All About Local Ontari​o Food

woman at a farmers market

Did you know? Ontario produces many delicious and nutritious foods! Find out what foods are produced in Ontario, how to spot local foods and how buying local is budget-friendly.

What foods are produced in Ontario? 

Ontario produces:

  • Vegetables and fruit: Over 50 different kinds!
  • Meat: beef, veal, pork, lamb
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck
  • Fish: trout, pickerel, perch
  • Eggs
  • Dairy: cheese and milk
  • Legumes: beans, lentils
  • Honey, wines and maple syrup too

Foodland Ontario has a list of Ontario food definitions to help you understand exactly what it means to buy Ontario foods.

Where do I buy local food? 

You can buy local food produced in Ontario when shopping at your grocery store, farmers' market, and “on-farm” markets where farmers sell their local foods on site. Remember to look for roadside stands during the summer months as well. 

How do I know if I’m buying local Ontario food? 

Look for the Foodland Ontario logo to know if a food was produced in Ontario.

If it’s not clearly labelled, ask your grocery store manager. This helpful availability guide lists all the vegetables and fruit produced in Ontario and shows what months of the year they are in season. Some are available seasonally like rhubarb, but many like sweet potato are available all year long. When local food is out of season, you can still support Canadian farmers by buying frozen or canned varieties that have “Product of Canada” on the package.

Is local food also organic? 

No.  Local food may or may not be organic. Local food refers to where the food was produced. Organic refers to how the food was produced.

Is local food tastier? 

Local food, conventional or organic can be tasiter because it is fresh. Unique plant varieties, such as heirloom vegetables, can have an impact on taste as well. 

Is local food budget-friendly? 

Yes. Foods like eggs, milk, cabbage, carrots, apples and beans are always a great buy and very nutritious.  Here are a few more tips to save:

  • Shop the store specials.
  • Can or freeze local produce that is well priced.
  • Buy pre-bagged items like carrots or apples. They are often less costly than loose ones.
  • Reduce food waste. Store your food right and only buy what you can use before it spoils.

What are other benefits to buying local food? 

There are many benefits to buying local food. Food produced close to home is fresh, tasty and well priced. Buying local food supports farmers, which helps to preserve farmland and ensures we have a supply of high quality, nutritious food. 

You may also be interested in

Budget-wise produce Food Handler's Storage Guide
8 Great ways to enjoy local food
Nutrition Guide to Local Food, Foodland Ontario

Recipes using local food

Unlock Food
Foodland Ontario

Last Update – October 31, 2018

Phone Icon

Dietitians look beyond fads to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. Want to unlock the potential of food? Connect with a dietitian.