What is Eat Local? For those of you who have never been, Eat Local is a not-for-profit food co-op, which means they work with local farmers to bring you the best local foods.  Stores like these use customer support and donations or memberships to keep running.

Why Eat Local food? Most main stream grocery stores look at the cheapest way to provide you food and bringing it in from all over the world.  With a local food co-op, such as Eat Local, they try to bring in food from the closest sources (mainly Ontario).   When your food has less of a distance to travel the food is fresher and has more nutrients.  My favourite example of this is with carrots, if you go and buy a bag of carrots from a mainstream store and then go and buy carrots that have been pulled from the ground yesterday, you will notice a huge difference in taste.  We also want to remember that when eating local we are giving back to the community and giving these local farmers a reason to want to farm for us every year.

If you have ever been to Eat Local you will notice they are more about quality than quantity.  They may not look like they have a lot to offer when you first walk in the door but if you take the time to read labels (of their sources) and try something different you may be surprised.


They will always have local produce, and have come up with a system on the levels of their products.  It ranges from local organic foods to Ontario grown food, to even Canadian grown food (which is rare for produce it mainly applies to shelf foods).   You can read the whole article of their levels here.


Shiitake- Besides white button mushrooms or creminis, shiitakes are the next common they contain iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium, copper and other vitamins and minerals.  They have a strong flavour, and can be dried which intensifies the flavour even more.

Eat local has a selection of local mushrooms, one being the shiitake.  I bought some and used mine in a creamy pasta sauce but there are many recipes that can be found using them.


Rise- Kombucha seems to be on the rise with new breweries popping up everywhere. For those of you who are not familiar with this product, it is a fermented tea that is naturally carbonated and a great alternative for pop.  The company Rise has created some amazing flavours of Kombucha, mine being lemongrass, that can be found at Eat Local.

There is so much more about this store I could talk about, and so many opportunities they have brought to our community.  Even if you don’t become a member or volunteer, shopping there once a week or even once a month helps.  You would be surprised at how many local restaurants use food provided to them by Eat Local.  For more info on this store you can check out their website or visit them in store at 176 Larch St.


Cassie-Lee Tario (C.N.P) is a Holistic Nutritionist and the former owner of The HeartBeet Cafe. She loves to cook, create new recipes and share her health knowledge with everyone. To find out more info about her or how to contact her visit

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