Canadian Cookbook Tackles Global Food Challenges

Catherine Verrall's debut cookbook is more food movement than recipe guide.
February 25, 2015 Updated: February 25, 2015

The Regina-based environmental activist and retired teacher wrote “Every Bite Affects the World” to illustrate the intricate connection between what we eat and the health of our bodies, communities, and global ecosystems.

Inspired by the simple question “Where does our food come from?” the book condenses this complicated topic into easily digestible pieces that inspire readers to use their forks as weapons of change. To top it off, it includes a healthy dose of delicious recipes as well.

“We hope to nudge readers to a new awareness of how their daily eating is connected with the well-being of all,” Verrall told Epoch Times.

“We hope that readers, hooked by the appealing health-building recipes, will be motivated to make changes in their own eating one step at a time. As we adjust our shopping and eating habits, we’ll feel better, get more value for our money, and make a global difference.”

Verrall also hopes increased awareness will lead to changes in the wider systemic food problems, such as food insecurity, factory farming, environmental degradation and GMOs. The solution is rooted in understanding, she says.

That’s why the cookbook takes a holistic approach, guiding readers through the how and why of responsible eating. This includes information like the history and benefits of locally produced foods, the environmental impacts of our food choices, lessons on preparing and storing each food group to avoid waste, and even tips on how to become a food activist in your community.

“This book is a recipe book with a difference,” says the foreword by Nettie Wiebe, a Saskatchewan-based professor, organic farmer, and former president of the National Farmers’ Union.

“It combines the key ingredients of good living: healthy food, love of others, ecological care, and political justice.”

Practicing what it preaches, the book is also part of the larger Every Bite Project which allocates proceeds from book sales toward community gardening projects, cooking classes based on ideas from the book, and outreach workshops.

“‘Every Bite Affects the World’ is an invitation to be part of the worldwide up-surging evolutionary movement of people who struggle and rejoice in occupying and recreating a real food system again,” writes Verrall in the book.

“Eating is not only a survival act. Eating can be an act of justice-making.”

Cherry Lentil Brownies

Makes 18

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Better Butter
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dark lentils, cooked
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) fair trade cocoa
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fair trade sugar
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) sea salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) frozen organic cherries
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chickpea flour
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) fair trade chocolate chips

In a blender, whiz together eggs, butter, lentils, cocoa, sugar and salt until the lentils are a paste. Add cherries and whiz very briefly to make sure the cherries don’t get too mashed. In a bowl, add flour and then add wet ingredients to the flour. Stir until blended. Add chocolate chips and stir.

Spread mixture into a well-greased 33 x 23 cm (13×9-inch) or smaller cake pan. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve with slices of fresh fruit.

Published by Friesen, “Every Bite Affects the World” can be bought online at,, and Ebook formats are also available.