Food Selection Process & Food Requirements

Selection process for food requirements

At, we take enormous pride in our food offerings. We carefully and diligently review each and every food item to ensure that it complies with our rigorous quality standards. This is a daunting task as part of our food requirements (ask anyone who has ever been to an industrial food trade show where there are literally thousands of suppliers and tens of thousands of products but it’s one that we take extremely seriously. After all, we’re focused on your health and well being!)

Food Selection Process & Food Characteristics

1. Each Food Item is Reviewed With an Exhaustive Assessment Process

When we are seriously considering adding a new food product, we go through an exhaustive review of its attributes as part of our food requirements. This goes from everything in the ingredient list, place of origin, package size, overall quality, price, package size, aesthetic packaging appeal, the likelihood of an ongoing reliable supply, the history and reputation of the producer, customer testimonials and overall product value are just a few of the factors that we consider when we decide if we will carry a product.  



2. We Carry Only Those Foods That Support Overall Health and Wellbeing

We offer only those food products that are beneficial in a holistic sense to our customers.  



3. We Carry Only Those Food Brands That Comply With All Applicable Labelling Laws

Only those products whose labels comply with either the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and/or the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) by disclosing all ingredients and all other required labeling. This is a mandatory attribute as part of our food requirements.   



4. We Carry Only Those Foods That Disclose All Ingredients and Potential Allergens

Regretfully, there are some companies that, for a multitude of reasons, fail to disclose all the of their food products’ ingredients and possible allergens on their general product information. We disapprove of this practice and do not carry products that have less than full ingredient and potential allergen disclosure.  



5. We Carry Only Those Foods From Companies That Follow GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes)

Our selection process for food product manufacturers is strict. We do not carry companies’ products that are manufactured in a facility where GMP are not fully documented and strictly adhered to. Where applicable, we insist that our suppliers are HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) Certified or Compliant.  



6. We Carry Only Those Foods That Are Certified Organic or 100% Natural

All of the foods carried on are either certified organic or are 100% natural (i.e. free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats. For produce, this means that it has not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.) Please see our list of banned ingredients for foods (bottom of page) for additional information. As part of our food requirements, any foods containing these ingredients will not be serviced.  



7. We Carry Only Those Foods With No Chemicals, Additives, Artificial Preservatives or Artificial Colors

In all our food products (and all our other natural products that we offer), you will find no chemicals, artificial preservatives, colors or fragrances. Over the years, we have identified (and now do business with) many companies that have created wonderful natural food products at competitive prices. We see no reason to offer our customers foods that have potentially very harmful impacts on them and the environment.  



8. We Carry Non-GMO Verified Project Foods

Over the past several years, tens of millions of consumers worldwide have become aware of the long-term health risks associated with genetically modified foods and now seek only those products that are 100% free of genetically modified organisms. We are huge supporters of the Non-GMO Verified Project and we actively promote non-GMO verified products.  



9. We Carry Local Foods But Simultaneously Support Fair Trade Initiatives

We are enthusiastic supporters of our local farmers, bakers and other artisans and actively endorse the 100 Mile Diet concept. When this is not possible or practical, we support natural food products made in Canada. However, we also believe that we have a moral responsibility to help develop better living and working conditions in developing countries by promoting long-term eco-sustainability and Fair Trade Initiatives and offering these products in our stores whenever possible.  



10. We Carry Environmentally-friendly Foods

We believe that we have a moral responsibility to future generations to protect the environment whenever, wherever and however we possibly can. As such, we have committed to bettering the planet by offering our customers only sustainable, recyclable (where applicable) and environmentally food products. This includes banning food products with excessive and/or unnecessary packaging.  



11. We Carry Foods for Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Raw, Kosher and Paleo Diets

We are sympathetic to the needs of our customers regarding their special dietary requirements. Whether it is for health reasons, philosophical reasons, religious reasons, athletic reasons or for no particular reason at all, we understand and have committed to carrying an ever-expanding range of foods suitable for all diets.

Unacceptable Ingredients For Foods Offered At ChelseaMarket.Ca


There are many definitions for what constitutes “natural food products” and many opinions on what food additives should be avoided. However, when it comes to hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, we believe that there is no room for compromise. This guides us every day in choosing what to offer to you, our customers, so you can feel confident about what you and your family eat.


The following is the list of ingredients that we find unacceptable in food.

To be precise, we won’t offer a food product at if it contains any of these ingredients as part of our food requirements. Based on the ever-expanding body of knowledge available, this list will change from time-to-time. However, we can absolutely say that compromising our standards in this regard will never happen!



  • acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium)
  • acetylated esters of mono- and diglycerides
  • ammonium chloride
  • artificial colors
  • artificial flavors
  • artificial preservatives
  • artificial sweeteners
  • aspartame
  • azodicarbonamide


  • benzoates in food
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • bleached flour
  • bromated flour
  • brominated vegetable oil (BVO)


  • calcium bromate
  • calcium disodium EDTA
  • calcium peroxide
  • calcium propionate
  • calcium saccharin
  • calcium sorbate
  • calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  • caprocaprylobehenin
  • carmine
  • certified colors
  • cyclamates
  • cysteine (l-cysteine), as an additive for bread products


  • DATEM (Diacetyl tartaric and fatty acid esters of mono and diglycerides)
  • dimethylpolysiloxane
  • dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS)
  • disodium calcium EDTA
  • disodium dihydrogen EDTA
  • disodium guanylate
  • disodium inosinate


  • EDTA
  • ethyl vanillin
  • ethylene oxide
  • ethoxyquin


  • FD & C colors
  • foie gras


  • GMP (disodium guanylate)


  • hexa-, hepta- and octa-esters of sucrose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • hydrogenated fats


  • IMP (disodium inosinate)


  • lactylated esters of mono- and diglycerides
  • lead soldered cans


  • methyl silicon
  • methylparaben
  • microparticularized whey protein derived fat substitute
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)


  • natamycin


  • partially hydrogenated oil
  • polydextrose
  • potassium benzoate
  • potassium bromate
  • potassium sorbate
  • propionates
  • propyl gallate
  • propylparaben


  • saccharin
  • sodium aluminum sulfate
  • sodium benzoate
  • sodium diacetate
  • sodium glutamate
  • sodium nitrate/nitrite
  • sodium propionate
  • sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  • solvent extracted oils, as standalone single-ingredient oils (except grapeseed oil).
  • sorbic acid
  • sucralose
  • sucroglycerides
  • sucrose polyester
  • sulfites (except in meads and ciders)
  • synthetic nitrates/nitrites


  • TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)
  • tetrasodium EDTA


  • vanillin, when not naturally derived