First thing you’re told when you go into business is, “Don’t get political”. That was never going to be a rule I could follow. From the beginning, Singing Bowl Granola has been a vehicle for bringing positive change into my world. I know there will be plenty of people who do not consider my politics to be positive, and I apologize if anyone is offended by my convictions.
Like so many others, I have really struggled with this whole “Canada 150” thing. Though I sure do love Canada, I am not exactly patriotic, and there are too many unpleasant aspects of our colonial history I can’t applaud. Nope – I just couldn’t go out waving the red and white this July 1st. Don’t get me wrong. There are so many aspects of this country I love, most of all, the land we Canadians call home.
I’ve had the good fortune to see a big chunk of this enormous country, and I can testify that it is truly marvelous. From the soothing Maritimes, over the awe-inspiring Canadian Shield, across the expansive Prairies, up and over the iconic Rockies, and the final run through the diversity of BC – Canada has a lot to offer. I like to picture these beautiful regions when I order my ingredients for our granola and porridge.
Of course, our main ingredient is organic oats. We order them by the pallet load. It is heartening to know pretty much exactly where these oats come from as we buy them from the Farmer Direct Coop in Saskatchewan. We also source our organic flax seeds and hemp hearts from these farmers. You know those gorgeous photos of waving grain under impeccable skies? Chances are good you’ve been chowing down on some of that goodness depicted in these stock photos, tasting The Prairies at their finest.
Well, of course the maple syrup we use comes from Quebec with their fine tradition of tapping the trees in the spring and boiling the sap into a veritable nectar of the gods. Our organic dried cranberries and blueberries also hail from this Eastern Canadian province. Our other source of sweetness, honey, all comes from Canadian bees (do you think they know their nationality?).
After that, we go global. It should come as no surprise to you that our organic coconut and organic coconut oil come from regions more tropical (The Philippines, to be precise), but, I, personally have been completely flabbergasted, and rather frustrated in my attempts to locate Canadian sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. All sunflower seeds seem to originate in Bulgaria, and, even more surprisingly, all pumpkin seeds come from China! Sesame, India. Apricots, Turkey. You get the picture. Your favourite Canadian granola is a perfect blend of internationally sourced ingredients. We try our best to bring in as much Canadian content as possible, but, we love our pecans and cashews and coconut too much to omit them from the recipes.You may have noticed by now that I am a huge advocate for all things local, but, when you really look at it, “local” is a very complicated concept. And, it is important to look at it. Look at where your food comes from, who makes, bakes or grows it, and how it gets from its origin to your table. You can start today by looking at the very farmers who grew the organic oats in your Singing Bowl Granola when you visit the Farmer Direct Co-op Website (http://www.farmerdirect.coop/our-farmer-owners/). If I am going to celebrate Canada this month, I think I’d like to start with celebrating the abundance this incredible land has to offer.