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are we going local?


ap jow
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excellent articles in the Gazette this week. It's good to see someone bringing to light the fact that Montreal and Quebec are not doing there part for supporting local and organic produce. nor are we recycling in any meaningful way. Compared to some parts of Canada and the united states we rank very poorly. Why is that. Is our culture that differnt that we don't care about the produce we are eating. Are we not that proud to be quebecers that we refuse to support our local farmers. Does anyone know of any restaurants who specialize in or base their menu around local products. I understand the growing season is over, except for green houses, but at least for the rest of the seasons.

In other parts of Canada you can hardly walk into a bar or restaurant without seeing the words local or organic. Starting from local beers, to wine, to food. Try buying molson anywhere else, chances are there's going to be a small selection, or they may not even carry it at all. The beer and wine stores, since being privately owned, have their own choice on what to bring in, so they choose local beers and local wines. Yes we don't have the best wine in the world but I'll take a l'orpeilleur over a cheep bottero or colli albani, which many family restaurants choose as their house wine.

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Hear, hear!!!!

Darn... not in Montreal and missed those articles....who wrote them?

However, ap jow, I don't think the situation is AS bleak in reality. Local Quebec produceras are alive and well and to my estimate gaining ground. They don't get as much as Exposure as they should especially not on this forum. But - who can we blame but us who are interested parties...?

And things are not as bad on the consumer side. At least among high end restos and chefs, there is a great and prideful effort to feature locally sourced ingredients - produce, meats, fowl, foi gras, cheese and (heaven forbid) a few wines even. Quebec cheese is a success story already, to my mind surpassing Northern California.

And outlets for local consumers are available, in the Farmers markets, stores in Laurier's "Gourmet Gulch" and Cheese stores. Just say NO to Loblaws!!!

For the Montreal forum I'd like to see at least these "sticky" tracks published.... (tracks that always appear first)

1. Quebec Cheese

2. Quebec produce, meat and fowl

3. Quebec beer, cider and wine

4. Quebec restos that feature locally sourced ingredients

The idea is to feature Quebec products and encourage a productive discussion for & by visitors, local consumers and PRODUCERS, in tracks that stay above the regular issue de jour. THAT would be useful.

Hello MODS....How do we publish "sticky" tracks???

/gth

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Well sf&m, I agree with you, we are going more towards local, our cheese is vey much a success story, and our beers are fantastic, but there still isn't as much exposure to these products as many of us would like to see.

And as for this forum making a point to expose and support local is an excellent idea, it is very rare that members write about these things.

I would also like to know if there are any restaurants in town who base there menu around seasonal ingredients like Sooke on Vancouver island and l'eau dans bouche in mont tremblant.

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Toque has always been a restaurant to promote local ingredients. Whether they are still doing so I cannot say as unfortunately it has been awhile for me since I've been there. David macMillan has always been good about using local ingredients as well. I daresay many if not most of the top-end restaurants do. Perhaps they don't use them exclusively, but I would bet they use them to a significant degree. I am salivating just thinking about Quebec foie gras and salt-marsh lamb.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Yes, I agree Ap jow, that we need more exposure....

Within the confines of this forum I think it would be great if we could agree to mount a few "sticky" treads on Quebec products as I have outlined upthread...... I've asked Marlene if this is possible but have not heard back from her...

Obvioulsy if there is not a consensus it's a good idea, for get it... so now is the time to speak up...

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I've asked Marlene if this is possible but have not heard back from her...

According to her member profile, she hasn't been online since November 26, which probably means she's away on business or vacation.

Within the confines of this forum I think it would be great if we could agree to mount  a few  "sticky" treads on Quebec products as I have outlined upthread...... Obvioulsy if there is not a consensus it's a good idea, for get it... so now is the time to speak up...

I was happy to let you two booster away but, well, you're forcing my hand.

I'm against the idea.

First, there's the ergonomics. What with the eG Forums header, banner ad, sponsor blurb, status bar and sticky topics, when I drop by the MQ&EC page these days, I see three active threads on my 1024 X 768 monitor without scrolling. Adding your four sticky topics would reduce that to zero. And what happens if someone volunteers to start doing media reviews, which are also given sticky topic status?

Second, there's the whole sticky topic question. Now that they've been around for a while, the existing two sticky topics are seldom read and they have yet to receive a single reply. Your proposed topics would probably see a little more action but, really, should such inert threads be the first ones everybody sees on every visit?

Third, though Montreal and Quebec get the most coverage here, this is the Montreal, Quebec and Eastern Canada board. By all rights, shouldn't we create a Nova Scotia wine sticky topic, especially seeing as how their product is arguably superior to Quebec's? What about the produce of New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland/Labrador?

Fourth and, I think, most importantly, there's nothing to stop you or ap jow or anyone else from starting threads on Quebec cheese, produce, wine and booster bistros on the regular board. If there is sufficient interest in the topics, they will float at or near the top of the listing, be virtual sticky topics. In fact, in some cases, you wouldn't even need to start a thread: see here for example, not to mention the market disptaches, JTM extension, Havre aux glaces and numerous "what should I not miss in Montreal" threads.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Thank's Carswell.

Points well taken but mostly you're raising technical issues that only minor issues or irrelevant to achieving the goal of promoting local foods. IMHO of course....

1. Page "hogging"

You're right, it takes up space, however, for those who are NOT everyday posters making a quick check I don't think it matters.... you need to scroll to reach what's been posted in the last 20 days anyhow. And those are the readers that I think need to be reached. But it's important we choose those sticky tracks judicioulsy. And some folks have more pixels on screen these days.

2. Sticky topic relevance

Well if a sticky topic does not get any traffic, it should be removed. The topics now, relating to egullet get-togethers seem to have no appeal, so they should go. But first "let's give peace a chance" shall we.

3. Ok, I am interested in featuring Quebec products, but that does not have to exclude other adjacent localities. Let's not be overly technical and board rule Gestapo about this. Does not serve the purpose and the agenda which is to promote and feature locally produced foods. And perhas "Eastern Canada" should have it's own forum.

4. So the discussions goes on. and on. and on. It's nice, almost like entering a room with a whole bunch of people conversing. Topics come, topics go. It's pleasant, it's all good and it's anything , anywhere all the time. Only after a while it's all white noise. Heck, I DO like these discussion tracks also, don't get me wrong.

But how many people know how to use search features on these forums, how many people actually scroll beyond the first page? Most folks would not have been able to find that cheese track you linked to, Carswell. I don't think that is how most folks think. And most people that derive information and enjoyment from these posts are not posters, they are just folks trying to get some info, to learn something.

So yes, we can start those free threads but it does not take long for a thread to dip below the page line and then it feels old and stale in the first place and new similar threads get started and so the conversation rumbles on and it's disbursed and all over the place in a years time.

I think it's worth trying. It could be there is not that much interest, we'd know that in a couple of months. There could be technical problems with a sticky thread becoming to big and cumberome and/or stale.... who knows..... let's try it!

So again.... what are the creative categories we can use to promote and collect infomation about local foods?

Quebec Cheese is a given I think, because of what QC producers have achieved. QC Beer, cider and wine would also be interesting for a visitor and have solid unique products to justify itself. QC meat and fowl and fish could be put in with cheese I suppose into some Uber QC track, but prefferable would be seperate.

Edited by sf&m (log)
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Uh, does sticky thread refer to those pinned topics at the top? I have to admit I kinda just blink right by them because they're basically not active. But I have found threads like the SAQ one useful because they keep floating to the top.

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a great sitcky thread would be BEST OF MONTREAL

like BEST PIZZA, BEST INDIAN

each person can submit a vote and the most **** for the top 3 gets ranked

Great idea! What about breaking it down into regions? European, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern...

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"Best of" pinned threads are done on other fora. See the New York forum, for example, where an index of "best of" threads is pinned but the threads themselves are allowed to float. While you're viewing that forum, also note how the pinned threads push the active thread listing off screen for anyone who uses a 15, 17 or probably 19-inch monitor. If a long list of static threads is going to be pinned at the top of our page (and I really hope it isn't), then the interface should also be modified to provide a toggle that allows users to collapse/restore the pinned thread lisiting. Such toggles are already provided on the eG Forums home page, so it wouldn't be a stretch from a programming standpoint.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Hmm, Carswell, sticking wth the technical issues, aren't we...

Your are correct, only you make a difference between active threads and "pinned" threads.....

OBVIOUSLY there needs to be a correlation.... if a pinned threads "can't keep it up"... that's it.....NEXT...

More later...

on my second bottle of Vin De Gris de Cigare .... and less lucid...

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Hmm, Carswell, sticking wth the technical issues, aren't we...

Yes. The kind of user interface changes you're talking about would have a far bigger impact on my day-to-day experience of this site than the proposed quick access to topics you (not me) consider of paramount importance.

Your are correct,  only you make a difference between active threads and "pinned" threads.....

OBVIOUSLY there needs to be a correlation.... if a pinned threads  "can't keep it up"... that's it.....NEXT...

Sorry, but however nice-sounding, your second paragraph has a tenuous connection with reality. At least some pinned threads will never see any action because they're locked. And, barring some major policy shift that would affect every regional forum on the site, I doubt very much the powers that be are going to unlock or unpin them.

More later...

Same here. I'm off to a film.

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Ok, Carswell, you probaly have a better understanding fof the "cyber rules" covering this forum.

If "pinned" means locked.... ok, no dice.. That would NO good.... clearly we need some forum manager to take care of those things and manage pinned subjects based on demands.

What happend to your "unpublished response" announced on another thread...

hear.... hear.....

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Well sf&m, I agree with you, we are going more towards local, our cheese is vey much a success story, and our beers are fantastic, but there still isn't as much exposure to these products as many of us would like to see.

And as for this forum making a point to expose and support local is an excellent idea, it is very rare that members write about these things.

I would also like to know if there are any restaurants in town who base there menu around seasonal ingredients like Sooke on Vancouver island and l'eau dans bouche in mont tremblant.

I am not sure this is an issue at all. The fact is, if a local restaurant opened and called themselves leaders in local produce, they'd be mocking a lot of restaurants already. Look, right now, you'll be having a topinambour potage in many places, and you should, they have sweetened with the cold. Those topinambour, endive, mesclun, root, cheese, foie gras, lamb, cidre aren't coming from California. That's pretty common, I just think it's not advertised that way so much, just being a cuisine de marché in 2005 is so... I dunno... been there.

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You mentioned the Gazette article in the first post; one thing that still surprises me is that the weekly best value produce column on Wednesdays pretty much highlights only what's available in the chain stores. I don't know if it's because they want to be more practical for their target market, but I think it's too bad they don't emphasize locally grown food.

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"Best of" pinned threads are done on other fora. See the New York forum, for example, where an index of "best of" threads is pinned but the threads themselves are allowed to float. While you're viewing that forum, also note how the pinned threads push the active thread listing off screen for anyone who uses a 15, 17 or probably 19-inch monitor.[...]

Not for me. There are only 6 pinned threads on the New York forum. Do you have your browser set to show only 5 topics per page? Then go into "Options" - "Board Settings" - "Number of topics to show for each forum page" and toggle the number 100, or whatever number of topics you'd like to show on a page (I have 100 set).

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Like in anything else there has to be some standards. As consumers we can "enforce" those standards by supporting those that produced foods in a healthy, sustainable and ethical way.

A bad QC farmer that use a lot of pesticides and mistreats his animals is no better then any corporate mass producer. And it's not always a easy choice for the producer. He/She has to have a market for - probaly more expensive to produce - foods.

"We" have to be that market. Local good, on occasion world class, unique food production can only be sustained via this symbiosis between producer and market. Which is why it is so important to spread the word.... starting with enthuiasts like people on this forum.

I'd say it's more important that the production is local and sustaniable then strickly "organic". At least in the US now, "organic" has been codified by the government and once it's codified the big corporate farms have bent the rules a bit and now they are outcompeting small farms with mass produced "organics".... For instance the organic rules states that poultry has to have "access to free air"..... We all think of happy spring chickens wandering about doing their business right.... We'll that *might* not be how a "organic" chicken factory thinks it means.

Consumer interest and innovative marketing and demand startup - most often via Chefs and Farmers markets can slowly turn things around. It has happend in the last 20 years in California. Quebec has another set of realities, but is already far along the way, this is not news, it's what innovative chefs are doing and what is available in markets and stores.

That's a story that's worth telling to visitors to Quebec and Montreal. Which I'd like to see it featured here.... and personally learn something....

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"Best of" pinned threads are done on other fora. See the New York forum, for example, where an index of "best of" threads is pinned but the threads themselves are allowed to float. While you're viewing that forum, also note how the pinned threads push the active thread listing off screen for anyone who uses a 15, 17 or probably 19-inch monitor.[...]

Not for me. There are only 6 pinned threads on the New York forum. Do you have your browser set to show only 5 topics per page? Then go into "Options" - "Board Settings" - "Number of topics to show for each forum page" and toggle the number 100, or whatever number of topics you'd like to show on a page (I have 100 set).

You misunderstand. I didn't say the pinned topics pushed the forum (aka floating aka active) topic listing off the page but off my screen. When I visit the Montreal board these days, I can instantly see whether any new posts have been made since my last visit because the top two forum topics are visible without scrolling. On the New York board, I can't because the pinned topics have pushed the forum topics off screen. Adding two more pinned threads to the Montreal board would mean I couldn't here either. Provided one hasn't set it to five (the default, which I use, looks to be 25 or 26), the number of topics shown per forum page is irrelevant.

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