters, spent hens will also be processed once their egg laying productivity declines. Their meat, which can be tougher and stronger tasting, is used for processed products like soups, patties, nuggets, or deli meats. Continue reading

Underlying heart problems could be causing pig deaths during transport

Pig truck

Pig transport truck – courtesy of Farm & Food Care photo library

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

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Guelph – New research funded through the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP) is suggesting that heart failure due to enlarged hearts may be a key reason why some pigs die on farm or during transport.

In-transit losses – pigs that die while being transported – tend to be higher during the summer months when temperatures are warmer, leading to a commonly accepted school of thought that attributes heat-related stress as a leading contributor to the mortalities.

“Now we know there is a lot more to this story and although it is still a relatively unusual condition – only about 0.06 per cent of all pigs shipped to market – we should do something about it,” explained Tony Van Dreumel, an independent veterinary pathologist and consultant who worked on the project together with University of Guelph PhD candidate Kathy Zurbrigg. Continue reading