Premier Recognizes Healthy Foods

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The provincial government has announced winners of the first Alberta Food for Health Awards.

“We applaud these producers and researchers for their commitment to providing top-quality, healthy food choices,” Premier Ed Stelmach said in a release. This new awards program will help Albertans learn more about some of the great food products that are available in our restaurants, farmers’ markets, stores and from our many farmers and ranchers.

The program recognizes innovation in five categories. The winner in each category receives $10,000 to be used toward eligible business expenditures.

Winners

Farmers’ market category – Spragg’s Meat Shop, Rosemary for English bacon originally developed to meet local demand for a traditional British cut of bacon with the flavour of back bacon. It’s now available at farmers’ markets in Millarville, Bearspaw, Grassroots Northlands and Brooks. The product is derived from free-range hogs that are raised on pasture and fed Alberta-grown alfalfa, barley and faba beans.

Retail outlet category – Diamond Willow Organic Beef, Pincher Creek. Diamond Willow is a collaborative of ranching families that specialize in beef produced from cattle that graze on natural foothills grasslands during the summer months and are wintered close to home.

Diamond Willow Organic Beef is sold through Save-On-Foods, IGA, Planet Organic outlets, Community Natural Foods and is processed by Sunterra Meats.

Food service category – Prairie Mill Bread Company, Calgary for honey whole-wheat loaf. The company specializes in pioneer-style breads made from 100 per cent Prairie wheat that is milled by the company and mixed with seeds, grains and fruits. The honey whole-wheat loaf is sold in various Alberta retail locations and restaurants, including the Prairie Mill Bread Company’s stores in Edmonton and Calgary, health food stores, and Calgary restaurants Catch and Janice Beaton’s The Farm.

Nutrition researchers’ category – University of Alberta for research on cereal beta-glucans. Drs. Temelli and Vasanthan of the department of agricultural, food and nutritional science are being recognized for a novel process to concentrate a naturally occurring soluble dietary fibre, beta-glucan, from barley and oat grains and demonstrating its benefits for improving cardiovascular health and helping in the management of diabetes.

No applications were received for the vending machine category.

Submissions for next year’s awards are now being accepted until February 1, 2011. Details can be found at AlbertaFoodforHealthAwards.com. A new category has been added to the awards program recognizing Alberta food producers that develop products for people who specialty diets.

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