Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...

Defining Words

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Fair Trade

Fair trade gives farmers and artisans of developing countries a fair dollar for their product via equitable trading. It is an alternative approach to conventional international trade. Often disadvantaged producers are short-changed in an international transaction while the consumer in a developed country is able to purchase at a low cost because the farmer or artisan was underpaid. This is a lose-win situation. Only one party gains from a transaction like this. Fair trade organizations seek to create infrastructure and protect producers in developing countries by promoting global economic justice, human dignity, and sustainability. Look for one of these fair trade symbols when you purchase:

Fair Trade - Wholly Canadian - Made in Canada - Canada Fair Trade Certified - Wholly Canadian - Sustainable Living - Canada Fair Trade Organization - The International Fair Trade Association - Wholly Canadian - Localism - Canada

Seek out your provincial fair trade resource centre that will help direct you to local retailers that sell fair trade products in your neighbourhood. For example: Fairtrade Manitoba.


Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to a controlled amount of energy called ionized radiation. Ionizing radiation penetrates food, killing microorganisms without raising the temperature of the food significantly (as opposed to its counterparts of pasteurization and sterilization). Canada Food Inspection Agency states irradiation is used to prevent food poisoning by reducing the level of harmful bacteria, such as E.coli in ground beef and Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry; and parasites which cause food-borne diseases; prevent spoilage by destroying bacteria, molds and yeast which cause food to spoil, and control insect and parasite infestation, and; increase shelf life by slowing the ripening or sprouting in fresh fruits and vegetables, thereby allowing for longer shelf life. Canada Food Inspection agency states that food irradiated is safe to eat. Irradiation is not mandatory, and is the decision of the food processor. At this point the following foods are permitted to be irradiated and sold in Canada: Onions, potatoes, wheat, flour, whole wheat flour, and whole or ground spices and dehydrated seasonings. Currently other foods are being investigated for irradiation. Irradiation is different than pasteurization and sterilization. Pasteurization is heat treatment to a specific point, sterilization is bringing the food to a boiling point, and irradiation is a dry treatment involving ion radiation. The latter two processes make the food/liquid wholly inert—it becomes "dead" food. And all three processes, despite the appearance of the food, prohibit it from being classified as raw and living food.

Irradiation is controversial in what is believed is be lost or maintained in terms of nutritional value. Health Canada insists:

  • Food irradiation, at permitted levels, does not diminish the nutritional value of the food. Any living cells in the food, including potentially harmful bacteria, are killed or damaged."
Radura, the international radiation symbol - Wholly Canadian - Made in Canada - Canada

Look for the following radura symbol to ascertain what food has been irradiated.

But proponents of whole food will cite that if all living cells are killed in irradiation as Food Canada insists, there is a loss in the nutritional value and health impact. Live enzymes and phytonutrients in raw produce are critical for digestion and health, and are destroyed in irradiation.



An ideological paradigm that prioritizes local living. Proponents of localism seek to live locally in a holistic manner: economically, environmentally, socially, and spiritually. Localism supports local production and consumption of goods, promotes local and cultural identity, and seeks the good of the "neighbour."



A process when food is heated to a specific point. The food is no longer raw. The food health standards require dairy, nuts, etc to be pasteurized to ensure longer shelf life and reduce microbial growth in the food. Pasteurization is different than sterilization and irradiation. Pasteurization is heat treatment to a specific point, sterilization is bringing the food to a boiling point, and irradiation is a dry treatment involving ion radiation. The latter two processes make the food/liquid wholly inert—it becomes "dead" food. And all three processes, despite the appearance of the food, prohibit it from being classified as raw and living food.


A movement that seeks to promote localism in a post-industrial era. It is the opposite of centralization. This movement would purport that political, economic, social, and environmental solutions are more easily achieved by re-localizing democratic and economic relationships to the local level.


Slow Food Movement

A movement that was founded in 1986 that sought to make a distinction from the surge of fast food. This movement seeks to promote real food , rediscover indigenous culinary knowledge, preserve heritage seeds, educate about the risks of fast food, encourage localism and culturally identity in cuisine, teach gardening skills, promote ethical buying practices, and encourage farming practices suitable to their local ecosystem.

Social Enterprise

A business model that seeks to actualize values (e.g. social, environmental, cultural, etc.) while applying commercial strategies. A social enterprise can be contrasted to both an exclusive non-profit and corporate model. A non-profit does not seek revenue and exits solely for the reason of its mission. A corporate business model seeks revenue, and while it may donate monies or be concerned with other values, it does so to make the business more valuable; it exists to earn revenue for its shareholders. A social enterprise then is a blend between the two; it seeks alternative values while making profit, creating a blended investment that is both financial and social. All profits go back to the social enterprise (vs. shareholders) to continue actualizing the values set out by the social enterprise's mission.

Sustainable Living

A way of living that seeks live in balance with the environment. Sustainable living is the application of sustainability to lifestyle choices. It can be contrasted with an anthropocentric view which is which seeks to make decisions which are best for humans, regardless of the ecological impact — often economy over environment. Sustainable living then is way of life that recognizes humans as ecologically dependent, seeking to respect a symbiotic relationship with the earth. A rooted sustainable lifestyle is not based in fear (many environmental agendas are fear based), but goodwill. Moving out of this goodwill and biocentric paradigm would naturally give way to some of the following examples: localism, global economic justice such as fair trade, purchasing second-hand vs. new, composting, waste reduction, etc.


Embodied characteristics of a certain place. Terroir is a French term denoting an item that reflects its origin. It is a sense of place, geography, and ecology while understanding the land from which a product derives is imparts unique qualities to that product. For example, California wine vs. Chilean wine — both embody characteristics of their origin.

This term can be borrowed for sustainable living in terms of consumption of goods. Examples of purchasing terroir would be cinnamon from Sri Lanka, or bamboo from China, or maple syrup from Canada. An example of the inverse of purchasing terroir would be purchasing a sheepskin processed in China that originated in New Zealand.

Wholly Canadian

A social enterprise that exists to encourage localism, community, and goodwill within Canada. Established in 2012.