LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – for Mar. 23, 2009

Canola And Olive Can Get Along

I want to play the devil’s advocate here, but come on. “My pet peeve is the number of upscale shoppers who spurn canola oil for olive oil.” (February 23 Grainews, page 2.) Notwithstanding all the well-known marketing rules about knowing all about who is your competition what they stand for, there is also the importance of respecting other products in the marketplace. How about acknowledging the consumer’s intelligence, taste and purpose when he makes a choice at the supermarket?

I think the attitude toward those who use olive oil is condescending. Getting “peeved” at someone for using olive oil is like an apple grower berating me for today deciding I will eat an orange. Yes, I have canola oil in my kitchen. I also have olive oil and occasionally grapeseed oil. Each has its own uses, and for anyone who is discerning about food, they are not for the better part interchangeable. I say that not being upscale, European, a “foodie” (whatever that is) or a follower of diet crazes. Perhaps maybe we can add olive aroma, colour and flavour to canola oil and sell it to the “upscale” shoppers that way. Just don’t expect me to buy it. Just like I don’t buy ersatz maple syrup.

Canola oil is an excellent product, and I much prefer it to corn, peanut or sunflower oil. Market it for its strengths, not for what it isn’t. And it isn’t olive oil.

Randy McCumsey Fort St. John, B. C.

The Cost Of Choice

If there are any farmers, including corporate, still convinced that multi-desk selling is still the way to go, then there are still farmers with their heads in the sand. (“If the CWB can opt out…,” March 2 Grainews, page 2.) With the CWB monopoly gone, we’ll have six or seven or more private companies circling the globe in search and promotion of markets instead of one. Each administration must cost at least a few million dollars (CEOs, etc.) to run. Would you guess who pays for this?

I heard recently at a Parrish & Heimbecker meeting that sales contracts of oats and barley had been broken by end users who refused to pay the high prices they had signed on to pay. In some cases, these customers would turn around a buy the same oats or barley at a lesser price. I can’t break any contract with a grain, chemical or fertilizer company or with a banking institution. How do these worldly contracts get broken? So much for multi-desk selling. Again, who do you think pays for all this hanky panky?

Emmanuel Oystreck Yorkton, Sask.

Clean and green

I was appalled to see the article on Page 30 in the February 23 issue called “Multitasking around the house.” I wondered how anyone could subject themselves to being in that environment. Chemicals dripping down the side of the shower, running over/under the feet, and breathing in the toxic fumes. It made me shudder. Leaving a window open or the fan on hardly seems any prevention to exposure of those toxic fumes.

I was glad to see then that in your March 2 issue on page 38, you have the article “Make your own cleaning supplies.” That is certainly a turnaround from one issue to the next.

Thank you for portraying both sides of the coin. I only hope that the person writing in the February issue reads the article in March 2 and takes heed.

Christine Lentz Whitelaw, Alta.

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