Category Archives: Real Food News partners with Penguin Pickup to offer Click & Collect throughout the GTA!

RealFoodToronto-PenguinPickup-partnership is proud to announce a partnership with Penguin Pickup locations.

We now have pickup locations throughout the GTA, offering a convenient Click & Collect option for customers!

To read the official Press Release, CLICK HERE.

For a chart of all Pickup locations and associated pickup windows and cut off times, CLICK HERE.


Visit to Aqua Greens: The Future of Urban Agriculture

The Healthy Butcher and‘s team visits Aqua Greens Aquaponics; Toronto’s first fully sustainable, aquaponic facility. (

Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrification bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The filtered water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system. Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide to Canadian Meat Labels

By Mario Fiorucci, Co-Founder of The Healthy Butcher

In today’s urban lifestyle, consumers, generally, are disconnected from the original source of their food.  As such, food labels play an integral role towards understanding how a product came to be. Unfortunately, marketers have run rampant for decades, fabricating terms, seals, emblems, and photos that form mental associations of idyllic farm settings, even if the product came out of the worst of factory farms. Confusion is at an all time high. Organic, Grass fed, Grass finished, Corn fed, Grain Fed, Free Range, Pasture Raised, Farm Raised, Natural, Naturally Raised, Antibiotic Free, Raised without Growth Hormones, Sustainable, Humane, Ethical, Certified Angus, Kobe, Berkshire… the list of adjectives to describe meat go on and on. What do they mean?

In this issue we will take you through the most common terms found in Canada to describe meat, and what they actually mean. It is important to note that when googling any of these terms, you will more than likely land on a on U.S. web page, which causes Canadians even more confusion because the terms have different meanings in the U.S. or other countries.

Without further ado, The Healthy Butcher’s Ultimate Guide to Canadian Meat Labels…

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Gingerichs’ Organic Eggs

Originally written and published by Sarah for A Transparent Life Blog on March 12, 2012


It’s amazing how little you know about the people you know.

RFT-ATL-Blog_img_3068Don and Sharon Gingerich were friends of my parents when I was a kid, and at times they were our babysitters, too. They live on the same side road as we did, a few country blocks away.

They are the parents of eight, grandparents of fifteen, and the proud caretakers of hundreds of “happy chickens,” as Sharon emphatically calls their flock.

I knew the Gingerichs produced and sold organic eggs, but what I only recently found out was just how rare their operation is, and how well they have established themselves in the organic foods community across Southwestern Ontario.

The Gingerichs have a small organic egg farm. Though you might have some concept of what that looks like, the reality might be more impressive than you imagine.

For starters, there are the regulations imposed on every egg farmer. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stipulates that every egg sold in stores in Ontario must be graded according to federal standards at a facility authorized by the federal government. Official grading stations are often far from small egg farms, and transporting eggs is costly.

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The Silent Gluten Bullet

A look into Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that is likely the most common and most under-diagnosed condition in North America. It is estimated that 18 million Americans and 3 million Canadians have some degree of gluten sensitivity – that’s close to 10% of the population! Of that astoundingly large group of people, many will progress to a state of serious illness with symptoms ranging from severe discomfort to death. In comparing blood samples collected in the 1950s to those in the 1990’s research revealed that young people these days are almost 5 times as likely to have Celiac Disease (“CD”). That’s almost a 500% increase in around 40 years; and those numbers are steadily increasing.

How can it be that bread, a food that is so deeply ingrained in the human fabric, is bad for us? The human race has been consuming bread, and other wheat products since at least 8000 B.C.!  We break “bread” with our family, we celebrate bread in our religions, and something new and wonderful is always the “best thing since sliced bread”.

In this newsletter, we’re going to take a deeper look at gluten, gluten sensitivity, and possible causes to a silent killer that is costing us quality of lives, lives, and millions in medical expenses. We will also breakdown the foods to avoid and those that are safe for people with gluten sensitivities.

RealFoodToronto_TheGlutenPandemic-TitleShot Continue reading

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Fish is now the world’s most-traded animal commodity, with about 100 million tons of wild and farmed fish sold each year!

When The Healthy Butcher started offering fish for sale – first a small selection at the Queen location, and then larger selections at the Eglinton and Kitchener locations – we were faced with a myriad of options to choose from, and countless questions from customers who were fed up with asking grocery store clerks and fishmongers that could not provide answers… especially to the most basic question – should I or shouldn’t I buy and eat this fish? Without a doubt, for anyone with a conscience or who cares for their health, eating fish is much more complicated than it used to be.

To satisfy growing demand, we are catching fish and shellfish faster than they can reproduce, pushing their populations lower and lower; industrial fishing has scoured the global ocean. Of course, there’s a limit to how much the ocean can produce and how many fish we can catch before fish populations are decimated to the point of no return – we’ve already seen it happen with Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, Chilean seabass, Bluefin tuna, sharks and countless other species. Some experts predict that the world’s major commercial stocks will collapse by 2048 if current fishing practices continue.

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Chicken Sex

By Mario Fiorucci, Co-Founder of The Healthy Butcher

This article was originally published in Tonic Magazine November 2011



I have to start by admitting that I am not an expert in the field of pediatrics (although my wife would tell you that I think I’m an expert on everything).  But, the topic of early maturity in girls instantly tickled my spider sense because I have a three-year old daughter.  A few months ago, Pediatrics – the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – published a report out of Copenhagen University which showed that between 1991 and 2006, the average age of breast development in girls (called thelarche, which is the first sign of impending puberty) – decreased from 10.88 years to 9.86 years.  Along that theme, there are no shortages of similarly concluding studies;  another I came across found that the average age of first menstruation (called menarche) decreased from 15 in the 19th century to 13.5 in the 1960s, to 12!

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Organic Can Save the World

Written by Guest Blogger Coach Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute.

This article was originally published in HuffPost on 04/03/2012



Buying organic is a powerful change-making action, but it’s also a relatively easy one. You put the organic food in your cart, hand over the cash, and head home with a bag full of food you can feel good about. Defending your choice to support organic can sometimes be a little trickier. Early on, the trend was to attack the quality of organically grown food–bug-eaten lettuce and scabby apples. In just 20 years, the criticism has become the polar opposite, that organic food is gourmet and only for the rich.

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