"It's an annual midsummer celebration of our tremendous agriculture industry," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Food Day Canada is a yearly reminder of what can be achieved when farmers, food producers, retailers, and restaurants come together to deliver safe, high-quality Canadian food to families across Canada and around the world."
Food Day Canada started nine years ago as "The World's Longest Barbeque"—a response to the border closures Canada's beef industry was experiencing at the time. It has grown substantially, with hundreds of restaurants now on board, and it continues to influence the menus of many home-cooked meals, helping Canadians better understand the contribution the agricultural sector makes to Canada's economy. Canada's agricultural industry accounts for some two million jobs and contributes 8% to Canada's Gross Domestic Product.
"Our farmers and food processors create some of the most delicious, safest, and freshest food products found on dinner plates around the world," Ritz said. "On Saturday, August 4, I challenge all consumers to have a Canadian meal, at home or in one of the 300 restaurants across the country that are showcasing Canadian menus on Food Day Canada."
"We encourage all Canadians to join the party and visit a participating restaurant, or simply plan a personal get-together," said Anita Stewart, Food Day Canada founder. "Fire up the barbeque, hold a kitchen party, or have a cookout at the campground using Canadian ingredients to create a feast honouring our extraordinary culinary diversity. Then pin your menu on the Food Day Canada website for all of Canada, and the world, to see!"
For more information about Food Day Canada 2012, including recipe ideas and a list of participating restaurants, visit www.fooddaycanada.ca.