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Back in the day, I used to buy grass fed beef by the 1/2 cow. One night we had a dinner party with some of the prime rib that was in the freezer. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough, so I ran over to Loblaws and got more.

The difference between the two was worlds apart! Though the two cuts were cooked together for the same amount of time, grass fed beef cooks a bit quicker and was a medium while the Loblaws variety (a grain fed beef) was rare. But the grass fed beef was light years better.

More flavour, more tender and just all around fantastic. I’m sure the Loblaws one was fine, but when you compared the two it was night and day. I was actually so embarrassed of the Loblaws meat that I tried to re-trace my steps and figure out who had eaten it so I could apologize. (Which was silly because if you didn’t have the two I’m sure you didn’t even notice the vast, vast difference.)

And of course it made a difference – how could what you eat for your entire life not make a difference?

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The finished product of my great pork experiment!

But what else effects your meat? Barbara Schaefer from Upper Canada Heritage Meat invited me to see the difference that breed can make with pork. She raises a breed of large black pig that is technically endangered. With over 300 on her farm, she is attempting to keep the breed alive through consumer demand as they run and play on her farm. Her pork is pasture raised… so they forage, roam free and more than survive, they have an actual life.

Why are they endangered? They might not grow as large, they might take longer to become full grown – all things that play into the bottom line of a factory farm. But traditional farmers know that breed variety can make all the difference in a tasty product!

In North America 1/3 of all livestock breeds are considered rare or in decline… this is up to 1/2 in Europe. Luckily each dollar you spend on groceries is a vote in how you want your food produced.

For my taste test dinner I once again tried to compare apples to apples. Frozen then thawed pork. Cooked with a mushroom white wine sauce in the same pan.

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Normal everyday chops on the left – the kind that had me thinking pork sucked. Amazing Upper Canada Heritage Meat on the right… the colour alone could win this battle of the chops.

Besides being more tender and juicer, the heritage pork had a more wonderful flavour over all. It may sound like common sense that a product raised better just tastes better… but I think you will be pleasantly surprised how MUCH of an improvement it really is.

Meat like this is why I decided to eat less meat over all so that I could have quality when I do enjoy it.

If you would like to try your own chop experiment you can find Upper Canada Heritage Meat at 3 farmers markets across the city! Fridays at Sparks Street, Saturdays at Westboro at Byron and Golden and Sundays at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market at Brewers park.

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#TBT to one of the best trips I have ever taken. We spent a week exploring Iceland. It was chilly, I got sick and there are some truly acquired tastes (think fermented shark and lambs head) but also some of the best soup you have ever had in your life. 
Every where you went, almost every #tourist attraction restaurant had the same two #soups. One with meat, the other was a cream of asparagus style. That was my go to. I loved that asparagus soup so much. It was everything you needed on a chilly day of waterfall visiting. 
They also have the most gorgeous sea #salts. I can't wait to go back. And in the more foreseeable future visit with @mizmulligan 
#iceland #wfd #comfortfood #spiceshop #spicesubscription #spiceofthemonth #vegancomfortfood #hygge #cozy #linkinbio #travel #wanderlust I have a love/hate relationship with Caraway. Great when it is added to blends as a background flavour, but too much of it has me turning up my nose. Sour and sweet, they are best paired with:

Breads (esp. Pumpernickel and Rye)
Sauerkraut
Pork
Potatoes
Goulash
German and Eastern European cuisine .
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#spiceshop #fresh #handblended #ottawaeats #german #wfd #bread #wfb #613 #supportlocal The beginnings of #inspiration. 
This month the theme for the subscription pack is #Vegan. When I landed on it I honestly had no idea where I was going to go with it. Normally the themes help provide direction but this time it was such a big idea when I sat down to get started. 
Then, the way it usually does, #life provided a bit of inspiration in the form of snowy weather, #cozy baby cuddles, fluffy blankets and #hygge. 
Today I'm finishing up three Vegan Comfort Food recipes. Warm, scrumptious and filling. Sign up today to have recipes and spices sent to your door.

#linkinbio #ottawaeats #spiceshop #fresh #handblended #glutenfree #spicebaby

Past Foodie Adventures…