Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the week that was and is - wednesday february 11th 2009

  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada released a report saying "Some Canadians are paying between double and nearly six times the average price for healthy foods depending on where in the country they live..."
  • Denny's delivered one heck of a promotion last week (Feb 3rd), when they gave away a free Grand Slam Breakfast to their patrons, from 6am to 2pm. Word on the street says they gave away nearly 2 million Slams. A good way to kick off their promotion; A Grand Slam Year (total cost 15 Million - 12 in food and 3 in advertising).
  • While not as 'free' as the above, IHOP has also commented on the depressing economic times by offering All You Can Eat buttermilk pancakes.
  • I could have sworn Smitty's was offering a similar deal 'unlimited pancakes when you order a meal that includes them' but I can't find the promotion , so I make no promises if you devour a pile of them. In looking for the promotion, I did find out you can now buy Smitty's brand coffee. Has anyone ever had this? Is it any good?
  • The pictures on This is why you're fat are something else, but I still think someone needs to submit Paula Deen's "Lady's Brunch Burger". I mean really it's one thing to top your burger with bacon; but adding an egg on top of that and replacing the bun with two donuts - classic!
  • I read an article where some folks were expressing their frustration about the amount of Peanut Butter products being recalled, claiming it was overboard and in doing so invented what I think will be a new catch slogan - Maple Leaf Syndrome. A friend recently came into a pile of free PB that they were no longer able to sell. Now is that food russian roulette?
  • No Reservations was good this week. It wasn't what I expected, but Food Porn did have some interesting items. I think the best showing was by our boys from out east. Next week - The Philippines.
  • Looking around for new ways to produce my no-knead bread, I've stumbled across clay baking tools called La Cloche. It seems like a good way to get a more french loaf shape instead of the typical round pot/dutch oven shape. Now if only I could spoil myself right now.
  • Speaking of no-knead bread. The below is a 60/40 whole wheat mixture topped with roasted sesame seeds. The seeds add a nice flavour, something that I will use again. It has so far made for a delicious turkey and tomato sandwich.
  • Congrats to John Mayer, two Grammys this week, and to Jack Bauer, first time in the White House after all these years!
Besides Valentines Day, this coming week sees Burger Lovers Day on the 15th and Almond Day on the 16th.


KimHo said...

Hey Chris,

Although I was aware of the Denny's free promotion, I am not aware of IHOP's. Are they airing it in the local (as in Canadian) TV stations? It is unlikely I will order extras, though, I am more of a carnivore person.

The article on the cost of food is really interesting. When I saw it in the news two nights ago, I was slightly surprised; however, after thinking a little bit more, in a way, it makes sense. No, don't get me wrong, I wish everybody could eat healthy but we have to face some facts:

(1) There are some funny trade restriction between provinces in Canada! It wasn't until a couple of years ago (mid-late 2006) that these restrictions started to be lifted, but then again, this does not apply to all provinces. As a result, it shouldn't surprise me the cost of some things are higher in different provinces. Of course, people could eat seasonally (I won't complain if I eat lobster all summer if I was living in the Maritimes!).

(2) Transportation cost. Since they mentioned Nunavut, almost all food consumed there is imported. After all, how much you can grow there? And what about things that are not locally grown? Like, say, kiwi or oranges or banana?

(3) Life in the fast line, or rather than having to cook something, people like things (almost) ready to eat. Which then falls into the principle of supply and demand. That's why chips, pop/soda and similar "food" is readily available.

Court said...

To me the article on cost of food doesn't really tell a full story. I used to do market research reporting for a living, so I know that depending on how you cut data, you can make it say a lot of different things (and usually the media only pick up on a couple of the most sensational points). Also, I find that their definition of eating healthy is not really what I expected. I do save tons of money when I eat healthier because I eat out less (which saves me tons of money), and I spend in different food categories (more fruits, veggies and grains, less meat and cheese - which is torture).

I think that you would find a lot of price disparity across the country on all types of food, not just healthy food, and for that matter all sort of essential products. Think about buying a house in Vancouver vs. anywhere in the rural maritimes.

Chris said...

I'm glad it brought a discussion about. I'm trying to think of a way to phrase it from my view, but I think you both hit the nail on the head.

Transportations costs, seasonal variations, the positive/negative growing season (was it successful), customer preferences/in-store behaviour, and many more things will add up to a cost difference across the board. Alberta for example has the city of Redcliff (greenhouse capital of Canada), so we are very near tomatoes and peppers. I haven't picked fresh strawberries here, even though there is a few farms, but I did pick them all the time when I lived outside of Ottawa.

I am not by any means up on inter-province trade regulations, or a lack there of now, but it is something else that would add to the cost. I'll have remember to dig around one of these days about this.

Court - I agree completely with your 'full story' comment. Pollsters and the media have an uncanny ability to spin any story/argument/poll results in whatever favour they choose. And yes, just like groceries and your home prices, things like gas and utilities vary accordingly.

KimHo said...

Chris, here is this paper about interprovincial trade between BC and Alberta that makes reference to what type of restrictions are between (other) provinces: Other articles exist but I was a bit lazy to search for them. Sorry! ^_^

Chris said...

KimHo, don't apologize as I appreciate the effort thank you for link.

Very interesting ready so far - 'Alberta bees may not fertilize BC crops' - can we regulate this even.

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