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   The Positives In 'Buying Ugly,' And Why Our Priorities In The Produce Aisle Are All Wrong
by Claudia McNeilly, National Post
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 at 8:54AM EDT

By 6 a.m., the floor of the massive produce arena at the Food Terminal is mostly empty. Half a dozen men zip by on forklifts over the 40-acre property, smoking cigarettes and chugging Tim Horton’s double-doubles as they weave through Jacuzzi-sized containers of apples, carrots, cabbage and kale that look like the lump sum of every dietary New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made and abandoned.

One final buyer reaches into his pocket to retrieve a wad of cash three inches thick, quietly peeling off a series of 20s in a mafia-like maneuver before placing them on a plastic crate as someone hands him a handwritten receipt. “Every farmer in here can tell you exactly how much cash fits inside a shoebox,” says a produce buyer as he inspects the leaves of a box of Swiss Chard. “You can arrange to pay automatically, but down here things are still old school and farmers like cash.”

Housed in an unassuming parking lot on the outskirts of Etobicoke, Ont., the Food Terminal is Canada’s largest wholesale Fruit and Produce Terminal. Every day, 5.5 million pounds of produce are distributed from the market and millions of dollars are exchanged, much of it flowing in cold hard cash. This high stakes exchange isn’t open to the public, but if you have eaten fruits and vegetables in Ontario, Eastern Canada or the Northern United States, it is almost guaranteed that the produce you consumed has passed through this parking lot before making its way to you.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: National Post

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