Tag: food

China’s Salmon..Might be Rainbow Trout

China, for domestic consumption, recently decided to reclassify rainbow trout and related species as salmon. Once filleted and placed on a plate the two look very similar, but are completely different fish.

Salmon are born in fresh water but then live a good majority of their lives in the ocean. Salmon only return to fresh water to breed and then die. Rainbow trout live their whole lives in fresh water. These two are completely different fish.

There is a lot of fraud in China. The articles hint that much of what is sold in China as salmon has for years been rainbow trout, grown in aquaculture farms in Qinghai Province, far, far from the ocean. This fraud cheats Chinese people.

Cucumber Beetle in our Jiecai: Macro Photo

Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi, found on our jiecai, from our local Chinese store. I believe there is poo coming out of its butt. Toronto, Canada. Photo by Don Tai

Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi, found on our jiecai, from our local Chinese store. I believe there is poo coming out of its butt. Toronto, Canada. Photo by Don Tai

Icky maybe, but if insects are eating your vegetables, then it must be healthy to eat. These are photos the Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi, spotted on our Chinese vegetables, jiecai, a leafy green, from the local Chinese store. It was dead.

Living in a Chinese Enclave in Toronto, Canada

We did not intend to live in a Chinese enclave when we moved into our Scarborough, Canada home in Toronto. It seemed like when a white elderly couple would move out, a Chinese family would move in. As the years passed, this continued, until 50-60% of our street is now Chinese. It also was not our desire to live in a Chinese enclave. Our intention was to live in a multiculturally mixed neighbourhood.

I write this post after being prodded by this article on Markham Chinese enclaves. Markham is just north of the Scarborough and Toronto border, and can be considered an ethnic extension of Scarborough. In fact we often shop there.

Toronto Chinatowns: Downtown vs Uptown

Which Toronto Chinatown is better? Uptown or Downtown? I test both.

Which Toronto Chinatown is better? Uptown or Downtown? I test both.

It is rare for me to visit Toronto’s downtown Chinatown because I live in North-East Toronto, where we have the highest concentration of Mainland Chinese in Toronto. Today we went to MEC.ca (Mountain Equipment Co-op) for cycling gear, so stopped and had lunch in Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas. Having not been there for many years, it was interesting.

Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School student tips

Mary Ward's front door archway, a nice piece of steel and glass.

Mary Ward's front door archway, a nice piece of steel and glass.

Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School is a high school located in North Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school is part of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, or TCDSB. These tips are primarily from a parent’s viewpoint and will cover uniform, student attitude, working with teacher adviser (TA) and a little on courses. I hope this helps new grade 9 students.

School Uniform

Canadian Tire Weekly Food Specials = Epic Fail

After an epic fail in selling food, will Canadian Tire now sell lingerie? Say it isn't so...

After an epic fail in selling food, will Canadian Tire now sell lingerie? Say it isn't so...

As a long time Canadian I consider it a tradition to shop at Canadian Tire. Unlike Walfart, Crappy Tire is, after all, Canadian. When I need a tool or something for the house I think of Canadian Tire first. This year, I am finding that the products I need are no longer advertised in the CT weekly flyer, and all the stuff I don’t need has taken its place. This has the result of me not visiting the local Crappy Tire as much as I used to, and therefore I am not spending the family’s cash in their stores. Going to the epitome of insanity, CT’s weekly food specials now gets attached to the weekly flyer. As my daughter often says, this is an EPIC FAIL.

Street Meat in China, Japan and Toronto

Yangrou chuanr, mutton kebobs, Chinese street meat

Yangrou chuanr, mutton kebobs, Chinese street meat


It takes very little for me to have flashbacks of eating street meat in places I’ve lived or visited, namely China, HK and Japan. The mere whiff of an exotic spice can easily send me off to places past, transforming me from here to where I’ve been. I literally lose track of what I am doing and will walk off to chase a scent down. Now that I live in Toronto, Canada, where multiculturalism has evolved to mind expanding lengths, I become easily impatient with our city politicians as they dither about what is acceptable street food offerings to Torontonians. Here’s a novel idea: Let anyone offer food on the street and let the general public decide what they want to eat. Make it easy to get a licenses, enforce strict health rules, and punish those that are unclean. That, however, would be too easy.

Female Cochineal Beetle and your Food


Interesting. Here’s an organic additive that creates deep and rich reds for your food or cosmetics. Ground up female cochineal beetles. I’ll be looking for these 5mm critters the next time I go shopping and begin reading packaging ingredients.

___Yes, the ingredient is called cochineal, carmine (carminic acid), or E120. Because beetles are insects it is not considered kosher, halal, or vegetarian. Some people can have allergic reactions to it, as was televised by “60 Minutes”. Yes, this kid almost died of anaphylactic shock. I’m always amazed at what is put into our food that we don’t know about. As usual, Canadian labeling laws do not give you any indication of its origins. While I do not have an aversion to eating bugs (they make a great supplemental protein source), I know most other people do. Cochineal can also be used as organic ant repellent.

___It is interesting that “60 Minutes” omitted to tell us of the long history of this dye and its stellar safety record. There was much sensationalism in the story, as if this was a new additive used by evil food manufacturers to poison us all. So much for unbiased reporting.

Female cochineal are flat, wingless, 5mm long, oval shaped scale insects. Dried and crushed they make an all natural, deep red dye for food and cosmetics

Female cochineal are flat, wingless, 5mm long, oval shaped scale insects. Dried and crushed they make an all natural, deep red dye for food and cosmetics

Milk Allergy and Kosher Labelling for Good Health


On a recent airline flight we ordered kosher meals, but only for one person in our family. The stewardess looked at us quizzically, but gave us our kosher meal anyway. She double checked to ensure we had indeed ordered it. There was no mistake; we were the ones that ticked the kosher box when booking our tickets. As the long flight progressed the stewardess, now quite curious, asked us why we would order the kosher meal. On this trans Pacific flight, of the 500 or so passengers, we were the only ones that ordered a kosher meal.