Who owns BCfresh?

Our organization is 100% owned and operated by BC farm families.  At this point in time over 30 farming families own BCfresh with produce coming from over 70 local family operations across the province.

Why can I sometimes find products from other growing regions in BCfresh packaging?

First things first, only BC grown produce is packaged in our BCfresh label.

There are certain times of year when our local storage sheds run out of locally grown produce. Depending on the crop, this usually happens sometime between March and July and before local production restarts in summer. During this gap we partner with farming families in other parts of North America to source high-quality veggies that meet or exceed our stringent standards. We want this change to be easy to spot so we pack into our Earth And Time label. While the product may not be grown in BC, you are still supporting a local company as our distribution facility is also owned and operated by our family farms!

Do you use pesticides or herbicides?

All BCfresh family farms strive towards the complete elimination of crop management materials such as insecticides and herbicides (together known as pesticides). We work with dedicated crop consultants who use a variety of integrated pest management techniques to maximize the plant health and the crop yield. This is commonly known as IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and you can learn more at Community Involvement. However, there are occasions where crop management materials are used and all applications of a crop management materials must meet or exceed Canadian regulations.

Are your products grown with or in genetically modified organism (GMO) materials

Nada, zip, zilch! BCfresh does not use any GMO materials to grow our vegetables.

Does BCfresh use genetically modified seeds or seed stock?

No. At BCfresh we use varieties developed using traditional plant breeding methods such as tissue culture. We do not use any form of genetic modification to produce any of our potatoes or vegetables.

What is your policy on food safety?

Food Safety is top priority in everything we do, every day.

All BCfresh farms and packsheds are audited annually by accredited 3rd party organizations for Canada Good Agricultural Practices (CanadaGAP). Our distribution facilities perform a similar audit for Good Manufacturing Practices. At BCfresh we take care in producing safe, wholesome vegetables.

My potatoes started to sprout, can I plant them?

You could, but they likely won’t result in a strong potato plant that will yield lots of potatoes. That’s because the potatoes you buy at the grocery store are table potatoes, not seed potatoes. Seed potatoes sprout quickly and are used for growing potato plants.

Can I plant other BCfresh veggies?

Most of our veggies have been harvested at the peak of maturity and won’t yield more veggies when planted. The only exception are beets… you can plant a mature beet and harvest the greens for use in salad, soups or stews. If you are interested in growing your own veggies at home, visit your local garden centre or to find a wonderful array of seeds and other materials for growing good quality produce.

Why do you pack some of your products in plastic bags?

Our goal is to ensure the most of our produce makes it to the plate – this means we use a few different types of packaging to help reduce food waste.

We use bags to help preserve the fresh flavor and appearance for consumers. It also makes it easier to get your produce home. The bags help protect the produce from negative factors such as strong retail lights and excessive handling. This extends the shelf life of the product while also providing a level of food safety. All our plastic bags are recyclable too. Check with your local municipality to see what facilities exist in your neighborhood.

Why did my potatoes turn gray after cooking?

 The problem of after-cooking darkening is a bit tricky to explain but it has to do with iron and chlorogenic acid, both of which occur naturally in all potatoes.  Basically, these two join during cooking to form a new compound – once you’ve drained the potatoes this compound is exposed to oxygen causing the flesh to turn gray.  This may not be pleasant to look at (nor appetizing), but it is not harmful to consume.
Unfortunately, some varieties are more susceptible than others, and the growing conditions do play a role in whether the darkening even happens at all. 

Apparently, there’s one way you can help prevent this from happening.  You can add a little acid (specifically, lemon juice or cream of tartar) halfway through boiling your potatoes.  Of course, it is difficult to know if the lemon juice held off the colour change or the potatoes weren’t hiding a dark secret!

Also, don’t store whole raw potatoes in the fridge. The cold temperatures can cause all sorts of problems, one problem being that extended storage at cold temps increases chlorogenic acid concentration in potatoes making the potatoes more likely to gray after boiling.

How are you able to provide fresh, locally-grown product for so many months?

Isn’t it nice to know that you can buy locally grown BCfresh produce for most of the year? Just like your backyard garden, our products are harvested in the fall months at the peak of maturity and flavour. Our growers used traditional long-term storage techniques that have been continually improved using high-tech advances to protect the crops. This means we are able to store potatoes and other root crops for many months in temperature and humidity controlled sheds. This keeps the produce in a dormant stage locking in the flavour and nutritional value. We wash and grade the veggies just before we deliver them to your local grocery store or restaurant.