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Rising food costs make for more-modest Quebec thanksgiving, some reduce meat-eating


Almost a quarter of Canadians say they'll be making at least some changes to their thanksgiving dinner menu this year because of rising food costs.

The average cost of a full spread with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, desert, and drinks, is now about $200 – a 12 per cent increase from last year.

The result, for many, is a shorter grocery list.

“What we found out is that 22 per cent of households are actually planning to make menu adjustments as a result of higher food prices," said food industry expert Sylvain Charlebois.

In Quebec, more people are using food banks. At the Welcome Hall Mission, about 4,000 people are using its two free grocery stores each week.

"I think the challenge around holiday time, whether it's Thanksgiving or whether it's Christmas time, is a lot of people have an image of what they'd like to have, and unfortunately that's not possible with the resources that they have,” said Welcome Hall Mission CEO Sam Watts.

“Thankfully, we're in a position where we can respond to some of that."

On Monday, the Montreal Alouettes will once again serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in need at the Welcome Hall.

“If you're living right on the edge, you're spending a disproportionate amount on food and rent and other basic items,” said Watts. “So, when we talk about inflation being at 7 per cent or 8 per cent, it's actually higher for people who are at the lower end of the income spectrum."


“A lot of people and institutions are actually switching to plant-based options, like daycares and schools and other facilities, because they can cut on costs,” said cookbook author Caroline Huard. “Beans and legumes are much less expensive.”

However, pinched-wallets are not the only cause to Canadians cutting back. Some are pursuing plant-based diets due to climate concerns.

On Saturday, hundreds packed into the Palais des Congres for the 9th annual Vegan Festival. While many of those congregants were vegan themselves, not everyone does it full-time.

Festivalgoers sampled several meatless dishes at the festival, including a Montreal classic: lox and cream cheese – except the lox was fishless. Instead, it’s made of carrot.

The dish was created by a local company called By 2048.

“Our name was inspired by a study that predicted if we don't change our consumption habits, the oceans could run out of fish by the year 2048,” said Arthur Schiller, founder and CEO of the company. Top Stories

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