The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 11.07.06


Food news U need

Canada's Food and Drug Act demands that food must be fit for consumption and must not:

  • Have in it or on it any harmful substance

  • "Consist in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, disgusting, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance"
  • Be corrupted by other or inferior ingredients.

  • Have been prepared, packaged or stored under unsanitary conditions.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency operates on behalf of the public to ensure that complex sets of quality control guidelines are followed before food ever reaches the table.

Why then do we hear of more and more food related scares? This term we have witnessed spinach that contains E coli, carrot juice containing botulism, and meat contaminated with C difficile.

However, whenever there is bad news there seems to good news, too. Once again proof comes in that red wine contains valuable ingredients that can reduce the risk of heart attack, particularly in men.

Each year yields its own new crop of weird food items that make the news as humans conduct culinary experiments.

You may have heard that adding Mentos to Pepsi or diet Coke creates an explosion? Don't believe me? Search Google Video using the two product words and you will have ample proof that when combined, eruptions and geysers occur violently.

Speaking of Coke and explosions- have you heard of their new flavor extension called BlaK? This product is a bizarre combination of coffee and Coke designed to entice adults who demand sophisticated flavors.

Truth be told, the notion got my attention and I tried it. Let's just say it is not suited to my palate. However, if you are hooked on caffeine- laden energy drinks this might be the right combo for you.

I am intrigued by a fad that may be here to stay, judging by the pandemonium it caused at fair grounds around the world this past summer.

In a world where we deep-fry all manner of goodies, it was bound to happen. Witness the arrival of deep-fried Coca Cola!

I kid you not - a crafty entrepreneur is making a killing off this genius invention. It wasn't enough to have deep-fried candy bars and ice cream. We 'Mericuns and Canucks want our sodas fried too, Bubba. You'll find lots of reference to this concoction on the web if you insist.

Where these new products and experiments stand under the Canada Food and Drug Act I know not. I do know that if you cook something at a high temperature for a specific period of time, that most harmful bacteria and organisms are neutralized and the food is safe to eat.

In that spirit I can share an excellent recipe that may not please our family doctors but uses a soda many of us have grown to love nonetheless. Feel free to use a diet version


1 to 2 lbs. spareribs
2 cups. Coca-cola
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup. brown sugar
1 tbsp. garlic powder or fresh garlic to taste<

Separate ribs; mix together all ingredients. Marinate ribs for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in a covered roasting pan for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.