Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink: An EPIC way to go

Sustainable living expo keeps good ideas alive



Picture it. You're standing at your green (as in, a sustainable shade of green) kitchen counter, in your green shoes and funky green slip-dress with the skeleton down the front or, if you're a guy, your green shirt reclaimed from a waste bin and transformed into a work of art thanks to a rusty gate and a giant fish on one arm.

You're about to whip up a bowl of green mushroom soup, maybe with some green chips on the side, then you'll pull a green espresso for yourself, or brew up a cup of green yerba maté tea, topped off with one of Melanie's divine butter tarts or three (from the Tinseltown mall).

After you've stuffed yourself, you'll snooze on your green sofa, custom-made by Van Gogh Designs (see Mountain Decorating Centre or Patina Home Interiors at Whistler). Or on your cool green memory foam bed from Essentia (no toxic chemicals gassing off here).

All of it's produced in Canada, some of it right here on the wet coast - well, except for the maté and the coffee beans.

Okay, so my little scenario is a construction but, still, it's a dream that could happen, I thought to myself as I drove home from the EPIC show in Vancouver last weekend - something that could unfold over and over in homes from here to Tofino or Likely and back again.

Despite my interest in such ideas, I've previously passed on this self-described sustainable living expo (EPIC stands for Ethical Progressive Intelligent Consumer) because I resent having to pay at the door for consumer shows. You want me there to buy? You'd better make it painless.

But this year I relented. Maybe it was the boredom of endless rain and grey horizons, maybe it was a hunch. But I broke down and paid my miserable ten bucks for a ticket on-line and was I glad I did. The free snacks alone were worth the admission, with samples flowing like the drains from the green roof of Vancouver's new convention centre.

Organic fair trade chocolate, some of it laced with cardamom and chilis or quinoa, were piled in heaps (use the tongs, please). Terry Bremner was on hand from his blueberry farm in Delta pouring little glasses of their spectacularly pure Bremner juices, more nectar than juice.

Another Delta-based business, Raincoast Trading, was also passing out generous samples, big bites of their wild skinless, boneless pink salmon - a slice of heaven that will make you rethink canned salmon.

I love the folks at Raincoast Trading, namely Mike Wick and his family, for the good things they do. All of their seafood products are Ocean Wise certified sustainable. You'll find them in beautifully labeled tins in the canned tuna/salmon section of all kinds of stores. Even Superstore has them, but look out - they've been discovered by big media like Canadian Living , so the rush is on.