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 03.02.06


Food. The Olympic Games run on it

Canada did very well in Turin despite the disappointing results of our men's hockey team. Our athletes were fueled and energized by good foods while away from home. I thought I'd provide some insight this week into the culinary environment that kept the games going.

Did you know over 400,000 meals per day are prepared and served?

Approximately 17,000 people assist in filling hungry stomachs at the games. 12 million meals are served to athletes, team officials, Olympic and Paralympics Family, workforce, technical officials, accredited media, sponsors and spectators. Ethnic preferences and dietary requirements ranging from Halal (food preparation according to Islamic customs) to Kosher (food preparation according to Jewish customs) to iodine intolerance will be taken into account, since the performance of athletes is related to nutrition. At the Olympic Village, meals are prepared for approximately 22,000 customers on a 24-hour basis. Meals are served using 1500 international recipes utilizing 100 tons of food daily while creating 55 tons of waste.

Within the Olympic Village, the following supplies are used to prepare 6,000 meals per hour

    15,000 liters of milk
    2,500 dozen eggs
    300 tons of fruits and vegetables
    120 tons of meats
    85 tons of seafood
    25,000 loafs of bread
    750 liters tomato sauce
    2 million liters of potable water
Want to perform like an Olympic athlete at home? Try this winning formula of Oatmeal, wheat germ, raisins and nuts to put you in first place.

Olympic Gold Medal Cookies


1-cup butter, softened
1-cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2-cup wheat germ
1 1/4 cups golden raisins
1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts


.1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the oats, wheat germ, raisins and walnuts. Drop cookies by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Wet hands and flatten cookies slightly. Cookies should be about 3/4 inch thick, and 2 1/2 inches wide before baking.

3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.