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A Taste of Whistler kicks off WinterStart

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On Dec. 1, GMC is presenting A Taste of Whistler at the conference centre, featuring samples from more than 30 Whistler restaurants, cafes and bars. Visitors are invited to walk around the booths and sample food while the main stage area hosts 2001: A Snowsports Odyssey fashion show, presented by Can-Ski. Flamenco guitarist Alma Libre will be providing entertainment and there will be activities for the children as well.

Food sampling tickets are $1, with all proceeds benefiting the Whistler Food Bank and the Province Empty Stocking Fund.

Xmas at North Arm Farm

If the plastic tree and ornaments aren’t cutting it, go organic at the Sturdy North Arm Farm. There are trees and ornaments, plus homemade baked goods, Christmas cookies, gingerbread, fruit pies, fruit cake and jams and preserves. The Farm is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wine events

Not since the days of Bacchus, the Greek god of debauchery, has there been such an interest in wine. Everywhere you turn these days it seems that there is another wine festival or tasting on the go. If this is to your liking, then you might want to bookmark the www.localwineevents.com Web site. In just four months, Eric Orange, the Webmaster and a connoisseur who has been in the wine industry for 15 years has postings and links for more than 1,400 wine events.

LDB publishes magazine

This week B.C. Liquor Stores will be carrying the premiere issue of Matters of Taste, a free quarterly magazine that features food and drink recipes and tips on serving wine, beer, champagne or spirits over the holiday season.

"We have a wide selection of products from all over the globe and we want our customers to have information on what is new, and what is available for the festivities of the holiday season," said Gerard Jansen, the minister responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

The first issue features a column from wine expert Dennis Dwernychuk, who discusses which wines go best with turkey, and other wine issues.

Another section of the magazine suggests how to be a responsible host and includes a holiday "mocktail" recipe for Reindeer Punch.

The food recipes include acorn squash, apple soup, sherried avocado shrimp salad, rosemary herb toast with caramelized onions and mandarin oranges flambe. Each recipe includes a suggestion for wine.

Obesity rate among children doubles

According to a recent study by the Canadian Medical Association, the obesity rate for children between seven and 13 years of age doubled between 1981 and 1996. Obesity is defined as 20 per cent above desirable body weight for the person’s age, sex, height and build.

In those 15 years, the percentage of obese Canadian boys rose from 5 per cent to 13.5 per cent. For girls, the percentage rose from 5 per cent to 11.8 per cent.

Lifestyle and diet are blamed for the increase, which doctor’s say represents a serious threat to public health. They are worried that society’s current behaviour patters – fast food, TV and the Internet culture – may accelerate lifestyle-related diseases, causing a shortened life span. Unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise are proven risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

The CMA estimates that obesity-related illnesses account for up to $4 billion in annual health spending.

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