Ketchup conundrum

Price takes priority

I’ll admit it. I have in the past purchased French’s ketchup because it uses Canadian tomatoes processed in Leamington.

But that was a few years ago, when Canadians were caught up in the patriotic fervor of sticking it to Heinz for moving out of Ontario. It was also long before costs for day care, food, entertainment and other children-related expenses started to eat up a major portion of our household budget.

Now I simply reach for the most affordable option, regardless of what name appears on the label. Groceries are expensive, so every penny saved helps. I sleep soundly knowing I’ve made the right decision, regardless of the origin of what’s slathered on the kids’ grilled cheese sandwiches.

Besides, French’s ketchup is owned by U.S.-based spice company McCormick & Co., so it is far from a Canadian company. And Heinz, as far as I know, still buys Ontario tomatoes for juice and tomato paste.

Plus, our household won’t make a huge difference either way. I hope one day my children will share my belief that there are only five acceptable uses for ketchup: on grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers and french fries. If you’re thinking “what about hot dogs?” – we can’t be friends. Mustard is the only acceptable condiment for all tubed meats. And unlike ketchup, when it comes to mustard, French’s is the best, hands down.

Sure, in a perfect world the company would use Canadian-sourced mustard seed and vinegar. But then it might be more expensive.

You can’t win.

– Chris


Show your patriotism

It’s real. A trade war is actually happening between Canada and the U.S. and it doesn’t look like it’s ending soon.

And what can we do as Canadians? What we should have been doing all along – shop Canadian.

Though many Canadian-made products seem to be expensive compared to their imported counterparts, now is the time to step up and show our patriotic side.

Look at ketchup. Yes, ketchup.

If Heinz pulling out of Leamington, Ontario and leaving tomato farmers floundering and factory workers unemployed was enough to spark a movement to boycott the American company, the tariffs and trade war with our neighbours to the south should be bringing in more and more people.

And at least with ketchup, buying Canadian doesn’t need to be expensive.

While not a huge ketchup eater, my favourite is actually President’s Choice. Yep, that’s right. And low and behold, after doing some research, that brand is mostly made in Canada, even using Ontario tomatoes. See, Canadian doesn’t have to mean more expensive.

If more Canadians said “no” to imported products like Heinz ketchup, our stores would be forced to source local products, thus providing those producers and manufacturers with more business, possibly bringing the price down to levels more Canadians are comfortable with.

All it takes is time and commitment.

Show your patriotism and maybe consider a Canadian option the next time you’re looking to replace your red condiment.

– Jaime

Chris Daponte and Jaime Myslik