This Victoria Day weekend, two things will be on the minds of many Torontonians—beer and BBQ. The weather is good, you’re hanging with your friends, and you just want to kick back and chill with a cold one and a burger. You may have heard about what BBQing can do to your health and the environment, but let’s face it, it’s hard to resist the smoky aroma wafting from your neighbour’s backyard. Don’t stress yourself about it—there are some eco-friendlier options when it comes to how you grill, and you can feel better about your BBQ by being choosy about what you grill. Plus, Toronto’s official BBQ season is quite short, leaving you plenty of time to “detox” and focus on healthier fare. That’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway.
So if you’re an omnivore, why not make sure the meat you’re eating is really really good, to offset some of those niggling negative thoughts? Picking lean meat which comes from small, local farms, raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones and fed a natural diet of grass, grains, and vegetables will make your body and soul feel good. A visit to The Healthy Butcher on Queen Street between Spadina and Bathurst may be in order. They specialize in certified organic meat, and have a wide range of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and tempting homemade hamburgers and filler-free sausages, including The One and Only Toronto Potato Sausage. There’s also Cumbrae’s, a Toronto staple, which has been hand selecting premium meats from small family farms for over 10 years, and offers exclusive lamb and Quebec wild game products. You can find them downtown at Church and Wellesley, or uptown at Bayview and Eglinton.
You’ll obviously need a crisp cold one to wash down all that protein. Toronto’s own Mill Street Brewery Organic Lager is one of several organic beers available at your local LCBO, along with La Messagère gluten-free beer brewed in Quebec, so your wheat-free friends don’t feel left out. Yes, there may be health benefits from drinking alcohol (in moderation), especially when it’s pesticide and GMO free, but there are also headaches, dehydration, and extra calories to contend with (not to mention loud arguments about who loves who more at 2 a.m.). Try to drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you have, and be prepared for the not-so-friendly reading on the scale after a weekend of excess. And please, save the chugging for before and after your meal, to ensure you break down all that food, saving your guests from your own harmful emissions later.
Photo by .steffie c. from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.