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Canadian AG Day - Celebrate on Feb 23

Canada's Agriculture day is on February 23rd. Celebrate with Taste Alberta by learning more about food and farming in Canada and why you should support local.



Canada's Agriculture Day is about bringing everyone together to talk about food and farming and share the wonderful things the industry is doing. Agriculture is an innovative, sustainable industry that makes a significant contribution to the Canadian economy.


5 Things you can do to celebrate Canada's Agriculture Day


  1. Eat Canadian grown and raised food. We have a recipe below for a Canadian burger to help you get started.

  2. Join our Facebook Live event @TasteAlberta at noon (Feb 23) when we'll be taking with Chris Allam about farming in Alberta.

  3. Meet three Alberta farmers (profiles below) who help to feed Canadians every day.

  4. Show your love of Canadian food in your social by sharing a picture and tagging #CdnAGday

  5. Check out agriculturemorethanever.ca for more ideas and resources


Canadian Burger - recipe



Ingredients:


1 can (19 oz/540 mL) no-salt-added black beans, drained & rinsed (yields 2 cups/500 mL cooked beans)

1 lbs or (450 g) of lean ground Canadian meat meat

2/3 cup (150 mL) onion, finely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 tsp (2 mL) Tabasco sauce

1 egg

1/4 cup (60 mL) bread crumbs

2 Tbsp (30 mL) salsa, heat level as desired

4-6 hamburger buns


Toppings

1/4 cup (60 mL) plain, low-fat yogurt

1/4 cup (60 mL) salsa, heat level as desired

Romaine, butter or leaf lettuce leaves

1 avocado, sliced

4-6 slices of your favourite Canadian cheese


Directions


In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a potato masher or fork.


Add ground Canadian meat, onions, Tabasco sauce, egg, bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) salsa. Mix well.


Divide mixture into 4 to 6 portions and form into patties that are about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.


Preheat grill to medium-high. Place burgers on top rack, close lid and grill 15 minutes one side or until browned. Close lid and grill another 7 to 10 minutes or until a thermometer set in centre of burgers registers 165°F (74°C). Remove from grill.


For the toppings, combine salsa and yogurt in a small bowl. Serve burgers with yogurt/salsa sauce, lettuce and avocado (if desired).


TIPS

For a vegetarian option add 1 cup (250 mL) cooked brown rice instead of ground meat.


You can also cook these burgers in a cast iron pan or flat top griddle. In a pan add a little canola oil and cook for 4 to 5 minute each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to the oven or indirect heat on the BBQ after at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes.


Chilling the made patties for about an hour can help prevent sticking.


Choose Canadian ground meat such as chicken, turkey, pork, beef or bison. Your choice is worth feeling good about.


Recipe adapted from Alberta Pulse Growers Black Bean Burger




Producer Profiles


Ruben Waldner, Pork Producer – Parkland Hutterite Colony, Nanton


Growing up on the Parkland Hutterite Colony, Ruben Waldner started working with animals when he was a little boy. “I’ve been involved in farming ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” he says with a laugh.


These days, he’s the assistant hall manager for his colony’s 500-sow operation, roughly 2,000 to 3,000 pigs. “I love it,” he says. “I don’t think I’d ever change.”


He enjoys a good pork feast, too, especially ribs and bacon. “If you’re eating local, it’s just so fresh,” he says. “You can see the passion that goes into raising the food.”


Freshness and food safety are why it’s important for all Canadians to know where their food comes from, he says.


“We do everything we can to make sure that the food we raise is of the highest quality,” he says.


“We’re not just raising pigs. We’re raising food for the world.”



Caroline Sekulic, Pulse Grower – Prestville Farms, Rycroft


A pulse grower in Northern Alberta, Caroline Sekulic doesn’t just sell the peas, beans and lentils that she grows. She makes them the centre of many of her family’s meals, too.


“I eat a ton of lentils because they’re good for you and they work with everything. We eat a ton of beans, too,” she says.


“Probably a third of our protein comes from pulses.”


She’s not alone. About 80 per cent of the Sekulic family’s pulse crops are sold and consumed around the world: China, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Mexico, the U.S. and more.


While she has fully embraced rural living, Sekulic had never lived on a farm until she got married. “I thought it would be a great adventure,” she says with a laugh. “And it has been.”


And now she understands why farmers and ranchers are important for all Canadians.


“Growing healthy nutritious food adds value to our environment, our community and culture,” she says. “It allows for different opportunities and jobs, and it provides a sustainable way for us to know what we are eating.”



Paul Wurz, Poultry Producer – Morinville Poultry, Morinville


Paul Wurz started mixing feed when he was seven years old, helping his dad at the Hutterite colony where he grew up. Then he’d carry the pails of food to the barns. “I had to really work hard to lift them up off the ground,” he recalls with a chuckle.


“But determination wins. If you want to get something done, you can do it.”


Wurz still works hard as part of the Morinville Hutterite Colony, where he takes care of the eggs from the colony’s 20,000 layer hens.


It probably goes without saying but he’s busy.


And every Friday, he’s on the road, delivering eggs from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. to dozens of restaurants and shops in and around Edmonton, including Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Cora restaurants, and the Italian Centre Shop.


“I’m giving them the freshest eggs you can get,” he says. “The eggs are at most two days old by the time you get them, and some aren’t even a day old.”


Wurz doesn’t just sell eggs. He eats at least two every day, usually at breakfast. “Eggs are so healthy for you. They’re like a little vitamin pill,” he says. “And I know they’re safe to eat.”


Food safety is one reason why he believes that supporting local farmers is important. “You know where it’s coming from,” he says.


“We try our best to give consumers the healthiest, safest product you can buy anywhere in the world.”


Profiles written by Shelley Boettcher

©2018 Postmedia Network Inc.


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