I recently noticed in the weekly Sobeys flyer that tropical and exotic produce items such as dragon fruits, young coconuts, star fruits and okra were featured.
This is a clear signal from Sobeys supermarkets that it is broadening its produce line to meet the needs of a growing diverse community.
Super Store, Safeway and the "ethnic" supermarkets now have another competitor in the international food market.
Winnipeg is thousands of kilometres from major seaports and far away from year-round growing farm areas such as Mexico. Yet, it is easy to notice that our produce departments are always well stocked with an ample diversity of fruits and vegetables.
Modern container ships, refrigerator-equipped long-haul trucks and temperature-controlled air freighters are all parts of the supply chain that bring Winnipeg’s huge cornucopia of fresh produce.
The "in" and "out" seasons are no longer a factor in the global market. Quick shipping from far off lands such as Chile, Argentina and New Zealand results in foods arriving in Winnipeg in a matter of days, in most cases.
Tropical fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, persimmons and papayas are very popular with consumers. And the supermarkets are responding to consumers demand.
The wide varieties of fresh garden produce, such as green vegetables, sweet peas, string beans, eggplants and squash, are always in stock. This can be credited to year-round growing seasons in southern China, Jamaica and Mexico.
Quinoa has become a health food superstar. This exotic ancient grain originates in Peru and it’s now welcome in the kitchens of many Winnipeggers. It is gluten-free and packed with protein and several other nutritive values. It’s also an excellent substitute for rice and a delicious addition to salads and soups. In 2013, the United Nations declared quinoa the food of the year.
The shift in global supplies and consumer’s demands compliment Canada’s food guide, which recommends that we add more fruits and vegetables to our meals.
Quick shipping to Winnipeg means that the world is our supermarket
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org