Newfoundland Needs Better Food!

Cattle feed & Compost...
Yup that's the extent of supermarket food in Newfoundland.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people corralling through the supermarket wallowing through the chemical stench of fabric softeners and perfumes of the big box stores filling their carts with 50% off logs of stomach cancer bologna and partially composed pesticide laden foods...Happy as a lark.

With the state of our health care and the fact that this province has the highest death rates in the country for heart attacks, strokes, and colorectal cancer, do anyone stop and think that food is our medicine?

Come on people, who want's to pay good money to eat crap?
 If you want quality foods - Know the right questions to ask!

Due to the short growing season here and dwindling organic local farms, myself and some family members routinely scour all the St. John's and surrounding area supermarkets looking for quality certified organic products. Each time we go shopping we ask store managers and staff about getting more organic products.

Recently I have been confronting store personnel about products they are claiming to be organic and are selling in organic sections when they are not organic.

Now first let me say do not get discouraged by this as there are some organic products available, you just have to read the labels yourself and not trust the store staff to know what is organic and what is not.

After hearing random shoppers say "don't buy that organic stuff" I think there is actually still a need in Newfoundland for organic education...Listen people organic is real food...Food grown without sewer sludge, without chemical pesticides and without genetic modification. Everything else can be contaminated with who the heck knows what. So if you want to eat the least contaminated food possible...Buy organic.

Just to let you know, Dominion Stores do not, at this time, carry any organic eggs. The organic section carries a brand of eggs but these eggs are not organic, they are antibiotic free but are still fed commercial feed which can contaminate the eggs with GMO's and pesticides. Store staff are selling these eggs as organic and you are paying for a lower quality. Again look for "Certified Organic" on the label to be sure you are getting exactly what you want.

Some of the Sobey's stores do carry organic eggs. They are in a clear plastic carton marked with a green circle and state "Organic" with certification written on the label.

When asking for organic meats, many store staff will happliy tell you they have organic meat and point you to "Free From" Meats. While slightly better than standard grocery store meats, "FREE FROM" meats and poultry are still not organic. Free from just means the animal is not fed feed with antibiotics in it. The animal still may not see the light of day and is fed feeds with genetically modified and pesticide sprayed ingredients in them...Don't settle for simply "Free From" - Demand organic meats and be armed with this knowledge the next time you go grocery shopping.

If you are unsure about the food you are getting here are some questions to ask:

For meats, poultry & eggs:

Is this meat/poultry/eggs from animals raised on pasture?
Are they fed grain? If yes, ask is it certified organic grain?
If the feed is not organic, the feed will most likely contain pesticides & genetically modified corn and soy.

FREE RUN VS FREE RANGE: Free run means the animal is not caged but is barn raised often in crowded conditions. Free range or pasture raised means the animal is raised outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Animals generally will have access to feed which may contain genetically modified ingredients so you need to ask.

For fruits and vegetables:

My mother was told by a manager in one of the Dominion Stores that we are getting "animal grade" produce here in NL because we do not demand better!

Look for a sticker that says "certified organic" or at the very least "grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides"

LOCAL does not necessarily mean "good clean food". I know of a local farm that has a tremendously booming business yet they are far from organic or healthy. They have locally grown produce that is routinely sprayed with synthetic pesticides and grow genetically modified corn yet people flock to this place to buy believing that they are buying healthy food.

We are so far behind the rest of Canada when it comes to healthy food that it is moronic!

Questions to ask EACH TIME you visit your supermarket:

Can you source certified organic eggs?
Can you source "free range" certified organic meats and poultry?
Can you bring in a larger variety of certified organic fruits, berries and vegetables?

Sometimes you will see a product that states "made with organic ingredients". Please read the labels. Oftentimes "some" of the ingredients are organic while other ingredients in the same product are not.

Question store personnel. They will often tell you something is organic when it is not. Don't be fooled next time you buy- know which questions to ask and please read ALL the ingredients.

Ultimately we are responsible for our health and if you continue to eat chemical laden foods and genetically modified organisms you will eventually suffer the consequences...Ever think this could be one of the reasons Newfoundlanders are so sick?

Even many who do not wish to consume chemicals are unknowingly doing so because they are not reading labels and asking the right questions. Arm yourself with this information the next time you shop to ensure you get exactly what you are expecting.

You can even determine a lot from your produce bar code labels. Read those tiny stickers because they actually hold a lot of information in those numbers.

Conventional produce, grown on farms that use synthetic chemical insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers and possibly genetically modified carry a four-digit sticker beginning with the number 4 or 3 ... (4123 or 3123)

Organic produce, grown and inspected to be free from chemical pesticide and naturally grown without GMO's are generally 5 digit and always begin with the number 9. (94123)

Known Genetically Engineered (GE) produce may have a five-digit sticker beginning with the number 8. (84123) (conventional produce can also contain GMO's so the only safe route to avoid engineered foods is organic)

And one more thing, If you do buy foods only to realize the quality is not up to standard, keep it in your fridge or freezer until the next time you shop and bring it back for a refund.

Even a partial bag of rotten apples can be returned....Who wants three or four bad apples in a bag? Do you really deserve to pay for that? Returning inferior foods will register the return in the store system and you will be helping to get better quality foods in this province and saving yourself money. Demand with dollars - don't throw away inferior food, bring it back!


For those landing on this page looking for Organic Beef in Newfoundland because of the recent Groupons from Newfoundland Food Distributors, please see my opinion here. While Stan Tobin is the only local farmer who raises his cattle on certified organic pastures and he may sell some to Newfoundland Food Distributors, I do not trust that it is processed organically, their sausage contains non-organic corn which is likely to contain GMO's and they admittedly purchase from "several" beef farmers.  My fear is that they are using Mr. Tobin's certification to pass off all their beef as organic.



  1. Hallelujah! Someone who has the exact same views as myself when it comes to the "state" of organics in this province. I've lived in 3 provinces in the last 3 years. Grocery stores in Alberta have an abundance of everything organic and at very affordable prices. Nova Scotia's grocery stores have a little more than here but there are also farms galore and the weekly farmer's market which offers some organics.
    I've been feeding my now, 11-month old, strictly organic foods since she started eating solids. This can be somewhat difficult but definitely attainable. I love knowing I am giving her the best start in life with the healthiest of foods. But the meat situation has proven to be quite difficult indeed. I've been purchasing the "free from" products, but like you said, they are not organic. And Dominion here no longer carries the "Free From" chicken!!! Morons! I hope things improve but I'm not positive they will.

  2. It is good to see that others are demanding better products too...If you want to know where to get organic meats here locally I can help you with that. Just email me at I now have my deep freeze filled with certified organic chickens and my mother has both beef & chickens. The only thing is that you will need to buy in bulk but if you can get a friend or two to share its not bad.

  3. I feel like I'm starving, there is no where in Newfoundland to buy anything that is even worth putting in my mouth.. It makes being vegan 10 times harder than it has to be.

  4. Free range does not actually mean the animals are living in outdoor, clean conditions. There are currently no regulations on the word "Free-range" in Canada and many producers claim this term to attract consumers. The fact is free-range can simply mean not in cages, but these animals may be living in filthy conditions that are less healthy than cages. Research the regulations that govern all the alternatives to conventional products and if it does not state it is Certified organic, there is no guarantee it is organic at all!

  5. While I agree to only purchase certified organic and it is true that there is no assurance with the labels of free-range. Certified Organic alone can also mean that they are raised in cages but fed organic feed. Free-range from a trustworthy farm (always check sources) means they have the availability of pasture, Free-run can simply mean not in cages on a barn floor. There are so many companies using words to green-wash their products these days that is very important to research where your food comes from. I only ever choose certified organic products and when it comes to meat and animal products they must be both certified organic and free-range (not free-run) whenever possible.

  6. My thoughts exactly! I now live in England where I can get anything naturally fed and pasture raised. I am going back to NL for a two week visit this summer. Where can I buy grass fed beef...well anything that is real food? (Going to St.John's)

    Thanks so much for this post! The last time I was home I couldn't even find cream that didn't have chemicals added to it, let alone A2 milk from pasture raised cows!

  7. Stay where you're, no honestly...I get chickens which are frozen and from Nova Scotia or Ontairo...We don't have local organic chickens yet... I ordered in 16 organic chickens (The PC organic brand) through Wholesale Club, O'leary Avenue (576-2140), the owner was very helpful in getting them in willing to order them in providing you purchased a case at a time (I ordered two cases - each case has 8 chickens at about $12-$19each).

    If you eat beef, we do have one certified organic farmer in the Province who has his animals on a biologically appropriate diet of organic pasture only and his name is Stan Tobin he can be reached at 227-1894 you may want to split an order with friends as you have to order a quarter but the price is quite reasonable at $3.50 per pound including cutting and packaging any way you like. He may be doing chickens and turkeys next summer... (beware of some local farmers calling their chickens organic at the farmers market - they are fed non-organic GMO corn and soy based feeds - entirely not organic).

    Sobey's and Dominion have a selection of fresh and frozen produce and packaged foods, the quality isn't fantastic but it's the best we have unless you want to grow it yourself.

    Also, Colemans (In Mount Pearl) had organic meats but I haven't seen much there in a while...they had whole chicken, boneless chicken breasts, pork chops, beef, bison & turkeys but they said it wasn't selling well.

    Hope this helps, CC

  8. Thank-you very much for the information. I lived in the US for 10 yrs so it is really difficult to find all of my groceries all organic. I do not want to buy factory farmed meat. I've inquired at Sobey's, Dominion and Costco to no avail about getting organic meats here. So thank-you for the information. My email is and I would be interested in adding my name to a list to possibly split meat orders with someone.


  9. Thank-you sooo much for the contact information for the organic meats!!

  10. Great post! You have the start of a group here, just in the comments, to go into business! 25 years ago in Morbihan, Brittany, a few families got together because they were fed up with the food on offer for their kids. Brittany is a strange place as it has intensive, polluting farming and a strong organic movement, permanently at war!. Anyway from this one shop has grown a whole chain of shops throughout France and a couple in Spain and Portugal, the two near me are owned by friends of ours. My feeling has always has been 'do it yourself'. I know you do a great deal already to promote organic and it seems to me that organic farming could probably rejuvenate the whole NF economy, you just need some more people on board. Some of the above organic shops have restaurants too, they provide an organic meal, 3 course with several choices for 12 Euros at lunchtime. They also provide for people to come in with their lunch boxes and get them filled to take back to their offices or just to their homes. You can also buy vouchers and get the meals even cheaper. What about your Mr Tobin holding an summer dance and organic supper. We have a small organic market in our village, just in the Summer, mainly for the campers and tourist because everyone here grows their own veg. They have two dances with local musicians and an organic meal at the opening of the market in June and closing in August - they are always packed out and it gives people a convivial atmosphere in which to sample good organic food. Sounds to me like your government is still stuck in the 50s and loving all that junk science and Boys' Own chemistry set stuff - they need a good shove, otherwise by the sound of it they're going towards a big budget on Medicare. All the very best and I salute you for the good stuff you are doing in a difficult climate in all senses of the word. Pavlovafowl aka Holistic Hen aka Sue

  11. Those are all great ideas! Actually I was the first to import organic fruits & vegetables out of season here (we have a very long winter) Due to the cost of getting them on this island not many were interested in a buying club, so for years on a weekly basis I spoke to all the grocery store managers and finally they started bringing stuff in and then said that it wasn't selling. The interest is slowing picking up which is good, the other problem is that we only have 3 organic farmers for a population of over 500,000 and being on an island the costs to import foods is very high. I grow what I can and have been trying since 1999 to promote organics...I have even taken out ads to attract more interest. We do have 1 organic delivery store now but with a very very small selection - but finally! :)

  12. After 8 month in St. John's and now the summer in California, I'm not looking forward to coming back to the food selection on the rock this fall. Is there anyway we could form some kind of group to promote organic food options? It could be in the form of PR, a bulk ordering co-op, and/or petitions to grocery stores. Thoughts? I'll also email you.

  13. It was discouraging to hear that Newfoundland doesn't have much in organic food. I live in Minnesota and we only buy organic and it's pretty east to do so. My husbands job asked if he (our family) would move to Newfoundland for three years. It would be a fun adventure but we eat organically so I don't know how that would work. His work would be based in Corner Brook.

  14. In the USA we also have choices like the link below where your organic food gets shipped to you. Unfortunately they don't deliver to Cananda, but maybe if you petitioned them they would!

  15. It's getting a little better here, we still have to search around quite a lot. Costco now has some organic meat and we have a new store Prices and quality are definitely going to be different for you and I am not sure what the organic scene in Corner Brook is like, I'm in the St. John's area.

  16. What organic meats are now at Costco? Also any ideas on where to find organic sweet peppers? The quality of organic foods is terrible here most of the time.

  17. Costco now has organic fresh chickens (2 pack for about $26) And fresh ground beef (3 pack for $18)
    Sweet peppers can be found occasionally at Sobey's and Real Food Market (Haven't seen them in a while) They do have Green Peppers at Sobey's and Hot Pepper At Real Food Market now.

  18. Thanks so-o-o much for the information. Do you know any place that will sell RAW organic milk and cheese?

  19. Thanks so-o-o much for the information. Do you know any place that will sell RAW organic milk and cheese?

  20. Raw milk is illegal here unfortunately.


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