All posts by gdfdadmin

Meal Boxes 2.0

Since January my personal Facebook feed has been FULL of promotions from Montreal based Goodfood and Toronto based HelloFresh, online meal delivery kits that enable households to order curated recipes and the measured ingredients delivered to your door.

I decided to try out one of these promotions and ordered two family meals, curious about what I would get.

We got two meals, one pizza and salad, and one chicken, rice and broccoli. The meals were easy to prepare and were tasty enough. The kids of course didn’t like the things about the meals that were “different” ie. Sesame seeds on the roasted chicken.

And while it made dinner prep easier on those nights, it also was not worth repeating for the following reasons:

  1. The Packaging – individually packaged herbs, spices, rice, veg, mustard, maple syrup, the frozen ice packs, the thermal cardboard box. If this is the environmental impact of two meals for my family, then the impact of this $120 million industry that is expected to grow to $1 billion in the next 5 years is creating a huge environmental problem! Yes, they tell me this can be recycled, but this amount of production from resources and recycling take energy and resources that are not necessary for two meals. In good conscience I could not order again, just on environmental impact alone.  See the Globe article here.
  1. The lack of flexibility for food preferences and allergies – we have one child with celiac, all of us cannot eat dairy and one with an egg allergy. These meal boxes do not enable the customization for these realities. As such I had meals for only part of my family.
  1. The ownership model – Goodfood (not to be confused with us, goodfood2u, yes they named themselves after we did) is a publicly traded company, and publicly traded companies are required to maximize return to their investors. As a consumer I then question the labour and environmental conditions this food was produced in. Factory farmed? Conventional? Likely.  HelloFresh is German owned. Wait, really? Yes really. So the two most prominent meal box companies in Canada are either publically traded or foreign owned. As someone who cares about love food systems and local economies this doesn’t sit well with me.

The conclusion, as a working mother of 4 children, is that I love the concept. Meals coordinated on my behalf, that arrive at my door, that someone in my home simply has to prepare and serve. Thumbs up!

So with this we at goodfood2u have decided to re-launch our Meal Box concept, to provide Ottawa area consumers with the ingredients (vegetables, meat, pulses, grains), with limited packaging (no ice packs required because our distribution is direct, limited plastic, and assuming you have a pantry to staples so you don’t need a small package of herbs), dietary restriction friendly, all delivered to your door with a recipe. We are an Ottawa owned family business, the money you spend on these meal kits will stay in your community.

Last weeks meals:
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Slaw (Kale, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts) with roasted potatoes (Gluten Free, Dairy and Egg Free)

Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy and Egg Free)

Swiss Chard and Chickpea Curry with Short Grain Brown Rice (Vegan)


To place an order visit the store

Integrating our Values, One Step Further

Our vision for goodfood2u from day 1 was to build and sustain a vibrant local food economy. We feel strongly that local, organic agricultural protects the Just Food barnhealth of soil, water and air. We also know it supports local farm families and local businesses.

For this reason, we sell organic produce and household staples, it is also for this reason that we prioritize local.

We are super excited to move one step closer to this vision by moving our warehouse location to the Just Food Farm in Blackburn Hamlet. Just Food’s mission is to work towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region. How perfect is that! And not only are we now housed with other actors promoting a local food economy, there are also local growers growing produce within Ottawa’s city limits. We look forward to offering this produce next season. And we look forward to hosting you, our loyal customers and supporters at our new location in the near future!

Thanks for joining us in supporting this local food system, this vision would not be possible if there weren’t buyers like you also committed to this vision!


Hydroponics, Local Lettuce and the Organic Debate

Hydroponics refers to the growing of plants in water and providing a customized nutrient solution to provide the plants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

Currently under the Canadian Organic Standard any system of hydroponic growing, regardless of the fact that all organic practices may be followed, is not permitted to be organic certified. The reason for this is that organic certification in Canada requires soil.

The National Organic Program in the U.S., on the other hand, permits hydroponics. Many believe that soil-less agriculture is simply a variant of organic farming.


Local Hydroponic Lettuce
Local Hydroponic Lettuce

So, here’s our dilemma at goodfood2u. There is a local hydroponic producer, in L’Orignal, Ontario, less than 100km from Ottawa who grows a wide range of greens, including lettuce, according to the US organic standard, in a hydroponic system.
In the depths of winter we have a choice, to offer our customers certified organic lettuce from California, that travels long and far to get here, or to offer our customers a local, non-organic certified (in Canada) lettuce from a local grower who otherwise follows organic practices.

We are feeling like from a holistic perspective that the local non-organic certified version is a better option, but we want to know from you, do you agree?

Please let us know what you think.

Spring Social – Connecting again

For me after an Ottawa winter I am always start to feel a bit like a bear in hibernation. I don’t see my neighbours or my community as often as I do in the spring, summer and fall.

We wanted to help shake off the winter sense of disconnection by hosting an event to connect with our community and customers. Please join us!

April 9th 10 am to 2 pm
1555 Michael Street K1B 3T3

Join us at the Goodfood2u warehouse to celebrate the return of spring. Come and learn what’s new at Goodfood2u, sample products from local suppliers, meet the Goodfood2u team and family, delight at the Circus Performance by Got Circus, attend a talk on Gut Health.

Bring the kids! Circminicirque_sophie_hoopdancingus Performance – 11-noon 

Free talk Is your Gut in a Rut?

Join Michele Schubert of Beyond Gluten-Free to learn how to go beyond ​a typical gluten-­free diet to heal digestion and nourish the body. Michele has explored many diets, including vegetarian, vegan, paleo and GAPS. Find out what foods nourish you best when digestion is suffering.


The Tale of Two Spinaches

Since I was a child, and before kale tried to take its place, spinach was known as the super green vegetable, eaten by Popeye, admired by moms, and hated by kids! Thirty years ago, fresh spinach was not often found in my house. It would only seldom show up in a cardboard box, frozen and then later, turned into a dip, and customarily put inside a large pumpernickel loaf.

More recently, fresh spinach has made its way into our daily lives. Several years ago, I attended a conference where two of the guest speakers were the founders of Earthbound Farms. They shared their incredible story of starting their farm in California with absolutely no farming experience. Their sole reason for their commitment to grow organic foods stemmed from their dislike for the smell of chemical fertilizers, followed by a need to make money. Soon after in 1984, they started selling pre-washed bagged organic salads.

Their initiative marked the beginning of a major shift in how we eat salads and greens in all of North America. Until then, salad in Canada was either made of romaine or head lettuce. It was certainly not the mix of baby lettuces and greens that we have come to consider the norm spinach

As we now know, adding a salad to our daily diet is healthy because leafy greens provide key minerals and nutrients for our bodies. However, in order to have access to those beautiful baby leafy greens, they have to travel very far to reach our forks. In addition, these greens are being pre-washed not once, but three times, in a state that has had droughts for the past four years.

There is a closer solution to home. We are happy to introduce Bluegrass Farm of Jasper, Ontario. They are a leading farming innovation that farms greens all year round right here in Canada. In our most recent food boxes, the beautiful bags of spinach, dated November 17, have been grown in their greenhouses. While the California greens are travelling 4,600 km to make it to your plate, Bluegrass’ are a mere 90 km. Their greenhouses are run all winter long, and lucky for us, will now provide the Ottawa market with local greens close to home.

Local organic spinachSince the time between the harvest of the spinach and your fork is much less, the greens that you receive from Bluegrass actually maintain a higher nutritional value for you and your family. Furthermore, the convenience is the same, made ready to use.

And this wouldn’t be complete without adding the benefit of the economic impact of buying from a local business that buys from a local farm. Local jobs are created, money circulates in our economy, and it supports the well-being of our community.

We are so grateful to Bluegrass for their bold and innovative move, and we are absolutely thrilled to be offering their local organic produce in our food boxes this winter.

Bluegrass Greenhouse





Corporate Social Responsibility

Kind of a buzz word, right. The world’s largest multi-million dollar, publically traded companies, are doing it. And that’s good news because we need individuals and companies to collectively care for our shared commons and the future.

At goodfood2u we see CSR as doing what’s right. We are a small company, so our impacts seems small. We donate to the food bank each week, we collaborate with Covenant Farm to deliver a box of fresh produce to an Ottawa School Breakfast program. We donate gift certificates and produce to local charities and events. We see our business as an extension of ourselves and thus extend our concern for community to our community as often as we can.

Organic Farm Produce

When you boil down the goodfood2u business though, there is so much more social responsibility going on. We protect the soil and the water by buying only organic certified produce. We decrease food miles by making the extra effort to buy from local farms even in the dead of winter. We buy from local bakeries, local artisan faux cheese makers, co-operative suppliers who bring us the best of Ontario’s packaged goods, nut butters and jams from Ontario, canned tomatoes and pickles from Ontario, cheese from Quebec, tofu, tempeh and eggs from Ontario. We keep our purchasing dollars as close to home as possible. Because we believe that with each decision we make, we have the opportunity to make the world a little better place.

goodfood2u isn’t just a produce and grocery home delivery service, we are an agitator, an innovator, pushing to see the vision of a vibrant local food system come to be in Ontario and Quebec. Each time you order, you contribute to that vision. Thanks for joining us on the journey.

Spring Cleaning!

With spring in the air my I am excited for local salad greens, fiddle heads and asparagus, for a change from the root vegetables that are feeling to heavy and repetitive at this time of year!

Organic sprouts for health

As we shift to spring, it’s a great time to clean out the old and make room for the new. Most often when we think of spring cleaning we think of cleaning our homes, cars, windows. But spring is also the perfect time to cleanse your body. After a winter of heavier eating, less fresh air, less exercise it’s ideal to shift your eating to lighter, whole foods, to get out for gentle walks, to enjoy the fresh air.

Many years ago Yannick and I were introduced to the Wild Rose Detox program many years ago and we would always do a spring cleanse and a fall cleanse. The first cleanse was torture, 12 days without so many of the foods that were daily staples. We quickly learned to turn to a handful of almonds rather than a cookie, to choose a rice cake over a piece of toast, to savour the small amount of fruit each day.

These cleanses, though often difficult in the process, always recalibrated our pallet, made it easier to make healthier food choices and left us feeling re-energized. For more on the Wild Rose Detox program check out this article.

If you are feeling like you could use a spring clean, give it some thought, here are some items that we have in store that can help make the process more enjoyable:

Brown Rice
Rice Cakes and Seaweed Snacks
Almond Milk
Nuts and Seeds of all sorts
Nut Butters (except for peanut)
Juices from Urban Juice Press
Herbal Teas
Lentils and beans
Leafy greens
And more fresh produce of the week.

All of these items can be ordered online and delivered to your door with goodfood2u. If you need some help to figure out what to eat or how to cook these foods we offer an initial conversation for free to help you make the transition. We aren’t nutritionists, but have been cooking and eating healthy foods for 20 years. Feel free to contact us directly to set up a session to make the transition easier.

Each week we send out a weekly newsletter with recipes ideas for healthy meals, you can sign up to our newsletter here. To spring, and your health!

Supporting Local Food Economies

Contributed by Caroline Levesque – Covenant Farm

Winter is thawing and spring is radiating forth. At the farm we are planning gardens, planting seeds, and starting to draw people’s attention toward a new season of fresh local produce. Although many farms are planning for the upcoming season, our farm does not follow the conventional logic of the global food economy.

Covenant1The conventional logic goes something like this: the farmer makes a farm plan in the winter, purchases the seeds early in the spring, prepares the fields, plants, weeds and waters all season long, then harvests when the vegetables and fruits are ripe to bring to market. It seems pretty straightforward except that the farmer is working really hard all season, more than half the year, without an income, living on the hope and dream of a good price at the end. The farmer is at the mercy of fluctuating global markets. When we factor in climate, high employee turnover and pests, farming is a risky business and the farmer carries all the weight on her shoulders. Meanwhile families searching for healthy, fresh produce without breaking the bank are also feeling the impact of fluctuating food prices on the global market.

Our farm uses a different, locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. Our farm is a community, a network of people who support local farms and shares the risks and benefits of food production. This collaborative model is called Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA and it fosters beautiful partnerships for sustainable livelihoods, land use, food systems and economies for all. The farm is essentially growing food just for you.

Here is how is works: the consumer is a partner who invests in the farm by purchasing a share of the season’s expected production before the season begins. In this way each partner contributes to funding the whole season’s budget, from seed purchases and garden planning in January, to seeding in March, to planting out in the fields in May throughout the whole summer of fresh, organic, high quality produce. The farm then delivers fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit to their community of partners every week throughout the season. This direct-to-consumer system ensures the very highest quality of produce while reducing overall food waste.

2014-06-11 13.42.30 The CSA is not just a fancy marketing scheme. It is a practical approach to creating new systems of cooperation, economy, and sustainability where everyone benefits. This year we are extending the network to collaborate with more small businesses that also strive to create sustainable, local economies. By building strong local economies, we are ensuring long-term price stability for partners and a stable income for producers and distributors, which create ripples throughout all layers of the economy.

Buying a CSA share is an investment in the long-term development of the farm ensuring that there is always fresh, quality produce available in our region. A healthy farm can grow and expand to include more types of production, offering an ever-expanding diversity of fresh produce throughout the year and creating more sustainable livelihoods within our communities.

This year we are forming a partnership with Goodfood2u for the weekly home delivery of fresh, certified organic produce. This collaboration will enable us to focus more attention on high quality farm produce while promoting Jennifer’s and Yannick’s amazing customer service and brilliant expertise in sustainable local economies. Buying a CSA share through Goodfood2u You is supporting many families, contributing to ecological sustainability and providing you with fresh, certified organic veggies and fruit.

Ferme du Covenant Farm is a community farm with 2 acres and 3 greenhouses in certified organic vegetable, sprouts and fruit production with summer and winter CSA delivery. We have about 5 beehives in production and 50 laying hens, all managed organically. Next projects on the horizon include fruit forest garden, agro-forestry, maple syrup, mushrooms, wild vegetables, grains, wool and flax for fibers, farm vacations and a center for sustainability. Welcome to join our community!

Note:  In addition to offering the Covenant Farm CSA, Goodfood2u customers have been enjoying a variety of organic sprouts from Covenant winter long and we are excited to soon offer their spring greenhouse greens!  You can find these in our weekly Fruits and Vegetable Category.

Organic sprouts for health



5-10 Fruits and Vegetables A Day

My father was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, The prognosis given by the medical team is not a positive one.

Since the diagnosis, my sister, who works in a Natural Health food store and who cured herself from Rheumatoid Arthritis in her early 20’s through diet, has been on a mission to get my father to eat a healthy whole foods diet, including lots of organic produce, juices and supplements. We are all hopeful.

A vegetable-filled whole foods diet is not one that is easily embraced by my father. 15+ years ago when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes I tried to convince him to manage his diabetes through his diet. The film Forks Over Knives presents amazing case studies that show the power of food and food choices.Freshly Picked Organic Carrot

Over the years its been hard for my father to change his lifestyle.  I understand. We all have our habits that we steadfastly hold on to. For me my two cups of coffee in the morning are precious, almost sacred. One year when we were canoe camping I ran out of coffee for the last day of our trip. I was in a panic, my brain occupied with how to find some coffee while camping. I took it upon myself to ask passerbys, fellow campers, who likely also had a limited stash of the black gold, and I found enough for one cup. Phew. Now I always make sure to pack extra coffee!

Having a major illness is debilitating. I have so much sympathy for the pain and struggle anyone with a major illness is going through. It’s a journey you take mostly on your own, as others cannot experience your pain and suffering as you do. As a loved one watching one with a major illness I feel sympathy and compassion. I also keep asking myself, what can I do, to try and avoid this for myself in the future?

Cancer statistics are alarming, every 8 minutes in Ontario someone is diagnosed with cancer. The most recent stats state that 1 in 3 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Those are pretty bad odds. .

Research suggests that a healthy lifestyle including lots of fruits and vegetables, whole foods, low meat consumption, avoiding processed foods, combined with exercise and a positive outlook should help in minimizing the chances of illness, or better still, increasing the odds for wellness.  Further, I personally believe that avoiding pesticides and other chemicals that are added to or sprayed on foods, can’t hurt. For this reason, and for the health of the farmers and the land, it’s worth choosing organic.Organic sprouts for health

At goodfood2u we offer the ease of ordering local and organic produce and groceries from the comfort of your homes, and we deliver it to your door. We do this because our lives are busy and because we believe it is so important for us all to eat healthy foods.  We aren’t offering medical advice, or making assurances, but we do believe that a healthy diet including LOTS of produce will help in contributing to wellness.  We always offer a combination of produce that ensures variety and colour with your health in mind.  You can see this weeks produce offer here. Challenge yourself to eat more produce and to try produce you don’t normally eat.

So what does eating well look like? It looks like 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It looks like regular servings of darky leafy greens like kale, collards or spinach. It looks like lots of bright orange vegetables like carrots, squash or sweet potatoes.  It looks like vegetables for snacks, and vegetables in each meal.

Each week in our newsletter we highlight the health benefits of the produce offered each week.  We also offer recipes both in our newsletter and here on our website to give you some ideas.

Local Organic Cherry Tomatoes


So, eat your veggies, not because your mom told you too, but because its good for you and it may just help in keeping you well.



This Kitchen Table

Our kitchen table is scratched, painted on, dented, stained and the most highly used piece of furniture in our house. Every time someone new comes to our house, they inevitably comment on our table. Usually they say they like it. I always wonder, do they really like it, or do they find it unusual how beaten up this piece of furniture is that is in the middle of our home.

Freshly baked organic bread
Freshly baked organic bread

Our dining room is in the centre of our home and it’s where we gather for meals. In the morning we use the table for a somewhat hurried breakfast. In the evening we aspire to eat dinner together as a family each night. Research has consistently suggested that it is important for families to eat together.

A study done in 2000 found that the 9- to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families most frequently ate more fruits and vegetables. Their diets also had higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber. Also during this shared meal, you can expose your children to a wider range of foods. We have the household rule that its going to take 10 times that our children are exposed to a new food before they will willingly try it. Family meals are the best time to enable that exposure. In addition to the health benefits related to food, the family bond and connection created helps children through difficult periods in their life, gives them support and enables them to feel connected.

Of course, its also home to the mutiny that comes with serving 4 children a healthy meal most days. The question “what’s for dinner” rings in our home the minute I start cooking dinner. And the response, when not one of our children’s favourite meals, is usually a grimace, an accusation (“You know I don’t like that”) and often crying or yelling. When the disliked meal of the day is served, there is usually more complaints, sometimes crying, often long unhappy faces. When the meal doesn’t capture our kids’ attention, often the table takes the brunt of the abuse: a few extra scratches or dents. Why, what else would you do with a fork when sitting at the table?

Scratched kitchen table
Fork marks!

We try and instill in the children gratitude for the food we have, even if they don’t like it. Our children have been taught to appreciate the farmers’ from whom our food comes and who have sown the seeds, tended the weeds, harvested the plants, and transported them to us. We are blessed to have the variety of local and organic produce that comes into our lives each week.

We hope that the goodfood we bring to you each week fills your house with the moments of shared joy around a kitchen table.

For the five meals that all of 4 of our kids will consistently eat for dinner, you can check these recipes on our website: Rockin’ Moroccan Stew, Lentil Walnut Burgers, Vegan Italian Tomato Sauce with Kale and Olives, Red Lentil Coconut Curry and Kate’s Fabulous Bean Burritos.

If you have homerun meals to share please do so on Facebook or by emailing us at