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Grocery shopping has become a political endeavour for some Canadians because of the Canada-U.S. trade dispute.

A chef offers his tips on how to tell whether the food you're buying is grown or made in the U.S.

The politics of food: How to ensure what you're buying is actually grown and made in Canada. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

Grocery shopping has become a political endeavour for some Canadians because of the Canada-U.S. trade dispute.

The federal government is responding to U.S. tariffs with a series of Canadian tariffs to come into effect July 1 on a range of products from the United States — everything from whisky to toilet paper.

But in the meantime, some Canadians are already taking a political stand by ditching American products and buying Canadian at the grocery store.

Andrew Fleet, founder and executive director of Growing Chefs Ontario in London, says the general rule of thumb when grocery shopping is the less labels on the food, the easier it is to determine whether it's local. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

How easy is it to buy Canadian made and grown food?

CBC Radio One's London Morning asked Andrew Fleet, the executive director of Growing Chefs Ontario in London, for some tips.


(Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

"To make sure the vegetable or fruit isn't just processed in Canada, the sign you really want to look for is 'Product of Canada' or 'Product of Ontario' as opposed to packaged or processed in Ontario."

"One of the signs people will often assume means local is when you get the big produce boxes that looks like it came directly from a farm. We have this big box of watermelons ... but as you step back, it does have a 'Product of U.S.A. sign.'"


"If you just read the fine print ... you'll find the 'Product of Canada' package, which is going to indicate the meat was raised, slaughtered, packaged and processed in Canada." 

"You'll often find U.S. meats in the frozen meat section, which makes sense as it's easier to transport."


"The first thing I see on the cover is the Foodland Ontario sign and you also see a 'Canada Grade A' symbol, so two on the front cover."


"None of these [rice packages] are difficult to find the country of origin, what gets confusing is where it's grown and where it's packaged aren't always the same."


"I'm looking at the French's label and it does say that it's 100 per cent Canadian tomatoes ... On the Heinz bottle, nothing on the front. It says it's prepared for Heinz Canada but doesn't indicate where the tomatoes are now grown."


"The Dairy Farmers of Canada has a seal that should be on all Canadian dairy."

"If you're finding milk that's abnormally cheap, take an extra moment to see if it's marked down because of the expiry date ... or if it's an American product."