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THE EYEOPENER PRESENTS

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Volume 51 - Issue 11 November 22, 2017
Season’s Greetings
I hope your term has been filled with times of wonderful
learning, stimulating personal experiences and supportive
friendships. I want to thank you for choosing Ryerson,
and for being part of a vibrant and welcoming campus
community that respects and values each and every one of
its members.
In the holiday season, our thoughts turn with gratitude to
family and friends, near and far, who have helped us on our
journey, and who inspire us to give the best of ourselves to
shape a better world.
From my family to yours, wishing you a safe and relaxing
holiday and peaceful and happy new year.
Mohamed Lachemi
President and Vice-Chancellor

. THE FOOD ISSUE . 2
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 News 3

How student jobs
are affected by the
minimum wage hike
Money’s tight, but campus jobs are figuring it out

By Emerald Bensadoun ing between 10 and 15 hours a
week, and are only allowed to work
Ryerson University’s Career Cen- one Career Boost job at a time. In
tre plans on expanding the amount order to be eligible to apply for the
of Career Boost opportunities for work experience program on cam-
students despite the minimum wage pus, all students need to fill out a
increase, but the unionized posi- questionnaire about their personal
tions are still figuring it out. and work-related expenses.
The minimum wage increase, If a student is ineligible for OSAP,
proposed by Ontario Premier Kath- they won’t meet the qualifications to
leen Wynne in May 2017, will in- apply for the program’s opportunities.
crease minimum wage to $15 an Second-year journalism student
hour over the next 18 months as Sara Jabakhanji lives with her parents
part of sweeping changes to Ontario in Mississauga. In an interview, she
labour laws. The increase is set to told The Eye that she’s trying to save
occur in January 2019, and accord- money to move out. But between
ing to the provincial government, school, her job and regular expenses,
the increase will also ensure equal it “doesn’t look like it’s going to
pay for part-time workers. happen” anytime soon.
The Career Boost program Jabakhanji, who works on campus
provides part-time and on- and makes $12.50 per hour as a jour-
campus employment to full-time nalism and multimedia assistant in
undergraduate Ryerson students the Venn, said her biggest concern
whose educational costs aren’t is that even with the minimum wage
covered by Canadian government increase, she’ll have to find a second
student assistance programs like the job to move out and support herself.
Ontario Student Assistant Program Since she’s only allowed to work 10
(OSAP). hours a week, Jabakhanji added the
Career Centre director Caroline minimum wage increase “probably
Konrad said the Career Boost pro- wouldn’t even help.”
gram will expand “incrementally.” Even unionized Ryerson work-
Career Boost opportunities for the places like the Oakham Cafe and the
fall and winter terms of the 2016- Ram in the Rye run by the Ryerson
2017 year grew from 754 to 765 the Student Centre are also feeling the
following term, which is a 1.4 per pressure of the minimum wage in-
cent increase. Projections for the crease. The centre’s employees are
2017-2018 year will only jump 1.3 unionized with the Ontario Public
per cent. Career Boost is expanding, Service Employees Union Local 596
but at a decelerated rate. Unit 2. Employee wages are negoti-
In an interview, Career Centre ated annually as part of their collec-
operations manager Ian Ingles said tive agreement.
that while the university has no cur- Carrie Fumerton, pub lead hand
rent plans to promote or advertise and acting floor manager at the Ram
its Career Boost job expansion, the in the Rye, said staff are currently
increase in pay will be reflected in paid above minimum wage. While,
future job postings. to her knowledge, the centre won’t
The University’s commitment be making any big staff cuts to com-
to growing the program, Conrad pensate for an increase in employee
said, is “happening, irrespective to wages, she said nobody will “know
changes outside.” for sure” until their collective agree-
The funding for the Career Centre ment finishes its negotiations.
comes from a variety of sources, in- “There’s kind of a big cloud hang-
cluding sponsorship money, events ing over what’s actually going to
hosted with employers and the pro- happen with the minimum wage
vincial government. Ryerson presi- increase,” said Fumerton.
dent Mohamed Lachemi told The In an email, Ryerson Student Cen-
Eye the University is trying to be tre general manager Jennifer Stacey
more aggressive with the provincial Staff wrote that she can’t comment
government to obtain more funding. on wages but “can however con-
The amount allocated to the Career firm that we will, at the very least,
Centre changes each year. be meeting our legal requirements
But some Ryerson students aren’t with regard to minimum wage.”
convinced that the minimum wage While the minimum wage in-
increase will help solve all of their crease has some students feeling a
monetary woes. little uneasy, Lachemi said he is re-
To ensure that students working maining positive.
on campus through Career Boost “But this place is about innova-
don’t prioritize their jobs over study tion, and we try to be creative and
time, students are limited to work- find a way,” he said.
4 editorial Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

The good fight Communities
Nicole “Dipping” Brumley

Fun and Satire
Melissa “Go-Getter” Salamo
Shakir “Textbook Example” Rimzy
Lyba “Luagh” Mansoor
Urbi “She’s Excited” Khab
By Annie Arnone I scanned the room and people Emerald “10 Chainz” Bensadoun Scott “Kachow” Zhang
were visibly upset. People left in tears Johnathan “Family Matters” Matta
Day one in Gatineau, Que. started feeling they weren’t being heard. Media Jonathan “Brave” Bradley
beautifully. My colleague and I, In one instance, a delegate across Editor-in-Chief Malachi “The Milk Man” Rowswell Lidia “Lone Wolf” Abraha
Noushin Ziafati, boarded our train the room proudly addressed the fact Sierra “Secretly a Sith” Bein Carl “Santa’s Macho Elf” Solis Vanessa “Traveller” Balintec
in Toronto and made our way into that she’d asked another delegate to Kiernan “Money Man” Green
the swanky conference hall where leave because she “didn’t like them”— News Copy Editor James “Instagram” Martin
the Canadian Federation of Students other than a short burst of “ou’s” and Noushin “The Wizard of Eye” Igor “The Eye-Phone Saint” Magun Urbi “Kickin” Khan
(CFS) Annual General Meeting “ah’s” no one seemed to care about this Ziafati Catherine “Carpet” Carpenter
(AGM) was being held. statement. Annie “Commander Ann” Arnone General Manager Shauna “Movie” Cox
My excitement faded in a matter of The Ryerson Students’ Union pays Jacob “The Golden Wookie” Dubé Liane “Master of the Force” Virginie “DDR” Tanguay
hours. I was warned that these meet- roughly half a million dollars to the McLarty Julia “Sickkkkk” Ranney
ings were hard to get through. Mo- CFS every year. This covers costs Photo
tions are often left untouched, some that go towards campaigns intended Sarah “The Lioness” Krichel Advertising Manager The Annoying Talking Coffee Mug
remain on the agenda for several to eliminate tuition, support equity Premila “The Tigress” D’Sa Chris “Young Jedi” Roberts is here to welcome you to the darkest
years. But I didn’t imagine that the groups and advocacy. Camila “The Lone Wolf” Kukulski and sometimes soggiest and saddest of
federation that so heavily promotes But when some students are leav- Design Director times. Projects, finals, no sun. A lack
inclusivity, democratic policy and ing a space intended for open dia- Online J.D. “The Emperor” Mowat of dollars to spend on friends or fam-
safe spaces would do such a poor job logue, nauseous because they’re not Karoun “Comet” Chahinian ily. And sad, sodden hope that someone
of practicing what they preached. getting answers about where their Alanna “Prancer” Rizza Interns in your family will just DAMN well
But I can’t deny their attempts to money is going, it scares me. Lee “No Show” Richardson Peter “El Greco” White give you money and not an abysmal
promote inclusivity. Two full days of Fight those fees, CFS. Continue to Rameez “Surprise Me” Hameed sweater scarf set for the holidays. Read
the AGM are dedicated to constituen- lobby for groups that we desperately Features Kintaro “Fitzgerald McGuee” Skin- the issue, revel in the food and survive.
cy meetings, ranging from racialised need on our campuses, but be trans- Skyler “Darth Vader” Ash ner It is always darkest before the dawn!
students and queer students, to stu- parent like you say you are. I never
dents with disabilities. While the want to hear the national treasurer Arts and Life Contributors The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest
organization aims to be inclusive of answer “I don’t know” to a question Izabella “Enchantress” Balcerzak Jacqueline “Nickname” Matskiv and only independent student news-
marginalized communities, the space again. Recognize when people in the Peter “New Guy” Ash paper. It is owned and operated by
that it provides is far from that. room are hurting. You pay anti-ha- Sports Virginie “Quebec” Tanguay Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a non-profit
I sat in awe as a motion to extend a rassment officers for a reason. A chair Bryan “The Butler” Meler Stefanie “Three Strikes You’re Out” corporation owned by the students of
question period took up the remain- of an AGM is not qualified to deal Ben “The M&M Criminal” Wald- Phillips Ryerson. Our offices are on the second
der of the time left for said question, with “eye rolls” and “middle fingers.” man Swikar “Magic Well” Oli floor of the Student Campus Centre.
and also bled into the time slot for ex- This isn’t the democratic and inclu- Mikayla “Change of Guard” Fasullo You can reach us at 416-979-5262, at
ecutive reports—arguably one of the sive national student union you rep- Biz and Tech Parnika “Magic Text” Raj theeyeopener.com or on Twitter at
most important parts of the AGM. resent yourself as. Do better. Sylvia “Help Me” Lorico Madison “Magnificent” Henry @theeyeopener.
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 news 5

CFS national meeting tense, as usual
The CFS held their 36th annual general meeting in Quebec this past weekend, where people argued, cried and asked to defederate—again
By Noushin Ziafati forms of oppression that act as bar- Sitting alongside Nyaga and Em-
and Annie Arnone riers to success for students at Ryer- berson was RSU vice-president op-
son and across Canada. erations Ali Yousaf and Board of Di-
The room rose to their feet as mem- Major decision-making by the rectors (BoD) Senate representative
bers of the Anishinaabe, and other CFS is made at annual national and Razi Syed. Vice-president education
Indigenous communities engaged provincial meetings. These meetings Daniel Lis eventually joined for the
the crowd in a drumming and sing- take place twice a year and allow stu- closing plenary. The RSU team was
ing ceremony, opening the 36th dents to examine and debate motions clearly divided, by way of their split-
Canadian Federation of Students that centre around the policies, direc- slate nature–comprised of delegates
(CFS) National Annual General tion and priorities of the federation. who ran for the RSU elections on
Meeting (AGM) in Gatineau, Que. This year the AGM ran from pro- and anti-CFS slates. This split Delegates voted on the proposed motions in the agenda PHOTO: Annie Arnone

The songs were incredibly welcom- Nov. 17 to 20. was directly translated in their voting liability. Their legal counsel also ad- Racialised Students’ Constituency
ing; everyone in the room tapped Motions were initially introduced throughout the weekend. vised against it. Group and the Queer Students’
the left side of their chests, patting at opening plenary, which took According to Nyaga, the best way Another contentious motion sur- Constituency Group.
their heart to mimic the beat of the place on the first day of the AGM. to represent Ryerson students at the rounded Selkirk College Students’ The closing plenary, which was
honour song as directed by one of We immediately witnessed a AGM was to abstain from voting if Union wanting to defederate from as heated as the opening, saw the
the performers. Never had we seen clear split among undergraduate the table did not agree on a motion. the CFS. The national executive said room divided.
student politicians so unified. and graduate student unions rep- Due to differing opinions among the that Selkirk has not paid their mem- Although a bunch of motions for
Unfortunately, the feeling did not resented by the federation, also group, the RSU abstained from sever- bership fees to the national compo- progressive campaigns passed, such
last long. known as member locals, including al motions during the weekend. The nent, which is why they are unable as an anti-fascist motion to condemn
The CFS is the largest national Local 24–our RSU. ideology to abstain, however, was not to leave the CFS. the actions of University of Toronto
student association in Canada, rep- Member locals announced their shared among the group, resulting in On the second and third days of professor Jordan Peterson, the con-
resenting more than 650,000 col- presence at the opening plenary tension among RSU delegates. the AGM, motions were discussed tentious motions that went through
lege, undergraduate, graduate, part- during a roll call—a form of taking A motion that was heavily debat- in closed door constituency group several rounds of debates either did
time and international students. The attendance. Some did so in the form ed during the opening plenary was meetings, caucus meetings and not pass or were pulled from the clos-
Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) has of song, others by way of chant. for the national executive to release subcommittee meetings—where ing plenary agenda. This left a lot of
been a member of the CFS since The RSU made sure to stand out. the full, unredacted forensic audit suggestions are made for closing things ultimately unresolved.
1982. This year, the RSU is paying RSU vice-president student life & of the CFS secret bank account that plenary, which followed the next At the end, we left the AGM feel-
a total membership fee of $536,000 events Lauren Emberson raised her was discovered in 2014. Throughout day. The idea behind these meet- ing disappointed.
to the CFS and CFS-Ontario, which member local card and said “unfor- the weekend, the national executive ings is to allow delegates to discuss Tension persisted throughout
goes towards funding campaigns tunately, here,” leaving students in repeatedly mentioned that the full motions within smaller groups and the four-day-long meeting and it’s
intended to reduce and eliminate the room, and her own president, forensic audit of the bank account for motions to be examined and safe to say the overall feeling shared
tuition fees, while fighting racism, Susanne Nyaga, with a look of awe could not be released as it would put discussed from a diversity of stu- as a result of the meeting was bit-
ableism, colonialism and all other on their faces. the federation in a position of legal dent perspectives, such as in the tersweet.
APPETIZER

FOOD IS NEVER JUST SOMETHING TO EAT
felt by the tip of your tongue.
By Food is a social activity. It’s what
Izabella unites us with the oldest civilizations.
Balcerzak You can tell a lot about a culture by
what and how they ate. Were they
I was a chubby baby. sitting around a table with close fam-
Flipping through old photo al- ily, or staring at their laptop screen
bums, the three rolls of arm fat that watching the latest Netflix series with
led up to my elbow revealed just how microwavable dinner?
well-fed my Polish immigrant family In Italian culture, for example, din-
kept me (I was never cold). ner is the most important part of the
Eventually at the age of eight, I day, especially on Sundays. I work in
developed a weird fascination with an Italian restaurant and my Sundays
salads. I became a “health freak” and usually consist of watching other
only ate tomatoes and leafy greens families get together for a nice meal,
for dinner, but my unsatisfied ap- with me wondering if the extra cash
petite finally won me over and I is really worth it?
learned to love food again. I invite you to indulge in our
Contrary to Polish stereotypes, first Food Issue where we hope to
my DNA is only partially linked to make your taste buds dance and
pierogi, borscht and potatoes. Over your stomachs grumble as you flip
the years, living on my own and with through each page. You’ll read sto-
various roommates, I’ve experiment- ries on how food relates to culture,
ed with spices, tastes and textures. drugs, a mother’s eternal love. May-
I have even inadvertently become a be you’ll learn a thing or two.
student vegetarian because buying Eat, mangia and gobble up every-
meat is too damned expensive. This thing we have to offer in the next
is when I realized the importance of few pages.
enjoying food. If your family isn’t nearby, grab
Even though there are times I a friend and grub a meal. Even
forget to eat, I try to remember to better, invite them over and make
enjoy the bites I take because food dinner together. As long as you
shouldn’t be eaten just to survive. don’t burn the place down, I can
You should want to discover what assure you it’ll be a tasty time. Sit
the darkest chocolate tastes like and down and relax every once in a
figure out if snail is really all the while by a warm plate of food and
French make it out to be. There are good company.
so many tastes that have yet to be Bon Appétit.

MASTHEAD
MANAGING EDITOR
IZABELLA BALCERZAK

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
SIERRA BEIN

DESIGN EDITORS
SKYLER ASH
SAM MOYA

PHOTOGRAPHERS
IZABELLA BALCERZAK
PREMILA D’SA
SARAH KRICHEL
CAMILA KUKULSKI

WRITERS
JACOB DUBÉ
KAROUN CHAHINIAN
BLAKE HAMILTON
ERICA HEMINGWAY
ARIANNA KENNEDY
KOURTNEY MELDRUM
JULIA NOWICKI
CARL SOLIS
BEN WALDMAN

6 . THE FOOD ISSUE .
APPETIZER

Trucking food reviews
Arianna Kennedy tests out the dishes being served up
by some of our local food trucks
Attending university in downtown Toronto means there’s absolutely no
shortage of cool restaurants to eat at. But, if you’re anything like me, you go
to the same places so often that the employees know your order (I’m look-
ing at you, dude from Patties Express). That’s why we went out and tried
some new food just for you, so you don’t have to. Namely, the mysterious
food trucks nestled away in the lot across from the SLC.

QUICK PITA
ggggg HOLY CRÊPES!
You’ll definitely need to grab a drink with ggggg
this one if you’re used to saucier food. The As someone with a sweet tooth, the crêpe TAWOOK KING
chicken shawarma wrap is priced at $5.25
and comes with traditional toppings like let-
was hands down my favourite to eat. The
vendor offers all the typical crêpes like ggggg
tuce, tomatoes, onions and turnips. While Nutella or brown sugar, but I opted for the Full disclosure, I manage a Mediterranean
the chicken was plentiful, it was very dry more decadent (and most expensive) Kinder restaurant on the weekends, so my stan-
and… shredded? I prefer my shawarma meat Crêpe. Picture your basic crêpe, but with dards for shish tawook and shawarma are CRAZY BURRITO
to be juicier and in one piece. The shredded
chicken could have been forgiven if it was
Kinder Bueno bars melted inside, topped
with whipped cream. They’re made to or-
pretty high. The shish tawook wrap was de-
licious, although not what I’m used to. The ggggg
less dry. The seasoning was sort of heavy and der, of course, so you’ll have to wait a few chicken was heavily marinated, similar to a This is one of the few places with a decent
didn’t tingle my taste buds. Like, I was getting minutes for it to be prepared, but you get curry, and had a bit of a spicy aftertaste. It special. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can
some kind of flavour, but it certainly wasn’t to watch the process happen right in front was warm and tasty, and came in a soft pita get a burrito bowl (yes, the same size as
that of the chicken. I know, I’m confused of you. The crêpe is served on a styrofoam wrap with potato and pickles. The wrap it- Chipotle’s) for $6.99! The vendor offers
myself. Maybe the taste just wasn’t for me. I plate, not a proper container, so you have self looked more like a panini and was sort chicken, steak and vegetarian options—talk
also wasn’t tasting any of the garlic or tahini to eat it fast or have a friend there with you of flat, but I forgave it, because the special about inclusivity! We went for the veg, and
sauces in the wrap, which are staples in for support. But this shouldn’t be a problem featured wraps for $4. Seriously! The ven- it was pretty solid. The toppings were fresh
any shawarma. The pita was chewy, so if you’re having a study sesh at the SLC and dors in this lot clearly understand the stu- (crisp lettuce is a must for myself), and the
that was nice to enjoy as a lot of other need a quick pick-me-up. My only gripe is dent budget life. This wrap is good enough bowl was about half lettuce and half rice,
small shawarma places tend to serve that it was $6.50 for one crêpe without any for a big snack, or a full meal for those of with the toppings like corn and refried
drier pita. Unfortunately, this was add-ons. It would have also been nice to you with smaller stomachs. The kind gentle- beans drizzled on top. It wasn’t bad for the
my least favourite of the four have some fruit or at least icing sugar dust- man who worked at the stand also handed price, but you won’t be getting as much meat
vendors, and it didn’t come ed on top for presentation marks, but that out samples for me to try beforehand, which as you would from other places like Burrito
with a special either. would have come with an extra charge. warmed my heart more than the food. Boyz or Chipotle.

Out with the old, in with the new
Kourtney Meldrum tells us how the new food guide will cater to more student diets
year English student at Ryerson. Although it hasn’t been confirmed by Health until dinner. “How can you eat eight serv-
The guide itself hasn’t seen major changes Canada, the overhaul on the guide is rumoured ings of vegetables or seven grains in one
since 2007, and that came 25 years after the last to create less of a focus on meats and dairy, pos- day? I don’t think that’s realistic,” she said.
adjustments were made. But now it’s scheduled sibly even eliminating dairy as a group. With a strong emphasis on home-
for an overdue revamp that will debut in 2018, Canada is a diverse community, with di- cooked food, maybe students can be con-
creating speculation among students ahead of verse needs and diets. The new guide is also vinced to shift their focus away from just
the upcoming changes. supposed to take into consideration environ- filling nutrient quotas and more towards
The simple guide is at the cen- mental effects, new known health risks, and spending time working on their diet and
tre of much controversy over the the importance of eating local. But one prob- making wholesome food.
years. Nutritionists and activists lem that still exists is whether the food guide Let me leave you with some food for
have argued about what makes up sets unrealistic expectations for what every- thought: is the real question of Canada’s
the chart and have recommended day university students should be eating (and Food Guide on its lack of inclusivity of all
ideas for a daily intake. are able to afford). diets? Or is it how realistic it is for students

E veryone
remembers
learning about some version of Canada’s
Beyond being stressed out, there
are other situations that can make hitting
those serving guidelines even harder. Emma
“There might need to be more than one ver-
sion of it,” said Craig Adam, a former Ryerson
nutrition student. “I hope [the new version]
to follow it and the state of nutrition of uni-
versity students, and the seeming disregard
for what they put in their bodies to fuel
Food Guide (a pyramid, a rainbow, etc.), Jedan, a first-year social work student at Ry- includes more foods that are realistic to people themselves?
but few people actually consult it when erson, is vegan and lives at Parkside Student in terms of cultural backgrounds.” Munch on that.
making food choices in their daily lives. Residence near campus. A diet that Adam would recommend is the
This can be especially true for univer- The current guide breaks food down into Brazilian Food Guide, which focuses less
sity students who survive off cereal and four sections: vegetables and fruit, grain prod- on nutrients in your diet, and more on
ramen noodles—not a picture perfect diet. ucts, milk and alternatives, and meat and al- the environment you’re in, as well
The last concern on any student’s mind ternatives. Within these sections, there are as eating meals with others, and
is whether or not they got enough grain daily recommendations for servings depend- focusing on fresh homemade so-
servings that day when they have an exam ing on your age and gender. lutions. This is something Canada
coming up. Jedan finds living off of a food plan makes could be aiming to transform its
“It’s hard when you’re a student. You it difficult to stick to any of these guidelines. guide into.
never sleep and you never have time to Being vegan makes it impossible. “For ex- Gatti said that most mornings
eat a proper meal, so I think it’s hard for ample, today, literally the only vegan things she’ll miss breakfast because she’s
students to follow this 100 per cent and be [Parkside] had were broccoli, sweet potato rushing for the train. If she doesn’t
diligent with it,” said Angela Gatti, a third- fries and soup,” she said. have time to pack lunch, she won’t eat . THE FOOD ISSUE . 7
ENTRÉE

The life of pie
From the rural provinces of the Philippines to the urban heart of
Canada, Carl Solis writes about his mother’s culinary journey

Bulacan—the rice granary of the Philippines. Sometimes I would wait by the doorway until dreamed of my mom getting the rest she de-
My mom was the daughter of farmers, along my parents walked through, and then barrel served. Spending so much of her life as a pro-

I
t’s the hot scent of sizzling barbecue, heat with her five other siblings. Some weeks they towards them for a hug. I often fell asleep be- vider, I knew there were days when she felt
rising up from the grill and the smell of couldn’t afford meat. But even at the age of fore they got home. The business was hard, on the verge of tears from the stress and pain.
meats cooking around the room. The 10, she learned to make due. From the mar- fluctuating immensely and often shattering But she never outwardly shared it—she only
clanging of pots and pans creates a symphony ket, she picked young tamarinds, a fruit popu- the confidence of both my parents whenever kept it to herself so that her children wouldn’t
of kitchen utensils as the chef nimbly works lar for its sweet and sour flavour to make sini- the ship seemed to be tilting into the danger- experience the same burdens that she went
to keep every dish under control, moving gang, a Filipino stew. It was the first thing she ous waters of debt. through growing up.
through the maze beyond the displays and learned to make. And yet, they still managed to find the time The day I told my mom that I wanted to
cash register. “It was experimenting with ingredients and to cook for every birthday party. move to Toronto and live with my sister
Those are the first things you notice when how they can taste better; being able to ex- “Sometimes it’s hard working in a kitchen while going to Ryerson is the first time she
you come into my parents’ restaurant. plore something new,” she says to me, recall- all day. But cooking for family, it’s different ever told me the story how at my age, she
The next thing you notice is the laughter, ing that the hardest part was trying to make because it makes me happy no matter what,” wanted to move to Manila and escape the
the deafening roar of my dad’s voice when something out of nothing. hard life of the provinces.
he’s cracking a joke with a regular. The si- It was my mom’s favourite dish growing “Respect your sister,” she says, less as
lent focus of my mother as she whisks away up, and when we all came to Canada as a fam- a quip but more as a reference to the days
at a creamy coconut concoction to create a ily in 2001, it quickly became ours too. This
I knew there were days when that my sisters took care of me when she
new batch of pies. My four siblings and I all time, she made sure to include meat. she felt on the verge of tears was away at the restaurant. For a moment,
play some role in keeping the kitchen afloat. from the stress and pain there’s a pause, and I realize that tomorrow
We have conversations between the fryers,
filling the few minutes we can afford with
stories about when we were younger. De-
A
fter my mom finished high school in 1980,
she decided to find a way to get to Manila,
the nation’s capital. Like most teenagers, she
morning, I won’t expect to see her up before
I am. She grins immediately after, and for
a second I could see the love that stretches
spite the hard labour, time goes by quickly wanted to find a way to escape the farm life. my mom tells me. across her face. She’s watching her last child
when you’re with the people you love.
This is a typical day in my
parents’ restaurant. Lately,
She worked two different jobs while try-
ing to get through school. During the day, she
worked at her aunt and uncle’s meat
T he thing about growing up is that your
parents grow older too. Suddenly,
the girl from the countryside with dreams
go to pursue his own dreams.
That little agreement we made in that mo-
ment put into perspective how much she sac-
it’s hard to unite all seven shop. She soon took a second job of owning a restaurant is 58 years old and rificed so that all of us could have a better life,
of us in one room, with working for a travel agency to managing her own business in a big city, not something I never appreciated as thoroughly
our lives having taken help pay her way through her just because it was her dream, but because growing up. Days spent working in a kitchen,
us all in wildly differ- evening classes in college. it was built on the hope that her children bonding with my brother during delivery runs,
ent directions. Today, She met my dad in school, could do better. helping my dad shop for new ingredients, the
we are working together bonding over their The pies are fresh out the oven and my sis- quiet love in my mother’s eyes as she cooks a
to create something real mutual love for the ter is busy packaging them for shipping. My whole pot of sinigang for us on a cold winter
and authentic. We need kitchen. They both other siblings, Florence and Tim, are visiting evening—all of that meant something greater
to have at least two hundred spoke of dreams for a from Toronto for the weekend. My sister is than we could ever put into words. As best as I
pies ready for the first morning better life–moving far an architect, and my brother works for a fi- could, I tried to help my mom in achieving her
delivery, but we know this ample away from the blister- nancial firm. But today, we’re all cooks for our dream, and in turn, she did what moms do best.
supply won’t last once they hit the ing heat and noise of Ma- mom and dad. My other brother, Mark, takes She helped me achieve mine.
supermarkets. Today is that special nila. They wanted to open a the pies and gets ready to deliver them to the
day. My mom’s dream finally comes restaurant, something to call biggest Filipino supermarket chain nearby.
true. their own. A year later, they My dad has taken a step back, giving up
Since she was a little girl, she always want- got married and had my oldest sister, his side of the kitchen to let my mom’s
ed to own a bakery. A new set of employees Frances, and I was born almost a decade later. dream expand and grow.
will arrive tomorrow for training, to learn When my family moved to Canada, my I asked her how she felt the
everything that needs to be done to keep my parents opened a restaurant in a small subur- day she found out her prod-
mom’s new operation going. For my mom ban part of Mississauga. Our whole livelihood ucts would be sold in a su-
was centred around it. It was the place I would
and dad, it means that they can finally breathe. permarket. I expected her
My mother is Marylenn Ocampo Solis. She go right after school, waiting for my parents to brush it off.
married my dad, Glenn, at 21 and came to to finish a long shift so they could take me Instead, she closed
Canada in 2001. When we were growing up, home. I memorized the number of grey and her eyes, the wrinkles
my mom would wake up at 5 a.m. to watch white tiles, the smell of hot rice cakes as they in her cheeks curl-
the morning news, get her kids ready for left the oven and the way my parents orga- ing as she smiled,
school, drop them off and immediately go to nized soft drinks in the display (rows of five and said, “If you
the family restaurant. by seven). dream, don’t give
My dad crafted everything on the menu, up. Just be patient,
but it was baking where my mom excelled. do hard work and
Just be patient, do hard work When I turned five—it was my first birth-
day in Canada—she made my favourite, leche
it will come true.
Pray for it, and it
and it will come true. Pray for flan. She sold it en masse to clamouring cus- will happen.”
it, and it will happen tomers, but made it just for me on special oc- As I grew older
casions. It was my favourite part of birthdays and more aware of
growing up. the obstacles that
For the first few years, my parents wouldn’t my mom had to go
Her story begins in the plains north of Ma- come home until late at night. My sisters through to get us to
nila, in a small rural town in the province of took the role of babysitters to help them out. where we are now, I

8 . THE FOOD ISSUE .
spicy
ENTRÉE
Eating was a way for us to connect. Preparing food
for us gave my mom a genuine sense of joy. Each
year on her birthday, July 9, we’d go to Hoover’s

STATS
Marina, a nearby seafood restaurant. She’d or-
der the fresh perch—her favourite—with a
Caesar. I didn’t inherit her love of perch,
but her love for Caesar was definitely

Made
passed down to me.
About three months before her
The Eyeopener conducted a poll
52nd birthday dinner, and the day with 105 students and these were
after I accepted my offer to at- the results!
tend Ryerson University, my
mom was diagnosed with breast
cancer. Two hours after I found
Eat out 41.3%

with
out she was sick, she still came
with me to get my prom dress.
She insisted I leave the city
for school despite her illness,
so I packed up and headed to

love
Cook
Toronto, even though I felt I
their
should have been around.
I’d come home every few
58.7% own
weeks to have lunch with her food
at our favourite restaurant
when she was sick. She didn’t
have the energy to cook, so
my aunts would bring us
meatloaf, casseroles and spa- Favourite Thai restaurant?
ghetti to fill the gaps in the
fridge and freezer.
By n After first year, my mom was
Ch m
a

ald Salad
arlo
tte Veri as told t o Ben W
given a clean bill of health, and
my family was relieved. But two
52% King
years later, things took a turn for
the worse.
I had no idea the Thanksgiving of
2015 would have been my mom’s last,
and neither did she. So I stayed in To-
ronto to work my restaurant job dur-
Pack a lunch?
ing the holidays. I spent the day serving
other families while mine dined together.

Charlotte Veri shares the story of eating the
leftovers prepared by her late mother
A few days later, she was diagnosed
with stage 4 lung cancer, and doctors
found a 10-centimetre tumour. Soon, we
Only when
I have time 47.6%
found out the cancer was terminal.

B
efore my mom died, she made sure every day, so my dad would handle nightly After her diagnosis, my mom’s health
to stock the freezer. meals and school lunches for my brother, declined quickly, and within days, she was
Her specialties were beef stew, Tim, and me. He’d make the peanut butter in the hospital hooked up to a respirator.
cabbage soup and stuffed peppers— and jelly sandwiches and pack me Dunk-A- My mom knew she was going to die and
nothing fancy; the most exotic food Roos while she’d focus on the wholesome planned to remove her breathing tubes
you could get in Caledonia, Ont., was meals ahead. once she was ready. On Oct. 23, she was
an avocado. On Friday nights, my dad I’ve tried making the meals she made but prepared to end her hospital stay. Preferred drink?
would go out and get any groceries mine are never the same. I follow the recipes Before that though, she and I shared a
she needed. On Saturdays, while I was she had written out, but she always impro- final meal together: a breakfast sandwich
at karate class, my mom got started in vised, throwing in something extra that put on an English muffin from the hospital
the kitchen. When I got home, even if I the meal over the top. cafeteria along with caramel lattés. My
couldn’t see her, I knew she was cooking. brother, dad and cousin didn’t want to
I could smell it, and I could hear it—she’d eat, so the two of us were the only ones 26.7% Wine
be listening to Van Halen or Meat Loaf with an appetite. At the time, I didn’t
while prepping. When I lost my mom to think the sandwich meant anything, but
In the kitchen, my mom was a I later realized it was one of my favourite
perfectionist, always focused on making cancer in October 2015, meals because she had always made it for
every bite better than the last. She’d ask she had already prepared me.
me to help cut vegetables, but when I did The doctors removed her life support
it wrong, she’d guide me to make sure I
our meals for two to three with our family surrounding her and
did it right. When I was younger, we’d months within an hour, she was dead. One of the How often do you eat at the
make dill pickles together. Sometimes last things my mom did was eat with me.
Ram in the Rye?
we’d have as many as 50 jars in our cellar Every year, on the anniversary of her
at once, it would be enough for several death, I eat a breakfast sandwich and drink
years. In the deep freezer, there seemed
to be enough beef stew and cabbage
soup to last us forever.
W hen I was younger, I hated breakfast
and refused to eat it. But my mom
realized that if she put something on a plate,
a caramel latté.
And on her birthday, my family still
goes to Hoover’s Marina to celebrate
Have never
heard of
So when I lost my mom to cancer in
October 2015, she had already prepared
I’d feel too guilty to not eat it knowing she
put so much effort into it. She would make
her life and remember everything that
made her special. It’s still a happy day,
the Ram 35.2%
our meals for two to three months, all la- faces on the plate, using English muffins, but I still cry afterward. I usually get a before
beled neatly in containers stacked in the eggs, oranges and blueberries as the facial Caesar salad and Tim normally gets a
freezer. features. Now, I eat breakfast every day, no hamburger.
My mom worked from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. questions asked. None of us order the perch.

. THE FOOD ISSUE . 9
ENTRÉE

And a dash of
Peer pressure is only one of the factors that in September 2015, but eventually took it up
contribute to ongoing drug abuse in the res- again when she was made aware of the drug
taurant industry. Management’s concern to- use going on among staff.
ward alcohol and other substance use on the She said at one point she walked in on a co-
premises can be lax and ineffective at control- caine deal being made between a former em-
ling those behaviours, said McShane. ployee and a cook at the back of the kitchen.

powder...
“We know from a preventative stand-point, After she promised to keep it a secret, the rest
if workplaces don’t have policies around not of the staff began to trust her and use her as a
drinking on the job or around successful inter- confidante and look-out for deals being made
ventions and EAPs (Employee Assistant Pro- during open hours. After work the staff would
grams), we know that puts workers at risk,” head to the nearest pub that served under-
McShane said. “I think there is high stress, aged people and do more of the same.
coupled with availability and long work hours, Although Fairlie maintains that social
The restaurant industry has a drug problem. and the lack of oversight, whether it be manag- influence was the main factor in drug use
ers or owners.” among the staff, the physical and psychologi-
Julia Nowicki has the story Hannon said that the pressure to bond with cal demands of the workplace contributed to
his co-workers contributed to his brief his- her using certain drugs like Xanax and weed

F or Greg Hannon*, it was a brotherhood,
a bonding experience. During his time
working in the restaurant industry, Hannon
markedly higher, resting at 22 per cent com-
pared to the general average of around 16 per
cent in other industries.
tory with cocaine use.
“It kind of enabled it,” Hannon said. “You
know other people are doing it and they still
at work to relieve stress.
“The environment got really stressful, and
since you’re at the bottom of command, people
had used practically every drug under the sun. Kelly McShane, an associate psychology wake up in the morning. You don’t want to be would yell for unreasonable things at you, stuff
Cocaine was new to him. He was hanging professor at Ryerson, received her PhD from the one that’s being left out.” you can’t control,” Fairlie said. “In a heightened
out with a couple of co-workers from Jack As-
tor’s, a place that he had only been at for four
Concordia University in clinical psychology
and has experience in researching addictions. I t was around 9:00 p.m. on a Tuesday.
Lindsay Fairlie* stood at the sink washing
environment like that sometimes you need to
pop a Xanax and calm the fuck down.”
months at the time. The staff used drugs of-
ten, and it was normal for them to head to the
bar or someone’s house to relax after a long
dishes at the Fionn MacCool’s she worked at
part-time. She was a high school student and
worked any job that they would give her in
D arren Clay is the executive culinary chef
instructor of the Pacific Institute of Cu-
linary Arts in British Columbia and is part of
shift. Two of Hannon’s friends stood in his I guess there is an unwritten the kitchen. There was a late rush and she the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia.
kitchen winding down on a particularly busy rule amongst co-workers, if knew she would be at work longer than she He said that the industry as a whole is look-
night. After a 12-hour shift, it’s hard to relax had previously anticipated. ing toward starting a conversation about
and Hannon’s head was still buzzing from the you known someone is in on it As her two co-workers, James* and Thom- mental health and stress in the workplace.
adrenaline in his body. His friend eventually you don’t say anything about it as*, were leaving to go for a smoke break; With the new generation of cooks and chefs
pulled out a small bag of cocaine and began ar- they called her over. She stopped her work coming in, they see the long hours and low
ranging the white powder into white lines on and joined them as they left through the back pay and are turning away from the industry or
his kitchen island with a credit card. and piled into James’ car. They each pulled forcing widespread changes.
Cocaine was normal for all of them, but She maintains that, although many work- out a joint and turned on some music. Smok- “There is a whole new generation of chefs
not to Hannon. He used to think that doing place factors contribute to a higher overall ten- ing weed during a shift was common for the and executive chefs that are changing that
and acquiring cocaine was as dramatic as the dency toward stress and subsequent drug use two. Thomas dealt weed from behind the fuel mold. They are trying to have a little more bal-
scenes he saw on TV—with guns and back- during and after work, the overall workplace filler door of his car, with payments made by ance for their chefs and their cooks,” Clay said.
street deals—but here it was, being spread dynamic prevalent in the restaurant industry slipping bills into his open window. James “What we are dealing with in our industry is a
on his counter like it was nothing. Hannon contributed greatly to such a high incidence of was in charge of the harder stuff, the non- lot more mental health issues and they’re try-
usually declined when the five-dollar bill was drug and substance use among workers. medicinal substances like cocaine. Fairlie sat ing to bring that to the forefront and trying
passed to him, but this time curiosity got the “What no one really talks about is the in the back seat, listening to the conversation to get people to talk about it because of all the
best of him. After he snorted two or three cultural component, access and presence of between the guys and the trap music playing stress (they experience).”
lines, the subtle effects began to take hold. He alcohol and drugs. Particularly cocaine and in the background. Although Fairlie still drinks and smokes
felt light-headed and the music playing in the alcohol in the food and beverage industry is weed on occasion, she says that she has taken
background sounded louder. Things started very high,” said McShane. “It’s available and measures to deal with her stress properly since
moving in slow motion around him. That everybody is doing it. It’s a classic cultural leaving Fionn MacCool’s. She actively tries to
night the three became closer as friends and thing, the peer pressure.” In a heightened environment surround herself with people that promote a
colleagues. After all, it was a bonding experi- Hannon said that some staff would party like that sometimes you need different lifestyle.
ence. almost every weekend after their shifts. Af- “When I have stress, I ground myself and
Hannon, currently a Ryerson student in ter his first time actually partaking in using
to pop a Xanax and calm the call people instead of partying it off or taking
his first year of the public health program, cocaine, Hannon began to see it happen- fuck down a smoke,” Fairlie said via Facebook.
worked as a cook for about nine months. He ing at work as well. He would walk into the However, Clay maintains that a broader
was quickly exposed to the drug culture that bathroom and notice white dust on the toilet shift may have to occur in the industry to deal
existed among his co-workers. dispensers, while some of his staff would act with the labour shortage currently troubling
But the prevalence of drug and alcohol use uncharacteristically happy and energetic. The two were talking about some strip club many businesses and restaurants.
amongst restaurant workers is “Now that I knew how normal of an activ- they were at the night before. James turned “I applaud them for drawing a line in the
shockingly higher than any ity it was, I didn’t really think of it to Fairlie and handed her the joint. Normally sand and saying ‘we’re not going to do what
other industry. Stress, twice. I guess there is an unwritten she would say no, but this time she took it used to be done, we’re not going to work 14
harassment, long hours rule amongst co-workers, if you without a thought. Eventually the three left hours a day six days a week,’” Clay said. “That’s
and the general permis- know someone is on it you don’t the car, sprayed some Axe, and headed back where restaurateurs and chefs are having to
sive attitude that exists say anything about it,” Hannon into the kitchen. rethink their ways to retain staff.”
around drug and alco- said. “Looking back at it now It had been almost two years that Fairlie
hol use in the work- I kind of realize how abnor- had been working at the restraurant and it *Names have been changed.
place are significant mal it is.” was the summer before she started school at
factors that contribute Ryerson University in the English program.
to such high numbers. She had quit smoking weed and tak-
In 2013, Statistics ing other drugs before starting at
Canada released a Ca- the restaurant
nadian Community
Health Survey that in-
cluded questions related to
workplace stress. According
to the survey, 28.1 per cent of
workers in the restaurant industry
had reported using illicit drugs, compared
to all other industries sitting at 17.6 per cent
on average. Incidence of smoking was also

10 . THE FOOD ISSUE .
ENTRÉE

Under the lens
Karoun Chahinian writes about how food
photographers aim to get the perfect shot

I
t can take a whole day to get that perfect Stylists use various techniques to prepare
shot. The one that leaves your mouth wa- the food: This includes knowing how long it
tering while on the subway or while flip- should be cooked to achieve the perfect shade
ping through a magazine in a waiting room. or texture, how it should be plated and proper
Hours of preparation go into that photograph, portion size.
but the shot itself is over in seconds. There are also many industry tricks to
The day starts with the prop stylist. After help the food look its best and survive lon-
shopping for the best plates, linens, silver- ger shoots. According to Davidson, when
ware and other accessories, the stylist goes shooting a turkey, food stylists won’t cook it
into the studio and begins building the shot. all the way through in order to avoid wrin-
Once the setting is prepared, the photogra- kling and shrinking. Instead, they’ll cook
pher goes in with stunt food—which can be it in the oven until it starts browning, and
anything from a brown paper bag to a plastic add a browning agent. A popular choice is
variation of the dish—and rehearses what the a sauce composed of caramel with vegeta-
Photo Courtesy of Libby Roach
shot will look like. Different angles, lighting ble flavourings. The turkey would then be
and poses are played out until everyone on topped off with a plumbing torch to leave
set is satisfied. the skin deliciously crispy. especially with bigger clients. raphy, and without missing a beat she said,
Once the photographer is ready, the food Other tricks include using a combination of One of her most memorable shoots was “because food doesn’t talk back to you,” with
stylist is given a cue to start cooking the “real” animal lard and icing sugar to create unmelt- with Pepsi in 2016. It involved 17 people, a laugh. In fashion shoots, she later explained
food. There is a picky process for cooking able ice cream, or glue instead of milk. Stylists forcing Cox to rent another studio in order to that you have to direct the model and con-
food specifically for photography in order to will do whatever it takes to make the photo avoid a cramped space. Food and prop stylists, vince them they look good. You have full
bring out all its texture and colour. Once it’s look delectable, even if it means making the art directors, corporate representatives, brand control in a food shoot and can do whatev-
ready, the stylist replaces the stunt food, and food inedible in the process. managers and assistants were all simultane- er you think looks best, without the subject
the photographer only has a few seconds to Davidson says one struggle he faces is ously working. questioning you.
take the shot before it wilts away. convincing his clients, who range from But not all food shoots involve dozens of She was done half an hour later. Once she
For something that takes hours to prepare, chefs, restaurateurs, or corporate brands, assistants, brand managers and heavy equip- put her equipment away, Roach and her busi-
seconds to achieve, and costs hundreds, some- how vital stylists are. ment. Libby Roach, a former Ryerson student ness partner Sonya smiled at one another and
times thousands, of dollars, food photography In 2010, he was working with a client in and food photographer, prefers to only use a sat down to feast on the leftovers. When asked
has grown to be a highly crafted art form in Whistler, B.C. who was the chef and owner tripod, white reflector and camera to keep the if they eat the food after every shoot, they
the food media industry. Ranging from cor- of a Korean restaurant. As the chef, he felt photos as natural as possible. laughed and said “everytime.”
porate to editorial, the process and technique the need to cook himself and photograph For restaurant shoots, Roach is often more
behind food photography is intense. As the them the way they’re served to customers. laid back with the process and likes the food to
competition in the food industry increases, so In order to prove his point that the meals look as natural as possible.
does food photography. should be prepared by his stylist, Davidson Tricks include using a “It’s a lot nicer to shoot something natural
Rob Davidson has worked in the field of suggested they take two shots of the meal; than make it look hairsprayed,” she said, but
food photography for around 30 years since one cooked by the chef and the other by the combination of animal lard in shoots that involve hot or cold dishes that
studying photography at Ryerson. stylist. His dish of choice was a Korean sea- begin to lose their form over time, unconven-
“In order to shoot food you really need food pancake, made with octopus, mussels, and icing sugar to create tional techniques are necessary.
to understand food,” Davidson says, who scallops and other types of seafood, fried in Roach said that for hot dishes like soup or
is now an instructor at Ryerson’s Chang a crispy batter. unmeltable ice cream coffee, she boils a tampon in a kettle and lets
School. In order to take the perfect photo, When the pancake was prepared by the it sink to the bottom of the cup or bowl, caus-
he has to bring out all the senses—texture, chef, he was solely thinking about flavour and ing it to release steam for 20 minutes to half
taste, smell and atmosphere—and craft the
experience of eating.
Working alongside Davidson and most pho-
in the process, hid all of his ingredients in the
batter, leaving the pancake looking flat and
colourless. When the food stylist cooked the
O n a Wednesday afternoon in early No-
vember, Roach had a shoot booked
with Maiz, a Latin-American restaurant by
an hour.
Cox also brought up that when photo-
graphing frozen products, she is sometimes
tographers is a stylist, who’s responsible for same recipe, they prepared it while thinking Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave. They initially forced to embellish the product to make it
bringing about appearance, and made sure the dish was met with the chef and social media manager sellable for the client.
as textured and colourful as possible with all who spoke on the restaurant’s history and For that reason, she doesn’t do a lot of food
the ingredients visible. their fusions of Peruvian, Mexican, Venezu- packaging shoots.
“We’re going to start preparing it that way in elan and Latin American food. Roach then “I’ve opened up the package and it just looks
the restaurant,” said the chef to Davidson after decided to set up the shoot right on the table like cat food or dog food,” she said. “There’s
seeing how well it came out in the photos. they were sitting at because it was facing a hardly anything there you’ve got to work with.”

T racy Cox is a Toronto-based food pho-
tographer who works mostly for large
corporate clients, such as Loblaws and
window and got the best light.
She set up her tripod five-feet away from
the table, facing away from the big window.
In those kinds of scenarios, she’s some-
times told by the client to cut fresh fruit in-
stead of using their frozen product, or she’ll
Pusateri’s. She’s been in the industry for One by one, dishes started being laid out in look through multiple packages of the frozen
around eight years and works out of a high front of her. Colourful and fresh plates of dinners in order to find the most appealing
ceiling studio outside the Junction. With an guacamole, crispy arepas and tortilla soup pieces of food.
array of lighting equipment, software and her were all moved around until Roach found Roach said that while recently there’s been
towering black steel studio stand, Cox’s pro- the perfect layout. Simply for the aesthetic, an over-saturation of ‘photographers’ on so-
cess is thorough and involves a great amount the social media manager also brought out a cial media and popular sites like Narcity and
of technique. This includes never depending beautifully decorated Michelada and a Maiz’s BlogTO—where she got her start in 2011, the
on natural light for a shoot. beer cocktail which is a frosted bottle of Co- competition doesn’t bug her. She still manag-
“You can’t really say to your client, ‘Oh, it’s rona tipped into a glass mixed with lime, es to find work and focuses on her own craft
4 o’clock, we have to shut it down now, we chipotle chili, sea salt and Tajin. Roach made and style, which she knows is of high quality.
lost our light,’” she says. Cox usually sets up sure to place it right by the window, making Her passion for the beat dates back to her be-
her studio the night before a shoot in order it glisten in the sunlight. ginnings George Brown College and still reso-
to save time and ensure the process is roughly Mid-shot, the social media manager Alex- nates through every photo she takes.
Photo Courtesy of Rob Davidson
ready for the next day, which is often chaotic, is asked Roach why she enjoys food photog- “It just seemed like it clicked.”
. THE FOOD ISSUE . 11
DESSERT

Bugged out Just a girl and her trike
Jacob Dubé writes about how one day First-year student Erika
we’ll all be eating bugs Hemingway sells ice cream from
a trike in the summer
When I was 11, I had a pet gecko and he ate crickets. My lizard—
whom I aptly named Gecko—needed about a bag of them a week. I was never a natural salesperson, but I started my own business,
We’d drive over to the Reptilia near me to order a couple dozen, and Erica’s Exquisite Ice Cream Trike, when I was 16. In my mind, I was
I’d sit in the back of the car watching them hop around in the bag. They probably the last person who should have done it.
didn’t look particularly appetizing to me—in fact they smelled pretty gross Ignoring the idea didn’t make my problems go away. I was a strug-
when I opened the bag—but when I dropped them in Gecko’s tank he gling high school student, trying to balance grades and two competitive
would go buckwild. sports. The dread of student debt was already in my thoughts.
Ten years later, I’m sitting in a food scientist’s home kitchen eating I needed a job like everyone else, and I needed it fast. I couldn’t even
samplers of crunchy, fried cricket tofu covered in cricket-meat tomato sauce fathom fitting a job into my already busy life, since I was barely getting
with a side of cricket ice cream. My only regret is not being able to try some enough sleep as it was. Besides, there was nowhere I really wanted to work.
mealworms. The only place I really considered working at was this small, cozy choc-
People have been eating insects for thousands of years, but it’s been olate shop cramped between a maternity store and a rotten alleyway in my
somewhat taboo in Canada. Now, some companies are trying to bring them hometown of Listowel, Ont.
into the limelight, and they taste pretty damn good. Some of my warmest memories were from there, one being when my family
In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations would stand outside the shop during my town’s annual Santa Claus Parade and sip
released a report that encouraged more people worldwide to start hot cocoa. They had the most colourful flavours—rainbow, birthday cake, cotton
chowing down on some bugs. They praised their health and environmental ben- candy, and not to mention their signature chocolate moose tracks.
efits since it takes much less land and resources to grow a similar amount of insects But they weren’t hiring. Jokingly, I told my mother that I should just start my own ice
compared to other meats. They also produce significantly less greenhouse gases. cream business.
According to Lee Cadesky, the co-founder of C-fu Foods, a company that “Oh yeah?” She responded. “Where?”
specializes in creating edible insects based in Ryerson’s Science Discovery Zone, this “I wouldn’t open a shop—I’d just get an ice cream bike,” I said, thinking this would really
report got more people seriously talking about insects as a viable replacement to throw her off.
other meats. The trouble was that the only products that were actually available to Laughter erupted in the room. My friends and family found the idea adorable. However, as
buy were dried snacks. “While people would say it was more sustainable than eating the night went on, we began to fantasize about it.
meat, there was no way to eat it instead of eating meat,” he said. We lived just on the outskirts of Kitchener/Waterloo, and we realized that this could actu-
Cadesky, who studied food science at Cornell University, co-founded the ally work in my favour, since it wouldn’t take long for advertisement to spread.
company with his brother Eli in 2014 once he figured out how to make cricket tofu. I’d be able to make my own work hours, and perhaps even make enough money in the
They specialize in cricket flour, solid Textured Insect Protein, and a water-soluble summer to spend the rest of my time focusing on school come September.
and flour-based Insect Protein Concentrate. They use these products in all sorts of I had no idea where to start—but it soon became clear to me that running a business
ways, from drinks to sausages to pasta sauce. was like doing anything else in life. You need support from friends and family, and you
“It should be seamless, and insects should be invisible and supporting the texture in the need to try.
food. We want to be making food out of insects and not food with insects,” he said. With the help of my family and friends from that night, we found an old Dickie Dee
The trick behind convincing people that they’re not eating bugs is texture. bike being sold for a good price on Kijiji. It came with a fridge and freezer packs to put
Cadesky says that flavour can be easily mimicked, but the feel of food is harder to manipulate, in the trike. It wasn’t long before we found a company that delivered packaged frozen
especially with something as small as insects. They can’t just remove parts they don’t want. products to my doorstep every week—and that was all I needed to hit the streets.
“Everyone has to figure out texture on their own, because texture is in the bones of the I won’t lie to you, it was a slow start-up, and I hated it at first. The bells on the
food,” Cadesky said. “We believe we can get that out of insects.” trike were loud and obnoxious—I felt like quite the idiot biking around with this
Though his recipes can work on any kind of bugs (Cadesky said there are about huge, oddly shaped freezer in front of everyone I knew. My worst introverted
25,000 edible insects documented right now), the bug market in Canada is heavily focused nightmares were coming to life, and I wanted to lock the blasted thing up and
on crickets. Though they are good, Cadesky said he thinks it might be more of a cultural never look at it again.
phenomenon. Crickets are more present in media—Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio and the That attitude changed quickly when I sold my first popsicle. I pulled up to a
Lucky Cricket from Mulan, to name a few—and therefore we’re more okay with eating them. baseball game (like it were a movie) and this little girl shouted “Ice cream! Ice
“Before we’re willing to eat something, we have to think it’s cute,” he said. “It’s a bizarre thing, cream!” while she ran toward me. The popsicle was bigger than her head and
but I do think there is a case to be made there.” her eyebrows shot up in excitement. She thanked me before dashing back to-
According to Cadesky, crickets are about 14 to 18 per cent protein, six to 10 per cent fat, wards her parents.
and free of carbs. They’re also loaded with Vitamin B12, which aids in forming new blood cells, making Once I realized how happy it made the kids in my town, I became more con-
them popular among vegetarians. fident, and it started to become a success. Not only did the treats thrill the kids,
My first experiences with bugs weren’t great. Three years ago, I tried chocolate-covered crickets but their parents enjoyed the trike too.
and mealworms. The taste made me gag. This past summer, I also tried a beef taco topped with whole Countless adults have come up to me and told me about their own child-
roasted crickets, which was so dry that I desperately searched for water to wash down the legs stuck in my hood memories chasing after Dickie Dee trikes.
teeth. It became an eventful job—I sold ice cream at baseball and soccer games,
Cadesky served me some cricket tofu that he crumbled up and fried with olive oil. It looked swim meets, and at local businesses throughout the week. Car salesmen
like grayer ground beef and tasted like a crunchier substitute with less fat. I couldn’t even tell it was would come out on hot days to get a snack on their break.
99 per cent cricket. Then he served me his other company’s, One Hop Kitchen, specialty: cricket Not to mention that I spent roughly all of my time sitting in the shade
bolognese. It was thick and rich, and I ended up filling the bowl of sauce with the rest of the tofu to add some of a park on lazy summer days, selling treats at the playground (and even
more of its flavour. “The secret to it is really good tomatoes,” said Cadesky. lucky enough to have time to read a book in between customers).
One jar of cricket bolognese retails for $10, but Cadesky My ice cream trike helped me pay towards some of postsecondary
wants to get that price down. Because the industry is so new, there isn’t education while abling me to focus on school and extracurriculars dur-
enough research to figure out the cheapest and most efficient ways to grow ing the fall and winter months in my first year.
and sell bugs, while meat and agriculture industries have decades of re- Any idea, even if laughable, can be something worth pursuing. And
search to fall back on. even if you think you’re the worst person to do it, you’re not.
“My background is in dairy science, and I always laugh at I was lucky enough to have fantastic family and friends to help
how much information there is about cheese and dairy,” he said. with the startup of this crazy idea, and with them, along with the
“We don’t have anything like that for insects right now. And we won’t for steady success of the business, my confidence grew.
a long time.” Despite being introverted, busy and just a normal high school-
Cadesky said that getting edible insects to the point of being er—I learned to be bold.
something everyone has in their pantries is still a long way off, but they’re I was able to run a successful summer business that fit right
more and more accepted every year. into my schedule and, eventually, helped me pursue what mat-
“You do it one cricket at a time,” he said. “But they add up quickly.” tered most: university.

12 . THE FOOD ISSUE
DRINKS

Oh, you fancy, huh? Like what you’ve seen in this issue?
Go read more on our website! www.theeyeopener.com

Want to feel fancy without having to splurge?
We asked Blake Hamilton, a fine-dining pro and
veteran college drinker, to pair the cheapest
alchohol with everyday food.
COORS LIGHT
It’s the epitome of bad beer among Canadians.
This needs something light but with tons of
flavour to mask how awful it actually tastes,
like an arugula or radicchio salad with lemon,
balsamic and olive oil. To add a kick, top this
with dried berries and goat cheese.

FONTANA DI PAPA
Better called alcoholic fruit juice. Personally, I’d
just get a big wheel of brie cheese and not look
back! You’ll probably want something with a
bit more sustenance in it so you don’t start fall-
ing over after you’re done drinking the bottle.
Try fish or chicken, but depending on your
night, the cheese might be a better bet.

OLD MILWAUKEE
Beer and fried foods go hand in hand, so let’s go
for a plate of the hottest and cheapest wings with
a side of fries or onion rings to mask its shitty
flavour. Because of the light body, this could pair
well with Thai and Vietnamese food.

J.P WISER’S WHISKEY
Eat a burger with blue cheese with those
mini pickles on the side. You can even add a
little acidity with fries drenched in vinegar
to cut through the fats in the cheese and
meat so you can keep drinking as you please
(you’ll be wiser for it).

OLDE ENGLISH 800
If single malt scotch goes well with cigars,
then Olde English malt liquor should go
perfectly with a Captain Black cigarillo. Ideas
would include some strong foods to combat
the heavy taste such as curry or biryani.
But then again, food would just ruin your
Edward Fortyhands buzz.

SAUZA TEQUILA
My condolences if you’re drinking this (then
again, you’re not going to remember how your
night was anyways). Lemon and salt would be
boring, so you want something more interest-
ing to get over the first few shots. Bite into
an orange slice dipped in cinnamon. The cin-
namon makes the burn nicer and the orange is
sweeter than a wedge of lemon.

SMIRNOFF ICE
Go for Ramen. Why? The salty savoury good-
ness of the dish will balance out the sweetness
of this citrusy, zesty drink. Choose a salt or soy
base with pork shoulder to top. If you’re look-
ing for less of a meal, go for savoury snacks
like hickory sticks or even poutine.
. THE FOOD ISSUE . 13
SNACKS

Highly praised when your eyes are glazed
We’ve heard that everything tastes a lot better KRISPY KREME
after you’ve added some green to your diet. If
you’re high, that means you’ve already spent As mentioned, the road for sweets, especial-
money to get yourself there. So what’s the ly heart-melting glazed sweets, is straight
harm in spending a few more bucks to calm ahead. Literally. Just over a kilometer away,
your munchies? Diversity and cost is key, es- at the intersection of Elm and McCaul
pecially as a student. Luckily, our own holy streets, is one of seven Krispy Kremes in all
Ryerson campus is right in the thick of every- of Canada. The fact that there aren’t more of
thing you’ll need. We’ve listed five locations these beautiful doughnut locations is ridicu-
around you that are bound to satisfy your lous—but we might as well fucking take ad-
cravings in this sticky, icky situation. vantage of what we have, even if it requires
a bit of a walk.

PATTIES EXPRESS SLUSHIE

If you’re going to get high, sweets are a Whether you had a coffee or not, at some
damn dangerous road. You’ll get on it any- point you’ll need that extra kick. The 2000s
ways, but before you do get yourself a main were a questionable time, but slushies de-
meal. Well sorta. Trade in a toonie for a serve to make a comeback as the coolest, bad-
Jamaican patty at Elm and Yonge streets. dest drink. They’ll wake you up behind their
With beef, chicken and vegetarian options, sweet and fruity flavours, knowing you can
there’s something for everybody. mix ‘em right up and experiment as well. The
Pro Tip: They’re usually pretty hot, so crack it fact that they’re like slightly melted freezies
open with a small bite, let it makes them perfect, but beware CRUNCHY CHEETOS
cool a little and en- of the brain freeze that might McDONALD’S ICE CREAM CONE
joy your walk cripple your entire body Worst feeling is buying a bag of chips and it’s
ahead. the next time you 70 per cent empty. You might expect it at this So simple, but so underrated. All memes aside,
reach the local point, but you shouldn’t lower yourself to such a McDonald’s ice cream cone is a reliable op-
7-Eleven. shitty standards. Cheetos has it figured out, es- tion to make you feel like a whole lot better at
pecially their “Crunchy” line, which resembles a any point of your buzz. You’ll feel like a kid at
bunch of really tiny joints. Of course there are times, but that’s the price to pay for one of the
other options, and it really depends on your fa- least expensive items on the menu. If you’re
vourite chips, but these Cheetos seem to always worried about ice cream dripping all over
be available in the easy and convenient 90 gram your hands, stab it into a cup, and get yourself
size bag anywhere you go. a spoon. And you’ll feel less bait.

*The Eyeopener does not encourage smoking weed. It’s also illegal. Consume at your own risk.
14 . THE FOOD ISSUE .
PetsInDanger Ryerson Student Club
- Attend exciting social events,
develop skills transferable into further education / job searching,
enhance your resume,
receive a Certificate for community service hours...
all for a great cause: to combat pet
overpopulation and help
save the lives of 4.5 million dogs and cats each year.
https://ca.petsindanger.com/studentclubs
Rotating craft
beers at the Ram
Come see what we’re pouring

$6
20oz
Pints

All Day,
Every Day
Amsterdam
CollingWood Brewery
Beau’s
Great Lakes Brewery
Spearhead Brewery
Henderson Brewing
And More to come

RYERSONSTUDENTCENTRE.CA /RamInTheRye @RamInTheRye @RamInTheRye

. THE FOOD ISSUE . 15
DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT

EATERIES SHOPPING SPECIALTY
Baskin Robbins Starbucks Adidas Freedom Mobile
Blaze Pizza Subway DAVIDsTEA Gadget City
California Thai Tim Hortons Shoppers Drug Mart Goodlife Fitness
Caribbean Queen Zeytouna WINNERS Mobile Klinik
Chipotle Rogers
Curry & Co. The Beer Store
Harvey’s Express
MII Sandwich Wine Rack
Opa! Souvlaki FREE WIFI
IN THE FOOD COURT
Real Fruit
Bubble Tea
Salad Days Coming Soon

. THE FOOD ISSUE . 16