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Author: Owen Roberts

Good gravy! Reclaiming a comfort food favourite

Grassland soils can sequester a huge amount of the greenhouse gas, CO2. At Shipwell Cattle Feeders in Taber, Alta., the company’s adaptive multi-paddock grazing system removes the equivalent CO2 emissions of about 13,000 vehicles per year. On a cold winter day in Alberta, Algonquin College executive chef Russell Weir’s pot roasted beef recipe would be warm and welcomed comfort food in Taber, as it is in Ottawa.

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Let cooking transport you to other lands

Much of Ontario’s beef comes from Western Canada, with cattle being shipped across the prairies to mature and be processed. Cattle farmers like the Tapleys of Manitoba know that managed pastures sequester carbon in the soil and grasses, which helps reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Wilfrid Laurier University executive chef Cory Armitage uses Canadian beef with his spicy, aromatic version of beef vindaloo.

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Let the wonderful aroma of beef braising fill your home

Consumers have turned to homegrown beef and other dependable staples since the pandemic, says Maryjo Tait of Celtic Ridge Farms near Dutton, Ont. Western University executive chef Kristian Crossen says his students and faculty also want dependability in the quality and taste of the meals he prepares. His boneless short ribs, marinated and braised, always score winning marks in those categories.

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This chef bets on beef for a colourful, aromatic ragu

About half of Ontario-fed beef cattle are part of an Ontario Corn Fed Beef quality assurance program, that specifies animals be fed a diet of 80 per cent corn. Participating farmers say that makes the meat more tender and juicy. University of Windsor executive chef Paolo Vasapolli loves using Ontario beef in his chianti-stained pappardelle with beef ragu recipe.

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Urban Cowboy

Raising awareness and promoting dialogue about current food and agriculture issues.


Headshot of Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications program at the University of Illinois. As an agricultural journalist, he is the past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and a lifetime achievement award recipient from the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation.

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