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Frequently Asked Questions about RealFoodToronto.com

RealFoodToronto.com deals with over 75 local farms for meat and produce! These are some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers, foodies and those seeking some education about the Real Food movement. You can also submit your own questions or concerns using our contact form. If it's a good one, we'll feature it here!

About Delivery:

  1. Where do we deliver, when do we deliver and how much does delivery cost?

Ordering:

  1. Can I start an order, then leave my computer and continue it later?

  2. What is the minimum order amount?

  3. What if I am not satisfied with an item I receive?

  4. Do you accept corporate orders?

  5. How do I repeat my last order?

  6. How do I order only specific products from my last order?

  7. I'd like to order a Gift Certificate for someone. How do I order?

  8. When and how is the best way to contact RealFoodToronto.com?

General Food, Cooking & Meal Preparation FAQ:

  1. What constitutes "Organic"?

  2. I have heard that organic farming could not feed the world. Is that true?

  3. What is the cost of real food?

  4. I'd like to learn more about cooking. Where do I do that?

  5. Do you offer bulk buying options for those of us who want a large amount of meat?

  6. I'm new to buying good meat. How do I learn about the different types and cuts of meat?

  7. I need a good, simple set of instructions for roasting to stick on my fridge!

  8. Do you sell "Blood Sausage" or blood for making sausage?

  9. What is "Dry Roasting" and how is it done?

  10. Tell me how to make a great burger!

  11. What's all this buzz I hear about a Green Egg, and what exactly is a Kamado/Komodo Cooker?

  12. There are hundreds of varities of cheese. Which one should I try and what's the diff?

  13. There are so many Olive Oils out there! Virgin, Extra Virgin, cold pressed, expeller pressed... what are the main differences and why should I care?

  14. So many spices, so little time. Where do I start?

  15. I'd love to know more about making, baking and enjoying bread.

  16. I have a friend who is Celiac and have a hard time finding information on gluten and gluten-free products.

  17. What is braising?

  18. I need to improve my roasting skills. Got any tips or advice?

  19. There are so many different cooking oils available - how do I know which one is right for my kitchen?

Beef FAQ:

  1. I'd like to learn about the dry ageing of meat. I've heard dry-aged meat tastes amazing. Got any info?

  2. Can I buy Calf's Brains?

  3. What about Veal? Do you sell Provimi Veal and is it ethically raised?

  4. Does how an animal is raised affect it's flavour, tenderness or fat content? I'm used to buying my meat from the local grocery store. Does it matter if it's "grass-fed"?

  5. I've always wanted to know more about Blade Steaks. I've heard they're full of flavour and great for braising. Is this true?

  6. I'd like to BBQ a Brisket. Any tips?

  7. Steak is a right of passage (and rights to the grill) in my family. I need to 'wow' them with my grilling skills. How do I grill the PERFECT steak?

  8. What are "Sustainable Steaks" and why do I see them advertised all over your site?

Pork FAQ:

  1. I've heard about (and just tasted) your famous pulled pork... where do I get this recipe!? Delish!

Chicken, Fowl & Game:

  1. Do you have any tips for cooking this chicken breast?

  2. I read something in a food magazine about the hormone levels of chicken being important when considering eating it? Is this true?

  3. How do I make Duck Confit? I had it at a restaurant the other night and I'm hooked!

  4. Speaking of Duck, what's a simple way to roast it?

Fish & Seafood FAQ:

  1. What's the best way to smoke or "plank" fish?

  2. What exactly is "Sustainable Seafood"?

  3. I've been hearing in the news lately that Salmon may not be as healthy as we think. What gives?

Produce FAQ:

  1. Can you tell me what vegetables are in season right now? Which ones should I buy if I want to purchase seasonally?

Holiday / Celebrations FAQ:

  1. It's Robbie Burns day! Where can I find some haggis and how is it made?!

  2. Help! Any good tips for roasting a goose this holiday?

  3. It's holiday season and I need to make the PERFECT Turkey for my family!

  4. Why do you hardly ever have Turkey?

  5. Why can't I reserve the Turkey size I want; and not a 3 lb. range of weight?

  6. I'd like to order a Gift Certificate for someone. How do I order?

Cookware & Knives FAQ:

  1. I don't know anything about knives, but want to buy a new set to replace my old inherited (and rusty) set. How do I know which knife is right for me?

  2. How do I season (or re-season) my cast iron pan?

  3. What's the difference between a French Oven and a Braiser? And why should I care?

   

ABOUT DELIVERY - FAQ

Q: Where do we deliver, when do we deliver and how much does delivery cost?

A: We deliver during convenient 2 Hour delivery windows - at least 3 times per week (and up to 7 times per week!) for all postal codes listed here. During checkout, a fancy little calendar will pop up and you will have the opportunity to select whatever date and time works for you - up to 3 weeks in advance.

Please click here for all information pertaining to our delivery service.

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ORDERING - FAQ

Q: Can I start an order, then leave my computer and continue it later?

A: Yes, absolutely. Just be sure to sign-in fully with your email and password by clicking in the "sign in" link at the top of the page and start shopping. When you're done, you can select "logout" at the top of the screen (although even if you don't click the logout, the system will log you out automatically after a while). Then, at a later time, later date, even at a different computer at work or home you can log back in and continue where you left off.

Q: What is the minimum order amount?

A: Our minimum order is $40, however please keep in mind that we frequently or make free deliveries for larger and bulk orders.

Q: What if I am not satisfied with an item I receive?

A: We are a family-run business, and customer satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth advertising is essential to our success. Every order is packed by hand, with pride, and every order is signed off by your personal shopper. If there is any issue with your order, you always have someone to contact. If there is ever an issue with your order, we will make it right. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your order.

Q: Do you accept corporate orders?

A: Yes, we certainly do.

Q: How do I repeat my last order?

A: Sign-in to your account by clicking here.

At the top-right of the page, click "Quick Re-Order". Select "Order History" - you'll be able to view a list of all orders and products you have ordered in the past, and quickly select either "Re-Order All" or "Re-Order Some". How awesome is that?!

Q: How do order only specific products from my last order?

A: Sign-in to your account by clicking here.

At the top-right of the page, click "Quick Re-Order". Select "Quick Re-Order". This is perfect if you want to simply reorder a few select items from last weeks order again in a couple of clicks. Of course, you'll always have the option of removing some items or adding more items to your cart.

Q: I'd like to order a Gift Certificate for someone. How do I order?

A: It's easy! We offer 2 different types of Gift Certificate:

  • Purchasing a RealFoodToronto.com Gift Certificate allows the recipient to use the Gift Certificate to redeem for products exclusively from RealFoodToronto.com. This Gift Certificate can be sent your choice via email or Postal Mail to the recipient.
  • Purchasing The Healthy Butcher Gift Certificate allows the recipient to use the Gift Certificate to redeem for products or services in-store only at any of The Healthy Butcher physical locations. It cannot be used to purchase products online at RealFoodToronto.com.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about ordering Gift Certificates.

Q: When and how is the best way to contact RealFoodToronto.com?

A: The best way to reach us is via email: info@realfoodtoronto.com

We do our absolute best to respond to all emails in a timely and appropriate manner, and emails is the best method to address any concerns or questions you have about your order, our products or services.

You may also contact us via phone during regular office hours: 416.489.7325

Our office hours are as follows:

  • Monday through Friday - 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday 12:00pm - 6pm
  • Sunday - CLOSED

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GENERAL FOOD, COOKING & MEAL PREPARATION - FAQ

Q: What constitutes "Organic"?

A: Click here for the answer.

Q: I have heard that organic farming could not feed the world. Is this true?

A: Click here for the answer.

Q: What is the cost of real food?

A: Click here for the answer.

Q: I'd like to learn more about cooking. Where do I do that?

A: Well, start off at our Cooking Library. But that’s not all! We’ve taken the time to hand select videos, in-depth articles and great recipes for every product page... take the time to watch those videos and read those recipes and articles and you will become a chef in no time! :)

Q: Do you offer bulk buying options for those of us who want a large amount of meat?

A: Yes! We do offer bulk buy options for all types of Beef, Pork and Lamb. Click here to learn all about bulk buying meats.

Q: I'm new to buying good meat. How do I learn about the different types and cuts of meat?

A: You're in good company! Learn about all types of meat cuts here.

Q: I need a good, simple set of instructions for roasting to stick on my fridge!

A: We've got you covered! Click here for RealFoodToronto.com's ULTIMATE Roasting Chart. All you'll ever need.

Q: Do you sell "Blood Sausage" or blood for making sausage?

A: We do not produce blood sausage. The smaller abattoirs with which we do business do not collect blood because of the high cost of doing so. Trust us, if we can get our hands on the healthy, organic blood of our own animals, blood sausages will be the first thing on our list.

Q: What is "Dry Roasting" and how is it done?

A: In short, Dry Roasting is the opposite of Braising (using liquid). Click here to learn more.

Q: Tell me how to make a great burger!

A: You can find an easy and delicious recipe here.

Q: What's all this buzz I hear about a Green Egg, and what exactly is a Kamado/Komodo Cooker??

A: Actually, you're thinking of a Komado Cooker. It's simply a BBQ-style convection oven. To learn more about the healthy benefits of using a Komado grill, click here.

Q: There are hundreds of varities of cheese. Which one should I try and what's the diff?

A: Great question! This article should open the door to the world of superb cheeses. Enjoy!

Q: There are so many Olive Oils out there! Virgin, Extra Virgin, cold pressed, expeller pressed... what are the main differences and why should I care?

A:The Healthy Butcher conducted a private tasting roundtable to discuss the differences and variations on conventional Olive Oils vs. high quality oils. Read about the results!

Q: So many spices, so little time. Where do I start?

A: Here is a great place to start learning about the vast amount of spices and their uses.

Q: I'd love to know more about making, baking and enjoying bread.

A: Baking and enjoying your bread at home has never been simpler. Here are some great tips and information to get you started: Bread 101 and Bread 201.

Q: I have a friend who is Celiac and have a hard time finding information on gluten and gluten-free products.

A: Here is a great article looking into Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Q: What is braising?

A: You'll definitely be glad you asked this question. Click here to learn all about the process of Braising.

Q: I need to improve my roasting skills. Got any tips or advice?

A: Absolutely. Make sure to brush-up on your roasting skills using our guide to the fundamental principles of roasting. And enjoy!

Q: There are so many different cooking oils available - how do I know which one is right for my kitchen?

A: Good question! In this series of articles (Part 1 and Part 2) we define the different types of cooking oils available, discuss fats and chemical make-up and clarify which ones are good choices for specific types of cooking.

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BEEF - FAQ

Q: I'd like to learn about the dry ageing of meat. I've heard dry-aged meat tastes amazing. Got any info?

A: You bet! We've got an entire article devoted to it here.

Q: Can I buy Calf's Brains?

A: The Government of Canada has strict regulations regarding the sale of cerebral flesh "brains" of animals. This is in the wake of MAD COW. The small abattoirs, with which we do business, do not collect this material for sale.

Q: What about Veal? Do you sell Provimi Veal and is it ethically raised?

A: We are particularly proud of the initiative we began, working with local Organic Dairy farmers to bring the male offspring of Organic Dairy cows to market in an ethical and sustainable way. Normally, whether the calf is of Organic pedigree or Conventional, its fate was sealed to be sold conventionally and you've likely seen the"horror-story life" that awaits the male offspring of milking cows. If you drink milk, eat cheese, yogurt or ice cream, you are part of the cycle that requires cows to have offspring in order to keep producing milk.

The male calf of a milking breed is not optimal to be grown to adulthood as a beef, as it doesn't have the ideal muscle structure that would make a beef profitable to a farmer. It is a sad fate, but it is expensive to raise a calf to market weight as a beef. We have been working with local dairy farmers to keep their male calves and raise them to be what is known as "red veal". These calves roam the pastures with the parent animal and have a diet of mother's milk (in this case, Organic milk). Because of their activity, and exposure to sunlight, their meat is more pink than the typical (PROtein, VItamin MIneral - PROVIMI fed) conventional counterparts. The conventional White Veal, is that way because of limited activity and no daylight and a restricted diet. No doubt, being removed from the parent animal immediately adds to its stress. We feel better consuming Red Veal that has enjoyed time with its parent, a quality diet, and a meadow breeze on its furry little face.

Although it has had an abbreviated life, the quality of its time is unquestionably better than its conventional counterpart. It is a solution about which we can feel good. For more information on Veal, visit our article here.

Q: Does how an animal is raised affect it's flavour, tenderness or fat content? I'm used to buying my meat from the local grocery store. Does it matter if it's "grass-fed"?

A: Absolutely. Click here to read about the differences between conventional farming, and grass-fed raised beef - and why it does matter.

Q: I've always wanted to know more about Blade Steaks. I've heard they're full of flavour and great for braising. Is this true?

A: Yuuup. They're perfect for a braise, and also great for marinated grilling. Check this out.

Q: I'd like to BBQ a Brisket. Any tips?

A: You betcha! BBQ Brisket is one of our favourite things. (Just ask our head butcher Dave Meli). Here is some great education to get you grilling tasty Brisket in style!

Q: Steak is a right of passage (and rights to the grill) in my family. I need to 'wow' them with my grilling skills. How do I grill the PERFECT steak?

A: No sweat. Read this and you'll be king-o-the-cue in no time!

Q: What are "Sustainable Steaks" and why do I see them advertised all over your site?

A: Sustainable Steaks are unconventional cuts that are also delicious, plentiful, sustainable and are part of the 'nose-to-tail eating' ethos. Read more here.

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PORK - FAQ

Q: I've heard about (and just tasted) your famous pulled pork... where do I get this recipe!? Delish!

A: Thanks! You can find our recipe here. Enjoy!

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CHICKEN, FOWL & GAME - FAQ

Q: Do you have any tips for cooking this chicken breast?

A: Yes! We've got a whole Cooking Library at your disposal, featuring recipes, information and education about all the different types of food preparation and cooking.

Q: I read something in a food magazine about the hormone levels of chicken being important when considering eating it? Is this true?

A: In short, yes; the sex of the bird should be a consideration when buying chicken. Read all about it here.

Q: How do I make Duck Confit? I had it at a restaurant the other night and I'm hooked!

A: It's easier than you think. Thanks to our step-by-step guide to the process, you'll be enjoying 'better-than-resto' Duck Confit at home in no time!

Q: Speaking of Duck, what's a simple way to roast it?

A: Easy! Click here to learn how to roast duck at home!

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FISH & SEAFOOD - FAQ

Q: What's the best way to smoke or "plank" fish?

A: Here is an article with everything you need to know about planking fish.

Q: What exactly is "Sustainable Seafood"?

A: Another great question! In this article we explain what "Sustainable Seafood" means, as well as include some tips and things to look for when purchasing fish and seafood.

Q: I've been hearing in the news lately that Salmon may not be as healthy as we think. What gives?

A: There are valid arguments on both sides of this fence. We list some of the points made over the past few years in this in-depth article entitled; "The Salmon Debate".

 

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PRODUCE - FAQ

Q: Can you tell me what vegetables are in season right now? Which ones should I buy if I want to purchase seasonally?

A: We have a great and informative Guide to Ontario Produce we've created just for you!

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HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS - FAQ

Q: It's Robbie Burns day! Where can I find some haggis and how is it made?!

A: Get your history (and a little something extra), served up hot here. Watch our video on the making of a Haggis.

Q: Help! Any good tips for roasting a goose this holiday?

A: Absolutely! There's nothing like a home-cooked bird for the holidays. Click here for detailed instructions on how to roast your perfect bird!

Q: It's holiday season and I need to make the PERFECT Turkey for my family!

A: Don't fret, we've got you covered with step-by-step instructions on how to turn those dry, chewy turkey frowns upside down! Click here for detailed instructions on how to make The Healthy Butcher's Perfect Turkey!

Q: Why do you hardly ever have Turkey?

A: We deal with very small local farms. In Ontario, the poultry industry has a "quota" system in place. A farmer can buy a "quota" meaning they can breed and sell a "certain number-quota" of birds annually. Quotas are extremely expensive and are not divided into "organic" / "non-organic" so the number you're allowed is finite. Processing costs affect the end cost as well. Our farmers would rather raise these animals for the times of year when they know they can sell out... Thanksgiving and other big holidays. (and benefit from a "value of scale cost" per pound on processing the birds). Additionally, the processing costs for farmers to only process 20 birds vs 200 or 1000 birds, would add greatly to the price of turkey in "off-peak" times of the year. So, from the farmers we know and trust, we can only get these birds in limited amounts at limited times of year.

Q: Why can't I reserve the Turkey size I want; and not a 3 lb. range of weight?

A: First off, we have been selling turkeys for many years, and it is quite rare that we can’t meet your needs to within a quarter-pound. However, we cannot promise anything beforehand since we deal with fresh turkeys and don’t know what we’ll have on hand until the day of sale.

We offer a range of sizes, not specific sizes because there are so many variables that affect the animal's size. (breed, weather, activity) If it is particularly cold, the animals tend to be somewhat smaller as their energy is going into keeping warmer. The animals always have plenty of space to roam so if they are particularly active or if they are a breed that likes to roost and move around, they will be a little more on the lean side. Warmer weather tends to bring out their appetite and that can sometimes mean bigger birds. Some "pastured" birds have a diet that includes the bugs they encounter in the pasture and they tend to be a bit bigger with this added protein in their diet. Our farmers can only roughly predict the weights.... so we are left with a range (as defined by our farmers). If you really need a specific size, we cannot promise you that size but will endeavour to get you something closest to that size.

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COOKWARE & KNIVES - FAQ

Q: What's the difference between a French Oven and a Braiser? And why should I care?

A: In addition to the plethora of videos demonstrating the differences of types of cookware, our Cookware Buying Guide goes into detail about what each piece does, and why they're essential.

Q: How do I season (or re-season) my cast iron pan?

A: It's a simple step-by-step. Click here to learn everything you need to know to season cast iron at home.

Q: I don't know anything about knives, but want to buy a new set to replace my old inherited (and rusty) set. How do I know which knife is right for me?

A: We make it real easy... read our Knife Buying Guide and get pro.

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If your question wasn't answered here, or you have additional questions or concerns about our food, products or services, please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to making your experience with us as enjoyable as possible!

Thanks, The RealFoodToronto.com Online Team.