Deconstructing Dinner
Deconstructing Dinner is a podcast/radio show that broadcast between 2006 through 2011 with a brief return of a handful of episodes in 2014. Almost 200 episodes are available on topics ranging from corporate consolidation, animal welfare, urban food production and the local and good food movements. With host Jon Steinman.
The Importance of Garlic to Small-Scale Farmers

Across the US and Canada, there is an exciting emergence of a unique type of food festival – a festival for garlic! When looking at a map of where garlic festivals are emerging, it’s clear that garlic knows no geographic boundaries – it’s a food that grows well in most climates across the continent. This popularity of garlic festivals appears to be communicating an important story – a story of our longing to connect and celebrate with one another around food, a story of people wanting to make more flavorful dinners, and a story of a food that has become an incredibly important crop for small-scale farmers.  

Features:

Ken Meter, Professor, Crossroads Resource Center (Minneapolis, MN)

Liz Primeau, Author, In Pursuit of Garlic (Mississauga, ON)

Bill Christopher, President, Christopher Ranch (Gilroy, CA)

Bob Baloch, Farmer, The Fresh Veggies (Brampton, ON)

Peter McClusky, Founder, Toronto Garlic Festival (Toronto, ON)

JP Gural, Farmer, Samsara Fields (Waterford, ON)

Ross Breen, Farmer, Stone Soup Farm (Harlowe, ON)

Paul Hoepfner-Homme, Farmer, Victory Garden Vegetables (Cobourg, ON)

Direct download: 05_ImportanceOfGarlictoSmallScaleFarmers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EST

Honey – one of the most natural foods. In the supermarket, honey is found labelled as coming from clover, buckwheat, alfalfa or maybe orange blossom. The label might just read ‘honey’ without any indication of its source of nectar. But is the nectar source even important to those of us wishing to become more conscientious eaters? As Deconstructing Dinner has discovered, there is a curiosity surrounding honey – a curiosity, which has rarely, if ever, been spoken…. until now!

It turns out, in Canada, 80% of all the honey produced in the country is from the nectar of canola – yet, nowhere on the grocery store shelves do we ever see honey labelled as “canola honey”. And so the question becomes – just where is all that canola honey ending up? 

Features 

Vaughn Bryant, Professor, Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)

Brian Campbell, Certified Master Beekeeper, Blessed Bee Farm (Richmond, BC)

Jill Clark, Spokesperson, True Source Honey (Lancaster, PA)

 

Direct download: 04_GeneticallyEngineeredHoney.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:22pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman sits down with Mark Kastel - the co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute - a populist farm policy research group based in Wisconsin.

Mark and Jon discuss the changing face of organic food. Using eggs as an example - Mark explains how eaters can exercise a more discriminating awareness when purchasing 'organic' eggs. 

Features: 

Mark Kastel, Co-Founder, Cornucopia Institute (La Farge, WI)

 

Direct download: 03_HowOrganicIsAnOrganicEgg.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01pm EST

It's not uncommon for most of us eaters to view the system supplying us with food as being separate from us, but on this podcast, one of Canada's most recognized food policy analysts offers his perspectives which suggest otherwise. Instead, the food system has in many ways been designed to satisfy the demands that we make every day to eat the same food, year-round, regardless of season, geography or climate.

It seems that we eaters, have become so accustomed to that fresh tomato slice on our sandwich, that glass of orange juice in the morning, or that salad of fresh greens, that these very demands have shaped the food system, and, subsequently, shaped the world we live in. But are these demands for a perpetual harvest necessary? Could we do just fine or even better by choosing a more seasonal approach to eating?...., and, if so, could this way of eating reconstruct the food system for the better?

Features:

Rod MacRae, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University (Toronto, ON)

Direct download: 02_YearRoundVsSeasonalEating.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:19pm EST

On this all-new podcast, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman examines some of the key differences between conventional and organically produced wheat. 

Features:

Stephen Jones, Director, Washington State University Research Station (Mount Vernon, WA)

Kevin Christenson, Owner, Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Burlington, WA)

Sam Lucy, Farmer, Bluebird Grain Farms (Winthrop, WA)

Roy Lawrence, Farmer, Kootenay Grain CSA (Creston, BC)

Scott Mangold, Baker, Breadfarm (Edison, WA)

Direct download: 01_ConventionalVsOrganicWheat.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13pm EST

This episode #193 marks the final broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner before we embark on a much-needed break.

Producer & Host Jon Steinman speaks about the need to step away from producing new shows and what future might lie ahead. Jon also shares some reflections on the past 5 years of producing this weekly one-hour radio show and podcast, and offers suggestions to those involved in the responsible food movement - a movement which this show has helped track its evolution and certainly one that this show has in many ways been a part of.

Also on the show - a brief update (regrettably brief!) on our September undercover investigation on a B.C. egg business who had been fraudulently marketing their product as being from their own farm when in fact the property on which the business operated was not a farm at all! It appears the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has vowed silence instead of transparency.

Direct download: DD112510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm EST

Since March 2008, Deconstructing Dinner has been tracking the evolution of the Kootenay Grain CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the interior of British Columbia. The project is Canada's first community supported agriculture project for grain and it's been quite a while since we've checked in with how it's evolved throughout it's third year.

Also on this part 12 of the series, we learn about the many grain projects underway elsewhere in Canada and the United States, all of which have been inspired by this very Local Grain Revolution series! Specifically, we travel to Lopez Island, Washington, where one of those projects has completed its first successful year. In October 2010, Jon Steinman visited the Island to share the story of the Kootenay Grain CSA and learn about the Island's very own.

Guests

Roy Lawrence, farmer, R&S Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC) - Roy is a third-generation farmer. Prior to the CSA, Roy had farmed using conventional methods but the CSA became an opportunity for him to transition to growing naturally.

Joanne Gailius, farmer, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC) - Full Circle Farm began in Black Creek, a Mennonite community on Vancouver Island. The Gailius family gardens and raises chickens, turkeys, cows, fruit trees and Norwegian Fjord horses (which are used as labour on the farm). In 1999, the family moved to the Creston Valley where they now farm on 40 acres.

Nancy Crowell, volunteer, KLOI 102.9FM (Lopez Island, WA)

Rhea Miller, assistant director, Lopez Community Land Trust (Lopez Island, WA)

O.J. Lougheed, seed saver, Lopez Community Land Trust's Grain Project(Lopez Island, WA)

Kathryn Thomas, farmer, Horse Drawn Farm(Lopez Island, WA)

Direct download: DD111110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm EST

Exploring Ethnobiology is a new series Deconstructing Dinner has been airing since June. Through a scientific lens, ethnobiology examines the relationships between humans and their surrounding plants, animals and ecosystems. With seemingly more and more people becoming interested in developing closer relationships with our surroundings (our food, the earth), there's much we can all learn from ethnobiologists, and in particular, from the symbiotic human-earth relationships that so many peoples around the world have long maintained.

Food sovereignty is also a subject that permeates much of what airs on Deconstructing Dinner, and similarly permeates much of the dialogue among ethnobiologists. At the 2010 International Congress of Ethnobiology held in Tofino, B.C., a group of ethnobiologists gathered to discuss food sovereignty with a focus on the immaterial or intangible components of food sovereignty. In the first half of the episode, we listen in on some of that discussion and in the second half, we listen to Associate Professor at Cornell University's Department of Horticulture, Jane Mt. Pleasant, whose research has involved a fascinating comparative look into 17th/18th century cereal grain farming between the Iroquois people of what is now upstate New York and early European colonizers. Her research paints a telling picture of just how much our western food system is built upon a propensity to maintain the status quo instead of adapting to our surroundings and working in closer relationship with the land on which we grow our food.

Voices

Justin Nolan, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR) - Justin's research interests are in Ethnobotany, Cherokee and Ozark foodways and medicine, ethnopharmacology, traditional health beliefs, biodiversity mapping, Native American culture, Native American language, cultural preservation

Lewis Williams, Feasting for Change (Tsawout First Nation near Saanichton, B.C.) - The Tsawout First Nation is one of five bands that make up the Saanich Nation and is located north of Victoria, B.C. near the community of Saanichton. Lewis is involved in Feasting for Change - a project that looks to preserve traditional indigenous foodways on Vancouver Island.

Nancy Turner, distinguished professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - Born in Berkeley, California, Nancy moved to Victoria at the age of 5 and she lives there today as a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She earned a PhD in Ethnobotany in 1974 from the University of British Columbia when she studied three contemporary indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest (the Haida, Bella Coola and Lillooet). Nancy's major research has demonstrated the role of plant resources in past and present aboriginal cultures and languages as being an integral component of traditional knowledge systems. Nancy has also played an important role in helping demonstrate how traditional management of plant resources has shaped the landscapes and habitats of western Canada. In 1999 Nancy received the Order of British Columbia and in 2009 received the Order of Canada. She's authored numerous books including, among others, Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, Food Plants of Interior First Peoples, Plants of Haida Gwaii and The Earth's Blanket - Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living.

Linda Different Cloud, ethnobotanist / restoration ecologist, Sitting Bull College (Standing Rock Lakota Nation, ND/SD) - Linda is an ethnobotanist and restoration ecologist of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation in what is now North and South Dakota.

Jane Mt. Pleasant, associate professor, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) - In addition to serving as an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, Jane is also director of the American Indian Program at Cornell University, with research and teaching responsibilities in both units. Her research focuses on indigenous cropping systems and plants and human well being. She lectures frequently on indigenous agriculture and its links to contemporary agricultural sustainability, and am considered a national expert in Iroquois agriculture.

Direct download: DD102810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:03pm EST

TED has become an incredibly popular series of conferences featuring inspiring speakers from around the world. TED is a small non-profit devoted to what they call - "Ideas Worth Spreading." Starting out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment & Design, TED has since broadened its scope to include two annual conferences in California, a global conference in the UK and many on-line resources where more than 700 TEDTalks are now available. TED believes in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.

With a number of the talks delivered at their annual conferences involving food, on this episode, we hear three of those talks including one delivered by well-known television personality Jamie Oliver who speaks passionately about teaching children about food. We hear architect and author Carolyn Steel speaking about the history of how cities fed themselves and we hear author/artist Christien Meindertsma speak about the astonishing afterlife of the ordinay pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products!

Voices

Jamie Oliver, chef/author, JamieOliver.com (London/Essex, UK) - Jamie Oliver has been drawn to the kitchen since he was a child working in his father's pub-restaurant. As the host of the BBC2 television show Naked Chef launched in the late 90s, Jamie Oliver has built a worldwide network of TV shows, books, cookware and magazines, all based on a formula of simple food. Today, Jamie's focus has been on bringing attention to the changes he believes are needed to the diets of Brits and Americans and has launched campaigns such as Jamie's School Dinner, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA.

Carolyn Steel, architect/author, Hungry City - (London, UK) Carolyn uses food as a medium to read cities and understand how they work. In her book Hungry City, she traces and puts into historical context food's journey from land to urban table and thence to sewer.

Christien Meindertsma, author/artist, PIG 05049 (Rotterdam, Netherlands) - Christien is a dutch artist who explores raw materials in thoughtful ways, making simple books and products to better showcase once-hidden processes. Her second book, titled PIG 05049, documents the astounding array of products that different parts of a pig named 05049 could support -- revealing the lines that link raw materials with producers, products and consumers that have become so invisible in an increasingly globalized world. PIG 05049 was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art this past winter.

Direct download: DD101410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner has long been exploring the many ways through which farmers, businesses, organizations and communities are accessing food using new and innovative models. On today's broadcast we hear more of those examples shared as part of the March 2010 panel - Produce to the People, hosted by the San Francisco based CUESA.

The Produce to the People panel examined a few inspiring models for getting fresh, local food to residents in the San Francisco Bay area of California and featured Grayson James of Petaluma Bounty, Melanine Cheng of FarmsReach and Christine Cherdboonmuang of the Oakland Farms-to-Schools Network and Oakland FRESH School Produce Markets. Moderating the panel was Michael Dimock of Roots of Change.

And closing out the broadcast - a new episode from Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken broadcast. Bucky discusses the pros and cons of eating raw eggs and provides suggestions on the safest source of those eggs to reduce exposure to the risks of salmonella.

Voices

Grayson James, executive director, Petaluma Bounty (Petaluma, CA) - Petaluma Bounty is a non-profit organization formed in 2006. The organization works to create a sustainable Petaluma food system with healthy fresh food for everyone by helping residents to grow their own healthy food, redistributing surplus food, and providing affordable fresh food to low-income families and seniors.

Melanie Cheng, founder, FarmsReach (San Francisco, CA) - FarmsReach is an online farm food marketplace focusing on the San Francisco Bay area that connects farmers to business buyers. Their mission is to help businesses source fresher and healthier foods and put better food on more plates while supporting healthy farms.

Christine Cherdboonmuang, coordinator, Oakland Farms-to-Schools Network (Oakland, CA) - The Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets is a program of the Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services and the East Bay Asian Youth Center. The markets are set up to sell fresh, mostly locally grown and pesticide-free fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, honey and other foods at public schools. The produce is purchased from local family farms and distributors, and sold by parents and students during after-school hours every week at each school site. The markets, which operate at 12 schools are open to parents, students, staff and community residents. Their goal is to open 25 markets by 2012.

Michael Dimock, president, Roots of Change (San Francisco, CA) - Roots of Change is a collaboration of community, nonprofit, philanthropic, government, and business organizations that seeks to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food systems in California.

Bucky Buckaw Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

Direct download: DD093010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31am EST

Packaged Foods Exposed V
Deconstructing Dinner revisits with our popular series - Packaged Foods Exposed. Launched in 2006, the series examines the largest manufacturers of processed foods in the country and takes an often overlooked and critical perspective of these powerful companies.

When Deconstructing Dinner last aired this series, we featured a two-part exposé of Unilever. With three years having now transpired since those episodes, it appears that the company is in much need of some more deconstructing! Needing particular attention are Unilever's questionable marketing strategies. Following our research that has gone into this episode, four complaints were filed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Deconstructing Dinner now awaits their response.

Unequal Harvest
Deconstructing Dinner visits with the excellent theatrical performance, Unequal Harvest - a series of monologues written by Winnipeg's Geoff Hughes. Unequal Harvest examines some of the root causes of hunger and food injustice taking place around the world.

Guests

Nicole Shaw, publisher/editor Synergy Magazine (Lantzville, BC) - Nicole Shaw launched Synergy Magazine in March of 2004 after receiving much encouragement and support from members of the community. Nicole's background includes ten years in the computer industry, four years of freelance graphic design, ad layout with the Link Newspaper, four years of PR work and much interest in personal growth and energy healing work. Nicole is the co-host of Heart and Mind: Tools for Change - a radio talk show on CHLY Nanaimo. She and partner Dirk Becker farm organic vegetables.

Kami Desilets & Brent Hirose, actors Unequal Harvest (Winnipeg, MB) - Winnipeg playwright Geoff Hughes has brought food injustice to the stage. In 2008, three non-profit organizations; The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, the Manitoba Food Charter and Winnipeg Harvest resolved to draw attention to the Global Food Crisis by commissioning Geoff to write and direct the original work Unequal Harvest. Debuting in Winnipeg on World Food Day in 2008, the play continues to be performed across Canada including its latest stop at the 2010 Victoria Fringe Festival.

Direct download: DD091610.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:13am EST

Exploring Ethnobiology III
In May 2010, Deconstructing Dinner travelled to Vancouver Island where two international conferences on ethnobiology were being hosted. Ethnobiology examines the relationships between humans and their surrounding plants, animals and ecosystems. Today, more and more people are expressing an interest to develop closer relationships with the earth. This leaves much to be learned from the research of ethnobiologists, and in particular, from the symbiotic human-earth relationships that so many peoples around the world have long maintained.

On this part III of the series, we listen to two presentations that share research into the relationships between indigenous peoples and marine life in what is now called British Columbia and Alaska.

Investigating Eggs Update
Also on the show - an update from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to our September 2 investigative report on alleged local food fraud.

Guests/Voices

Severn Cullis-Suzuki, masters in ethnobotany, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Haida Gwaii, BC) - Similar to her father David Suzuki, Severn has devoted herself to increasing awareness on fundamental ecological concerns. Born and raised in Vancouver, at the age of 9, Severn founded the Environmental Childrens Organization. In 1992 at the age of 12, she attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she received praise for a speech she delivered. She went on to graduate from Yale Univeristy in 2002, hosted a television series on Discovery Channel, and was eventually led to study ethnobotany under Nancy Turner. Her focus of research led her to Northern Vancouver Island - home to the Kwakwaka-wakw people. It was there that Severn studied the keystone species Zostera marina - also known as eelgrass - or to the Kwakwaka-wakw (ts'ats'ayem).

Josh Wisniewski, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks, AK) - Josh received his BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His research explores the complex sets of relations between Iñupiaq and Yup'ik societies and marine mammals through time and the ontological premises shaping local and traditional ecological knowledge. Josh's research has recently been focused in Shishmaref, Alaska, where he has worked with Iñupiaq hunters and elders exploring and documenting ecological knowledge of bearded seals and historic and contemporary hunting practices.

Nancy Turner, distinguished professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - Born in Berkeley, California, Nancy moved to Victoria at the age of 5 and she lives there today as a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She earned a PhD in Ethnobotany in 1974 from the University of British Columbia when she studied three contemporary indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest (the Haida, Bella Coola and Lillooet). Nancy's major research has demonstrated the role of plant resources in past and present aboriginal cultures and languages as being an integral component of traditional knowledge systems. Nancy has also played an important role in helping demonstrate how traditional management of plant resources has shaped the landscapes and habitats of western Canada. In 1999 Nancy received the Order of British Columbia and in 2009 received the Order of Canada. She's authored numerous books including, among others, Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, Food Plants of Interior First Peoples, Plants of Haida Gwaii and The Earth's Blanket - Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living.

James Rogowsky, specialist, egg products, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) (Winnipeg, MB) - The CFIA is the arm of Health Canada in charge of safeguarding food, animals and plants.

Direct download: DD090910.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:28pm EST

An exclusive behind-the-scenes investigative report taking an in-depth look into alleged local food fraud.

With the rapid rise in interest among North Americans to support locally produced food and with the premium people are willing to pay for that food, it leaves open an attractive opportunity for food-based businesses to take advantage of this new and growing lucrative market, either honestly or not.

In May 2010, Deconstructing Dinner received a tip from a farmer in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia who alleged that a local business who sells eggs to 18 retailers and restaurants and who was marketing their product as being predominantly from their own farm, was not true. According to the tip, the "farm" was not a farm at all, and housed no chickens on the property!

The business has also been marketing their product as originating from neighbouring farms in the Creston Valley, however, Deconstructing Dinner received yet another and very strong tip, this one in July 2010, alleging that that too might also not be true.

As luck would have it, the property on which the business operates was up for sale, and on August 23, 2010, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman scheduled an appointment!

Guests/Voices

Jeremy Lack, farmer/chairman, Mad Dog Farm / Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (Tarrys, BC) - Mad Dog Farm is a small farm of 28 acres in Tarrys, not far from the City of Castlegar. Run by Jeremy and Nette Lack, and aided by their daughters, two dogs and three cats, the Lacks have a passion for growing, local agriculture and preserving heritage varieties of vegetables and other food crops. The Kootenay Local Agricultural Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the production and promotion of local agriculture and products. They are the owner and certifier of the Kootenay Mountain Grown label.

Heide Stang, co-owner, Eggs R Uz (Wynndel, BC) - Eggs R Uz has been operating for many years as a registered egg grading station and supplier of eggs to 18 businesses in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia.

Bonny Kavaloff, co-owner, Nature's Den (Rossland, BC) - Bonny and her husband Sid operate this small health store in Rossland, BC.

Cindy King, warehouse manager, Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Nelson, BC) - The Kootenay Co-op is the largest independent member-owned co-operative grocery store in Canada. In business for 35 years, the store prides itself on supporting local producers whenever possible.

Matt Lowe, busted backyard chicken enthusiast (Nelson, BC) - In the summer of 2009, Matt Lowe began raising four chickens in his urban backyard. The City of Nelson does not permit such a practice, and in June of 2010, Matt's household received a visit from a Bylaw Enforcement Officer!

Other voices of people wishing to remain anonymous...

Direct download: DD090210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38pm EST

On this part 8 of our Conscientious Cooks series, we listen in on a really interesting panel discussion hosted in 2008 by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (or CUESA) located in San Francisco, California. The panel was themed around the concept of Climate Friendly Eating.

Voices

Gail Feenstra, food systems analyst, University of California Sustainable Agriculture & Research Program (Davis, CA)

Helene York, director, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation (Palo Alto, CA)

Laura Stec, chef/author, The Global Warming Diet (Portola Valley, CA)

Bonnie Powell, co-founder, The Ethicurean (San Francisco, CA)

Direct download: DD081910.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:51pm EST

Having now devoted four episodes to covering the closure of Canada's prison farms, this Part 5 of our coverage might mark a disappointing chapter for Canadians who have been hoping for a halt to the closures. While all six of these rehabilitative and job-training programs have been progressively dismantled over the past year, the August 9 removal of the dairy herd at Kingston, Ontario's Frontenac Institution is being seen by many as a nail in the coffin.

This episode hears from supporters of the prison farms and the steps that the Save Our Prison Farms campaign took since we last covered this issue back in June. We'll learn about the 500-person strong citizen blockade, which attempted to stop the removal of the dairy herd off the property, and we'll learn about what next steps campaign organizers believe are necessary to maintain momentum and possibly turn the campaign into an election issue. Doing so might take advantage of the support of the Liberal Party and the NDP who have both vowed to re-open the farms should they be elected.

Guests/Voices

Andrew McCann Urban Agriculture Kingston (Kingston, ON) - Andrew connects scholarship with community development through his work on global and local food systems. He is turning his masters thesis into a book which visions collaboration between the polarized worlds of "sustainable local food" and "agricultural biotechnology". Cultural and environmental history underpin his writing, as well as his paid work in Kingston's food system where he has been a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) market gardener, lab tech on the Canadian Potato Genome Project, and initiator of the National Farmers' Union's Food Down the Road: Toward a Sustainable Local Food System for Kingston and Countryside. He recently helped found the Kingston Urban Agriculture Action Committee which has been working with the City of Kingston to develop a progressive municipal policy on community gardens and urban farming. Andrew has also instructed Sustainable and Local Food for all Canadians - an on-line distance education course offered by St. Lawrence College.

Aric McBay farmer Root Radical Community Shared Agriculture (Howe Island, ON) - Beyond operating a small farm and CSA with his partner, Aric has also authored a number of books including Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life after Gridcrash. He's the co-author of What We Leave Behind which he collaborated on with Derrick Jensen and he also co-authored the soon-to-be-released Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet - also a collaboration with Derrick Jensen and Lierre Keith.

Dianne Dowling - Farmer Dowling Farm (Howe Island, ON) - Dianne farms with her husband Peter on Howe Island - located in the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. The dairy farm is also home to a vegetable CSA operated by their daughter and her partner. Dianne is the Vice-President of the National Farmers Union of Ontario's Local 316, representing farmers in Frontenac and Lennox-Addington counties and the city of Kingston.

Jeff Peters farmer / director National Farmers Union Local 316 (Inverary, ON)

Direct download: DD081210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:46am EST

Deconstructing Dinner has recently been reflecting on the model of agriculture itself as the primary source through which most people on earth access their food. From our exploration of ethnobiology to recent topics on permaculture, it's clear that there are other models available, which, for some people are a substitute for agriculture, and for others, complementary practices. But what within that dependence on agriculture are we all dependent upon? Multinational corporations? The chain grocery store? Perhaps the microwave!?

Well behind those dependencies, which are precarious at best, is a more deeply rooted dependence... soil - a dependence of which its once-deep roots have demonstrated over time to have become progressively shallower as 'modern' agricultural practices deplete soil depth and nutrients.

On this broadcast, Deconstructing Dinner features voices of researchers who have explored the evolution of agriculture and soil alongside civilization.

 

Voices

David Montgomery, professor, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington (Seattle, WA) - David is the author of the 2008 book "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" (UC Press). The book explores the idea that we are and have long been using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. At the University of Washingotn, David studies the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. He received his B.S. in geology at Stanford University (1984) and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from UC Berkeley (1991). David was hosted at Oregon State University in July 2009 by PAGES and was later interviewed by Tom Allen of KBCS.

Ronald Wright, author, A Short History of Progress, (Salt Spring Island, BC) - Ronald Wright is a novelist, historian, and essayist, and has won prizes in all three genres, and is published in ten languages. Ronald was the 2004 Massey Lecturer - a presitigious annual public event in Canada, for which he presented A Short History of Progress. One of his more recent works is "What is America: A Short History of the New World Order". He was born in England, educated at Cambridge, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Direct download: DD072910.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EST

In May 2010, Deconstructing Dinner travelled to Vancouver Island where two international conferences on ethnobiology were being hosted. Ethnobiology examines the relationships between humans and their surrounding plants, animals and ecosystems. Today, more and more people are expressing an interest to develop closer relationships with the earth. This leaves much to be learned from the research of ethnobiologists, and in particular, from the symbiotic human-earth relationships that so many peoples around the world have long maintained.

On this part II of the series, we listen to segments from a one-on-one interview with Nancy Turner of the University of Victoria. Nancy is one of the most well-known ethnobiologists in Canada and Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman sat down with her in the community of Tofino to learn more about what ethnobiology is, why the field is an increasingly important one to pay attention to, and what we all might learn from the many indigenous peoples who ethnobiologists work with.

Also on the show - a recording of a presentation by Cheryl Bryce and Pamela Tudge who are examining how the indigenous peoples living in what is now the City of Victoria might reinstate traditional harvesting practices of an important traditional food - camus.

Guests

Nancy Turner, distinguished professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - Born in Berkeley, California, Nancy moved to Victoria at the age of 5 and she lives there today as a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She earned a PhD in Ethnobotany in 1974 from the University of British Columbia when she studied three contemporary indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest (the Haida, Bella Coola and Lillooet). Nancy's major research has demonstrated the role of plant resources in past and present aboriginal cultures and languages as being an integral component of traditional knowledge systems. Nancy has also played an important role in helping demonstrate how traditional management of plant resources has shaped the landscapes and habitats of western Canada. In 1999 Nancy received the Order of British Columbia and in 2009 received the Order of Canada. She's authored numerous books including, among others, Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, Food Plants of Interior First Peoples, Plants of Haida Gwaii and The Earth's Blanket - Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living.

Cheryl Bryce, lands manager, Songhees Nation, (Victoria, BC) - The Songhees or Songish, also known as the Lekwungen or Lekungen, are an indigenous North American Coast Salish people who reside on southeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia in the Greater Victoria area.

Pamela Tudge, former student, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - Pamela recently moved to the North Okanagan region of BC where she's now studying food systems and mapping for her master's research at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan.

Direct download: DD072210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:58am EST

Much of the content of Deconstructing Dinner revolves primarily around the practice of agriculture; from examining the downsides and challenges of current agricultural systems to the opportunities and alternatives to those challenges. However, most of those alternatives that we examine are 'agri'cultural alternatives, and so from time to time it's important to step back and deconstruct that very focus... asking the question; "Are 'agri'cultural alternatives an adequate response if they're rooted within that same 'agri'cultural box"? On past episodes when this question has been raised, we've often arrived at the subject of permaculture - creating systems that mimic natural ecosystems while providing for human needs.

One of the outspoken voices advocating for permacultural systems in North America is Toby Hemenway - the author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture (Chelsea Green, 2009). On this episode we listen to a talk Toby delivered in February 2010 when he suggested that 'sustainable agriculture' might very well be a misnomer. He reflected on the rise and fall of past civilizations that help answer the question... "how 'sustainable' is agriculture?"

Voices

Toby Hemenway, author, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture (Portland, OR) - Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. He's an adjunct professor at Portland State University and a Scholar in Residence at Pacific University. Toby and his wife spent 10 years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist between 1999 and 2004 and he now works on developing urban sustainability resources in Portland.

Direct download: DD071510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

Fermenting Revolution
(First aired July 19, 2007)
For many people, it would be quite welcoming advice to learn that drinking beer could save the world from perhaps an unpredictable changing climate, from pollution, from corporate-driven political agendas, from declining levels of happiness, from increasing levels of stress, from gender inequality, from families and relationships falling apart and from communities that have lost their sense of community. That might be a lot to ask from a simple pint of beer but author Christopher O'Brien places those questions on the 'bar' so to speak in his book "Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World". The book was released in 2006 by British Columbia's New Society Publishers and Deconstructing Dinner spoke with Christopher in March 2007.

Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools II
(First aired March 13, 2008)
How do food and agricultural issues make their way into educational settings? On this episode of Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools, we hear from 10-year old Kodiak Morasky who chose a very unique topic to present to his grade 4 classmates. Kodiak was introduced to the world of factory animal farms through the on-line animated series of short films known as The Meatrix. The film had a profound impact on Kodiak, and we listen in on his in-class presentation. Upon learning of the horrific stories coming out of North America's factory farms, we hear one child ask, "can I sue the government"?

Guests

Christopher O'Brien - author, Fermenting Revolution (Silver Spring, MD) - When not writing books, Author Christopher O'Brien is the Director of Sustainability at American University in Washington D.C. Prior to his role there, he worked with The Center for a New American Dream as Director of the Responsible Purchasing Network and he is also part-owner of the Seven Bridges Co-operative - an exclusive supplier of organic beer making supplies.

Kodiak Morasky, student, Blewett Elementary School (Blewett, BC) - Kodiak's 10 years of age shouldn't fool you. He is deeply concerned with the state of Canada's food supply. His concerns include factory animal farms, genetic engineering and chemical pesticides among others. He is passionate about sharing this information with his friends and classmates.

Direct download: DD070810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06am EST

The second of a two-part feature on the City of Vancouver's multi-year process to approve backyard chickens. Because of the many similar debates underway within city councils across the country, this focus on Vancouver's efforts looks back over the past few years to track just how this process first began and how it evolved from there. Perhaps other hopeful or illegal backyard chickeners can glean some pointers from Vancouver's efforts. Among the many voices heard on this part II of our coverage is some of the opposition to the proposed bylaw change voiced to the city from local animal welfare organizations.

Also on the show, two segments of the familiar Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Bucky shares his thoughts on why he eats chicken and provides some useful suggestions for using eggshells at home.

Voices

Leanne McConnachie, director, farm animal programs Vancouver Humane Society (Vancouver, BC)

Shawn Eckles, cheif animal protection officer British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

Lily Ford, policy analyst City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

Andrea Reimer, councillor City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

Bucky Buckaw Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

and others...

Direct download: DD070110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

Margaret Atwood Joins Prison Farms Campaign
As part of our ongoing coverage on the future of Canada's prison farms, we check in on the campaign where well-known Canadian author Margaret Atwood has now joined the fight. We'll listen in on the June 6 rally in Kingston, Ontario and the subsequent rally in Ottawa one week later. Updates on the campaign include the recently put in place 24-hour citizen watch - set up across the street from Kingston, Ontario's Frontenac Institution, where residents there are keeping a close eye on the prison farm, ensuring that the 300 animal dairy herd does not get trucked off the property to auction.

Vancouver's Backyard Chickens I (Backyard Chickens XII)
The first of a two-part feature on the City of Vancouver's multi-year process to approve backyard chickens. On June 8, it became official... Vancouver residents are now permitted to raise 4 chickens per household. Because of the many similar debates underway within city councils across the country, we'll launch this first of a two-part feature on Vancouver's efforts by looking back over the past few years to track just how this process first began. Perhaps other hopeful or illegal backyard chickeners can glean some pointers from Vancouver's efforts.

Voices

The Future of Prison Farms

Andrew McCann Urban Agriculture Kingston (Kingston, ON)

Margaret Atwood author Margaret Atwood (Toronto, ON)

Jeff Peters farmer / director National Farmers Union Local 316 (Inverary, ON)

William Commanda spiritual & hereditary chief Algonquin Nation

Sister Pauline Lally Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul (Kingston, ON)

Aric McBay farmer Root Radical Community Shared Agriculture (Howe Island, ON)

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada

Mark Holland, member of parliament, Ajax-Pickering, Liberal Party of Canada

Alex Atamanenko member of parliament, BC Southern Interior NDP

Maria Mourani member of parliament, Ahuntsic Bloc Quebeçois

Vancouver's Backyard Chickens I

Barbara Joughin, past member, Vancouver Food Policy Council (Vancouver, BC)

Carol Christopher, member Vancouver Food Policy Council (Vancouver, BC)

Andrea Reimer, councillor City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

David Cadman, councillor City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

and others...

 

Direct download: DD061710.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:45pm EST

Over the past year, Deconstructing Dinner has spent an increasing amount of time focusing on the discussions that take place on food and farming within Canada's parliamentary committees. Today, we visit with a previously unexplored committee on the show - the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, where, in the past few months, the subject of salmon farming has been a focus of attention.

Among the many issues addressed within the Committee, host Jon Steinman deconstructs dialogue that took place on resistance among sea lice to the anti-parasitic drug - SLICE. The drug is an open-net cage salmon farmer's primary and most effective control to keep lice levels down and reduce their threat to juvenile wild salmon. Sea lice experts around the world believe it's only a matter of time when sea lice in British Columbia will develop resistance to the drug. Despite a graph released by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands that is suggestive to some biologists of possible drug resistance, government officials have exhibited their own resistance to these said warning signs.

On another front, Steinman also deconstructs the federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) - a government body who receives a lot of criticism among marine conservation groups for what they and the Attorney General of Canada believe of the Department's dual mandate is a conflict of interest - a mandate to protect wild salmon and promote salmon aquaculture. Deconstructing Dinner uncovers some glaring mis and disinformation on a DFO web page that lends a more tangible example of these seemingly confusing and conflicting roles of the DFO.

Voices

Craig Orr - executive director, Watershed Watch Salmon Society (Coquitlam, BC) - Craig Orr has been a professional ecologist for more than 30 years and helps Watershed Watch in its efforts to conserve water and salmon habitat, and to minimize impacts to wild salmon from mixed-stock interception fisheries, aquaculture practices, and climate change. Craig also currently serves as Chair of the Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus, Science Coordinator of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, and as an environmental advisor to Kwikwetlem First Nation. He recently served as Associate Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Coastal Studies, Chair of BC Hydro's Bridge Coastal Restoration Program, Vice-Chair of the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, a member of the Vancouver Foundation's environment committee, and as a director of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

Mark Sheppard - senior aquatic animal health veterinarian, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Lands (Courtenay, BC) - The B.C. government supports the development of the aquaculture industry. While the B.C. government has overseen the industry since the federal government allocated responsibility in 1988, that regulatory regime is now in a transition to federal authority following the B.C. Supreme Court case Alexandra Morton et al vs the A.G. of British Columbia and Marine Harvest Canada.

Alexandra Morton - biologist, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

Lawrence Dill - professor emeritus, department of biological sciences, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC) - Dill's major research interests are in the development and testing of cost-benefit models of behaviour, and experimental studies of the decision rules used by animals to ensure adaptive behaviour in various contexts. The emphasis is on understanding how behaviours maximize individual fitness; this is achieved by experimental analyses of the benefits and costs of the various behavioural alternatives available to the animal. Dill studies marine invertebrates, fishes (marine and freshwater) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins).

Fin Donnelly - member of parliament, new westminster - coquitlam, port moody, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Coquitlam, BC)

Gerry Byrne - member of parliament, humber - st. barbe - baie-verte, Liberal Party of Canada (Corner Brook, NL)

Scott Andrews - member of parliament, avalon, Liberal Party of Canada (Conception Bay South, NL)

Direct download: DD061010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:56am EST

As people throughout the Western world are increasingly seeking to reconnect with their food, there's a lot to be learned from the many peoples who have long maintained these dynamic relationships between their sustenance and the earth. Ethnobiologists research these very relationships through a scientific lens and it's a field of study bringing together many disciplines like anthropology, ecology and conservation to name just a few.

Deconstructing Dinner believes ethnobiology is a subject deserving close attention for anyone interested in food security, food sovereignty and local food system conservation and development.

In May 2010, Jon Steinman travelled to Vancouver Island to attend two gatherings on the subject in Victoria and Tofino. In this multi-part series, we'll explore what the Society of Ethnobiology describes is the "search for valid, reliable answers to two 'defining' questions: "How and in what ways do human societies use nature, and how and in what ways do human societies view nature?"

Part I
As is now commonly found among many indigenous communities worldwide, many youth have become significantly if not entirely disconnected from the traditional ways of their ancestors. One of the responses to this threat that some of those youth have employed is found among the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples whose territory stretches 300km along the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. Nuu-chah-nulth (which translates to "all along the mountains and sea") are a family of 15 First Nations. Connecting some of their youth has been the Nashuk Youth Council - a project of Uu-a-thluk - the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council's Aquatic Management Board. The Youth Council has been seeking out stories and knowledge from their elders about their people's traditional foodways. Those stories and knowledge are in turn being shared digitally through short videos.

The Nashuk Youth Council took to the podium at the 12th International Congress of Ethnobiology hosted in Tofino, B.C.

Voices

Nickie Watts, Keenan Jules, Waylon Andrews, John Rampanen, Belinda Lucas, Damon Vann-Tarrant Rampanen, Letitia Rampanen, James Dakota Smith, Tseeqwatin Rampanen, Leonita Jimmy, Maui Solomon

Direct download: DD060310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EST

On May 8, 2010, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the grounds of the Legislature of British Columbia in Victoria where one of the largest rallies of its kind was taking place. The rally was organized as part of the 2.5 week long "Get Out Migration" calling for the removal of open-net salmon farms along the B.C. coast. Between April 21 and May 8, biologist Alexandra Morton travelled from the community of Echo Bay in the Broughton Archipelago and proceeded on foot down Vancouver Island where hundreds of supporters joined her as they approached the BC Legislature. An estimated 4,000 people attended the rally.

Voices

Alexandra Morton - biologist, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

Bob Chamberlin, chairman, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk (Gilford Island, BC) - Chief Bob Chamberlin is from the the Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation on Gilford Island, BC. He is the chairman of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council and has been actively involved in efforts that oppose open-net salmon farms.

Stewart Phillip, president, BC Union of Indian Chiefs (Penticton, BC) - Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is from the Penticton Indian Band and is the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. Stewart is serving is fourth three-year term as the president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs.

Darren Blaney, former chief, Homalco First Nation (near Campbell River, BC) - The Homalco First Nation is a member of the Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council.

Rafe Mair, commentator, Rafe Mair (Lions Bay, BC) - Between 1975 and 1981, Rafe served as an MLA for the riding of Kamloops and later became a popular radio talk-show host until 2005. Since then, Rafe has been a vocal opponent of the privatation of BC's rivers and creeks and of open-net salmon farms.

Vicky Husband, environmentalist (Victoria, BC) - Vicky is one of British Columbia's best known environmentalists. Past Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club of B.C., she is tireless in her drive to protect her province's natural heritage, especially the coastal rainforest and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. She has been a leader in numerous conservation debates, including working for the protection of the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound, and establishing Canada's first grizzly bear sanctuary, on B.C.'s north coast. For the past five years, Vicky has also focused on salmon and other fisheries- management. She is a member in the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

Billy Proctor, fisherman (Echo Bay, BC) - Billy Proctor was a commerical fisherman for 60 years and has been a resident of the Broughton Archipelago for 74 years.

Fin Donnelly, member of parliament New Westminster-Coquitlam, Port Moody, NDP (Coquitlam, BC) - Fin is the NDP Critic on Fisheries and Oceans. He has introduced legislation to ban tanker traffic along BC�s sensitive northern coast and transition all fish farms to closed containment. Prior to being elected, Fin played a key role in calling for and securing the Cohen Inquiry into the collapse of the Fraser Sockeye Salmon. He served on Coquitlam City Council for 7 years and was the Executive Director of Rivershed Society of B.C. for 13 years. Fin twice swam the Fraser River (1400km) to promote sustainable living.

 

Direct download: DD051310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:50pm EST

Over the past month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the CFIA) has embarked on a concentrated effort in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, threatening area businesses with fines unless they remove their ungraded farm-fresh eggs from store shelves. Close to a dozen businesses that Deconstructing Dinner is aware of have received such a visit This episode hears from a number of those businesses including comments on the issue from the BC Egg Marketing Board, the CFIA and the regional health authority Interior Health.

While the availability of eggs from local farms in the region has been significantly curtailed following this "crack" down on local eggs, the increasingly popular alternative to store-bought eggs (backyard eggs) is too being met with a crack down of its own. In December 2009, Nelson B.C. resident Monica Nissen was paid a visit by a local bylaw enforcement officer who demanded that Nissen remove her chickens from her backyard, or too face a fine and the possible confiscation of her birds. The City's bylaw enforcement officer was acting on two supposed complaints... and we say "supposed" because according to all of Nissen's immediate neighbours, none of them took issue with the chickens... leaving Nissen and Deconstructing Dinner wondering just what constitutes a valid complaint if it clearly didn't come from an immediate neighbour? We'll also be joined by Nelson city councillor Kim Charlesworth, who recounts the past year's efforts to revise the local bylaw that prohibits backyard chickens within city limits and we'll hear from Ian Fraser - a senior animal control officer for Victoria Animal Control Services - a city that does permit backyard chickens and hence, backyard eggs.

Join us for this important broadcast as we explore what Kootenay businesses and residents are calling an afront to food sovereignty following these latest efforts by local and federal authorities who appear determined to ensure that the only eggs easily accessible to Canadians are the factory-farmed options.

Guests/Voices

Kevin Smith, farmer/baker, Old World Bakery (Balfour, BC) - The Old World Bakery produces a line of baked goods for their own retail customers and many local businesses. Kevin Smith and his wife Darla also farm in the community of Ainsworth.

Bonny Kavalov, co-owner, Nature's Den (Rossland, BC) - Bonny and her husband Sid operate this small health store in Rossland, BC.

Wayne Popoff, owner, Kootenay Liquidators (Castlegar, BC) - Wayne is a hobby farmer just outside of Castlegar and operates a store that sells feed products and farm-fresh eggs among other things.

Amyn Alibhai, board member, BC Egg Marketing Board (Kamloops, BC) - Since its inception in 1967 as the first egg marketing board in Canada with quota, the British Columbia Egg Marketing Board (BCEMB) serves as a non-profit, producer organization financed solely by its Registered Producers through a levy system. The BCEMB is one of eleven provincial and territorial egg marketing boards that meet under the umbrella of the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) to address industry issues of regional, national and international importance. Amyn owns Sunshine Eggs - a large producer of graded eggs.

Deanna Zgrablic, food processing specialist inspector , Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) (Abbotsford, BC) - The CFIA is Canada's government agency which seeks to "safeguard food, animals and plants, which enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy".

Ron Popoff, environmental health team leader, Interior Health (Cranbrook, BC) - IH is one of five geographically-based health authorities created in 2001 by the Government of British Columbia. It is responsible for ensuring publicly funded health services are provided to the people of the Southern Interior.

Monica Nissen, former backyard chickener (Nelson, BC)

Kim Charlesworth, city councillor, City of Nelson (Nelson, BC)

Ian Fraser, senior animal control officer, Victoria Animal Control Services (Victoria, BC)

Direct download: DD050610.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:11am EST

Virginia farmer Joel Salatin has become one of the most well known names in the world of alternative farming after his notable presence in Michael Pollan's best-selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma and an important role as part of the popular documentary Food Inc.

In February 2010, Joel was interviewed by Lauren Berlekamp of the Erie Wire. Joel spoke to Lauren about his unique and seemingly common-sense approach to farming, but more specifically, they spoke of the nutritional comparisons of his grass-finished beef vs. the more common grain-finished beef; they spoke of the politics and regulations surrounding the livestock sector in the United States and their impacts on smaller-scale producers; and they spoke of how Salatin's model of success, including his new relationship with a large American fast-food chain, is a replicable and financially rewarding model for farmers who seek to produce more responsible food.

Also featured on the episode, a great talk delivered by Toronto's Judy Rebick. Rebick is the Canadian Auto Workers-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University and helped launch rabble.ca - an independent multi-media portal for Canadian and global perspectives. In November 2008, Rebick spoke at the annual convention of Canada's National Farmers Union and encouraged farmers there to take advantage of what she referred to as the 'perfect storm', whereby the dominant top-down social and economic models are collapsing - clearing the way, as she believes, for a bottom-up and community-centered approach to begin better serving our needs.

Guests/Voices

Joel Salatin, farmer/author, Polyface Farm (Swoope, Virginia) - Joel is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef. Joel raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals. He believes that Polyface Farm arguably represents America�s premier non-industrial food production oasis. The Salatins strive to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.

Judy Rebick, canadian auto workers - sam gindin chair in social justice & democracy, Ryerson University (Toronto, ON) - Between 1990 and 1993 Judy Rebick was the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She later became the co-host of CBC Newsworld's prime time show Face Off and then worked on the show Straight from the Hip. She became a regular contributor to CBC TV's Sunday Report and CBC Radio and in 2001 helped launch rabble.ca - an independent multi-media news and discussion web site.

 

Direct download: DD042210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22am EST

This episode follows up on our March 25th broadcast on Bill C-474 - a bill that is calling for changes to the process through which genetically engineered seeds are approved in Canada. The bill was supported by many groups such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the National Farmers Union and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, and was strongly opposed by groups like the Canadian Canola Growers Association and CropLife Canada - the biotechnology and pesticide industry's trade association.

The bill was introduced by NDP Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko and is encouraging any new approvals of GE seeds to undergo an analysis of potential harm to export markets prior to their approval. With many markets around the world restricting their importation, the bill seeks to ensure global markets will remain open to Canadian farmers.

On April 14 in Canada's House of Commons, the bill received enough support for it to be sent to committee by a vote of 153-134.

This broadcast examines the next steps that this bill must now go through, and as usual, we deconstruct some more questionable remarks made by Conservative members in the House of Commons during the bill's second hour of debate on April 1. Adding to this deconstructing, we also look closer at just where this perpetual misinformation among Members of Parliament might be coming from.

Guests/Voices

Terry Boehm, president, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Allan, SK) - The National Farmers Union is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in Canada. It is also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament (June 11, 1970). Terry farms in Allan, SK.

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently the Liberal Party's Opposition Critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Brian Storseth, member of parliament, Westlock-St. Paul, Conservative Party of Canada (St. Paul, AB) - Storseth sits on the Standing Committee of Agriculture & Agri-Food.

Don Davies, member of parliament, Vancouver-Kingsway, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) - Davies is the NDP's critic on Public Safety.

Alex Atamanenko, member of parliament, BC Southern Interior, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Castlegar, BC) - Atamanenko is the NDP's Critic on Agriculture & Agri-Food and Food Security. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.

 

Direct download: DD041510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:42pm EST

This episode marks part III of our ongoing coverage on the future of Canada's rehabilitative prison farm program. Since July 2009, Deconstructing Dinner has been paying close attention to the 6 prison farms that have been operating across Canada. In February 2009 it was discovered that the farm program was scheduled to be phased out, however, the farm program is not going down without a fight as farmers, prison workers, inmates, academics, and advocates of local food systems have all been rallying to save them.

On this part III, we travel to Ottawa where on March 25 and 30, this issue was brought to Parliament and more specifically, Canada's Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Members of Parliament challenged the government's decision and heard testimony from both supporters and opponents of the closures.

Guests/Voices

Ross Toller regional deputy commissioner of ontario, Correctional Service of Canada (Kingston, ON) - Ross Toller was appointed Regional Deputy Commissioner (Ontario) in August 2008. Ross's career began in 1978 when he joined the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) as a Correctional Officer. He has held a number of positions in the Service since then.

John Sargent chief executive officer, CORCAN (Ottawa, ON) - CORCAN is a rehabilitation program of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). It is mandated to provide employment training and employability skills to offenders in federal correctional institutions in support of the social policy of the Government of Canada.

John Leeman ex-convict, inreach worker LifeLine (Kingston, ON) - As part of his 19-years in prison, Leeman spent his later years working on prison farms. He believes the program was invaluable and opposes the decision to close the program.

Bill Flanagan professor and dean of law, Queen's University (Kingston, ON) - Flanagan was appointed Dean of Law in 2005. He opposes the closure of the prison farms.

Dave Perry agribusiness instructor for the abattoir, corcan agribusiness, Pittsburgh Institution (Joyceville, ON) - Perry is a sixth-generation farmer. He is the President of the Frontenac Cattleman's Association and is a director of the National Farmers Union's Local 316. Perry has worked on both of the two prison farm sites in the Kingston area.

Ron Amey acting production supervisor, corcan agribusiness, Frontenac Institution (Kingston, ON) - Amey is responsible for the day-to-day operations at Frontenac Institution's agricultural production and food processing operations.

Larry McDermott councillor, Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation (north of Kingston, ON) - McDermott is the former rural chair of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

Mark Holland member of parliament, Ajax-Pickering, Liberal Party of Canada (Pickering, ON) - As one of the youngest members of the Liberal Caucas, Mark Holland was first elected in 2004 and has represented the riding of Ajax-Pickering ever since. As a Member of Parliament, Holland serves as the Liberal party's critic for Public Safety and National Security and is Vice Chair of the Public Safety and National Security Committee.

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently the Liberal Party's Opposition Critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Andrew Kania member of parliament, Brampton West, Liberal Party of Canada (Brampton, ON) - Elected in 2008, Kania is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. He is a senior partner at the family law firm Kania Lawyers and as an active member of the Ontario Bar Association.

Shelly Glover member of parliament, Saint Boniface, Conservative Party of Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - Elected in 2008, Glover is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Until her election, Glover served as a member of the Winnipeg Police Service for almost 19 years.

 

Direct download: DD040810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:02pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner has long been at the forefront of covering anything and everything to do with the presence of genetically engineered (GE) foods.

The latest on the issue from Canada's capital is Bill C-474 - a bill introduced by Member of Paliament Alex Atamanenko. The bill was debated in the House of Commons for one-hour on March 17 and is calling for a change in the way GE seeds are approved in Canada. Back in 2009, Canada's primary market for flax - the European Union, blocked all shipments of Canadian flax after tests there discovered the presence of a GE flax that was once cultivated in Canada but de-registered in 2001. The proposed Bill C-474 was developed with the hope of preventing any future scenario like this unfolding again by requiring that all approvals of GE seeds go through an economic impact assessment in addition to the already-in-place health and environmental assessments. In other words, had such an assessment been in place in 1996 when the flax was first permitted, an economic impact assessment might have prevented the 2009 setback to Canada's flax industry from ever happening. Proponents of the bill hope it will prevent the future release of GE alfalfa and wheat into Canadian soil.

On today's episode we'll listen to Members of Parliament debate the issue in the House of Commons. Deconstructing Dinner also followed up with Liberal MP Francis Valeriote who supports the bill being sent to committee, but nevertheless shared many critical remarks in the House that are requiring some... deconstructing.

Guests/Voices

Alex Atamanenko, member of parliament, BC Southern Interior, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Castlegar, BC) - Atamanenko is the NDP's critic on Agriculture & Agri-Food and Food Security. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.

Francis Valeriote, member of parliament, Guelph, Liberal Party of Canada (Guelph, ON) - Valeriote sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.

David Anderson, member of parliament, Cypress-Hills Grassland, Conservative Party of Canada (Frontier, SK) - Anderson is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food for the Canadian Wheat Board.

Pierre Lemieux, member of parliament, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Conservative Party of Canada (Casselman, ON) - Lemieux is Canada's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Larry Miller, member of parliament, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Conservative Party of Canada (Wiarton, ON) - Miller is the Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.

Jim Maloway, member of parliament, Elmwood Transcona, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Winnipeg, MB)

Direct download: DD032510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:25am EST

We examine the latest setback in the ongoing struggle to maintain healthy honey bee populations around the world. Every winter honeybee farmers hope that come spring, their colonies will have survived so that their businesses can remain economically viable. And with Vancouver Island receiving Spring the earliest of any location in Canada, farmers there are reporting catastrophic results from the winter with some farmers having lost up to 90% of their colonies. Yet while populations elsewhere in Canada have also been hit in recent years, it appears (at least at this point), that Vancouver Island's significant losses are an isolated incident. Nevertheless these recurring losses to beekeepers have become an increasingly critical issue of concern around the world for both honey producers and other farmers who rely on honey bee colonies to pollinate their crops. We speak with British Columbia's Provincial Apiculturist who shares his thoughts on the most recent collapse of colonies on Vancouver Island and he shares insights into what measures beekeepers are taking in response. And just as the most common and immediate responses to these types of threats are often simple band-aid solutions, we'll also examine whether the collapse of honey bees around the world is the 'canary in the coal mine' - signalling to us that our practices of agriculture and land-use management are in desperate need of a foundational rethink.

And we'll also travel to Vancouver Island to meet Bob Liptrot of Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery. Bob was one of the many foodies and farmers who Deconstructing Dinner visited in the community of Sooke back in February. Tugwell Creek has in no way been immune to the collapse of colonies on the Island, with their operation having suffered an estimated loss of at least 65% of their bees. But regardless of the grim challenges facing Tugwell Creek, we'll receive some enjoyment with a tasty and fascinating introduction into mead, also known as honey wine - a product that Tugwell Creek specializes in producing. In fact, their meadery was the first in Western Canada.

Guests

Paul van Westendorp, provincial apiculturist, ministry of agriculture & lands, Province of British Columbia (Abbotsford, BC) - Paul has acted as the Provincial Apiculturist for the Province of British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for over 20 years. Previous to his role in BC, Paul worked in the same capacity for the Province of Alberta. He's worked on beekeeping programs in Uganda and has also worked for Canada's Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food's apiculture research station in Beaverlodge, Alberta.

Bob Liptrot, co-owner, Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery (Sooke, BC) - Bob and his wife Dana LeComte have operated Tugwell Creek Honey Farm for 11 years and the meadery for 7 years.

 

Direct download: DD031810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:41am EST

Conscientious Cooks VII (Sooke Harbour House)
The Sooke Harbour House is a 28-room inn in Sooke, British Columbia which has been owned and operated by Frederique and Sinclair Philip since 1979. The inn is home to a restaurant that has led the way in Canada (if not North America) in the practice of sourcing local and wild-crafted foods. The restaurant even goes so far as to cultivate their own herbs and salad greens right on the property. The Sooke Harbour House also employs area-farmer Jill Winstanley to produce food on the inn's 1.5 acre farm. The restaurant also maintains a long list of local suppliers and in February 2010, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman visited the restaurant to learn more about the restaurant's unique approach.

Carlo Petrini & Slow Food Canada
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Slow Food has over 100,000 members in 132 countries. In this segment we hear a talk from Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini and discuss the Slow Food Canada organization with Canada's international representative Sinclair Philip.

Guests

Sinclair Philip, co-owner, Sooke Harbour House (Sooke, BC) - Since 1979, Sinclair and his wife Frederique have owned and operated the Sooke Harbour House - a 28-room inn and restaurant. Sinclair grew up in Ontario and has spent considerable time in France. He is the past-president of Slow Food Canada and is currently a member of Slow Food Vancouver Island and is Canada's international representative to Slow Food International.

Byron Cook, head gardener, Sooke Harbour House (Sooke, BC) - Byron is an organic gardener who has worked for many years leading a dedicated team at the Sooke Harbour House.

Mary Alice Johnson, farmer, ALM Organic Farm (Sooke, BC) - Mary Alice is an experienced farmer, seed-saver and educator in the southern Vancouver Island food community. Along with Marika Nagasaka, Mary Alice operates ALM Organic Farm. From the farm they also operate Full Circle Seeds - a producer of certified organic seeds for farmers and gardeners. Mary Alice is also involved in a number of unique educational programs including apprenticeship programs such as S.O.I.L (aka Stewards Of Irreplaceable Land).

Amy Rubidge, farmer, Barefoot Farm (Sooke, BC) - Amy's farm is focused solely on egg production and she is the primary egg supplier to the Sooke Harbour House.

Voices

Carlo Petrini, international president / founder, Slow Food (Italy) - Carlo is from the the Italian region of Bra and developed the Slow Food organization in the 1980s after taking part in a campaign against fast-food giant McDonald's who was at the time opening a restaurant in Rome.






Direct download: DD031110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:56pm EST

Author Marc David lends his voice to the show and together we explore a new way of seeing nutrition where our body's ability to digest and metabolize food is not just determined by the scientific breakdown of the food itself but by our level of relaxation, the quality of the food, our awareness when we're eating, the rhythms with which we eat throughout the day, the pleasure we find in our meals, the thought that's put into the food, the story behind the food and the sanctity that we bring to the table.

Marc is the author of The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss. The book effectively demonstrates a common-sense approach to eating - yet the ideas found within challenge many of the systems of belief that our food system and it's accompanying diet programs are founded upon.

In The Slow Down Diet, Marc David dispels four fundamental myths: 1. The best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. 2. The reason you eat too much is lack of willpower. 3. As long as you eat the right foods in the right amounts, you'll ensure good health and lose weight. 4. The experts are your ultimate source of reliable and scientifically accurate nutrition information.

Instead, Marc's approach to eating involves what he calls the 8 Universal Metabolizers: Relaxation, Quality, Awareness, Rhythm, Pleasure, Thought, Story and the Sacred.

 

Guests

Marc David, author, The Slow Down Diet (Boulder, CO) - Marc David is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and the author of The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss, and Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well Being. Marc earned his M.A. at Sonoma State University specializing in the Psychology of Eating and trained at the Harvard Mind Body Medical Institute and the State University of New York's Upstate Medical School. He also serves on the editorial staff of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a peer reviewed journal for complimentary and alternative medicine.

 

Direct download: DD030410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13pm EST

The Seaweed Lady
In mid-February, Deconstructing Dinner visited southern Vancouver Island, and in particular the community of Sooke, which is home to an active and well-connected food community. One of those foodies is Diane Bernard who is more commonly known as "The Seaweed Lady". Diane is the founder of Outer Coast Seaweeds - a producer of seaweed-based skin care products, but Diane is also active in using and supplying seaweeds for culinary use.

Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools V

Edward Milne Community School
Also located in Sooke is a unique culinary arts program offered at Edward Milne Community School - the area's local high-school. While the culinary program itself is unique among Canadian high schools, also exciting is the program's very own vegetable and herb garden and fruit trees that the students are also engaged with throughout their classes.

Campus Action on Food - Dalhousie University
Through the work of CKDU's Asaf Rashid, we examine a series of recent demonstrations staged at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The demonstrations are organized by Campus Action on Food who have been seeking to raise awareness of the exclusive foodservice contracts, which, similar to many institutions, often restrict students to purchasing food from only one foodservice company.

Guests

Diane Bernard, owner, Outer Coast Seaweeds (Sooke, BC) - Diane Bernard has harvested wild seaweeds for the past 12 years. Her passion for seaweeds has landed her with the title of Seaweed Lady and she operates Outer Coast Seaweeds - a business whose primary focus is the Seaflora brand of seaweed-based skin-care products. Diane is also an avid culinary user of seaweeds and also supplies chefs throughout British Columbia with freshly harvested varieties. Diane has a commercial license to harvest seaweeds along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island between the communities of Sooke and Port Renfrew.

Pia Carroll & Marion French, culinary arts instructors, Edward Milne Community School (Sooke, BC) - Pia has worked at Edward Milne Community School for 14 years and Marion for 2. Both are passionate about empowering students with the knowledge/skills to work in commercial kitchens and ensure students are well aware of where the food comes from and how it's grown.

 

Direct download: DD022510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EST

For regular listeners of Deconstructing Dinner, the connections between the food we eat and our rapidly changing climate are clear and well understood. But beyond the many stories covered on the show that address the connections, has been a relatively slow uptake among the general public, the media, and policy-makers of this new reality... a reality where every food we consume carries either a positive or negative impact on our local and global climate and ecosystems.

In October 2008, Anna Blythe Lappé of the Small Planet Institute spoke to an audience in Stockbridge, Massachussets. Her talk was titled "Food and Climate Change - Making the Links".

Voices

Anna Blythe Lappé co-founder, Small Planet Institute (New York, NY) - Anna is the daughter of well-known food security and human rights advocate Frances Moore Lappé - perhaps most well known for her seminal book 'Diet for a Small Planet'. In 2002, Anna and Frances collaborated to author a follow-up to that book titled 'Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet'. Just prior to the launch of the book, the mother-daughter team founded The Small Planet Institute - an international network for research and popular education about the root causes of hunger and poverty. Anna's second book, published in 2006 was titled 'Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen' and and her third and forthcoming release is titled 'Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It'.

 

Direct download: DD021810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm EST

Farming in the City XIII (Backyard Chickens X)
In November 2009, a panel discussion on urban agriculture was hosted by Backyard Bounty and the University of Guelph. The event was called Opportunities for Action: An Urban Agriculture Symposium and Deconstructing Dinner partner station CFRU recorded the panel. This episode hears from two of the panelists who both share innovative urban agriculture projects: the Carrot City exhibition - a collection of conceptual and realized ideas for sustainable urban food production, and the Diggable Communities Collaborative - a community garden initiative that demonstrates the importance of partnerships and the ways in which regional health authorities and local governments can support and implement local food system and urban agriculture planning. Rounding off the show - regular contributor Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Bucky dispels the myth that backyard chickens attract rats and he shares insights on raising roosters - an often prohibited presence even within municipalities that do allow backyard chickens.

Updates on 'Norway, British Columbia' & 'A Dinner Date With the Olympics'
Much has transpired since our previous episodes of our Norway, British Columbia series on BC salmon farms. Updates include news of the transfer of regulatory power between the Province and the federal government; criminal charges filed against Marine Harvest and upcoming rallies/events in Vancouver. Also updates on the Coca-Cola torch relay which passed through Deconstructing Dinner's hometown of Nelson, BC shortly after our January Olympic broadcast.

Guests/Voices

Mark Gorgolewski co-curator, Carrot City (Toronto, ON) - Mark is a Professor and Program Director for the graduate program in building science in the Department of Architectural Science at Toronto's Ryerson University. He is a Director of the Canada Green Building Council and has worked for many years as an educator, architect, researcher and environmental consultant to the construction industry in Canada and Europe. Recently he was co-curator of the exhibition Carrot City � Design for Urban Agriculture. He has also coordinated one of the winning teams in the CMHC Equilibrium Housing Competition to design a sustainable, net zero energy housing development, and is co-recipient of the 2007-2008 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award.

Katherine Pigott manager, healthy communities & policy team, Region of Waterloo Public Health (Kitchener, ON) - Katherine has worked at Region of Waterloo Public Health since March 2000. A key part of her role has been the development of a comprehensive local food systems planning approach in Waterloo Region as Manager of the Healthy Communities and Policy Team. Katherine has over twenty years experience in community based program development, planning, and systems change that has spanned economic development, health promotion and environmental planning. She serves of the Board of Directors of the Association of Health Centres of Ontario and on the Steering Committee of Food Secure Canada.

Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

Alexandra Morton - scientist/researcher, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

 

Direct download: DD021110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38pm EST

In July 2009, Deconstructing Dinner aired a one-hour feature on the now in-process closure of Canada's prison farm system. That episode came only months after it was discovered in February 2009 that Corrections Service Canada alongside Public Safety Canada had already planned the closure of the 150-year old program. With six farms having been operated in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the discovery of the news sparked an ongoing and active campaign of opposition seeking to halt the closures.

On this part II of our coverage we listen to audio from the February 1, 2010 democratic dialogue hosted in Steinbach, Manitoba where Members of Parliament were invited to debate the prison farm closures. The event was strategically hosted in the political riding of the recently appointed Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews. The episode also examines a rather feisty exchange within Canada's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. On November 17, 2009, Liberal Member of Parliament Wayne Easter tabled a motion requesting that the Committee explore the closure of the prison farm system.

Voices

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently the Liberal Party's Opposition Critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food. Wayne was National President and CEO of the National Farmers Union for 11 years.

James Bezan member of parliament, Selkirk-Interlake, Conservative Party of Canada (Teulon, MB) - In 2004, James was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative MP. Bezan attended Olds College in Alberta where he majored in livestock technology and received a degree in Agricultural Production. Bezan worked in the livestock and cattle industries in the 1980s and 1990s, and started his own company in 1996. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Manitoba Cattle Producer's Association and has sat on numerous boards in the fields of cattle and food production. He operates a farm near Teulon, Manitoba.

Carol Hughes member of parliament, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Elliot Lake, ON) - Carol was elected to represent the electoral district of Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing in the 2008 Canadian federal election. Carol was formerly employed with Probation and Parole Services at Elliot Lake and Youth Justice Services in Sudbury.

Pierre Lemieux member of parliament, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Conservative Party of Canada (Casselman, ON) - Pierre was elected to represent the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in 2006, narrowly defeating his Liberal opponent. Pierre is the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food.

André Bellavance member of parliament, Richmond-Arthabaska, Bloc-Quebeçois (Victoriaville, QC) - André has representing the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska since 2004. André has served as the party's critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2006 and has been a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2004.

Andrew McCann spokesperson, Save Our Prison Farms Coalition (Kingston, ON) - Among his active role with the Save Our Prison Farms coalition, Andrew represents Urban Agriculture Kingston and has worked on many food security initiatives including the Sustainable Local Food Certificate offered at St. Lawrence College.

John Hutton director, John Howard Society of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB) - The John Howard Society works with men in conflict with the law, before, during and after incarceration. They also look at ways to repair harm and restore relationships damaged by crime.

Mark Holland member of parliament, Ajax-Pickering, Liberal Party of Canada (Pickering, ON) - As one of the youngest members of the Liberal Caucas, Mark Holland was first elected in 2004 and has represented the riding of Ajax-Pickering ever since. As a Member of Parliament, Holland serves as the Liberal party's critic for Public Safety and National Security and is Vice Chair of the Public Safety and National Security Committee.

Niki Ashton member of parliament, Churchill, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Thompson, MB) - Niki has represented the Churchill riding since 2008 and serves as the NDP's critic on Rural and Community Development.

 

Direct download: DD020410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42pm EST

The Speerville Flour Mill is a locally-owned and operated business in New Brunswick that has for over 25 years been supplying the Atlantic Provinces of Canada with local, organically grown grains and foods. The mill supports dozens of organic grain farmers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. One of those farmers is Andrew Kernohan of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. In September 2009, Deconstructing Dinner visited Speerville and Andrew's farm while touring throughout the provinces.

Similar to the efforts that Deconstructing Dinner has documented on our Local Grain Revolution series, developing and maintaining local organic grain economies is no easy task in light of the vast majority of grains consumed in North America coming from areas where grain growing has for over the past 100 years become very centralized. While the Speerville Flour Mill has not operated without enduring many challenges, the business is a great example of the role that small-scale food processors can play in supporting regional farmers and economies. Speerville also demonstrates the power with which demand from the eating public for local organic products can generate some necessary muscle to get those products onto the shelves of national grocery retailers.

Guests

Todd & Tony Grant - Speerville Flour Mill (Speerville, NB) - Todd is the President of the Speerville Flour Mill and joined the businesses in 1990. Tony works alongside Todd in a managerial role and joined the mill in 2003. Both are passionate about being able to provide fresh, healthy, organic food to the Atlantic Provinces.

Andrew Kernohan - farmer - Ballymena Farm (Parrsboro, NS) - Andrew Kernohan is an organic farmer in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia where he grows grains for Speerville Flour Mill. Andrew is also the Board President of ACORN - the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network.

 

Direct download: DD012110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:33pm EST

A Dinner Date With the Olympics (2010 Version)

On February 23, 2006, Deconstructing Dinner aired a one-hour feature titled "A Dinner Date With the Olympics". The episode was produced alongside the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The show focused its attention on two of the Games major sponsors (Coca-Cola and McDonald's). When we think of the Olympic Games, the athletes, the events, we think of human beings at the peak of performance, in optimal physical and psychological states. Sports do after all evoke images of health and well-being. So when two of the Games major sponsors are Coca-Cola and McDonald's (perhaps the two most targeted food companies in the world for their unhealthy food and their environmental, social and animal welfare practices), it sparked that 2006 episode which deconstructed this seeming hypocrisy. On this 2010 Version of that original broadcast, we revisit with the episode and add some much-needed 2010 updates.

Guests/Voices

Jennifer Gibson - ex sport dietitian - SportMedBC (Vancouver, BC) - SportMedBC is a not-for-profit society, whose focal point is sport medicine and science within the provincial sport system. SportMedBC is committed to identifying, developing and promoting Best Practices in Sport Health, Sport Safety and Sport Training.

Warren Nightingale - ex education content developer - Media Awareness Network (Ottawa, ON) - The Media Awareness Network is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996. Members of the group have backgrounds in education, journalism, mass communications, and cultural policy. Working out of offices in Ottawa and Montreal, they promote media and Internet education by producing online programs and resources, working in partnership with Canadian and international organizations, and speaking to audiences across Canada and around the world.

Nicole Manuel - Neskonlith Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation (Neskonlith, BC) - Nicole spoke to an audience in October 2006 at the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nicole was at the forefront of the demonstrations that took place in 2001 on the land that is now Sun Peaks Resort north of Kamloops, British Columbia. The land was an important location upon which the Secwepemc Nation gathered and hunted their traditional foods.

Billie Pierre, Nlaka'Pamux Nation (Vancouver, BC) - Billie is a Nlaka-Pamux/Saulteaux woman who has been part of the Native Youth Movement and is a founding member of Redwire magazine and engaged in other Native struggles on Coast Salish Territories.

 

Direct download: DD011410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38pm EST

Campaign for New Farmers / Farmers and the Global Food Crisis w/ Paul Nicholson

Campaign for New Farmers
Our food system faces many crises, among which is the steady increase in the average age of the North American farmer. As farms have gotten bigger and bigger and as the business of farming proves less and less attractive, young farmers have become quite an anomaly. Canada's National Farmers Union (NFU) has maintained a strong youth focus throughout its history and at their 2009 annual convention held in Ottawa this past November, the Union's Campaign for New Farmers was launched.

Farmers and the Global Food Crisis w/Paul Nicholson
The future of new and young farmers and the declining population growing food in Canada was a featured theme at the 2009 convention of Canada's National Farmers Union, and it was only one year earlier that a keynote speaker at the NFU's annual convention said; "As the percent of people growing food decreases, the political power of farmers decreases". Those words were spoken by Paul Nicholson - a member of EHNE (the Basque Farmers Union) and a member of the International Coordinating Committee of La Via Campesina - the international peasant movement of family farmers, indigenous and landless people. Paul's 2008 talk was titled Farmers and the Global Food Crisis and his comments on the diminishing political power of farmers as the number of farmers decreases is a signal to all of us, that the people growing our food and feeding the planet are increasingly losing their voice. Paul Nicholson believes that new alliances need to be formed between farmers and non-farmers alike in order for growth of export-oriented industrial models of food production to be curtailed.

Voices

Kalissa Regier, youth president National Farmers Union (NFU) (Laird, SK) - Kalissa farms organic mixed grains and oilseeds north of Saskatoon in Laird, Saskatchewan. She also farms hemp seed and flax, legumes, pulse crops -- lentils and peas.

Hilary Moore, farmer Teamwork CSA (Almonte, ON) - After graduating from Environmental Studies at Ottawa's Carleton University, Kalissa gained valuable experience on farms in New York and Massachusetts to later return six years ago to Ontario and launch the Teamwork Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program at Dunbrae Farms in Almonte, Ontario.

Paul Nicholson, Euskal Herriko Nekazarien Elkartasuna (EHNE) (Spain) - Paul is a member of EHNE (Euskal Herriko Nekazarien Elkartasuna), the Basque Farmers Union in the Basque Country of Spain and a member of the International Coordinating Committee of La Via Campesina. EHNE is part of the Spanish COAG (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos), which is part of the European Coordination-Via Campesina, a Via Campesina organization in Europe. La Via Campesina is an organization of organizations, part of a global movement of peasants, family farmers, indigenous and landless people.

 

Direct download: DD010710.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am EST

NFU Convention w/Dr. Shiv Chopra

On today's final broadcast of 2009 (or first of 2010 depending when you listen!), Deconstructing Dinner shares audio recordings from the National Farmers Union's (NFU) recent annual convention hosted in Ottawa - November 25-27. The NFU has lent their voice to Deconstructing Dinner on well over a dozen occasions and we've always appreciated their passion and commitment to defending and promoting the Canadian family farm. This year's convention marks the NFU's 40th.

Launching the show is a feisty welcome from Member of Parliament and Liberal Party Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter. We then hear from outgoing NFU President Stewart Wells who reflects and projects on the state of Canada's farms and farmers, and rounding off the show, Dr. Shiv Chopra - the former Health Canada scientist who was fired from his job in 2004 for alleged insubordination. Chopra's case is still in process and in the meantime he has authored Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was last interviewed for Deconstructing Dinner in March 2006.

Voices

Shiv Chopra, author Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower (Ottawa, ON) - Shiv Chopra's name has become synonymous with food safety. He and fellow scientists have waged many battles over 4 decades against a succession of Canadian federal ministries of health and helped to protect the food supply worldwide. With support of his union, Dr Chopra and his colleagues refused to approve various harmful drugs intended for meat and milk production. He endured disciplinary actions, spoke out publicly, testified at Senate committees, and won federal court cases against Health Canada. Due to Dr. Chopra's work, Bovine Growth Hormone was barred in Canada in 1999 and in the EU. He has spoken out on BGH, dangerous antibiotics like Revalor-H Baytril, and the true causes of mad cow disease. Originally from India, he has lived in Canada since 1960. He is the author of numerous publications on science, society and religion. His academic qualifications include graduation in veterinary medicine and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fellowship of the World Health Organization. His latest release is "Corrupt to the Core" which details a full account of how government corruption endagers the public food supply. This book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security: Dr. Chopra's "Five Pillars of Food Safety," which was presented in April 2008 to the Canadian Parliament by MP (NDP) Paul Dewar.

Wayne Easter, member of parliament Malpeque Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently Agriculture Critic. Wayne was National President and CEO of the National Farmers Union for 11 years.

Stewart Wells, former president National Farmers Union (NFU) (Swift Current, SK) - Stewart was President of the NFU between 2001-2009. He farms in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

 

Direct download: DD123109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm EST

Eating History w/ Andrew Smith

This episode is truly in the spirit of "deconstructing" our food and features a talk delivered by Andrew Smith - a writer and lecturer on food and culinary history. His latest book is Eating History - 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine. The diet of the modern American wasn't always as corporate, conglomerated, and corn-rich as it is today. Smith demonstrates how, by revisiting this history, we can reclaim the independent, locally sustainable roots of American food.

Andrew was recorded speaking in November 2009 at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri.

Voices

Andrew Smith, author Eating History: 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (New York, NY) - Andrew teaches Culinary History at the New School in New York City. He's the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and he's the author or editor of 14 other books including The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture and Cookery, and Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America.

Direct download: DD121709.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:53pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner continues with our ongoing coverage on the controversial subject of GMOs - genetically modified organisms. As part of our past coverage we've spent time looking at how dialogue on GMOs makes its way through the Government of Canada, whether it be the regulatory process itself, or debates heard from Canada's House of Commons. On today's episode we listen in on December 2009 meetings of Canada's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. The Committee is made up of 12 Members of Parliament and invited a panel of experts on the subject of GMOs to share their thoughts and opinions on Canada's regulatory process for approving such foods and how the Canadian public currently perceives their presence in the food supply.

Voices

Michel Arnold, executive director, Option Consommateurs (Montreal, QC) - Option Consommateurs is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to promote and defend the basic rights of consumers and ensure that they are recognized and respected.

Randy Hoback, member of parliament, Conservative Party of Canada (Prince Albert, SK) - Randy is a Conservative MP representing the riding of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Randy purchased his family's farm in 2000 and expanded it to 3300 acres. He also established a custom spraying and trucking business.

Gord Surgeoner, president, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (Guelph, ON) - Before joining OAFT, Gord was a professor in the Department of Environmental Biology, and then the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph until his retirement in January, 2004. Since 1999, Gord has been the President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, a non-profit organization consisting of members from farm associations, universities, industry and governments. The organization focuses on Ontario's participation in developing, promoting and adopting biotechnology.

Devlin Kuyek, advisor, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) (Montreal, QC) - CBAN promotes food sovereignty and democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and the livelihoods of people in Canada and around the world by facilitating, informing and organizing civil society action, researching, and providing information to government for policy development.

Terry Boehm, president, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Allan, SK) - The National Farmers Union is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in Canada. It is also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament (June 11, 1970). Terry farms in Allan, SK.

Peter Andrée, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) - Peter's research focuses on international and Canadian environmental politics as well as the political economy of agriculture and the food system. His first book, entitled Genetically-Modified Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment, was published by UBC Press in 2007.

Direct download: DD120309.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00pm EST

Linnaea Farm - Ecological Gardening Program

In October 2008, Deconstructing Dinner had the pleasure of spending time on Cortes Island, British Columbia with a group of young enthusiastic adults who had just spent 8 months learning the intricacies of growing food using organic and permaculture principles. Cortes Island is located in the Straight of Georgia and can be accessed by a series of ferries originating in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. For over 20 years Linnaea Farm has been offering an ecological garden program that becomes the home to about a dozen students who learn from experienced growers before they too embark on their own paths of growing food and teaching others how to do the same.

On this episode we meet those students and instructors to learn more about this unique program, its impacts on the students, and perhaps for us as listeners, can act as inspiration to develop similar programs in our own communities.

Guests/Voices

David Buckner, garden program instructor, Linnaea Farm (Cortes Island, BC) - The Linnaea Ecological Gardening Program was founded by and is under the direction of David Buckner. David has more than 25 years experience in organic gardening and appropriate technology, including over 20 years on Cortes Island. He has studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the College of the Redwoods and the Farallones Institute in California and at Aprovecho Institute in Oregon. David is currently on sabbatical in Vietnam seeking inspiration and new opportunities to learn and share his skills.

Adam Schick, garden program instructor, Linnaea Farm (Cortes Island, BC) - Theory and practical instruction is provided by Adam Schick. Adam has farmed and taught at Linnaea Farm for the last nine years and previously grew vegetables for market in the Pemberton area. A graduate of the Linnaea Ecological Gardening Program, Adam shares his knowledge, skills and passion for locally-grown, organic produce with students in the garden and in the classroom.

2008 Linnaea Farm Garden Program Students - Mighk, Daveed, Sara, Corry, Leah, Jonathan, Tessa, Meg, Brenden, Kim

Direct download: DD112609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:31pm EST

Agroinnovations Podcast w/ Paul Stamets, Rob Hopkins & Richard Manning

In January 2009, the Agroinnovations Podcast featured Deconstructing Dinner. Agroinnovations touches many of the subjects covered on Deconstructing Dinner but further offers unique perspectives and subjects worth exploring.

The Agroinnovations Podcast is based in Albequerque, New Mexico and is hosted weekly by Frank Aragona. They have produced 70 episodes to date.

Today's episode features segments from Agroinnovations featuring well-known figures like Paul Stamets - a mycologist (aka mushroom specialist) from Olympia, Washington, the U.K's Rob Hopkins who has popularized the Transition Town Movement and Montana journalist and author Richard Manning, who possesses a keen interest in the history and future of the American prairie and agriculture.

Voices

Paul Stamets, mycologist, Fungi Perfecti (Olympia, WA) - Stamets is on the editorial board of The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, and is an advisor to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School. He runs Fungi Perfecti - a family-owned company specializing in using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve the health of the planet and its people. Paul is the author of Mycelium Running.

Rob Hopkins, co-founder, Transition Town Totnes (Totnes, UK) - Rob is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland as well as coordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission. He is author of 'Woodlands for West Cork!', 'Energy Descent Pathways' and most recently 'The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience'.

Richard Manning, author/journalist, Against the Grain: How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization (Missoula, MO) - Richard is an award-winning environmental author and journalist, with particular interest in the history and future of the American prairie, agriculture and poverty. He is the author of eight books, and his articles have been published in Harper's Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Audubon and The Bloomsbury Review. His 2007 release is titled Against the Grain: How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization.

Direct download: DD111909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:58pm EST

The California Drought and the Mindless U.S. Media

We travel to the State of California where 50% of all fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in Canada and the United States are produced. Beyond fresh produce, California is also a major producer of dairy, olives and nuts, and the list of foods goes on.

But how secure is this reliance we all have on Californian food? Certainly for most Canadians and Americans, the distance food is travelling from California is almost laughable. But food miles aside, California has just endured its 3rd year of drought, leaving an already-fragile agricultural and seafood economy much more vulnerable.

We learn of the challenges facing California's water supply and how this is affecting food production and as we often do on Deconstructing Dinner, we spend considerable time deconstructing the media and how some of America's largest networks and newspapers like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are communicating a pretty misleading and innaccurate message about this drought and its impacts on Californian farmers. Since President Obama took office, Fox News has taken on an aggressive campaign to do whatever it possibly can to undermine the current presidency. In some cases, Fox has become full-on activists... helping organize and advocate protests, rallies and campaigns that challenge the President and his decisions. But within this dramatic change of tone at Fox News has been the blatant politicizing of issues that in many cases has Fox grasping with such intensity, that many gaping holes in their logic have presented themselves for some overdue deconstructing.

While the California drought and it's impact on farmers is a multi-faceted and complex issue, Fox has chosen to instead blame the drought on the President and a "two-inch fish"!

Guests

Pete Lucero, Public Affairs Officer, Bureau of Reclamation (Sacramento, CA) - The Bureau of Reclamation is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The Bureau is in the 17 western states and the goal of reclamation is to provide water and power to those states. As for California, the Bureau operates 20 dams and reservoirs to help provide and deliver water for agriculture, urban use and maintaining natural habitat.

Doug Obegi, Staff Attorney, Western Water Project, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (San Francisco, CA) - After working as a policy analyst for a national environmental group for several years, Doug earned a law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. According to Doug, he has now landed his dream job, by working to help NRDC restore the Bay-Delta and protect its imperiled wildlife.

Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Institute for Fisheries Resources (San Francisco, CA) - Since 1992, Grader has served as Executive Director of the Institute for Fisheries Resources, an organization begun by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen�s Associations. Zeke works to assure sustainable fisheries, including measures to protect against over-fishing, decreasing bycatch, rebuilding depleted fish stocks and protecting and restoring fish habitats. He has served as the president of the western region of the old National Federation of Fishermen and the West Coast Fisheries Development Foundation, and he currently serves on the board of directors of the Marine Fish Conservation Network.

Other Voices

Sean Hannity - Commentator, Hannity (Fox News) (New York, NY) - Sean Hannity is a popular commentator through his nationally syndicated radio show. His television program airs weeknights at 9pm on the Fox News Channel.

Ainsley Earhardt - Correspondent, Fox News (New York, NY) - Earhardt joined the Fox network in 2007 and provides live news cut-ins during the overnight hours. Prior to her current position, Earhardt served as a morning/noon anchor for CBS affiliate, KENS-5 in San Antonio, Texas.

Devin Nunes - United States Congressman, 21st Congressional District (Tulare, CA / Washington D.C.) - Rep. Devin Nunes is a Congressman from the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley of California. He is currently serving in his fourth term in the House of Representatives.

Jon Stewart - Comedian, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (New York, NY) - Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian. He is best known as the host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program airing on Comedy Central in the United States and on The Comedy Network in Canada.

Direct download: DD111209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:07pm EST

Dan Barber - A Perfect Expression of Nature (Conscientious Cooks VI) / Backyard Chickens IX

Dan Barber - A Perfect Expression of Nature (Conscientious Cooks VI)


However we try to look at it, agriculture itself - as it's existed for 10,000 years, will always be a departure from acquiring our food as nature intended. By extension, agricultural and food production methods will always be debated on their merits of balancing natural systems with the social needs of human populations. But what if the line between social needs and natural systems disappeared and the two were to become one and the same? On this episode, we hear how such a scenario is playing itself out on a farm in Spain and which is producing a food most often associated with being one of the most controversial - foie gras. Telling the story is chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill restaurant in New York City. Dan was recorded in 2008 at the E.F. Schumacher Society lecture series held in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Backyard Chickens IX
On part IX of our ongoing Backyard Chickens series (a sub-series of Farming in the City, Bucky Buckaw lends his wisdom to backyard chickeners on the options available to decrease your reliance on processed chicken feed. Bucky also encourages President Barack Obama to help push Bucky's backyard chicken agenda by establishing a White House backyard chicken flock!

Guests

Dan Barber, executive chef / co-owner, Blue Hill (New York, NY) - Dan Barber began farming and cooking for family and friends at Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In May of 2000, Dan opened Blue Hill restaurant with family members David and Laureen Barber, and in 2002, Food and Wine Magazine named him one of the country's "Best New Chefs." Since then, he has addressed local food issues through op-eds in the New York Times and articles in Gourmet, Saveur and Food and Wine Magazine. Dan has been featured in the New Yorker, CBS Sunday Morning, House and Garden, and Martha Stewart Living; his writing has been incorporated into the annual "Best Food Writing" anthology for the past five years. Blue Hill's menu showcases local food and a wine list with producers who respect artisanal techniques. Ingredients come from nearby farms, including Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a forty-five minute drive from New York City.

Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

Direct download: DD102909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm EST

Sustainable Agriculture at Fleming College / The Local Grain Revolution XI (Sailing Grain Year 2)

Sustainable Agriculture at Fleming College (Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools IV)
Deconstructing Dinner is excited to share with our listeners an amazing new agriculture program for new farmers being offered at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario. The proposed curriculum touches on many of the areas of focus that Deconstructing Dinner has shared since the show was launched in 2006. The Sustainable Agriculture program appears like an ideal way for any unexperienced and interested new farmers to be introduced to many of the critical pieces necessary to launch a profitable and sustainable farm business.

The Local Grain Revolution XI (Sailing Grain Year 2)
Another exciting weekend has come and gone for the Kootenay Grain Community Supported Agriculture project. Between October 15-18, 2009, a fleet of 11 sailboats made their way from the city of Nelson to the Creston Valley of British Columbia to once again pick up a cargo of locally grown grains and transport it back to Nelson. Launching today's episode, we recap the second year of this exciting stage in the evolution of this local grain project that Deconstructing Dinner has been documenting now for over 2 years.

Guests

Matt Lowe, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Nelson, BC) - When not volunteering his time for the CSA, Matt Lowe is the Assistant Coordinator in the produce department at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative and a Climate Change Campaigner for The West Kootenay EcoSociety.

Helen Knibb, coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Lindsay, ON) - Helen grew up in rural England and worked on farms there. After arriving in Canada, Helen led the program in museum management and worked on curriculum development. Her passion for farming and rural life led her to purchase a farm and later conceive the Sustainable Agriculture program.

Tom Hutchinson, instructor, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Indian River, ON) - Tom has been teaching courses in sustainable agriculture at Trent University for over 20 years. He is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture program advisory committee. He breeds Cotswold sheep, heritage poultry and pigs and has done extensive work with heritage breeds and seeds. He is the director of Rare Breeds Canada.

Sue Chan, instructor, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Lakefield, ON) - Sue Chan has been developing the Sustainable Agriculture modules around the principles of sustainable agriculture (soils, soil amendments, composting, weed management). She is an apiarist and studied agriculture at McGill University.

Direct download: DD102209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37am EST

Sally Fallon Morell

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non-industrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.

The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.

Today's broadcast features a lecture delivered by the president of the Foundation - Sally Fallon Morell. Sally was recorded in October 2008 by the E.F. Schumacher Society based in Massachusetts.

Guests

Sally Fallon Morell - president and treasurer, Weston A. Price Foundation (Washington D.C.) - Sally Fallon Morell is a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. She is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.

Direct download: DD101509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:17pm EST

Halifax Awaits a World-Class Farmers' Market

In October 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the Halifax Farmers' Market. Founded in 1750, it is the oldest continuously running farmers' market in North America. The first market vendors were Acadian - the original European immigrants to the land. 

In 1983, the vendors launched what is now a self financed cooperatively governed group of local producers, processors and artisans that has grown to over 200 vendors. The model is a unique one that ensures the market stays true to its roots as a food-focused venue.

With the rising demand for locally produced foods, the market has outgrown its current space and over the past 8 years has been working towards moving to a better location. That move is now expected to take place in June 2010.

Market management believes the new Seaport Market will be an ecological and cultural showpiece linking the Province's urban and rural economies in a seamless community focused on local food and sustainable principles. The market will be open six days a week at Pier 20, the busiest tourist entry point in the province, and it will be at the heart of the cultural, social and community centre that is emerging in the Halifax Seaport Development.

The building itself is expected to be the highest rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on the eastern side of North America.

Guests

Fred Kilcup - general manager, Halifax Farmers' Market (Halifax, NS) - The Halifax Farmer's Market has been operating since 1750, and is the oldest farmer's market in North America. With approximately 150 weekly vendors and up to 9,000 visitors on a busy day, it is a vibrant and bustling shopping environment.

Gordon Michael - executive director, Farmers' Market Investment Co-operative - (Halifax, NS) - The FMIC is seeking to raise $2.25 million from the people of Nova Scotia to help fund the new Seaport Market. The model is a unique example of how local food projects can receive funding from the public at large.

Richard Rand - farmer, Foxhill Cheese - (Port Williams, NS) - Fox Hill Farm, a sixth generation family farm nestled in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, is home to Fox Hill Cheese House. Specializing in aged and specialty cheddar, plain and herbed havarti and gouda, quark and quark dips, fresh curds, feta, Parmesean (a Parmesan style cheese), natural yogurt, and gelato.

Jude Major - farmer/pet baker, Katie's Farm - (Clam Harbour, NS) - A micro producer of Certified Organic Treats for pets. Katie's Farm is Canada's first Certified Organic bakery for pets. And it's the only operation to grow its own ingredients.

Jogi Mullner - baker (Nova Scotia) Jogi and his wife are immigrants from Germany and bake breads and black-forest squares in true German style.

Sass Minard - member, The Grainery Food Co-op - (Halifax, NS) - The Grainery Food Co-Operative is a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to making local and organic food affordable and available to Halifax communities.

Peter Darnell - owner, Indian Point Marine Farms - (Indian Point, NS) - Indian Point Marine Farms Ltd. has been growing mussels in the waters of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia since 1982. They are a small family-owned business.

Bill McKibben - author, Deep Economy - (Ripton, VT) - In March 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. It addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. Bill was interviewed in 2007 on Corporate Change Radio and a segment from that show is featured here.

 

Direct download: DD100809.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:52pm EST

Pedal-Powered Groceries / Tom Stearns on Hardwick, VT

Pedal-Powered Groceries
Martin Gunst is an active cyclist in Vancouver. Throughout the summer of 2009, Martin joined Kevin Cooper in a unique project that offered bicycle delivery services to customers at Vancouver farmers' markets. Known as Marketcargo, the project also assisted the UBC Farm and an urban agriculture business with their bicycles and heavy-duty trailers. Martin then went on to launch Grocer Gunst - a bicycle delivery service for freshly harvested biodynamic produce from three Demeter certified farms in the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan: Biota Farm in Abbotsford, Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm in Chilliwack, and Harveys' Orchards in Cawston.

Tom Stearns on Hardwick, VT
Hardwick is a town in Caledonia County, Vermont. The population is approx. 3,400 and has become a unique model of a small community that is sustaining a number of innovative agricultural and food security businesses. In September 2009, Tom Stearns of Hardwick's High Mowing Organic Seeds joined Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman at an event in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Tom shared the history of Hardwick and the future of food security work both there and throughout North American communities.

Guests

Martin Gunst - founder, Grocer Gunst (Vancouver, BC) - Martin grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and moved to British Columbia to attend the University of British Columbia (UBC). At 21 years old, Martin is a student of philosophy, economics, and Spanish. He loves good food, local economies, and active transportation. He's proud to be the only biodynamic produce distributor in Vancouver offering services to his neighbours.

Tom Stearns - president, High Mowing Organic Seeds - (Hardwick, VT) - Tom launched High Mowing Organic Seeds in 1996 with just 28 varieties. After tilling up a portion of his backyard and turning his shed into a seed packing area, he had no trouble selling the seed he grew that first year. Suddenly, what had started as a hobby became a practical business pursuit as Tom realized the growing and unmet demand for organic seed. This demand allowed Tom to expand the business beyond his backyard, renting parcels of land to produce the seed he was selling through a hand-made catalog. By 2001, business had grown to such an extent that Tom began to contract with other local farms to grow seed, in addition to continuing to produce seed himself on High Mowing's own 5 acres.

Direct download: DD100109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:39pm EST

Farming in the City XI (Nelson Urban Acres / Massachusetts Avenue Project)

Nelson Urban Acres
Nelson Urban Acres is bringing fresh produce closer to home. They are a multi-plot urban farm in Nelson, British Columbia that launched into operation in 2009 based on the SPIN farming model. Co-founders Paul Hoepfner-Homme and Christoph Martens are working backyard gardens within the city using low-impact, organic farming techniques to grow fresh produce. This year they have been growing a variety of vegetables throughout the season for Nelson's community markets. Deconstructing Dinner checks in with Paul to learn of the challenges and opportunities learned from trying to make living as an urban farmer.

Massachusetts Avenue Project
The Massachusetts Avenue Project hosts the Growing Green Program, a youth development and urban agriculture program about increasing healthy food access and revitalizing the Buffalo community through urban farming, healthy nutrition, environmental stewardship and social enterprise. In addition to its urban farm, Growing Green also hosts a youth enterprise, a farm to school initiative, a mobile market and runs various workshops related to urban agriculture.

Guests/Voices

Paul Hoepfner-Homme - urban farmer, Nelson Urban Acres (Nelson, BC) - Paul is 28 years old and was fortunate to grow up in a gardener's oasis uncharacteristic of the norm in suburban Oakville, Ontario. His mother, a passionate gardener, transformed the lawns into a thriving landscape consisting of native plants and shrubs, vegetables and berries. Being raised in this environment gave Paul an early appreciation for what grows out of the ground. During university he developed a passion for sustainability when he read the novel Ishmael, and upon completing his computer science degree he made it his mission to learn how to live sustainably. This passion led him to enroll in a 7-month internship at Everdale, an organic farm in Ontario, where he gained valuable skills and knowledge in operating an organic vegetable farm. In 2008 he moved to the Kootenay region of British Columbia and took a Permaculture Design course in Winlaw where he gained a deeper understanding of growing food in relationship with ecosystems.

Diane Picard - executive director, Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) (Buffalo, NY) - Diane has been with MAP since 1997. She was instrumental in opening the Neighborhood Outreach Center in 1998 and she currently directs Growing Green. She received a Masters of Social Work from Boston University, specializing in Program Planning and Community Organizing. Her undergraduate degree in International Agriculture and Development from Cornell University prepared her to teach agriculture and art at a rural secondary school in Botswana, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1986-1988. Diane is devoted to grassroots community-building as a means of making positive change.

 

Direct download: DD091009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:17pm EST

The Local Grain Revolution X (Retail Supported Agriculture? / Sprouting Grain)

What is Retail Supported Agriculture?

As far as the North American local food movement is concerned, it's not a concept that has yet been coined in any notable way. The Kootenay Grain CSA (community supported agriculture) project located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia is now changing that.

Community Supported Agriculture is most often a model exclusively serving individual eaters (shareholders), whereby the eater invests in their food at the beginning of the season, providing the farmer with much-needed revenues up front when expenses are highest. The CSA model guarantees the farmer a market and secures the eater with whatever the harvest unearths. While eaters might not be used to such an idea, it's not a stretch for most eaters to commit to such a model. Retailers on the other hand are in a different position as the volumes used by bakeries, grocers and restaurants are substantially higher, requiring a much more significant investment. At the April 2009 meeting of the Kootenay Grain CSA, farmers and steering committee members discussed how businesses might be incorporated into the CSA project and the discussion that ensued was fascinating to say the least. Could this mark the beginning of a new model? Deconstructing Dinner sat in on the meeting to find out.

Sprouting Grain

When shareholders in Canada's first CSA for grain received over 80 pounds of five varieties of whole grains in late 2008, many were left wondering what to do with it all. In comes Lorraine Carlstrom, a Nelson, B.C., resident who saw an opportunity to share her experience and create some part-time employment at the same time. Lorraine offered a series of workshops to CSA shareholders and on this episode, we listen in on a class on the ins and outs of sprouting grain. As Lorraine points out, sprouting grain has significant health benefits.

Voices

Lorraine Carlstrom, Chapter Leader, Weston A. Price Foundation (Nelson, BC) - Lorraine is a member of the Kootenay Grain CSA and a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation - a nonprofit, charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non-industrialized peoples established parameters of human health and identified characteristics of what he saw as optimum human diets. Dr. Price's research sought to demonstrate that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods. The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.

Matt Lowe, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Nelson, BC)
Brenda Bruns, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Creston, BC)
Drew and Joanne Gailius, farmers, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC)
Keith Huscroft, farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC)
Roy Lawrence, farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC)
Wayne Harris, farmer, Mountain Valley Farm (Lister, BC)
Abra Brynne, foodshed animator (Nelson, BC)
Jenny Truscott, miller (Creston, BC)
...and others

Direct download: DD090309.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18am EST

The Local Grain Revolution IX

Since March 2008, Deconstructing Dinner has featured The Local Grain Revolution - a series tracking the evolution of Canada's first community supported agriculture (CSA) project for grain. The CSA completed its first year in the end of 2008 following a commitment by 3 farmers in the Creston Valley of British Columbia who planted 15 acres of grain for 180 members and 1 business. On this ninth episode, we continue with our detailed coverage of the CSA's evolution and zero in once again on some of the meetings of the CSA's steering committee as they discuss year two of the project.

These and past recordings of the meetings of the Grain CSA provide a listening and learning opportunity not often found within media... and of the hours and hours of audio that Deconstructing Dinner has recorded of the CSA's meetings, this episode will feature some of the more compelling discussions and debates that took place not long after the completion of the CSA's year one. These segments will introduce the CSA's decision to triple in size and incorporate more businesses into the project and in doing so introduce yet another interesting model that has since been called RSA, or, Retail Supported Agriculture.

Voices

Matt Lowe, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Nelson, BC)
Brenda Bruns, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Creston, BC)
Drew and Joanne Gailius, farmers, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC)
Keith Huscroft, farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC)
Roy Lawrence, farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC)
Wayne Harris, farmer, Mountain Valley Farm (Lister, BC)
Abra Brynne, foodshed animator (Nelson, BC)
...and others

 

Direct download: DD082009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:17pm EST

Stuffed and Starved / Food Sovereignty / The Canadian Wheat Board

Deconstructing Dinner features three segments produced by the National Radio Project's Making Contact and Vancouver Co-op Radio's (CFRO) Redeye.

The segments include a lecture of Raj Patel - author of Stuffed and Starved, an interview with the University of Regina's Annette Desmarais on the topic of food sovereignty and an interview with freelance journalist Frances Russell on the current state of The Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian government's efforts to strip the Board of its single-desk marketing of western Canadian wheat.

Voices

Raj Patel, author, Stuffed & Starved (Berekley, CA) - Raj Patel has worked for the World Bank, interned at the WTO, consulted for the UN and been involved in international campaigns against his former employers. Currently a researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and a visiting scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, his education includes degrees from Oxford, the London School of Economics & Cornell University. He's also a researcher with the Land Research Action Network. His thoughts on food, hunger, and globalization have appeared in a number of US and international news sources, including the Los Angeles Times and The Guardian.

Annette Desmarais, professor, justice studies, University of Regina (Regina, SK) - Justice Studies Prof Annette Desmarais's area of research includes food sovereignty, or, the right of peoples to define their own food systems and not have them be determined from the outside, by the forces of global capitalism. Her related research interests include globalization and agrarian change. She is currently involved in an ongoing research project with the Via Campesina, an international peasant and farm movement, to develop an international research framework for all future study of the group. She is a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Peasant Studies, as well as the Canadian Association of Food Studies, and has published the book La Via Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants, which has been translated into French and Spanish.

Frances Russell, freelance journalist (Winnipeg, MB) - Frances Russell is a Winnipeg-based freelance journalist and author. She is a regular contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press and is the author of two books. Her career as a journalist and columnist spans nearly 40 years. From 1981 to 1999, she wrote a tri-weekly column on national and provincial politics for the Winnipeg Free Press. Prior to this, she worked as a reporter and political columnist with The Winnipeg Tribune, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail and United Press International in Ottawa. During this time she also provided occasional columns and commentary for CBC-TV, CBC Radio, CBC Newsworld, The Ottawa Journal, The Edmonton Journal, The Toronto Star, Canadian Forum Magazine and Time Canada Magazine.

 

Direct download: DD081309.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:03pm EST

Genetically Engineered Sugar, Trees, Alfalfa and Wheat / Backyard Chickens VIII

As one of the clearest examples of the direction in which our food and agricultural systems are heading, Deconstructing Dinner has paid considerable attention to the evolution of genetically modified or "engineered" foods. These ever-present ingredients in our food supply represent one of the most controversial and debated shifts that have taken place among modern agricultural practices over the previous few decades. With the product of this genetic engineering being a plant, tree or animal that could never exist through conventional breeding techniques or natural processes, genetic engineering leaves many farmers, eaters and the majority of countries around the world quite skeptical of their known and unknown risks.

The major foods that have been genetically engineered consist of canola, corn, soy and cotton, and it has long been suggested that genetically engineering all commercially used plants, trees and animals, is the future of our food system. In a world where it seems everything is being privatized, such a prospect comes as expected, because when a company genetically engineers a living organism, they can then patent that lifeform and thereby own that lifeform.

Some notable news in the world of genetically engineered food has bubbled to the surface over the past six months that confirms that the future is shaping up to be a genetically modified one. This episode will examine the recent arrival of genetically engineered sugar into the North American food supply and will discuss the steps being taken to introduce genetically engineered alfalfa, genetically engineered trees and perhaps the most controversial... genetically engineered wheat.

Guests

Lucy Sharratt, coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) (Ottawa, ON) - Lucy Sharratt has extensive experience as a researcher and campaigner with organizations concerned about genetic engineering and global justice issues. She worked as Coordinator for the International Ban Terminator Campaign in 2005/6 (the international moratorium on Terminator at the United Nations was upheld and strengthened in this phase of the campaign). Lucy was the Coordinator of the Safe Food/Sustainable Agriculture Campaign at the Sierra Club of Canada and worked as a researcher for the BioJustice Project of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa. Lucy also worked as Project Manager for Voices from the South, a project of the Working Group on Canadian Science and Technology Policy, which focused on issues raised by genetic engineering in the Global South.

Other Voices

Carl Casale, vice-president strategy & development, Monsanto Corporation (St. Louis, MO)

E. Ann Clark, associate professor, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON)

Other Audio

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

 

Direct download: DD080609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:24pm EST

Permaculture at The Blue Raven Farm

Deconstructing Dinner revisits with the topic of permaculture... a concept and philosophy that has grown significantly in popularity since we first aired a show on the topic back in 2006.

In September 2008, Deconstructing Dinner's Andrea Langlois visited The Blue Raven Permaculture Farm on Salt Spring Island British Columbia. Farmers and Instructors Brandon and Patti Bauer escort Andrea around the farm and describe the principles of permaculture as they apply on their particular parcel of land. We then travel to San Francisco, California and then off to Devon, England where we take a glimpse at two more of the many examples of how permaculture is being adopted worldwide as a new way of cultivating food, shelter and energy and doing so while maintaining a harmonious relationship with their surroundings. Instead of working against nature as agriculture and other systems so often do, permaculture seeks to work within it.

Guests

Brandon & Patti Bauer, farmers/instructors, The Blue Raven Permaculture Farm (Salt Spring Island, BC) - The Blue Raven Permaculture Farm is located on 5 acres near Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island. Brandon and Patti have been teaching Permaculture and developing their site since 2002.

Voices

Kevin Bayuk, urban permaculture designer (San Francisco, CA) - Kevin Bayuk rents an apartment in the Haight Ashbury district of San Fransicso. He also grows a large amount of his own food, actively composts, raises ducks and captures rainwater- total urban permaculture. One might think you need to own a large plot of land in the country to create an abundant food growing system, but Kevin proves this theory wrong on a number of counts.

Additional Audio

Permaculture: Farms for the Future, Rebecca Hosking (Devon, England)

Direct download: DD073009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:37pm EST

Norway, British Columbia V ("Organic" Salmon?) / Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food VI

Norway, British Columbia V ("Organic" Salmon?)
The presence of open net-cage salmon farms are an ongoing and contentious debate off the coast of British Columbia and around the world where such farms exist. Norway, Chile, Scotland and Canada are some of the most notable locations for these controversial operations.

By all accounts these farms are industrial factory farms with many of the sites in Canada being home to half a million fish in a surface area no larger than a football field. The farms interact directly with the marine environment raising concerns over their concentrated accumulations of waste, disease and parasite transfer between the cultured and wild fish, animal welfare concerns, and the list goes on.

So when salmon eaters around the world are slowly being introduced to salmon labelled as "organic", we certainly need to inquire into what exactly that means? Salmon after all are most commonly recognized as a wild food... and is wild food not as organic as any?

Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food VI
This edition of our ongoing series on the co-operative model features a production produced by New York City's Christine Black titled "Will Work for Food - the Park Slope Food Co-op". The Co-op is one of the last remaining member-run food cooperatives in the United States and Christine's half-hour production appeared on Pacifica Radio's weekly radio show Sprouts - Radio From the Grassroots.

Guests

Shauna MacKinnon - markets campaigner, Living Oceans Society (Vancouver, BC) - Before earning her Masters in Geography at the University of Guelph, Shauna worked on salmon farming issues for a New York City foundation, which later led to work developing funding strategies for small B.C. NGOs. Her research and work interests have focused on the economic development opportunities that are being created through more local and organic food systems. In her current position Shauna works with retailers and the public to bring attention to how our food choices really can make a difference.

 

Direct download: DD071609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:33pm EST

Norway, British Columbia IV (Farming Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific)

In October 2008, host Jon Steinman spoke with wildlife biologist Alexandra Morton who was in the midst of taking the Province of British Columbia and Marine Harvest Canada to B.C. Supreme Court. Morton was challenging the ongoing regulation of the industry by the Province, arguing that the Province is not constitutionally permitted to do so. Instead, it was argued that the Federal government is responsible for regulating salmon farms.

Justice Christopher Hinkson came to his decision on February 9, 2009. Morton was victorious. Deconstructing Dinner invites Morton back onto the show to share the outcomes of that decision and what has transpired since then. Also lending their thoughts to the B.C. Supreme Court decision is Otto Langer - a former federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) biologist who applauds the decision but remains highly skeptical of the DFO's capability to now manage the farmed salmon fishery.

The episode also examines a perplexing letter sent to Deconstructing Dinner not long after our January 2009 episodes. As part of those January episodes, Deconstructing Dinner shared recordings from our October 2008 tour of a salmon farm site and hatchery owned by Marine Harvest - the largest salmon farming company in the world. It appears the company was not happy with those broadcasts and subsequently sent a letter to us outlining a number of rather odd requests.

Guests/Voices

Otto Langer - former Biologist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Richmond, BC) - Otto is a 32-year veteran of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada who quit his job in 2001 after becoming unhappy with the direction the department was heading. He then became the Director of the Marine Conservation Program for the David Suzuki Foundation and one of DFO's most outspoken critics. Otto is now retired. He is considered one of Canada's leading authorities on the issue of open net cage salmon farming. Otto also authored a chapter in the book, "Stain Upon the Sea: The Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery" (2001).

Alexandra Morton - Scientist/Researcher, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

Bill Harrower - Manager of Regional Operations for Aquaculture Development, Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands - (Courtenay, BC) Aquaculture is a significant contributor to the provincial economy, and most aquaculture jobs are located in coastal communities. Farmed salmon is B.C.'s largest agricultural export product. Bill Harrower has worked with the Department since the 1980s.

Barb Addison - Manager, Big Tree Creek Hatchery, Marine Harvest Canada (Sayward, BC) - Big Tree Creek is one of five hatcheries currently being managed by the company. It's in the process of a $3-million expansion.

 

Direct download: DD070909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:58pm EST

The Future of Prison Farms

In February 2009, it was discovered that Canada's Public Safety Minister, Peter Van Loan, alongside the Correctional Service of Canada, had planned the closure of all six of the prison farms owned by the people of Canada and operated by CORCAN - the branch of the Correctional Service that operates rehabilitation programs that provide employment training to inmates. The farms are located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.

The closure of the farms has resulted in a wave of opposition across the country from organizations, unions and individuals who see the farms as playing an important rehabilitative role, they further the growing interest across the country to support local agricultural infrastructure, they produce food for their own operations, and they hold the potential to become even greater models of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Deconstructing Dinner was not granted an interview with Minister Van Loan, and judging by the questionable reasons provided for the prison farms closure, it's not surprising the Minister was not interested to explain and defend those reasons.

In early June 2009, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman visited Kingston, Ontario, home to two of the six farms set to close over the next two years. After viewing the perimeter of Kingston's Frontenac Institution, Jon is convinced that the farm is almost certainly the largest urban farm in Canada (see image below). He sat down across from the Kingston Penitentiary with Andrew McCann - a vocal opponent of the announced closures, to learn more about the situation and the efforts underway to stop the closures.

Guests

Andrew McCann - Urban Agriculture Kingston (Kingston, ON) - Andrew connects scholarship with community development through his work on global and local food systems. He is turning his masters thesis into a book which visions collaboration between the polarized worlds of "sustainable local food" and "agricultural biotechnology". Cultural and environmental history underpin his writing, as well as his paid work in Kingston's food system where he has been a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) market gardener, lab tech on the Canadian Potato Genome Project, and initiator of the National Farmers' Union's Food Down the Road: Toward a Sustainable Local Food System for Kingston and Countryside. He recently helped found the Kingston Urban Agriculture Action Committee which has been working with the City of Kingston to develop a progressive municipal policy on community gardens and urban farming. Andrew also instructs Sustainable and Local Food for all Canadians - an on-line distance education course offered by St. Lawrence College.

Dianne Dowling - Farmer Dowling Farm (Kingston, ON) - Dianne farms with her husband Peter on Howe Island - located in the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. The dairy farm is also home to a vegetable CSA operated by their daughter and her partner. Dianne is the Vice-President of the National Farmers Union of Ontario's Local 316, representing farmers in Frontenac and Lennox-Addington counties and the city of Kingston.

Direct download: DD070209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14am EST

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools III (Ryerson University) / Backyard Chickens VII

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools III (Ryerson University)
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, in partnership with Ryerson's School of Nutrition and the Centre for Studies in Food Security, offers a post-degree Certificate in Food Security. This unique program is offered nowhere else in the world, and can be completed entirely through the convenience of distance education. The Certificate in Food Security introduces students to topics of hunger and poverty, food policy and programs, community development, urban food security and global nutrition. The schools teaching team is recognized internationally in the field and having lived and worked around the globe, they understand the challenges of implementing food security in Canada and the developing world.

Backyard Chickens VII (Farming in the City IX)
On part VII of our ongoing Backyard Chickens series (a sub-series of Farming in the City, Bucky Buckaw of Radio Boise shares his wisdom on the topics of swine flu and approaching neighbours about your backyard chicken plans, and he introduces listeners to the smallest chicken in the world - the Serama.

Guests/Voices

Cecilia Rocha, Director, Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON) - Cecilia Rocha, PhD in Economics, is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition of Ryerson University where she teaches Food Policy and Economics of Food Security. Dr. Rocha is a Research Associate of the Reference Centre for Food and Nutrition Security in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. Rocha is very active in initiatives involving collaboration between academia and practitioners in the area of food security in Canada and in Brazil. She has volunteered as a member of the Oxfam-Canada Food and Trade Policy Working Group (2003-2005), is a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (since 2006), and the coordinator of the Betinho Project, a partnership between the CSFS, the Stop Community Food Centre, Toronto Food Policy Council, FoodShare Toronto, and a number of volunteers from the Brazilian community in Canada. Her current research interests include assessing the social efficiency of food security initiatives and programs, the role of civil society in governance for food security, and food security issues among immigrant groups in Toronto. Dr. Rocha is also the Director of the CIDA-UPCD project Building Capacity in Food Security in Brazil and Angola, and is a collaborator in the CIDA-UPCD project Urban Food Security and HIV-AIDS in Southern Africa, led by the Southern African Research Centre at Queen's University.

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

 

Direct download: DD061809.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:09pm EST

Sailing Vegetables in Puget Sound
Part VII of The Local Grain Revolution series featured a full episode on the sailing of locally-grown grains from the Creston Valley of British Columbia to the City of Nelson. A fleet of four boats transported 5,000 pounds of the grains. Shortly after the grains were unloaded in Nelson, sailor Jay Blackmore embarked on another journey, however, this time, on-line. He was keen to find other intrepid communities who were too exploring the practice of sailing food. Sure enough, Jay came across Dave Reid of the Sail Transport Company in Seattle, Washington. For less than a year now, Dave has been in the early stages of creating a business around the idea of sailing vegetables from farms neighbouring Puget Sound and delivering them to customers in Seattle. Dave spoke to Deconstructing Dinner over the phone and shared his exciting business model of a fossil-fuel free distribution system for zucchinis, tomatoes, and many other fresh vegetables.

The Local Grain Revolution VIII (Sourdough Waffles)
Since March 2008, Deconstructing Dinner has featured The Local Grain Revolution - a series tracking the evolution of Canada's first community supported agriculture (CSA) project for grain. On this eighth episode, we listen in on a workshop hosted by a member of the CSA, Lorraine Carlstrom. Just as the project has already spawned involvement from many individuals and businesses in the region, Lorraine recognized yet another gap needing to be filled... education in the kitchen. When the 180 CSA members received their 80+lbs of whole grains in December 2008, many members were left wondering what to do with them. Lorraine stepped forward to offer classes to teach members how to use their grains. Among those offered, Deconstructing Dinner recorded one of her first... sourdough waffles.

Guests/Voices

Dave Reid, Founder, Sail Transport Company (Seattle, WA) - The concept behind Sail Transport Company (STC) is to use wind and tidal power coupled with human ingenuity, skills and labor to provide a reliable system of trade and transport that is fossil fuel independent. Dave Reid first learned to sail Mirrors in Peterhead Bay Scotland in the 80's. He designed the model for STC after realizing that rock climbing was too dangerous, engines were too complicated and processed food didn't taste very good. Dave is involved with other groups such as Seattle Peak Oil Awareness, SCALLOPS, and Sustainable Ballard.

Lorraine Carlstrom, Chapter Leader, Weston A. Price Foundation (Nelson, BC) - Lorraine is a member of the Kootenay Grain CSA and a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation - a nonprofit, charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established parameters of human health and identified characteristics of what he saw as optimum human diets. Dr. Price's research is seend to have demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods. The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.

 

Direct download: DD061109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:11pm EST

Pigshit! - Industrial Hog Farming in Quebec

Recorded in May 2008, Pigshit! is a three-part documentary about the social, economic and environmental impacts of the factory hog farming industry in Quebec. The production features environmental activists, voices from citizen's coalitions, and vintage tunes from Quebec's past.

Pigshit! was produced by CKUT's Charlotte Scott.

Guests

Holly Dressel, Author (Montreal, QC) - Holly sits on the board of directors of the Sierra Club of Canada, is a best-selling author of books on environmental subjects, and has co-authored two books with David Suzuki: "From Naked Ape to Super Species" and "Good News for a Change". Holly was born in the U.S., immigrating to Canada in the 1970s. She has worked with aboriginal groups and Nobel Prize winners alike, all around the world. She works closely with several First Nations groups, including the Quebec Cree and Mohawk, and is also actively involved in Quebec environmental issues, including industrial farming, water privatization, forest use and more. Holly lives outside Montreal with her extended family on an organic farm.

Denise Proulx, Author, Porcheries! (Montreal, QC) - Denise is the author of Porcheries! - The Unintended Pork Culture of Quebec, which vehemently denounces and details the health impacts, environmental, social, political and economic consequences of industrial hog factories. Denise believes Quebec has taken an agricultural turn for the worse. Her journalistic work specializes in environment, agriculture and social development. Denise is also associated researcher and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education at UQAM.

Benoit Girouard, President, Union Paysanne (St. Hyacinthe, QC) - Union Paysanne advocates for an agricultural focus on food sovereignty in order to provide people with a healthy and diverse supply of food while respecting nature, soil, animals, the environment and communities. They seek to maintain a healthy standard of living for farmers.

Daniel Green, Scientific Advisor, Sierra Club of Canada (Montreal, QC) - Sierra Club Canada is a member-based organization that empowers people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet.

Tony King, Cathleen Edwards, and Patricia Woods, community members

Direct download: DD060409.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:41pm EST

Genetically Engineered Crops - A "Spectacular Failure"? w/ Dr. E. Ann Clark

On our April 9 episode, Deconstructing Dinner examined the precarious state of the University of Guelph's organic agriculture program. As was learned, the University had chosen to cut the program along with others displaying low enrollment. The program now sits in limbo. The episode explored the key decision makers at the University in an effort  to determine why the lion's share of research funding at the school is directed towards the genetic engineering of lifeforms and the corporate control of seeds instead of towards organic research. As a coordinator of the organic agriculture major, Dr. E. Ann Clark's work within the Department of Plant Agriculture has provided her with an ideal vantage point from which to critically analyze the outcomes of the genetic engineering of the food supply also underway at the university.

On May 10, Deconstructing Dinner recorded Ann speak at an event hosted by the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society. Ann's talk dealt with the topic of genetically engineered food, and she sought to demonstrate the "spectacular failures" of these technologies, which are now pervasive throughout the North American food supply.

Topics Covered:

  • The May 14, 2009 joint statement from wheat producers supporting commercialization of GM wheat
  • The questionable groups communicating to Canadian wheat farmers
  • The formalization of Dow's NAFTA challenge against the Canadian Government
  • Challenging the genetically engineered promises of "higher yields", "reduced biocide use", "feeding the world", "saving the soil", "farmers would make more money"
  • Misleading promises of Bt Corn
  • Seemingly manipulated research findings on consumer preferences of GM vs. conventional corn
  • The disinformation communicated by Canada's largest agricultural publication, The Western Producer

Voices

Dr. E. Ann Clark, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Ann received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Masters of Science in Agronomy both from the University of California at Davis. Ann later went on to earn a Ph.D. in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University. Her specific research interests are in organic and pasture production systems, and in risk assessment in genetically modified crops. She has authored 14 books or book chapters, 25 refereed journal publications, given 51 presentations at conferences and symposia, and 150 extension and technical papers or presentations. She currently teaches or team teaches 7 undergraduate courses, and together with Paul Voroney in Land Resource Science, coordinates the Major in Organic Agriculture at Guelph.

 

Direct download: DD051409.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07am EST

Deconstructing Dinner at the Dairy Farmers of Canada / Rally for Farms, Farmers & Food Security

Deconstructing Dinner at the Dairy Farmers of Canada
On February 5, 2009, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman addressed the Dairy Farmers of Canada at their annual policy conference in Ottawa. The Dairy Farmers of Canada is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada's 14,600 dairy farms. According to the organization, they strive to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. They work to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and promote dairy products and their health benefits. The organization is run for producers, by producers and has existed since 1934.

To help speak to the organization's interest to prepare for the future, Jon's talk focused on the rapidly changing perspectives of food and farming among Canada's urban populations. The talk was not void of the critical approach that Deconstructing Dinner uses when covering the many issues addressed on the show and used as a foundation for the talk was a magazine-style publication titled the Real Dirt on Farming - a tool designed to communicate agricultural education to Canada's urban populations. While Jon commended the effort put into the publication, there was much to be found within deserving of a critical eye.

Rally for Farms, Farmers & Food Security
On April 18, the Farms, Farmers & Food Security rally was held in front of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria. The intention of the rally was to raise awareness of the many underreported concerns around food and agriculture leading up to British Columbia's May 12 provincial election. Members of the three major political parties were invited, and The Green Party and NDP were both in attendance. The BC Liberals were not. Event co-organizer Jordan Marr ensured the rally was recorded for Deconstructing Dinner listeners.

Guests

Tom Henry, Editor, Small Farm Canada (Metchosin, BC) - Small Farm Canada is a national magazine promoting small-scale farming as a legitimate and viable endeavour. The magazine's editorial position is that the lives of small-scale farmers and their families are worthy, complex and rich in possibility, and that the communities serving small-scale farmers are unique and dynamic. Tom farms on Vancouver Island.

Voices

Jordan Marr - Farmer (Sooke, BC) - In 2006 Jordan graduated from a bachelor program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, and then apprenticed for seven months on an organic farm in Nova Scotia. Jordan now farms in East Sooke.

Brent Warner - , White Loaf Ridge Management (Saanich, BC) - White Loaf Ridge Management Company (WLR) is an independent contractor that was born out of interest on the part of owner Charlie Touchette, to satisfy the agricultural industry with educational and business development opportunities in order to nurture the livelihood of families who operate farms. Brent spent 20+ years working for British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture & Lands and serves as the interim Executive Director of Farmers' Markets Canada.

Linda Geggie - Food Policy, LifeCycles Project Society (Victoria, BC) - LifeCycles is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating awareness and initiating action around food, health, and urban sustainability in the Greater Victoria community. We work proactively to promote and create personal, shared and community gardens, research, and educational activities and youth skills development programs.

 

Direct download: DD050709.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:32am EST

A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda II

Since the recent streak of municipal pesticide bans were put into place across Canada, the pesticide industry has been on the defence. Represented by trade association CropLife Canada, the public relations strategies used by the industry were front and centre at the association's September 2007 conference in Saskatoon, which Deconstructing Dinner host Jon Steinman attended.

But how is the media presenting those messages?

In this multi-part series, Deconstructing Dinner explores the messages coming from industry and Canada's regulatory bodies; it examines research on the pesticide and cancer connections; it digs deep into the care that agricultural migrant workers receive when working within our borders; and it challenges one of the most frequently used arguments -- "Without pesticides, the world would go hungry!"

Part II
Part II was sparked in light of CropLife Canada becoming engaged in an aggressive and defensive campaign since the Province of Ontario announced in April 2008 that they would legislate a province-wide ban on the non-essential use of 250 pesticides. That ban came into place on April 22 of this year and other provinces who have not already banned non-essential pesticides are thinking of doing the same. One of those provinces being pressured to enact such a ban is British Columbia where the Canadian Cancer Society is putting pressure on the province to do so. The issue has become somewhat of an election one in light of the upcoming May 12th provincial election and is likely what sparked CropLife to hold a meeting with other pesticide industry supporters on April 23 in the City of Richmond.

This episode explores the latest messages from CropLife including an exclusive unheard interview between Host Jon Steinman and CropLife's Lorne Hepworth - recorded in September 2007 at CropLife's annual conference. Richard Wiles (Environmental Working Group) and M. Jahi Chappell (Cornell University) were invited to respond to questionable remarks made by Hepworth during that interview.

Guests

Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) - Lorne Hepworth has been President of CropLife Canada (formerly Crop Protection Institute of Canada) since 1997, having previously (1992-93) served as Vice President. CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations - pest control products and plant biotechnology - for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings. Member companies include Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta among others.

Richard Wiles, Executive Director, Environmental Working Group (Washington, D.C.) - Richard Wiles co-founded EWG with Ken Cook in 1993 and now supervises all staff. He is a former senior staff officer at the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Agriculture, where he directed scientific studies, including two that resulted in landmark reports: Regulating Pesticides in Food: The Delaney Paradox and Alternative Agriculture. Wiles is a leading expert in environmental risks to children, and under his direction, EWG has become one of the most respected environmental research organizations in the United States. EWG's exposure and risk assessment methods are recognized as state of the art, and have been used by the EPA and the National Research Council. Wiles holds a BA from Colgate University and an MA from California State University at Sacramento.

M. Jahi Chappell, Postdoctoral Associate, Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) - Jahi is the co-author of "Organic Agriculture and the Global Food Supply" published in June 2007 in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. The University of Michigan study has received widespread attention. When the paper was being researched, Jahi was a PhD student in ecology, specializing in the intersection of conservation and food issues. His interest lay in analyzing how conservation policy could effectively be advanced to prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity, which Jahi indicates is, today, similar to the extinction rate that wiped out the dinosaurs. Jahi is now engaged in postdoctoral studies at Cornell University.

Other Voices

Samuel Epstein - Professor Emeritus, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, University of Illinois School of Public Health (Chicago, IL)

Arzeena Hamir - Coordinator, Richmond Food Security Society (Richmond, BC)

Ben West - Healthy Communities Campaigner, Western Canada Wildnerness Committee (Vancouver, BC)

Harold Steves - City Councillor, City of Richmond (Richmond, BC)

Robert Wright - Field Development Manager - Eastern Canada, Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Marian Stypa - Regulatory and Biological Development, Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

 

Direct download: DD043009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:56am EST

Mountain Valley Farm II (Kootenay Alpine Cheese)

On last week's episode we ended up at Mountain Valley Farm - a dairy farm in the Creston Valley of B.C. operated by Wayne and Denise Harris and family.

Mountain Valley Farm is a working example of an organic dairy farm that is quickly recognizing the economic potential of tapping into the growing public interest in organic and locally produced food. The farm is one of many models in Canada that is moving in a much different direction than most of the industrial food system. For the Harris family, this 'direction' is already proving itself to be socially and environmentally rewarding, and as they've gradually begun to recognize since the launch of their Kootenay Alpine Cheese business - economically rewarding too!

On this episode we take a tour of the farm and their new cheesemaking facility, and we'll hear from Wayne Harris on the challenges and opportunities found from operating a small-scale organic dairy.

Rounding off the show, a segment from a talk recorded in Burnbay, B.C. in October 2007 at an event hosted by Health Action Network Society (HANS). Speaker Mark McAfee is the founder of Organic Pastures Dairy Company (OPDC) - the first raw milk dairy with certified organic pasture in the State of California. Since the 1950s, McAfee Farms have been leading advocates of "nature-friendly farm practices". Organic Pastures is one of the few remaining family-owned and operated dairies in California.

Guests

Wayne and Denise Harris, Farmer, Mountain Valley Farm / Kootenay Alpine Cheese (Lister, BC) - Towering over Mountain Valley pastures is the magnificent Thomson Mountain range, and it's alpine meadows and forested slopes maintain a sentinel over this dairy farm. The farm is situated in the heart of the Kootenays, on benchland above the Creston Valley, 10 minutes from the Idaho border and 4 hours from the Alberta border. Mountain Valley uses no pesticides, GMO's or chemical fertilizer on the land. They nurture and replenish the soil through many sustainable management practices, including the application of composted manure from the farm and whey from their new cheesemaking facility. The health of the herd is maintained following organic practices, with no hormones being used. They are certified organic with Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and also belong to Kootenay Local Agricultural Society whose mandate is to foster local, sustainable agriculture.

Voices

Mark McAfee, Founder, Organic Pastures Dairy Company (Fresno, CA) - Founder of Organic Pastures Dairy, Mark is internationally recognized as an expert in raw milk production, and has spoken in over fifteen states and three countries on the subject. He invented the first dietary supplements made from fresh raw colostrum, and secured their certification from the FDA and DHS. Mark created and published the first international raw milk safety standards at www.rawusa.org.

 

Direct download: DD041609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:05pm EST

University of Guelph Organic Agriculture Axed... Almost / Mountain Valley Farm I

In late March 2009, the University of Guelph announced that a number of programs at the school would be cut in response to budgetary challenges. Among those proposed cuts was Canada's only organic agriculture degree program. While the number of enrolled students in the program is small in comparison to the University's entire Agricultural College (the largest in the country), there is of course a rapidly growing interest in organic food and the values and principles such food espouses. Understandably, the proposed cancellation of the program concerned many students and a number of rallies were held alongside intense vocal opposition.

Deconstructing Dinner invited two students to share their concerns with the proposed cuts.

Host Jon Steinman also delivers an in-depth analysis of the University's proposal. While the demand for organic food has skyrocketed to the point where demand is far outstripping supply, Jon seeks to understand why a University and its President would be unable to recognize the economic, social and environmental potentials of maintaining one of the most promising futures within the food system. What was discovered was a telling story of a convergence of non-organic interests going well beyond the walls of the University of Guelph.

Guests

Silvie Fojtik, Third-Year Student, Water Resources & Engineering, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Water Resources Engineering combines elements of other disciplines such as Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Planning and Geography in a unique combination ideally suited to addresses society's concerns and needs surrounding water. Silvie participated in designing a water resource system for the University's newly established Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming.

Erin Carlson, Second-Year Student, Organic Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Erin hails from Summerland, BC, where her family grows cherries. The Major in Organic Agriculture at Guelph is available within the 4-year B.Sc.(Agr) degree program at the University. Diploma or degree students may also elect specific courses from within the organic repertoire available at Alfred, Guelph, and Kemptville campuses. Interdisciplinary research programs approach questions ranging from composting and nutrient management, to crop breeding, weed control, and marketing, and offers research positions to undergraduate as well as graduate students.

Wayne Harris, Farmer, Mountain Valley Farm / Kootenay Alpine Cheese (Lister, BC) - Towering over Mountain Valley pastures is the magnificent Thomson Mountain range, and it's alpine meadows and forested slopes maintain a sentinel over this dairy farm. The farm is situated in the heart of the Kootenays, on benchland above the Creston Valley, 10 minutes from the Idaho border and 4 hours from the Alberta border. Mountain Valley uses no pesticides, GMO's or chemical fertilizer on the land. They nurture and replenish the soil through many sustainable management practices, including the application of composted manure from the farm and whey from their new cheesemaking facility. The health of the herd is maintained following organic practices, with no hormones being used. They are certified organic with Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and also belong to Kootenay Local Agricultural Society whose mandate is to foster local, sustainable agriculture.

Voices

Alastair Summerlee, President, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Summerlee became the 7th President of the University of Guelph on July 15, 2003. Summerlee, whose career as a scholar, professor, researcher and administrator spans nearly 30 years, joined the University of Guelph faculty in 1988 as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. He was named an associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, dean of graduate studies in 1995, associate vice-president (academic) in 1999, and provost and vice-president (academic) in 2000.

Direct download: DD040909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:28pm EST

Hosting a Community Dialogue on Local Food Systems II / Backyard Chickens VI

Hosting a Community Dialogue on Local Food Systems II

Part II in a series featuring recordings from the 2009 Community Food Matters Gathering.

Over the past few years, Deconstructing Dinner has involved itself with the Nelson, B.C. based networking group, Community Food Matters. Like many similar community food security groups operating throughout North America, Community Food Matters is made up of organizations, businesses and individuals interested in enhancing the local food system.

On March 24, 2009, Deconstructing Dinner, alongside Community Food Matters, hosted an event designed to stimulate awareness and collaboration within the community. For those outside of the community, the event acts as a model of how other North American communities concerned with local food security could gather once a year and share their work and future plans.

What resulted from the March 24 event was an amazing snapshot of the capacity of just one community seeking to tackle the difficult but critical task of fostering a viable local food system.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Community Food Action Initiative, in cooperation with Interior Health

Backyard Chickens VI (Farming in the City VIII)
The familiar and entertaining Bucky Buckaw has some important perspectives on the tradition of giving chicks to children on Easter

Voices

John Alton - Community Farm (Nelson, BC)

Florence Christophers - Nelson CARES Society (Nelson, BC)

Paul Hoepfner-Homme - Nelson Urban Acres (Nelson, BC)

Paul Craig - Sharing Backyards (Nelson, BC)

Jesse Phillips - Canning (Nelson, BC)

Joe Karthein - Community Futures Central Kootenay (Nelson, BC)

SueAnne Smith - Ellison's Market (Nelson, BC)

Nadiv & Chets-Rashone - Preserved Seed Cafe / Mount Sentinel Farm (Nelson, BC)

Valerie Sanderson - Backyard Chickens (Nelson, BC)

Abra Brynne - Foodshed Animator (Nelson, BC)

Robert Agnew - Upper Columbia Co-operative Council (Crawford Bay, BC)

Jay Blackmore & David Oosthuizen - Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (Nelson, BC)

Jennie Barron - Central School Garden (Nelson, BC)

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

 

Direct download: DD040209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:42pm EST

Hosting a Community Dialogue on Local Food Systems I

Over the past few years, Deconstructing Dinner has involved itself with the Nelson, B.C. based networking group, Community Food Matters. Like many similar community food security groups operating throughout North America, Community Food Matters is made up of organizations, businesses and individuals interested in enhancing the local food system.

On March 24, 2009, Deconstructing Dinner, alongside Community Food Matters, hosted an event designed to stimulate awareness and collaboration within the community. For those outside of the community, the event acts as a model of how other North American communities concerned with local food security could gather once a year and share their work and future plans.

What resulted from the March 24 event was an amazing snapshot of the capacity of just one community seeking to tackle the difficult but critical task of fostering a viable local food system.

This episode marks part one of two episodes featuring recordings compiled at the event.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Community Food Action Initiative, in cooperation with Interior Health

Voices

Abra Brynne - Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (KLAS) (Nelson, BC)

Suzanne Miller - Kootenay Organic Growers Society (KOGS) (South Slocan, BC)

Aimee Watson - Kaslo Food Security Project (Kaslo, BC)

Matt Lowe - Kootenay Grain CSA (Nelson, BC)

Gail Southall - Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (Creston, BC)

John Alton - West Kootenay Eco Society (Nelson, BC)

Laura Sacks - Soil Matters CSA (Tarrys, BC)

Laura Gareau - Nelson Food Cupboard Society (Nelson, BC)

Jesse Phillips - Oso Negro Coffee (Nelson, BC)

Sandi McCreight - Kootenay Food Strategy Society (Castlegar, BC)

Colleen Matte - Earth Matters (Nelson, BC)

Tara Stark - Interior Health (Nelson, BC)

Michelle Beneteau - Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Nelson, BC)

Frank & Libby Ruljancich - Growing Through the Seasons (Deer Park, BC)

Conversation Voices: Florence Christophers (Nelson CARES Society), Ryan Martin (Hume Hotel / Best Western), Brenda Hyshka (Aurora Gardens), Marilyn James (Sinixt Nation), Geoffrey Austin (Fisherman's Market), Robert Agnew (Upper Columbia Co-operative Council), Nadiv (Preserved Seed Cafe / Mount Sentinel Farm)

 

Direct download: DD032609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:45pm EST

A Crisis in Awareness & Participation - Michael Ableman

Michael Ableman is a farmer, author and photographer. Since he moved to Canada from the United States about 10 years ago, Michael has been creating a diverse model of how a farm can become a community unto itself.

Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island is a working 120-acre historic organic farm. The farm currently produces strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus, melons, greens, roots, a wide range of annual Mediterranean vegetables, as well as a new orchard of diverse varieties of peach, plum, apple, pear, quince, persimmon, and cherry.

Beyond Foxglove's status as just a farm, the site is also home to The Center for Art, Ecology & Agriculture, which was established to demonstrate and interpret the important connections between farming, land stewardship, food, the arts, and community well being.

In February 2009, Michael was hosted in Nelson by the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society. As he addressed the Nelson audience, Michael communicated a long list of ideas that he believes all communities must adopt to ensure that we can "feed the future before our choices are narrowed for us". He concluded his talk with a descriptive glimpse into the images and stories that fill his 2005 book, "Fields of Plenty".

Kootenay Co-op Radio recorded his talk.

Direct download: DD031909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:26pm EST

Canadian Beef Consolidated Further / Backyard Chickens V

Canadian Beef Consolidated Further
Deconstructing Dinner examines the recent takeover of Canada's largest beef packing plant - Lakeside Packers, located in Brooks, Alberta. The plant maintains a capacity to process 4,700 head of cattle each day (that translates to a whopping 43% of all beef processed in Canada... from one facility!). The takeover leaves Alberta-based XL Foods with 51% control of Canadian beef and leaves just two companies controlling 83%.

In light of the recent and largest meat recall in Canadian history, we now know just how much of an impact that a tainted product from one company (Maple Leaf Foods) can have on Canada's food supply. The idea of any further consolidation in the meat packing sector, would, understandably, leave an already shaky Canadian public quite concerned.

To learn more about how this takeover might impact Canada's beef producers and the beef-eating public, we hear from the Competiton Bureau's Denis Courriveau and the National Farmers Union's Fred Tait.

Backyard Chickens V (Farming in the City VII)
Since March 2008, The Farming in the City series has been incorporating a focus on urban backyard chickens.

If the thought of two companies controlling 83% of Canadian beef produced from only five plants turns you off of industrial protein, there is of course the increasingly popular alternative of finding some protein in your backyard. While digging up insects may be an option, backyard chickens might be easier, and for Vancouver residents, much easier! On March 5, Vancouver's city council unanimously approved a change to the city's bylaw that has long prohibited backyard chickens. Vancouver is now preparing itself for a backyard chicken revolution.

We also hear from the familiar and entertaining Bucky Buckaw, as he responds to listener questions on whether chickens can be trained to do tricks!

Guests

Fred Tait - Manitoba Coordinator, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Rossendale, MB) - Fred and his wife have raised beef cattle all of their life on their farm in Rossendale, Manitoba (southwest of Portage la Prairie). The NFU "works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada". The National Farmers Union is the country's only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization. Less than two weeks before Fred spoke to Deconstructing Dinner, he was in Ottawa speaking to the Standing Committee on Agriculture on the state of Canada's beef producers.

Denis Corriveau - Senior Competition Law Officer, Industry Canada - Competition Bureau - (Gatineau, QC) - The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that, according to their web site, "contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice." Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. The basic operating assumption of the Competition Bureau is that competition is good for both business and consumers.

Jeff Nield - Operations Manager, FarmFolk/CityFolk (Vancouver, BC) - FarmFolk/CityFolk Society is a non-profit society that works with farm & city to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. They develop and operate projects that provide access to & protection of foodlands; that support local, small scale growers and producers; and that educate, communicate and celebrate with local food communities.

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

Direct download: DD031209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:38pm EST

The Local Grain Revolution VII - Sailing Grain

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain.

The project has inspired a wave of support from the communities of Nelson and Creston, including support from the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association. In September 2008, a group of sailors approached the CSA and offered to sail as much of the grain as they could from the Creston Valley to Nelson along Kootenay Lake. In less than a month, four sailboats had committed to the weekend excursion and Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman joined the crew of the Kelpie so that listeners could, at the very least, take an audible part in the exciting fossil-fuel free mission.

Voices

Matt Lowe, Climate Change Campaigner, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Nelson, BC) - The West Kootenay EcoSociety promotes ecologically and socially sound communities while protecting species and ecosystems in the Southern Columbia Mountains ecoregion. Matt is the co-founder of the grain CSA.

Jay Blackmore, Sailor, Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (Nelson, BC) - When Jay first heard about the CSA, he was eager to become part of this exciting initiative. He quickly gathered a group of sailors who will be sailing the grains from the Creston Valley to Nelson on the weekend of October 25, 2008.

David Oosthuizen, Sailor, Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (Nelson, BC) - David was the skipper of the Kelpie.

Roy Plummer, Volunteer (Fruitvale, BC)

Jon Steinman, Producer/Host, Deconstructing Dinner (Nelson, BC)

Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC)

Cecile Andrews, Author, Slow is Beautiful (Seattle, WA)

Drew Gailius, Farmer, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC)

Music

Earl Hamilton, Musician/Educator (Nelson, BC) - Earl was invited to author a song in honour of the Creston Grain CSA. He has since been recorded performing "Close to Home" in the studios of Kootenay Co-op Radio and performed the song live on the shores of Nelson just after the grain had arrived via sailboat from the Creston Valley. Earl was joined by Norman Richard

 

Direct download: DD030509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EST

Biofuels: Food, Fuel and Future

In February 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon Edmonton for a week of local and global food education. Every year, the University of Alberta hosts International Week, the largest annual extracurricular educational event on campus. International Week "fosters global citizenship through engagement with today's most pressing issues". In its 24th year, the theme was Hungry for Change: Transcending Feast, Famine and Frenzy.

Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman delivered two lectures throughout the week and was invited to be a part of an evening panel on the topic of biofuels. In November 2007, the show aired its Biofuel Boom series and this formed the basis for Jon's panel presentation. This broadcast features recordings of the panel from February 4, 2009.

Voices

David Bressler, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) - David's general area of research is the industrial application of chemical, thermal and biological systems for the catalytic conversion of conventional biomass streams to platform chemicals, fuels and value-addedd commodities. Biofuels are a major focus of his research. David is also the Chair of the Management Committee of Agri-Food Discovery Place which is the department's pilot facility.

Alex McCalla, Professor Emeritus in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Davis (Davis, CA) - Alex is an expert in international trade and has directed the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the World Bank, has chaired the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, and was a founding member and co-convenor of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1966, Alex has served in many roles at the University of California at Davis.

Jon Steinman, Producer/Host, Deconstructing Dinner (Nelson, BC) - Outside of his role with Deconstructing Dinner, Jon also sits on the board of the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative and is involved in Community Food Matters - a coalition of Nelson-area residents who are inspired to foster a more food-secure community.

 

Direct download: DD021909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:38pm EST

Palagummi Sainaith - The Age of Inequality

In February 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon Edmonton for a week of local and global food education. Every year, the University of Alberta hosts International Week, the largest annual extracurricular educational event on campus. International Week "fosters global citizenship through engagement with today's most pressing issues". In its 24th year, the theme was Hungry for Change: Transcending Feast, Famine and Frenzy.

As outlined by the event's organizers, "We live in an unprecedented, contradictory era. Hunger soars amid record harvests. At the same time, community-based democratic movements on every continent are showing the way toward a world without hunger. They are proving that it is possible to reconnect farming with ecological wisdom by enhancing soils and yields while empowering citizens to meet universal human needs for both food and dignity. In such a dark and disorienting time, solutions are still evident. The only real problem we have to worry about is despair arising from feelings of powerlessness. As we dig to the roots of the global crisis, we protect against despair and find our own power. Only then can we perceive how our individual and group actions can dissolve the forces that brought us here and plant the seeds of lasting solutions."

Deconstructing Dinner recorded one of the event's featured speakers, Palagummi Sainath.

Voices

Palagummi Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor, The Hindu (Mumbai, India) - Once described by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as "one of the world's foremost experts on poverty and hunger", Palagummi Sainath is a dedicated development reporter and photojournalist. He spends the majority of his year with the village people of India's rural interior on which he reports. As the current rural affairs editor of The Hindu and author of the highly acclaimed Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts, his writing on the impacts of globalization on India's rural poor, and particularly farmer suicides, has raised public awareness and influenced both policy in India and the development debate in general. His unflinching coverage of the negative impacts of neoliberal policy on India's poorest populations has earned him over 30 awards including Amnesty International's Global Human Rights Journalism Prize and the Raymond Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication.

 

Direct download: DD021209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:37pm EST

Frances Moore Lappe - Ending Hunger, Feeding Hope

In February 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon Edmonton for a week of local and global food education. Every year, the University of Alberta hosts International Week, the largest annual extracurricular educational event on campus. International Week "fosters global citizenship through engagement with today's most pressing issues". In its 24th year, the theme was Hungry for Change: Transcending Feast, Famine and Frenzy.

As outlined by the event's organizers, "We live in an unprecedented, contradictory era. Hunger soars amid record harvests. At the same time, community-based democratic movements on every continent are showing the way toward a world without hunger. They are proving that it is possible to reconnect farming with ecological wisdom by enhancing soils and yields while empowering citizens to meet universal human needs for both food and dignity. In such a dark and disorienting time, solutions are still evident. The only real problem we have to worry about is despair arising from feelings of powerlessness. As we dig to the roots of the global crisis, we protect against despair and find our own power. Only then can we perceive how our individual and group actions can dissolve the forces that brought us here and plant the seeds of lasting solutions."

Deconstructing Dinner recorded the event's keynote address, delivered by well-known democracy advocate, Frances Moore Lappé.

Voices

Frances Moore Lappé, co-founder, Small Planet Institute (Boston, MA) - Frances Moore Lappé is a democracy advocate and world food and hunger expert who has authored or co-authored sixteen books. She is the co-founder of three organizations, including Food First: The Institute for Food and Development Policy and more recently, the Small Planet Institute. In 1987, she received the Right Livelihood Award. Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet, has sold three million copies and is considered to be the first book to present a modern-day approach to more conscientious eating.

Her most recent books include Hope's Edge, written with her daughter Anna Lappé, about democratic social movements worldwide and Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad.

Direct download: DD020509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

Norway, British Columbia III (Farming Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific)

In October 2008, host Jon Steinman was toured around a salmon farm along with delegates of the 2008 conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation. The tour was sponsored by the Province of British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture & Lands and the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA).

The farm is owned by Marine Harvest Canada and located off the shore of East Thurlow Island - about a 45-minute boat ride from Campbell River, BC. The farm is home to 500,000 Atlantic salmon.

On this part III of a multi-part series on salmon farming along the BC coast, Steinman poses some probing questions to the tour guides.

Helping balance the positive and promotional role of the BCSFA and the Province, the episode will also hear from Alexandra Morton of the Raincoast Research Society. Morton is one of the most vocal critics of open-net salmon farms and played a pivotal role in helping introduce the long-standing and contested debate of whether or not salmon farms are harming wild salmon populations.

Morton was given the opportunity to respond to the comments made on the tour by the guides. Of interest are the number of startling discrepancies that were discovered between what conference delegates were told versus what Morton has discovered through her research.

It was a timely tour to embark upon as it was only days earlier when Morton was in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver challenging the legal and constitutional authority of the Province to regulate salmon farms in the marine environment. Morton, alongside a group of petitioners, argue that the regulating of salmon farms in BC waters should constitutionally be within the purview of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This episode will introduce this case, which is currently awaiting a decision.

Guests/Voices

Alexandra Morton - Scientist/Researcher, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

Paula Galloway - Member and Community Relations, British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) (Campbell River, BC) - The BC Salmon Farmers Association was established in 1984. The Association is the voice of the province's salmon farming industry, a forum for communication, a vehicle for lobbying, and a point of contact for stakeholders and the public. Prior to her role with the BCSFA, Paula worked with EWOS - an international feed company serving the aquaculture industry. EWOS is owned by Norway's Cermaq.

Bill Harrower - Manager of Regional Operations for Aquaculture Development, Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands - (Courtenay, BC) Aquaculture is a significant contributor to the provincial economy, and most aquaculture jobs are located in coastal communities. Farmed salmon is B.C.'s largest agricultural export product. Bill Harrower has worked with the Department since the 1980s.

Barb Addison - Manager, Big Tree Creek Hatchery, Marine Harvest Canada (Sayward, BC) - Big Tree Creek is one of five hatcheries currently being managed by the company. It's in the process of a $3-million expansion.

 

Direct download: DD012209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:45am EST

Norway, British Columbia II (Farming Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific)

In February 2006, Deconstructing Dinner aired an episode that explored salmon farming off the coast of BC. Three years later, we're revisiting the topic and creating a new multi-part series of the same name.

While the structure of the industry has not changed much over the past three years, public opposition has remained strong. Catherine Stewart of the Living Oceans Society believes this opposition has been pivotal in keeping the growth of the industry at bay. Stewart suggests that this static growth is much to the chagrin of the Liberal government who had announced that the industry would increase 10-fold when they came into power in 2001.

As part of the Norway, British Columbia series, highlights will include a tour of an Atlantic salmon hatchery near Campbell River and a salmon farm off the shores of East Thurlow Island. Featured throughout the series will be interviews with industry, government, and conservation groups. The controversy surrounding the placing of an 'organic' label on a package of salmon will be explored alongside the prospects of genetically-engineered salmon entering into BC waters.

On this Part II, we'll learn of expansion plans at one of the hatcheries of Marine Harvest Canada - the largest aquaculture company operating in BC. As the industry has been running into many barriers to get new farm sites approved, we'll examine whether this expansion is a sign that the industry is getting prepared to grow? With an election looming, activists believe that a re-elected Liberal government will pave the way for a string of rubber-stamped site approvals. There are currently many applications before the Province requesting amendments to production limits and along with the history of over-production violations within the industry, open-net salmon farm opponents like the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR), are deeply concerned.

The broadcast will also explore the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) outbreak that has caused massive restructuring in Chile's salmon farming industry. With the virus popping up in Scotland in January 2009, British Columbians should be left to wonder whether ISA will hit BC next?

Guests

Catherine Stewart - Salmon Farming Campaign Manager, Living Oceans Society (Vancouver, BC) - Living Oceans Society is Canada’s largest organization focusing exclusively on marine conservation issues. They are based in Sointula, a small fishing village on the Central Coast of British Columbia. Prior to her role with Living Oceans, Catherine worked with Greenpeace for seventeen years, holding the positions of Regional Director and oceans and forests campaigner.

Clare Backman - Environmental Compliance and Community Relations, Marine Harvest Canada (Campbell River, BC) - Marine Harvest is one of the world's largest aquaculture companies and is based in Norway. Their Canadian division is the largest aquaculture company operating in the Province of British Columbia. With 75 farm licenses, the company produces more than half (55%) of the total production of farmed salmon in BC.

Barb Addison - Manager, Big Tree Creek Hatchery, Marine Harvest Canada (Sayward, BC) - Big Tree Creek is one of five hatcheries currently being managed by the company. It's in the process of a $3-million expansion.

Other Voices

Jay Ritchlin - Director Marine and Freshwater Conservation, David Suzuki Foundation (Vancouver, BC)

Ian Roberts - Communications, Marine Harvest Canada (Campbell River, BC)

Bill Harrower - Manager of Regional Operations for Aquaculture Development, Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands - (Courtenay, BC)

Direct download: DD011509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07pm EST

Food System Retrospective and Outlook w/Brent Warner

Deconstructing Dinner launches our 2009 season of programming with a restrospective and forward-looking presentation by Brent Warner of Farmers' Markets Canada. Brent was recorded in October 2008 speaking to delegates of the annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) held in Courtenay, British Columbia.

Voices

Brent Warner - Interim Executive Director, Farmers' Markets Canada (Sidney, BC) - FMC has been created to help connect Canadian consumers to their local farmers and to address the needs of farmers' markets across the country. Brent is a former Industry Specialist in Agritourism/Direct Marketing with British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture & Lands. Brent is a horticulturalist who has also served as the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association.

Direct download: DD010809.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:51pm EST

Whopper Virgins / Backyard Chickens IV (Farming in the City VI)

Whopper Virgins

Since early December, controversy has been strirring in newspapers and on Internet blogs about a recent marketing gimmick launched by Miami-based global fast-food giant Burger King (BK). The marketing ploy is called Whopper Virgins and is being waged via www.whoppervirgins.com as well as a series of television ads directing people to that site.

So what is all the controversy?

BK hired PR firm Crispin-Porter and Bogusky to take a film-crew and travel the globe. The purpose? To introduce BK's flagship Whopper hamburger to people in some of the world's most far-flung places. The film, which is posted on the Whopper Virgins web site, shows Inuit of Greenland, Transylvanian farmers of Romania, and the Hmong of Thailand as the subjects for the Whopper feeding experiment.

It was hoped that Americans would be fascinated to see the reactions of such 'foreign' people tasting this homogeneous staple of American fast-food - the hamburger

Deconstructing Dinner comments on these latest efforts by Burger King and presents a reworked version of their 7-minute film. We hope that our version tells a more revealing and accurate depiction of why Whopper Virgins has generated so much controversy.

Backyard Chickens IV (Farming in the City VI)

Since March 2008, The Farming in the City series has been incorporating a focus on urban backyard chickens.

Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city (and in this case animals), can provide a much needed dose of agriculture and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.

On this Part IV, we meet the producers of what is perhaps the first feature-length documentary film about the growing backyard chicken movement. Since its release in late 2008, Mad City Chickens has screened at a number of North American film festivals and will be available on DVD in early 2009.

Guests

Tashai Lovington & Robert Lugai - Producers, Mad City Chickens (Madison, WI) - Tashai & Robert collaborate to form Tarazod Films. When not producing films, Tashai is a Program Producer and NLE Editor for a Madison-area television station. Robert is the Education Director and Program Coordinator for a Madison-area television station.

Direct download: DD121808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:49pm EST

Natural Pastures Cheese / Agritourism / Red-Fleshed Apples

Natural Pastures Cheese Company
The story of Natural Pastures is an inspiring one, as it's a story of how one farming family was able to preserve the heritage, social and environmental values of their dairy farm by diversifying and becoming a commercial cheesemaker. Natural Pastures sources their milk from a number of traditional farms on Vancouver Island, including one farm that raises water buffalo. While most of Natural Pastures cheeses are made with cow's milk, Natural Pastures is the only cheesemaker in Canada producing a variety of cheese that uses the milk of water buffalo. Host Jon Steinman visited the facility in October 2008.

Agritourism
While many farmers see the role of agritourism as a further insult to the dismal state of farming today, some farmers have recognized it as the only way to stay in business. DKT Ranch on Vancouver Island is one of those farms that has successfully remained in the business of farming by diversifying their operation to offer more than just food. Host Jon Steinman visited with DKT's Dan and Maggie Thran.

Red-Fleshed Apples
First introduced into North America in 1840, according to Salt Spring Island's Harry Burton, red-fleshed apples are the "apple of the future". Apple Luscious Organic Orchard on Salt Spring Island grows 23 varieties of red-fleshed apples and in September 2008, correspondent Andrea Langlois visited with Burton at the Salt Spring Island Apple Festival.

Voices/Guests

Edgar J. Smith, President, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Dating back over 90 years, the Smith family's Beaver Meadow Farms eventually morphed into Natural Pastures Cheese Company. Today, the businesses uses only fresh milk produced on a number of select Vancouver Island farms, which practice sustainable farming and animal stewardship. The farms are classified as Heritage Dairy Farms.

Paul Sutter, Master Cheesemaker, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Born in 1972 in Sonenntal Switzerland where he spent much of his time on his grandfather's dairy farm. In 1991 he earned his certification as a Master Cheesemaker and in 1995 responded to a job posting in a Swiss newspaper and moved to Canada to become a cheesemaker. Paul joined Natural Pastures in 2002.

Dan Thran, Farmer, DKT Ranch, (Courtenay, BC) - Owned and operated by Dan and Maggie Thran, DKT is an 80 acre farm which was purchased by Dan's parents in 1927. His parents turned it into a dairy farm in the early 1940s and the farm was passed on to Dan in the early 1970s. Since then, the farm has primarily become a beef operation along with raising pasture-raised poultry, lamb and eggs.

Harry Burton, Farmer, Apple Luscious Organic Orchard, (Salt Spring Island, BC) - This young orchard on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia is situated on 5 acres of land. Located on a slightly south facing slope, the orchard was created from scratch on land logged in 1980, with the first apple trees planted in 1986. It consists of about 300 trees of mostly apples, but also plums, pears, cherries and Asian pears. Harry helps organize the Salt Spring Apple Festival.

Other Voices

Stan Hagen, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Province of British Columbia, (Courtenay, BC)

Leslie Shann
, Operations and Distribution Manager, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC)

Direct download: DD121108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EST

Kootenay Harvest Revival III (The Local Grain Revolution VI)

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.

Kootenay Harvest Revival III
On this Part VI of the series, we continue with recordings from the Kootenay Harvest Revival - an event hosted by Deconstructing Dinner, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA and All Seasons Café. The two-day event was held to celebrate the CSA's monumental harvest of grain and to use the success of the project as a "catalyst for a local food revolution."

Day 1 of the event heard from a series of speakers who shared the history of food production in the Kootenay regions of British Columbia. By exploring what was once possible to grow and produce in the area, it was hoped that the event would inspire visions of what the soil is currently able to provide both now and into the future. Certainly the Grain CSA is one of those projects unearthing the potential of the region.

On Part III of the Revival recordings, we listen to Deconstructing Dinner Host Jon Steinman address the audience of 270. Moving on to day 2 of the event, we arrive at the All Seasons Café where a celebratory brunch and dinner was joined by a series of short presentations. Those presentations included CSA co-founder Matt Lowe, CSA farmer Roy Lawrence and board member of the West Kootenay EcoSociety Russell Precious who read some passages by poet and essayist Wendell Berry.

Voices

Roy Lawrence, Farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC) - Roy is a third-generation farmer. He has long farmed using conventional methods but sees the CSA as an opportunity to transition to growing naturally.

Russell Precious, Board of Directors, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Sunshine Bay, BC) - After graduating with a BA in Asian History at UBC and UC Berkeley, Russell studied organic farming with pioneer organic farmer and teacher, John Harrison. Subsequently he co-founded the Naam vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (still running after 35 years); an organic fruit stand & wholesale fruit operation; Quadra Foods Market on Quadra Island and Capers natural foods stores in Vancouver. In 1993 he was finalist for both the regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Van Citys Ethics in Action awards. In 1999 he was one of three first recipients of the B.C. Organic Pioneers Award. He most recently joined the Board of Directors at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative.

Matt Lowe, Climate Change Campaigner, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Nelson, BC) - The West Kootenay EcoSociety promotes ecologically and socially sound communities while protecting species and ecosystems in the Southern Columbia Mountains ecoregion. Matt is the co-founder of the grain CSA.

Jon Steinman, Producer/Host, Deconstructing Dinner (Nelson, BC)

Music

Earl Hamilton, Musician/Educator (Nelson, BC) - Earl was invited to author a song in honour of the Kootenay Harvest Revival, and he was recorded performing Close to Home in the studios of Kootenay Co-op Radio in September 2008. Earl was joined by Norman Richard, Jeannie Sittig and Marcella Edwards.

Direct download: DD112008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26am EST

Kootenay Harvest Revival II (The Local Grain Revolution V)

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.

Kootenay Harvest Revival II
On this Part V of the series, we explore the second in a three-part series of recordings from the Kootenay Harvest Revival - an event hosted by Deconstructing Dinner, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA and All Seasons Café. The two-day event was held to celebrate the CSA's monumental harvest of grain and to use the success of the project as a "catalyst for a local food revolution."

Day 1 of the event heard from a series of speakers who shared the history of food production in the Kootenay regions of British Columbia. By exploring what was once possible to grow and produce in the area, it was hoped that the event would inspire visions of what the soil is currently able to provide both now and into the future. Certainly the Grain CSA is one of those projects unearthing the potential of the region.

On this Part II of the Revival recordings, we hear from author and farmer Luanne Armstrong who spoke on finding one's sense of self through place. "In this day in age, we need to think about where we live, not only where we live and how we connect to it but how we look after it so it can look after us," says Luanne. She also described what the word "farmer" means to her. Also on this broadcast; CSA farmer Keith Huscroft, actor/writer/historian Richard Rowberry and the music of Bessie Wapp.

Voices

Luanne Armstrong, Author, Blue Valley: An Ecological Memoir (Boswell, BC) - Luanne Armstrong is a novelist, freelance writer, editor, and publisher. She is deeply interested in writing about place and nature. Her recent book, Blue Valley, An Ecological Memoir, is about growing up in the Kootenay region of B.C. and was published in 2007 by Maa Press. Luanne has taught Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Langara College, and in venues across Canada. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from UBC and a Ph.D in Education from UBC. She presently lives on her organic heritage farm on the east shore of Kootenay Lake.

Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC) - Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers farming with horses instead of fossil-fuel dependent technologies.

Richard Rowberry, Actor, The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT) (Nelson, BC) - Richard Rowberry is the Artistic Director of The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT). He trained "eons" ago at The National Theatre School of Canada and has worked as an arts administrator, actor, writer, and director throughout his life. He has written five plays based on local history, including Frank And The Elephants, which won the Sybil Cooke Award (Play for Young Audiences) at the 2004 Canadian One Act Play Competition.

Russell Precious, Board of Directors, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Sunshine Bay, BC) - After graduating with a BA in Asian History at UBC and UC Berkeley, Russell studied organic farming with pioneer organic farmer and teacher, John Harrison. Subsequently he co-founded the Naam vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (still running after 35 years); an organic fruit stand & wholesale fruit operation; Quadra Foods Market on Quadra Island and Capers natural foods stores in Vancouver. In 1993 he was finalist for both the regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Van Citys Ethics in Action awards. In 1999 he was one of three first recipients of the B.C. Organic Pioneers Award. He most recently joined the Board of Directors at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative.

Music

Bessie Wapp, Musician/Performer (Nelson, BC) - Since 1995, Bessie Wapp has been busy performing and recording with Eastern European music ensemble Zeellia. Bessie Wapp is a two-time Jessie nominated musician, actor, designer, and stilt dancer who studied visual art and music before becoming a Co-Director of stilt-dance theatre company Mortal Coil in 1993. Bessie Wapp has worked with The Electric Company, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Caravan Theatre, and the Vancouver Moving Theatre among others.

Direct download: DD111308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

Kootenay Harvest Revival I (The Local Grain Revolution IV) / GE-Free Zones IV

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.

Kootenay Harvest Revival I
On this Part IV of the series, we explore the first in a two-part series of recordings from the Kootenay Harvest Revival - an event hosted by Deconstructing Dinner, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA and All Seasons Café. The two-day event was held to celebrate the CSA's monumental harvest of grain and to use the success of the project as a "catalyst for a local food revolution."

Day 1 of the event heard from a series of speakers who shared the history of food production in the Kootenay regions of British Columbia. By exploring what was once possible to grow and produce in the area, it was hoped that the event would inspire visions of what the soil is currently able to provide both now and into the future. Certainly the Grain CSA is one of those projects unearthing the potential of the region.

On this Part I of the Revival recordings, we pay respect to the original inhabitants of the region - the Sinixt people, who, while not agriculturalists, understood the bounty of the land more than any other human population who has inhabited the area. Also to explore are one of the first groups of white settlers to inhabit the region; the Doukhobors - a spiritual Christian sect who also holds a rich history of living off the land.

The event acts as an exciting model for other communities wishing to inspire a more localized food system.

GE-Free Zones IV
Acting as a pinnacle to our GE-Free Zones series, on November 3, 2008, the City of Nelson, B.C., officially became Canada's third GE-Free zone. In a unanimous decision by the City Council, a resolution was adopted that expresses opposition to the "cultivation of GE plants and trees". Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record the monumental decision.

Voices

Eileen Delehanty-Pearkes, Author, The Geography of Memory (Nelson, BC) - A fifth-generation Californian, Eileen Delehanty Pearkes has been a resident of Canada since 1985. She has lived in Nelson, B.C., since 1994. She has published numerous essays and articles exploring the connection between nature and the human imagination, as well as The Geography of Memory, her first book.

JJ Verigin, Executive Director, Union of Spritual Communities of Christ (Doukhobors) (Grand Forks, BC) - The Doukhobor movement emerged in 18th century Russia as a Christian peasant reaction to the excessive opulence and ritualistic authority of the Orthodox Church. In the early 20th century, a large number of them arrived in the interior of British Columbia where a large population still reside.

Russell Precious, Board of Directors, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Sunshine Bay, BC) - After graduating with a BA in Asian History at UBC and UC Berkeley, Russell studied organic farming with pioneer organic farmer and teacher, John Harrison. Subsequently he co-founded the Naam vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (still running after 35 years); an organic fruit stand & wholesale fruit operation; Quadra Foods Market on Quadra Island and Capers natural foods stores in Vancouver. In 1993 he was finalist for both the regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Vancity's Ethics in Action awards. In 1999 he was one of three first recipients of the B.C. Organic Pioneers Award. He most recently joined the Board of Directors at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative.

Kim Charlesworth, Steering Committee, GE-Free Kootenays (Nelson, BC) - Kim is a founding member of GE-Free Kootenays. She sits on the Board of Directors for the West Kootenay EcoSociety and is currently running for Nelson City Council in the 2008 municipal elections.

Gord McAdams, Municipal Councillor, City of Nelson (Nelson, BC)
Gord has worked as an Ecologist for BC's Ministry of Water, Air and Land Protection. In 2005, he was fired for bringing confidential government documents to the BC Supreme Court in support of a court action brought by the West Kootenay EcoSociety. On December 11, the Campaign for Open Government and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association presented Gord with the Whistleblower Award for 2007. Gord is running for Mayor of Nelson in the 2008 municipal elections.

Music

Bessie Wapp, Musician/Performer (Nelson, BC) - Since 1995, Bessie Wapp has been busy performing and recording with Eastern European music ensemble Zeellia. Bessie Wapp is a two-time Jessie nominated musician, actor, designer, and stilt dancer who studied visual art and music before becoming a Co-Director of stilt-dance theatre company Mortal Coil in 1993. Bessie Wapp has worked with The Electric Company, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Caravan Theatre, and the Vancouver Moving Theatre among others.

Direct download: DD110608.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm EST

GE-Free Zones III: Campaign Launch continued / GE-Free Resolution

On this episode, we continue where part II of the Genetically-Engineered (GE) Free Zones series left off with Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, speaking in Castlegar, B.C. on July 10, 2008. Percy helped launch the GE-Free Kootenays campaign. Also at the event was GE-Free Kootenays' Andy Morel who described the steps that the campaign would take in the coming months.

Fast-forward to October 20, when campaign spokesperson Kim Charlesworth requested from the cities of of Nelson and Castlegar that both councils adopt a GE-Free resolution and become a GE-Free zone. Deconstructing Dinner recorded the presentations.

Also on this episode - an exclusive interview with Percy Schmeiser and his wife Louise. Host Jon Steinman spoke with the Schmeisers about the couple's well-being throughout the heavy-handed intimidation exerted by Monsanto during their legal battle between 1998-2004. Percy also shared his thoughts about the GE-Free campaign.

Guests/Voices

Percy & Louise Schmeiser, Farmer, www.percyschmeiser.com (Bruno, SK) Schmeiser is a 77-year old farmer who, along with his wife Louise, have received global recognition for their passion and devotion to standing up for the rights of farmers. In December 2007, the Schmeisers were awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the "Alternative Nobel"). "I have always campaigned on the right of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed. This is what I have been doing for the last 50 years. I will continue to support any efforts to strengthen the rights of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed."

Andy Morel, Spokesperson, GE-Free Kootenays (Rossland, BC) - Andy is on the steering committee of GE-Free Kootenays. He recently ran as the Green Party candidate for BC Southern Interior in the 2008 federal election.

Kim Charlesworth, Spokesperson, GE-Free Kootenays (Nelson, BC) - Kim is on the steering committee of GE-Free Kootenays. She is currently running for city council in the City of Nelson.

 

Direct download: DD103008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37am EST

GE-Free Zones II: Campaign Launch with Percy Schmeiser

In January 2008, Deconstructing Dinner launched the first in a series of episodes that began tracking the evolution of a campaign that is working towards creating a region that declares itself free of genetically-engineered plants and trees.

The first region in North America to become a GE-Free Zone was Mendocino County, California, back in 2004. Soon after, Powell River, British Columbia, became Canada's first. The Southern Gulf Islands of B.C. have also declared themselves a GE-Free zone, and since November 2007, a group in the interior of the province has been working towards becoming the third such region in the country.

As Deconstructing Dinner has long covered the topic of genetically-modified organisms (G.M.Os) or genetically-engineered (G.E.) foods, Host Jon Steinman has lent his knowledge and experience to the campaign. Since November 2007, Jon has compiled many audio recordings of the campaign with the hope that other regions and municipalities throughout North America can use these recordings as a resource and tool if they too are wishing to create GE-Free regions.

This series will hear from campaigners and politicians from Mendocino County and Powell River in order to learn how their GE-Free zones are holding up. We'll also explore recordings from the October 20th presentations to the Cities of Castlegar and Nelson, British Columbia, both of whom are, as this broadcast goes to air, contemplating the passing of a GE-Free resolution.

On this episode, we listen in on the July 10, 2008, official campaign launch of the GE-Free Kootenays campaign. Featured at the event was the most vocal and well-known critic of genetically-engineered foods, Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser.

This broadcast will extend into next week's show when we will hear the continuation of Percy's speech alongside a short presentation by GE-Free Kootenays spokesperson, Andy Morel. You can also expect an exclusive interview with Percy and his wife Louise.

Voices

Percy Schmeiser, Farmer, www.percyschmeiser.com (Bruno, SK) Schmeiser is a 77-year old farmer who, along with his wife Louise, have received global recognition for their passion and devotion to standing up for the rights of farmers. In December 2007, the Schmeisers were awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the "Alternative Nobel"). "I have always campaigned on the right of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed. This is what I have been doing for the last 50 years. I will continue to support any efforts to strengthen the rights of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed."

Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He most recently served as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.

Direct download: DD102308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:23pm EST

The Local Grain Revolution III

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.

On this Part III of the series, Host Jon Steinman sits in on the July 14 meeting of the CSA steering committee with the hope that audio recordings from the meeting can help guide other communities towards launching a similar project.

Jon also visits with David Everest, who came forward in late 2007 to become the Nelson-based miller. When members receive their grain in late October, David will make himself and his mill available each week to turn member's grains into flour.

With so many people in the community coming forward to lend a hand to the formation of this local food system, perhaps the most exciting has been the group of sailors who have come forward and offered to sail the grain from the southern shores of Kootenay Lake to Nelson. This will take place between October 24-26 and will reduce the fossil fuels required to transport the grain. Perhaps this effort will lay the foundation for a fossil-fuel-free transportation corridor between the two communities. We hear from one of the sailors on this broadcast.

Guests/Voices

David Everest, Nelson Grain CSA Miller, Nelson-Creston Grain CSA (Nelson, BC) - In late 2007, David heard about the CSA and quickly came forward to lend a hand. When Nelson-based CSA members receive their grain in late October, David has volunteered to mill their grain into flour on a weekly basis. This will give members readily available access to fresh milled flour.

Jay Blackmore, Sailor, Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (Nelson, BC) - When Jay first heard about the CSA, he was eager to become part of this exciting initiative. He quickly gathered a group of sailors who will be sailing the grains from the Creston Valley to Nelson on the weekend of October 25, 2008.

Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC) - Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers farming with horses instead of fossil-fuel dependent technologies.

Abra Brynne, Foodshed Animator (Nelson, BC) - Abra is a familiar voice on Deconstructing Dinner as she is involved in a number of local food projects and businesses in the southern interior of British Columbia.

Roy Lawrence, Farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC)
Drew Gailius, Farmer, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC)
Jenny Truscott, Miller (Creston, BC)
Donna Carlyle, Kootenay Employment Services (Creston, BC)
Brenda Bruns, Administrator, Nelson-Creston Grain CSA (Creston, BC)
Matt Lowe, Administrator, Nelson-Creston Grain CSA (Nelson, BC)
Cindy Olivas, Baker, Kootenay Bakery Cafe Co-operative (Nelson, BC)
Gail Southall, Coordinator, Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (Creston, BC)

Direct download: DD101608.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:39pm EST

2008 Federal Election Agriculture Debate

On September 29, 2008, four candidates running in the 2008 federal election debated in Ottawa on the topic of Agriculture. CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) provided live coverage of the event hosted by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Moderated by Hugh Maynard, the debate featured Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz; Liberal Agriculture critic, Wayne Easter; the NDP's MP Tony Martin; and Green Party candidate Kate Storey.

Voices

Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods / MP Battlefords-Lloydminster - Conservative Party of Canada (Brightsand Lake, SK) - Gerry Ritz was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997, and re-elected Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

Wayne Easter, MP Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wilitshire, PEI) - Wayne Easter is the Liberal Party's critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food. He represents the riding of Malpeque which is the central part of Prince Edward Island. He was first elected as the MP in 1993 and has been re-elected ever since

Tony Martin, MP Sault Ste. Marie, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) - Tony Martin was first elected Member of Parliament for the Riding of Sault Ste. Marie on June 28th, 2004. As M.P., Tony serves as the critic for FedNor, Human Resources Development, Social Development and Policy, and Child Care.

Kate Storey, Candidate Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, Green Party of Canada (Grandview, MB) - Kate Storey ran as the GPC candidate for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette in the 2006 federal election. That year she was elected to the Green Party federal council and to the Shadow Cabinet. Kate serves as party critic for Sustainable Agriculture and Prairie issues.

Direct download: DD100208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38am EST

Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food V (Common Ground Food Co-op)

Listen to a few broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner, and choosing food may suddenly become an intimidating adventure. Of course there are alternatives to the industrial food system.

Enter the co-operative model of operating a business. Long an example in Canada of how people can assume control over our needs and resources, co-operatives is the focus of this ongoing series.

How does a co-operative differ from a traditional business? A co-operative is owned and democratically controlled by the people who use the services or by those working within the co-op. A co-op is operated for the benefit of members and members have a say in decisions affecting the co-op.

Part V
The Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, Illinois is a very promising and inspiring sign that communities can indeed come together and build or expand upon their very own co-operative grocery store.

The urban area of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois has a population of around 200,000, but up until recently did not have a natural food store easily accessible to the public. There was however, an underground food co-operative in the basement of a church operating for over 30 years. In late August 2008, the Common Ground Food Co-op surfaced and it now sits above ground in a brand new building.

At a time where the economy in the United States is being hit hard and loans are a hard thing to come by, the Common Ground Co-op implemented an innovative financing model that sought close to half of its financial support from members themselves. Certainly a sign of a supportive community wishing to take greater control over their local food supply.

Guests

Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager - Common Ground Food Co-op (Urbana, IL) - Jacqueline has worked in retail and service management for over fifteen years and after my her first job working for a corporate bookstore chain, she has worked exclusively for independently owned shops. She pursued joining the co-op staff because she wanted to work somewhere that was truly in line with her ideals; where community always came before profit and where it was believed that fiscally sustainable business is not only possible when putting people and the planet first, but that its actually the way to thrive.

Clint Popetz, Board Chair - Common Ground Food Co-op (Urbana, IL) - Clint has been involved with the co-op since 2000, and has previously served as a Tuesday night coreworker, an outreach liaison at the farmer's market, a store operations coordinator, a facilitator for coordinator meetings, and a bread baker. Through his role as board chair he hopes to help build a strong and stable future for the co-op, helping to increase the level of empowerment and accountability within our organization in order to create a co-op that can achieve its goals of spreading the joy of good food and cooperation to a larger and more diverse community.

Direct download: DD092508.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06pm EST

The Local Grain Revolution II

Since the Local Grain Revoltuion series first aired in March 2008, a lot has transpired as a result of that broadcast. The Nelson-Creston grain community supported agriculture (CSA) project has been mentioned in the House of Commons; it was a feature in a May issue of The Globe an Mail; and people from across North America have become inspired to seek out locally grown grain.

On this exciting part II of the series, Host Jon Steinman travels along with the first CSA tour, where members and farmers met for the first time. Members were given the opportunity to see the grain that would soon become their bread, cakes or pasta.

So long as the will and effort of a community chooses to make it happen, this broadcast captures just how easily we can all work together to resurrect local food systems.

Voices

Matt Lowe, Climate Change Campaigner, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Nelson, BC) - The West Kootenay EcoSociety promotes ecologically and socially sound communities while protecting species and ecosystems in the Southern Columbia Mountains ecoregion. Matt is the co-founder of the grain CSA.

Roy Lawrence, Farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC) - Roy is a third-generation farmer. He has long farmed using conventional methods but sees the CSA as an opportunity to transition to growing naturally.

Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC) - Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers farming with horses instead of fossil-fuel dependent technologies.

Tammy Hardwick, Manager, Creston & District Museum (Creston, BC) - Much of Creston's history is rooted in agriculture, however, much of this history is now found indoors at the Creston museum.

 

Direct download: DD091108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:04am EST

Backyard Chickens III (Farming in the City V)

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years.

As practical and environmentally responsible as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

Since March 2008, The Farming in the City series has been incorporating a focus on urban backyard chickens.

Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city (and in this case animals), can provide a much needed dose of agriculture and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.

Episode III
Since Part I of the series introduced a backyard chickener defying a municipal bylaw, a Nelson couple has too joined the ranks of Christoph Martens. Not long after Steve and Hazel took up urban backyard chickening themselves, they sought the experience of Martens to teach them the art of slaughtering. Host Jon Steinman returned to Martens home to record the evening meal!

And lending his voice once again to the series is Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Produced in Boise, Idaho at Radio Boise, Bucky hosts weekly segments on backyard chickening. His experience and knowledge can help guide any urbanite wishing to set up backyard chickens. On this third episode of the series, we listen in on three Bucky segments on the topic of eggs.

Guests/Voices

Christoph Martens - Backyard Chicken Farmer (Nelson, BC) - Christoph has spent the last three years working towards greater self-sufficiency. He grows food year-round on his small city property and discovered that chickens are, among other benefits, an ideal pest management tool. He accommodates chickens, ducks and rabbits. Christoph believes the long-standing notion that city-life should be separated from farming has "run it's course" and it's time to move on from this "pseudo-royalty".

Steve and Hazel - Backyard Chicken Farmers (Nelson, BC) - Steve and Hazel are rookie backyard chicken enthusiasts who now house chickens within a city that does not allow them

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens, as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers. He shares fascinating chicken lore from the millennia that will fascinate even those with no interest in birds.

Direct download: DD082808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18pm EST

Lessons from Cuba / Employing Insect Farmers

Launching this episode, we travel to Cuba - a country that has over the past 10 years become of increasing interest to those around the world interested in more ecological models of producing food.

Contrary to the more voluntary means through which some North Americans have adopted and supported more energy efficient and ecological food choices, in 1989, Cubans had little choice. As a result of the Soviet collapse, Cubans were plunged into a situation whereby conventional models of farming had to be abandoned for more organic models.

Deconstructing Dinner correspondent Andrea Langlois travelled to Cuba where she met with Fernando Funes Monzoté - the son of one of the most recognized founders of the Cuban organic agriculture movement - Dr. Fernando Funes Sr. His son has followed in his footsteps and is presently completing his Ph.D on more diversified mixed farming systems at the University of Matanzas.

As the past 17 years has proven to be a regeneration of more biodiverse and ecological food production in Cuba, there has, in tandem, also been an increase in the attention paid to biological systems. Just as the circumstances pushing Cuba to more ecological food production have too begun to impact us here in North America, the second half of today's episode will introduce us to some of our smaller friends, who are, and will increasingly, become more important to the production of our food; insects.

In March 2008, Deconstructing Dinner recorded a workshop titled "Predator, Pollinator, Parasite"; hosted at the 2008 conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC.

Guests

Fernando Funes Monzoté - Researcher, University of Matanzas (Matanzas, Cuba) - Fernando Funes is the son of celebrated agricultural figure Dr. Fernando Funes Sr., whose organic farming association was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (otherwise known as the alternative Nobel) in 1999. Fernando Funes Monzote has since followed in his footsteps after graduating in 1995 from the University of Havana. Since then he has worked in one of the research institutions in Cuba's Ministry of Agriculture, and after 13 years of research, is just about finished his Ph.D thesis at the University of Matanzas. His research is on mixed farming systems as part of the University's pasture and forage research institute.

Deborah Henderson - Director, Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen University College (Surrey, BC) - Deborah is dedicated to the potential for integrated efforts in conservation biological pest control and sustainable landscaping. Dr. Henderson, along with Kwantlen University College's School of Horticulture and the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture established a Conservation Biological Control trial Garden, or "Bug Garden" which will be a valuable resource to provide class materials and a living lab for students to practice horticulture activities and study plants, pests, and beneficial insects and the relationship between them.

Direct download: DD082108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:26am EST

Fred Eaglesmith / Cross-Canada Trike Tour IV (Quebec - Newfoundland)

Fred Eaglesmith
Deconstructing Dinner has long incorporated music into many of our episodes. From Phil Vernon's tunes about Percy Schmeiser, Biotechnology and Terminator Seeds, to Terry Winchell's Pesticide Song and Todd Butler's Farmer Dan, there is clearly no shortage of tunes out there that help add to our weekly content.

In the second half of this episode, we meet with one musician who has long been writing pieces about farming and rural life in Southern Ontario and that is well-known bluegrass performer Fred Eaglesmith. The Juno Award winner has been compared to such icons as Woody Guthrie and Bruce Spingsteen and is the only Canadian musician to have ever held a #1 spot on the Bluegrass charts in the United States. His song John Deere has been played on the show before, and Host Jon Steinman finally had the opportunity to sit down with Fred in person and learn more about his personal history with farming and what inspires some of the heartfelt content making its way into his songs. A few tunes in particular do a great job at capturing the many crises facing Canadian farmers today. And while farmers did once flock to hear Fred perform, the messages in his music are unfortunately confirmed by those who attend his shows today. To use a title of one of Fred's songs, "Things is Changin'", because farmers are no longer in regular attendance at his shows. As Fred puts it, there are hardly any farmers left!

Cross-Canada Trike Tour IV
On May 7, 2008, Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic departed Victoria from the 0-Mile mark of the Trans-Canada Highway and embarked on a cross-Canada journey to raise awareness of Deconstructing Dinner. The pair are travelling by recumbent tricycles (or trikes).

This third installment of the Cross-Canada Trike tour begins at the Quebec border and takes us through to their final destination of Newfoundland.

Guests

Fred Eaglesmith - Musician, Fred Eaglesmith (Port Dover, ON) - Country-folk singer/songwriter Fred J. Eaglesmith was one of nine children born to a farming family in rural southern Ontario. Often employing his difficult upbringing as raw material for his heartland narratives, he issued his self-titled debut LP in 1980. He recorded infrequently throughout the remainder of the decade, releasing only two more albums, The Boy That Just Went Wrong and Indiana Road. However, Eaglesmith gradually became an underground favorite in his native Canada, thanks largely to a relentless touring schedule in tandem with bassist Ralph Schipper and mandolinist Willie P. Bennett.

Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic - Cross-Canada Cyclists, Deconstructing Dinner Cross-Canada Trike Tour (Monkton, ON / London, ON) - Cyclists Sinisa Grgic and Darrick Hahn are old high-school friends based in Southwestern Ontario and are the proprietors of Fresh Entertainment. Darrick grew up on a farm in Monkton, Ontario and Sinisa, who is originally from Croatia, moved to Canada 17 years ago.

Other Audio

People and the Land - Deep Dish TV (New York, NY) - The ongoing "farm crisis" has had a devastating impact not only on the lives of individual farm families, but also on the towns they live in and the land now taken over by the corporate farms. Shortsighted exploitation has eroded the healthfulness of the land and the food it produces. From pastors in Wisconsin to Native Americans in Utah, people around the country agree that the way out of the crisis lies in changing people's attitudes. The land and people must be seen not as resources to be consumed, but as part of a spiritual whole. Produced by Wade Britzius and Marilyn Klinkner (Whitehall, WI).

Direct download: DD081408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:41pm EST

Livestock Lost - Part III (Local Meat? "Not in My Backyard!" II)

The Livestock Lost series examines the farming and business of meat, dairy and egg production. It explores the known and unknown dangers of meat production and what people can do to source alternatives to what many would refer to as a cultural staple of the North American diet.

Part III - Local Meat? "Not in My Backyard? II"
In this third installment of the series, we continue with our examination of how one community is responding to more restrictive slaughterhouse regulations in the face of increasing demand for safe and humanely-produced local meat.

As of now, it is illegal to purchase locally raised and slaughtered meat within many regions of British Columbia. Our focus on the response in the West Kootenay region of the province provides a great example of how such a project may be received if proposed in other North American communities.

While the critical questioning of any proposed development in a community is indeed a healthy process to undertake collectively, it became clear on Part II that much of the opposition to the abattoir were emotional responses of fear that led to condemning instead of questioning.

Part III presents an even greater focus on one of the most important concerns for any community - water. It was this very concern over water that acted as one of the major setbacks to the slaughterhouse proposed in the Slocan Valley.

Guests/Voices

Kenyon McGee, Spokesperson, Slocan Valley Abattoir Co-operative (Winlaw, BC) - Kenyon is a lawyer with Kenyon McGee Law Corporation and has been involved with the abattoir co-operative since it was first formed in 2007. He has lived in the area for 30 years and has had experience raising and butchering livestock.

Marilyn Burgoon, Director, "Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance" (Winlaw, BC) - The Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance is a non-profit society formed in 1982. The SVWA is a coalition of local watershed groups from the communities of Hills to South Slocan. Since its formation, the Alliance has worked to protect water quality, quantity and timing of flow. The Alliance opposed the proposed abattoir in the Slocan Valley.

Bruce Davidson, Vice-Chair, Concerned Walkerton Citizens (Walkerton, ON) - Since 2000, Bruce has been publicly speaking on the Walkerton water contamination tragedy that took the lives of seven community residents and made 2,500 ill. The contamination was the result of complex series of events that began with e.coli entering into the public drinking water supply from a cattle farm. Bruce sits on the board of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and is involved in his local source protection board.

Audio Clips

"Tar Sands & Water" - Produced by Macdonald Stainsby, Dru Oja Jay and Maya Rolbin-Ghanie

Voices
Celina Harpe, Elder, Fort MacKay First Nation (Fort MacKay, AB)
Morris McDonald, Fort MacKay First Nation (Fort MacKay, AB)
George Poitras, Misikew Cree First Nation (Fort Chipewyan, AB)
David Schindler, Professor Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

 

Direct download: DD073108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:40am EST

Livestock Lost - Part II (Local Meat? "Not in My Backyard!")

The Livestock Lost series examines the farming and business of meat, dairy and egg production. It will explore the known and unknown dangers of meat production and what people can do to source alternatives to what many would refer to as a cultural staple of the North American diet.

Part II - Local Meat? "Not in My Backyard?"
In this second installment of the series, we examine how one community is responding to more restrictive slaughterhouse regulations in the face of increasing demand for safe and humanely-produced local meat.

The narrow Slocan Valley, situated in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, is home to many small-scale farmers raising livestock. The region is one of many in the province without a licensed slaughterhouse -- and any sale of local meat in the area is now deemed criminal, according to regulations put in place in October 2007.

In response, a co-operative abattoir (slaughterhouse) group was formed to ensure that meat can continue to be processed legally in the region. However, the group is now facing opposition from nearby meat-eaters and vegetarians who don't want an abattoir in their neighborhoods.

 

Guests/Voices

Kenyon McGee, Spokesperson, Slocan Valley Abattoir Co-operative (Winlaw, BC) - Kenyon is a lawyer with Kenyon McGee Law Corporation and has been involved with the abattoir co-operative since it was first formed in 2007. He has lived in the area for 30 years and has had experience raising and butchering livestock.

Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.

Abra Brynne, MIES Help Desk, British Columbia Food Processors Association (BCFPA) (Nelson, BC) - Abra has been hired part-time to work with the BCFPA's Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy (MIES). Her role is to work with producers in the southern part of the Province and assist them in the transition to the new inspection regulations put in place in October 2007.

 

Direct download: DD072408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:43pm EST

Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food IV / Cross-Canada Trike Tour III

Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food IV (Community Farms Program)

It's been a topic of discussion throughout many broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner: While there is clearly a widespread interest in supporting more localized food systems, the bigger picture of how such systems can be physically, economically and politically sustained is a far more complicated and serious matter.

So long as our food and farming continues to be built upon the same market-based systems of economics that govern all else, the preservation and access to farmland in close proximity to urban centres will only become increasingly harder to maintain. In most parts of the country agricultural land has become next to worthless for the production of food and we now watch cities sprawl into the fertile soil.

So what's the solution?

One solution is a project currently being expanded upon by The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) and Vancouver-based FarmFolk/CityFolk. The program is called The Community Farms Program; first mentioned on Deconstructing Dinner on April 19, 2007.

While specific to British Columbia, this is a model that could be applied anywhere in North America.

'Community farms' represent a more holistic model of food production than the more conventional approaches. They produce additional outputs to food and fibre, such as: ecological services, bioenergy, landscape preservation, employment, cultural heritage, food quality and safety, and animal welfare.

A farm that becomes a part of the Community Farms Program is collectively owned in public trust, long-term leases are assigned for local food production, and farmers are housed on the land. Agricultural activities are small-scale and intensive, and are carried out by a group of people working collaboratively or cooperatively.

This segment uses recordings compiled by Deconstructing Dinner at the 2008 conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) held in Saanich.

Cross-Canada Trike Tour III
On May 7, 2008, Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic departed Victoria from the 0-Mile mark of the Trans-Canada Highway and embarked on a cross-Canada journey to raise awareness of Deconstructing Dinner. The pair are travelling by recumbent tricycles (or trikes).

This third installment of the Cross-Canada Trike tour begins at the Manitoba border and takes us through their time in Ontario.

Guests/Voices

Ramona Scott - Manager, Agricultural Programs The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) (Victoria, BC) - In 2006, Ramona established two farm co-ops. The land was purchased and co-operatively managed by their respective communities. These operations are the first of its kind in Canada and provide models for future projects.

Heather Pritchard - Executive Director FarmFolk/CityFolk (Vancouver, BC) - Heather has over 40 years experience assisting non-profits, co-operatives and small businesses with financial planning, organizational development and personnel management. She is a member of Glorious Organics Cooperative, a certified organic farm business operating from Fraser Common Farm Cooperative in the Fraser Valley.

Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic - Cross-Canada Cyclists Deconstructing Dinner Cross-Canada Trike Tour (Monkton, ON / London, ON) - Cyclists Sinisa Grgic and Darrick Hahn are old high-school friends based in Southwestern Ontario and are the proprietors of Fresh Entertainment. Darrick grew up on a farm in Monkton, Ontario and Sinisa, who is originally from Croatia, moved to Canada 17 years ago.

 

Direct download: DD071008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:52am EST

Livestock Lost - Part I (Slaughterhouses and the Culture of Meat)

The Livestock Lost series will examine the farming and business of meat, dairy and egg production in far more depth than has already been done here on the show. It will examine the known and unknown dangers of meat production and what people can do to source alternatives to what many would refer to as a cultural staple of the North American diet.

Part I - Slaughterhouses and the Culture of Meat
On this Part I of the series we hear from Toronto author Susan Bourette. After going undercover at the Maple Leaf Foods slaughterhouse and processing plant in Brandon, Manitoba, Susan became deeply disturbed at the state in which meat and animals have been degraded. It was this experience that led her to embark on a journey to learn if meat still maintained any cultural significance in North America other than as an industrial commodity. She titled the product of her journey "Carnivore Chic", because as Susan discovered, meat eating does continue to be a cultural experience in some areas of the continent while in others, meat is once again becoming "cool".

Whether it be food safety, animal welfare, human health and environmental concerns, Canadians are no doubt being presented with every reason to rethink where our meat is coming from. There's just one problem: The availability of meat that one may feel safer purchasing (meat that is healthier, that is more humanely produced and has less of an environmental impact) is not so easy to source. This is especially the case in British Columbia.

In May of 2006, Deconstructing Dinner was the first media outlet to cover the controversial new meat inspection regulations. The topic was revisited in 2007 and will be covered once again as a part of the Livestock Lost series. Prior to October 2007, it was legal for a British Columbian to show up at a farm and purchase meat from a farmer. That choice is no longer afforded to anyone because all meat sold in the province must now be processed at a federally or provincially licensed facility. Many areas of the province are without such a facility and as a result, farmers across the province have been closing up shop and/or considering an occupation change.

Meanwhile, the Province of British Columbia continues to promote local food!

Guests/Voices

Susan Bourette, Author, Carnivore Chic (Toronto, ON) - Susan is an award-winning writer with a reputation for investigative journalism. Formerly a reporter for The Globe and Mail, she is now a freelance writer.

Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.

Jenny MacLeod, Secretary, District 'A' Farmers' Institutes (Gabriola Island, BC) - The District 'A' Farmers' Institutes represents all farmers' institutes on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Powell River.

Tony Toth, Former CEO, BC Food Processors Association (BCFPA) (Vancouver, BC) - The BCFPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to represent all segments of the food, beverage and nutraceutical processing industry, and to coordinate common industry activities and resources under one umbrella. The organization was asked by the province to manage the implementation of the meat inspection regulation changes announced in 2004. In August 2007, Tony Toth was interviewed by Connie Watson on the CBC's The Current. Segments from this interview are featured

Audio Clips

"Meats With Approval" (1946) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Direct download: DD070308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:53am EST

Backyard Chickens II (Farming in the City IV)

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years.

As practical and environmentally responsible as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

Since March 2008, The Farming in the City series has been incorporating a focus on urban backyard chickens.

Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city (and in this case animals), can provide a much needed dose of agriculture and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.

Lending their voice yet again to the series is Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Produced in Boise, Idaho at Radio Boise, Bucky hosts weekly segments on backyard chickening. His experience and knowledge can help guide any urbanite wishing to set up backyard chickens.

Episode II
On this second episode of the series, we listen in on five Bucky Buckaw episodes: Breeds, Cleanliness, Poop, Pre-Manufactured Chicken Coops and the Economics of Commercial Backyard Chickening..

Guests/Voices

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens, as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers. He shares fascinating chicken lore from the millennia that will fascinate even those with no interest in birds.

 

Direct download: DD062608.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:16pm EST

Episode #100 - Best of May-August 2007

Since January 2006, Deconstructing Dinner has been reaching listeners around the world through dozens of radio stations and via the show's web site and weekly podcast.

Now at its 100th episode, this broadcast marks the fourth in a series that has been capturing highlights of past broadcasts alongside musical accompaniments.

Through a careful handpicking of highlights, this 100th episode acts as a collage of broadcasts aired between early May 2007 and late August 2007. The segments have been mixed alongside a soundtrack of music from Nelson, British Columbia's Adham Shaikh and his Dreamtree Project; Germany's Hendrik Weber and his Pantha du Prince project and England's Mark Hillier and his ishq project.

The guest host for this broadcast is Kootenay Co-op Radio's Bob Olsen.

A special thank you to all of the volunteers and staff at Kootenay Co-op Radio CJLY for having laid the foundation for Deconstructing Dinner to reach this important milestone.

Direct download: DD061908.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:55pm EST

Cross-Canada Trike Tour II (Nelson, BC - Prawda, MB)

On May 7, 2008, Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic departed Victoria from the 0-Mile mark of the Trans-Canada Highway and embarked on a cross-Canada journey to raise awareness of Deconstructing Dinner. The pair are travelling by recumbent tricycles (or trikes). 

On May 15 we aired a segment featuring their departure from Victoria alongside a phone interview while they stopped over in Grand Forks, BC.

This second installment of the Cross-Canada Trike tour begins in the home of Deconstructing Dinner - Nelson, BC. Hahn and Grgic were well taken care of in Nelson, receiving complementary meals from local restaurants and support from the local co-operative grocery store.

Host Jon Steinman pulled them into the studios of Kootenay Co-op Radio and probed further into why the two were so motivated to use their cross-Canada trip to raise awareness of an independent radio show. Of greatest interest to this episode is the story of Darrick Hahn himself as he embodies many of the issues that are discussed here on the show each week.

Hahn grew up on a a conventional dairy farm in the community of Monkton, Ontario; just north of the city of Stratford. Like many young Canadians growing up on farms, Hahn left his rural community as a teenager and migrated into the city. Having most recently lived in Vancouver for the past two years, he came to recognize that the city life was far too removed from the earth and his trip across the country is symbolic of his eventual decision to move back to the farm.

His story is an important window into the lives of Canada's young rural populations.

Guests/Voices

Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic - Cross-Canada Cyclists Deconstructing Dinner Cross-Canada Trike Tour (Monkton, ON / London, ON) - Cyclists Sinisa Grgic and Darrick Hahn are old high-school friends based in Southwestern Ontario and are the proprietors of Fresh Entertainment. Darrick grew up on a farm in Monkton, Ontario and Sinisa, who is originally from Croatia, moved to Canada 17 years ago.

Direct download: DD061208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:23pm EST

President Bush on Food Security / Cross-Canada Trike Tour I

President Bush on Food Security
On May 1, 2008, President Bush addressed the latest global food crisis in a press conference from the White House. We'll listen in on this speech and the US foreign policy definition of 'food security'. While global efforts to respond to the food crisis may indeed be providing much-needed aid, it is this very aid and its accompanying policies that is suggested will only further push this food crisis to even more damaging proportions. In the end, the food aid effort is the very same one that has persisted for decades, and let's face it, it hasn't worked.

Lending their voice to help critically examine Bush's speech, will be Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute.

Cross-Canada Trike Tour I
On May 7, 2008, Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic departed Victoria from the 0-Mile mark of the Trans-Canada Highway and embarked on a cross-Canada journey to raise awareness of Deconstructing Dinner. The pair will be travelling by recumbent tricycles (or trikes).

In the summer of 2007, Hahn stumbled across Producer/Host Jon Steinman and it didn't take long for Hahn to become a fan of the show. "After listening to Deconstructing Dinner more and more, I felt compelled to spread the word about the show," says Hahn. "So as we cross the country, we will encourage everyone to listen to the show and learn more about the state of our food system."

Hahn and Grgic believe that many of our current health problems are directly, or indirectly a result of an unsustainable food system that is built primarily upon profit. The trip will be focused on raising awareness and not money. "You keep your money, and with more awareness, you can choose what to do with it," says Grgic. "We hope you use it to buy healthier food from local farms in your community, or support Deconstructing Dinner, a voice that is not yet well-represented in the mainstream media today.

En route, the two cyclists will stop in at farms and markets and explore Canada's food and farming culture. "We hope to eat as locally as possible along the way, and wild plants are not off-limits," says Hahn!

Hahn and Grgic will be periodically updating a blog with photos and a journal and weekly updates through phone interviews will be airing on Deconstructing Dinner each week.

On this episode, we hear from correspondent Andrea Langlois interviewing the cyclists as they departed Victoria, and we listen in on segments of a phone interview between Host Jon Steinman and cyclist Darrick Hahn. Hahn spoke to Jon from inside the cheese-making facility of Jerseyland Organics in Grand Forks, BC.

Guests/Voices

Darrick Hahn and Sinisa Grgic - Cross-Canada Cyclists Deconstructing Dinner Cross-Canada Trike Tour (Monkton, ON / London, ON) - Cyclists Sinisa Grgic and Darrick Hahn are old high-school friends based in Southwestern Ontario and are the proprietors of Fresh Entertainment. Darrick grew up on a farm in Monkton, Ontario and Sinisa, who is originally from Croatia, moved to Canada 17 years ago.

Anuradha Mittal - Executive Director Oakland Institute (Oakland, CA) - Anuradha Mittal, a native of India, is an internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. After working as the co-director of Food First/ Institute for Food and Development Policy, Mittal established the Oakland Institute, a progressive policy think tank, in 2004.

George W. Bush - President United States of America (Washington, D.C.)

Duane Clarridge - ex CIA (1955-1987) (USA)

John Pilger - Journalist (London, UK)

 

Direct download: DD051508.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm EST

Heritage Foods: Preserving Diversity II - Gardens of Destiny

The diversity in the varieties of crops being grown in Canada has dwindled significantly. Virtually all of the fruits, vegetables, grains, livestock and pretty much every ingredient found on grocery store shelves, is of a variety that has purely been bred for profit. At no time has the importance of maintaining diversity or flavour and nutrition ever been a concern for the powerful industrial food system that has taken hold of the North American diet.

This series will explore what risks accompany the loss of such diversity and will expose the many farmers and organizations who are preserving Canada's heritage varieties of food and protecting our food supply from the exclusive control of multinational interests.

Part II - Gardens of Destiny
On Part II, we meet with heritage seed saver Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds. Jason is exalted as a Canadian food security hero and icon in Gardens of Destiny - the recently released film by Vancouver filmmaker Jocelyn Demers.

Gardens of Destiny investigates many important issues related to pollution and health. These include genetic engineering, Terminator seeds and the pitfalls of industrial agriculture. Additionally, it examines how organic food has proven to be protective against cancer. The film weaves the viewer through Jason's seed sanctuary on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and sprinkled throughout the film are interviews with well-known food security and organic advocates. This episode features a selection of audio segments from the film.

To help introduce the importance of Jason's work, Host Jon Steinman provides commentary on the role of the media in covering the recent global food crisis.

Guests/Voices

Jocelyn Demers - Producer/Director, Gardens of Destiny, (Vancouver, BC) - Jocelyn is a radio journalist-turned-filmmaker who, after becoming exhausted with the lack of interest by his employer to accommodate critical environmental pieces, embarked on a journey into independent filmmaking.

Dan Jason, Seed Saver, Salt Spring Seeds (Salt Spring Island, BC) - Dan is an organic gardener with a fantastic selection of seeds, vegetables, grains, medicinal plants and flowers. He is also the head of the grassroots organization the Seed and Plant Sanctuary for Canada, a network of Canadian gardeners who are preserving as much plant diversity as is possible. Dan has been a long time critic of the non-organic food system in North America.

Herb Barbolet - Associate, Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Vancouver, BC) - The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. As Associate since 2003, Herb has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable food systems. He appears frequently on radio, in print, and on television. He remains an active food consultant.

Guy Dauncey - Speaker/Author/Organizer, Earth Future (Victoria, BC) Guy Dauncey is a speaker, author, and organizer who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action. He is author of the award-winning book Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change; Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic, and 9 other titles. He is President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, Co-chair of Prevent Cancer Now; Executive Director of The Solutions Project; and Publisher of EcoNews, a monthly newsletter that promotes the vision of a sustainable Vancouver Island.

 

Direct download: DD050108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:43pm EST

The Disappearance of Omega-3s"

Omega-3s are indeed a hot topic, although it appears that all we North Americans really know, is that Omega-3 eggs, fish and fish oils, and flax products, are all good sources. Consuming these products as we've been told, reduces the risk of heart disease.

Of course the responsible thing to do is to remain skeptical and question any new diet craze that hits our culinarily confused culture. As for Omega-3s, it appears some critical information has evaded the radar of North American media and hence the eating public.

In a fascinating book by Author Susan Allport, the history, science and hype surrounding Omega-3s is laid out for all to see. Titled "The Queen of Fats - Why Omega-3s Were Removed From the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them", Allport reveals that our collective understanding of these vital fatty acids is way off.

According to Allport, lacking in exposure has been Omega-6s, another family of essential fatty acids that compete with Omega-3s. And so if both are in competition, why is it we never hear about the 6s?

In October 2007, CBC's The National aired a segment on the increasing confusion surrounding Omega-3s and questioned how much fish new and expecting mothers should be consuming. After a read through The Queen of Fats, it appears that not only has the CBC deepened this collective confusion, it has equally encouraged the further pillaging of our already vulnerable oceans.

Unlike most media coverage on diet and nutrition, this episode will not so much suggest what you should or should not be eating, but will instead look to capture how our lifestyles and the industrialization of our food has had devastating impacts on our health.

We also hear segments from a September 2007 interview between Host Jon Steinman and Cargill Canada President, Len Penner.

Guests/Voices

Susan Allport, Author, The Queen of Fats (Katonah, NY) - An award-winning writer for publications such as the New York Times and Gastronomica, Susan Allport has spent the past decade exploring how food shapes behavior and health. In 2006, University of Calfornia Press published her book The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them.

JoAnne Buth - President, Canola Council of Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - A national trade association representing producers, input suppliers, processors and marketers of canola and its products.

Len Penner - President, Cargill Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - One of Canada's largest agricultural merchandisers and processors with interests in meat, egg, malt and oilseed processing, livestock feed, salt manufacturing, as well as crop input products, grain handling and merchandising. The company is a subsidiary of Cargill Limited based in the United States. In February 2007, Deconstructing Dinner ran a 2-part series on the operations of the company.

 

Direct download: DD042408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:08pm EST

Global Hops Shortage / Biodynamics and Microorganisms

The beer industry is always a fascinating one to take a look at, as beer was one of the first industrialized food and beverage products. The focus for the first segment of this episode will be on the recent global shortage of hops - the key flavouring component of most beers. At the March 2008 Certified Organic Associations of BC conference, Host Jon Steinman sat down with brewer and farmer Rebecca Kneen of Sorrento, BC's, Crannòg Ales. Crannòg is Canada's only Certified Organic farmhouse microbrewery and growing on the farm are some of the hops that end up in their beers. In 2002, Kneen published a manual on small-scale organic hop growing and she is extremely excited at the attention the manual has received since the hops shortage hit home.

We also listen in on a workshop hosted at the COABC conference by Biodynamic farmer and egg producer Karl Hann. Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats the farm as a unified and individual organism, emphasizing balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of the soil, plants and animals as a closed, self-nourishing system. Hann's presentation was titled "The Good, The Bad and The Balance". He explored the importance of microorganisms in the soil and uses the biodynamic farming philosophy to convincingly illustrate how disruptive and destructive most dominant farming practices are today.

Voices/Guests

Rebecca Kneen, Craft Brewer / Farmer, Crannòg Ales (Sorrento, BC) - Crannog Ales is Canada's only Certified Organic farmhouse microbrewery, one of only a handful of such breweries in the world. They brew unfiltered, unpasteurized ales using only organic ingredients, some of which come right from their own farm - Left Fields. Located on the farm is a hopyard, which is home to over seven varieties of hops. The hopyard forms the basis for ongoing research into organic small-scale hop production.

Karl Hann, Farmer, Biota Farm (Abbotsford, BC) - Karl is a biodynamic farmer and egg producer. He was a Green Party candidate for the Abbotsford riding during the 2004 federal election. Karl was born and raised in Romania and has been living and farming in Canada for over 20 years.

 

Direct download: DD041708.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:15pm EST

Monsanto's Product Release Form / Mandatory Labelling of GE-Foods (Bill C-517)

On March 20, 2008, Deconstructing Dinner shared the history and outcomes of the most recent battle between farmer Percy Schmeiser and global seed giant Monsanto. Raised during that broadcast was the very basis for the battle; a product release form issued by Monsanto to farmers who wish to have unwanted genetically-engineered plants removed from their fields by the company. Schmeiser took exception to this form, and on this broadcast we probe further into the controversies and possible hidden agendas behind the use of this form for such purposes. Host Jon Steinman engaged in a heated conversation with Monsanto's Public Affairs Director, Trish Jordan, and he shares a number of shocking discrepancies between statements she made on March 19 and 20, 2008. Steinman also spoke with Schmeiser's lawyer, Terry Zakreski, who confirmed that the release form in question is indeed worth questioning!

While GE-crops remain a heated concern on the prairies, the debate over their presence in Canada's food supply took an important step in Ottawa on April 3, 2008. Canadians have long been demanding that foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients be labelled. Since 1993, over six Bills have now been introduced by Members of Parliament, with the most recent being Bill C-517. First introduced into the House of Commons on February 2008 by the Bloc Québécois's Gilles-A. Perron, the Bill is calling for the mandatory labelling of foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients. On April 3, 2008, C-517 was debated in the House by members of all parties. Deconstructing Dinner recorded the debate and followed up with Conservative MP Bruce Stanton who opposes the Bill.

Voices/Guests

Gilles-A. Perron, MP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Bloc Québécois (Saint-Eustache, QC) - Gilles-A. was first elected as Member of Parliament in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2006. He currently serves as the Critic on Veterans Affairs.

Bruce Stanton, MP Simcoe North, Conservative Party of Canada (Orillia, ON) - Bruce was first elected to the House Of Commons in January 2006.

Robert Thibault, MP West Nova, Liberal Party of Canada (Yarmouth, NS) - Robert Thibault was first elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for West Nova in November 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and again in 2006. In July 2004, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. He currently serves as the Health Critic.

Nathan Cullen, MP Skeena-Bulkley Valley, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Smithers, BC) - Nathan Cullen was elected to his first term as Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley at the age of 31, on June 28, 2004. He was soon named the New Democratic Party's national critic for three key portfolios: Environment, National Parks and Youth.

Marcel Lussier, MP Brossard-La-Prairie, Bloc Québécois (Brossard, QC) - Lussier ran for office as a member of the Bloc Quebecois in the 2004 election, but was defeated by Jacques Saada. In the 2006 he ran again, defeating Saada by approximately 2% of the vote. Lussier has been appointed as the environment critic by Bloc's leader, Gilles Duceppe.

 

Direct download: DD041008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:15pm EST

The Emperor Has No Clothes (Provincial Food Politics)

In March 2008, BC NDP Opposition Critic of Agriculture and Lands' Corky Evans, toured throughout the Province to hear from farmers. Deconstructing Dinner recorded his stop in Nelson, when he delivered a passionate and highly-informative primer on the failures of the BC government in recent decades to allocate financial support to food production within the province. Of greatest interest was his reference to BC maintaining the lowest level of support for food production of any Province. He presented a number of opportunities that farmers, eaters and political parties must take advantage of now, in order to preserve a viable system of food production into the future.

While the content of his presentation was focused on BC, his message is important to all Provinces and States throughout North America, as the scenario that has played out in BC, can be seen as an extreme version of what is playing out across the continent.

We round off the show with a recording from the March 2008 conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC hosted in Sidney. Presented at the conference were the winners of the COABC's Fresh Voices contest. The contest solicited submissions from anyone wishing to share their vision of how "sustainable organic production and marketing systems could improve profitability, stewardship of the land and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities". The winner of that contest was Jordan Marr who has been embarking on a path towards becoming a farmer. He presented his winning essay to those in attendance at the conference.

Voices

Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.

Jordan Marr - Wanna-Be-Farmer (Sooke, BC) - Jordan is a 26-year-old self-titled "wanna-be farmer" who has been visiting farms throughout BC hoping to learn more about the practical and political aspects of farming. In the span of five years, Jordan has, as he says, gone from being a suburban kid completely clueless about food to a smug university student convinced he knew everything about food, to a humbled farm apprentice who realized he knew very little about it. In 2006 Jordan graduated from a bachelor program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, and then apprenticed for seven months on an organic farm in Nova Scotia. Today, Jordan is considering farming as a career.

Direct download: DD040308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42pm EST

Special Audio Feature, April 3, 2008, Bill C-517

A special Podcast and Internet-only feature on Deconstructing Dinner. On February 29, 2008, Bloc Quebecois Member of Parliament Gilles Andre Perron tabled Bill C-517 in the House of Commons; calling for the mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods. On April 3, the 2nd reading debate took place involving Members of Parliament from all four political parties. The following is an unedited recording of that debate.

Direct download: DDbill517.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34pm EST

Backyard Chickens I (Farming in the City III)

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years.

As practical and environmentally responsible as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

The Farming in the City series will now be incorporating a new focus on urban backyard chickens. Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city, and in this case animals, can provide a much needed dose of agricultural and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.

Helping guide this series will be Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Produced in Boise, Idaho at Radio Boise, Bucky hosts weekly segments on backyard chickening. His experience and knowledge can help guide any urbanite wishing to set up some backyard chickens. On this broadcast, we listen in on four Bucky Buckaw episodes: Intro, Shelter, Feed and Winter.

Backyard Chickens can present a controversial issue in many parts of North America. While many cities do indeed permit the raising of poultry within city limits, some cities do not. One of these "no chicken" cities is Nelson, BC. We will visit with one Nelsonite who has been working to reduce his ecological footprint, and in doing so, is defying the environmentally irresponsible City of Nelson bylaw.

Guests/Voices

Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens, as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers. He shares fascinating chicken lore from the millennia that will fascinate even those with no interest in birds.

Christoph Martens - Backyard Chicken Farmer (Nelson, BC) - Christoph has spent the last three years working towards greater self-sufficiency. He grows food year-round on his small city property and discovered that chickens are, among other benefits, an ideal pest management tool. He accommodates chickens, ducks and rabbits. Christoph believes the long-standing notion that city-life should be separated from farming has "run it's course" and it's time to move on from this "pseudo-royalty".

 

Direct download: DD032708.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:55pm EST

The Local Grain Revolution I / Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools II

The Local Grain Revolution I
For most Canadians wishing to adopt a more local diet, the overwhelming rise in demand in just the past year has left a large question mark hovering over the heads of many; where is all this local food so many are demanding?

The state of farming and food production in North America has clearly evolved into such a poor state of affairs, little infrastructure and incentive remain to respond to this current demand for local product. While fruits and vegetables may be the most easily accessible local foods at farmers' markets and select grocery stores, grains are not often referred to when speaking of local food. When we start to envision what plant-based foods we're still missing out on in sufficient local quantities, we can list off wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt, flax, hemp, corn, and leguminous plants such as beans and lentils.

On this exciting broadcast, we explore the creation of a project launched by two conservation groups wishing to experiment with the creation of a local grain market in the middle of the mountains of British Columbia. Matt Lowe of Nelson's West Kootenay EcoSociety and Brenda Bruns of the Creston branch of Wildsight have teamed up with a number of farmers, processors, bakers and eaters, to see if such an idea is indeed possible.

The project will see three Creston-area farmers commit to growing three types of grain in the coming 2008 season. Two-hundred member shares will be issued to residents of Nelson and Creston, and come harvest time, those two-hundred members, will hopefully, receive 100lbs of whole grains. If requested, a miller in Creston and Nelson will be on hand to turn those grains into flour or flakes. This will ensure members are only using the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious product available.

Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools II
How do food and agricultural issues make their way into educational settings? On this episode of Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools, we hear from 10-year old Kodiak Morasky who chose a very unique topic to present to his grade 4 classmates in Nelson, B.C. Kodiak was introduced to the world of factory animal farms through the on-line animated series of short films known as The Meatrix. The film had a profound impact on Kodiak, and we listen in on his in-class presentation. Upon learning of the horrific stories coming out of North America's factory farms, we hear one child ask, "can I sue the government"?

Guests/Voices (The Local Grain Revolution)

Matt Lowe, Climate Change Campaigner, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Nelson, BC) - The West Kootenay EcoSociety promotes ecologically and socially sound communities while protecting species and ecosystems in the Southern Columbia Mountains ecoregion. The organization hosted a highly successful Regional Climate Change conference in 2007.

Drew Gailius, Farmer, Full Circle Farm (Canyon, BC) - Drew and Joanne Gailius are new farmers. They sell most of their product at the farmgate. In the past two years they have successfully grown wheat and oats and are eager to find a local market to supply.

Other Voices: Keith Huscroft (Lister, BC), Brenda Bruns (Creston, BC), Jenny Truscott (Creston, BC), David Everest (Nelson, BC)

Guests/Voices (Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools)

Kodiak Morasky, 10-Year Old Student, Blewett Elementary School (Nelson, BC) - Kodiak's 10 years of age shouldn't fool you. He is deeply concerned with the state of Canada's food supply. His concerns include factory animal farms, genetic engineering and chemical pesticides among others. He is passionate about sharing this information with his friends and classmates.

 

Direct download: DD031308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:07pm EST

So, You Want to Be a Farmer?

When taking a closer look at the demographics of the Canadian workforce and dividing it up among trades, farmers represent the oldest demographic in the country at a median age of 52 years. Within agriculturally dense provinces such as Saskatchewan, in 2007, the average farmer was 56 years of age and only 12.3% of all farmers there were under the age of 35.

As skills and knowledge are replaced by fossil fuel dependent systems and technologies, this aging demographic represents a significant threat to the future of Canada's food supply.

Where are Canada's future farmers, and how does anyone interested in farming get involved?

In March 2008, Host Jon Steinman travelled to Sidney, B.C. to attend the annual conference of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC). On this broadcast, we listen in on one workshop titled, "Starting Your Organic Farm".

Write to a Farmer Who Inspires You
As the age demographic among farmers continues to change, so too is the population distribution between Canada's urban and rural communities. As the population increasingly becomes concentrated within cities, Canada's urban populations have become far more removed from the source of their food than ever before. One symptom of this change in population distribution has been a seeming loss of appreciation for the all-important grower and producer of food - the farmer. This didn't sit well with Nelson, British Columbia resident Paul Edney who launched an event in collaboration with Nelson's
Kootenay Country Store Co-operative. The event was titled "Write to a Farmer who Inspires You".

Guests/Voices

Robin Tunnicliffe, Farmer/Co-owner, Feisty Field Organic Farm / Saanich Organics (Victoria, BC) - Saanich Organics is a community of farmers from small, certified organic farms who work together: Three Oaks Farm, Northbrook Farm, and Robin's Feisty Field Organic Farm. Feisty Field grows a variety of fruits and vegetables near Prospect Lake within the city limits of Victoria. Robin is currently completing a Masters degree at the University of Victoria on the value of local agriculture.

Paul Edney, Author/Director, We Are What We Do (Nelson, BC) - Paul is the Canadian director of the International We Are What We Do movement. He authored the Canadian version of Change the World for Ten Bucks, which outlines fifty simple, everyday actions that everyone can do to make a difference, such as: take public transport, decline plastic bags where possible, plant a tree, and write to someone who inspires you. Change the World for Ten Bucks aims to create a global community of people who are what they do. It started in the UK, and has launched in Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Canada. Worldwide, over 400,000 copies are in print!

Direct download: DD030608.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01pm EST

Nature as Our Guide

Our most recent Part I of the multi-part series "A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda" has assisted in inspiring the collection of individuals lending their voices to this show.

Of greatest relevance in tying the Pesticide series to today, is reintroducing the very ideology that drives the conventional food system of which we are all mostly a part, and that is one founded upon science. Farmer and Poet Wendell Berry has some important thoughts on this scientific relationship with nature and food.

Also lending their voice will be Michael Pollan as he presents his unique and provocative thoughts on an alternative approach to viewing nature and our food; from the plants' and insects' point of view!

Rounding off the show, we'll listen in on an episode of Peak Moment Television, a weekly broadcast produced in Nevada County, California. Judy Alexander has been experimenting with growing as much food as she possibly can around her Port Townshend home. This tour of her garden will present an on-the-ground example of how engaging in localized food production, one can begin to witness a very alternative ideology to how our food is produced. Instead of relying on science and its reductionist and limiting theories, the wisdom of natural systems are instead allowed to guide what seems to be a far more responsible approach to sourcing our sustenance.

Voices

Michael Pollan - Journalist/Author The Omnivore's Dillema (Berkeley, CA) - Most recently the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001).

Wendell Berry - Farmer/Poet Lane's Landing Farm (Port Royal, KY) - An American academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. Berry writes and works the land on Lane's Landing Farm, five miles from his birthplace in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Madison, Indiana.

Other Featured Audio

Peak Moment: Community Responses For a Changing Energy Future are weekly 28-minute programs featuring host Janaia Donaldson's conversations and on-site tours with guests. It highlights practical solutions and responses towards a lower-energy, more connected, sustainable life. How can we thrive, build stronger communities, and help one another in this time of transition? The show is cablecast on community-access TV stations throughout the USA. (Episode 87 with Judy Alexander)

Judy Alexander - (Port Townsend, WA) - In summer 2006, Judy Alexander embarked on an experiment to see how much food she could grow, and how many neighbors could benefit, from the garden around her house. Check out her homegrown rainwater collection and irrigation system -- watering her 60+ edible crops. Meet the bees, the chickens and the worms. And catch her joy in producing so much food for so little effort.

 

Direct download: DD022808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:08pm EST

A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda I

This series has long been in the works since Host Jon Steinman attended the CropLife Canada conference back in September 2007.

Since the recent streak of municipal pesticide bans were put into place across Canada, the pesticide industry has been on the defense. Represented by trade association CropLife Canada, the public relations strategies being used by the industry were front and centre at the Saskatoon conference. But what about in the media?

On this multi-part series, Deconstructing Dinner explores the messages coming from industry and Canada's regulatory bodies; it will examine research on the pesticide and cancer connections; it will dig deep into the care that agricultural migrant workers receive when working within our borders; and it will challenge one of the most frequently used arguments - "Without pesticides, the world would go hungry!".

Part I
As part of his conference media package, Jon Steinman received a DVD produced by seed and pesticide manufacturer Syngenta Crop Protection Canada. Titled, "A Primer on Pesticides", this production will provide the basis for this Part I of a multi-part series A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda.

Using historical recordings on pesticides, Steinman explores the history of pesticide use throughout North America and makes the connections between war and agriculture. The underlying ideology of being at war against nature is placed into a critical light with Steinman's deconstructing of the many "enemy" weeds that are destroyed by chemicals every day. As is discovered, some of those pesky weeds are actually far more nutritious and resilient than most of what makes up the dominant food supply!

Voices

Donna Houghton - Toxicologist Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Robert Wright - Field Development Manager - Eastern Canada Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Marian Stypa - Regulatory and Biological Development Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Nancy Tout - Lead Scientist Dietary Safety Assessment Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) - CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations — pest control products and plant biotechnology — for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

Other Featured Audio

Death to Weeds (1947) - A short film produced by Dow Chemical to promote the use of their pesticide 2,4-D.

Direct download: DD022108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools I (Remastered)

How do food issues make their way into our public schools? As Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman recalls, "I remember graduating from high school not knowing the first thing about growing food and having very little idea how the food I consumed impacted the planet on which we live." With schools being the building blocks of our society and culture, how does our publicly-funded education system incorporate into curriculum this all important subject - food.

Part I
Host Jon Steinman takes a ride with Nelson-based Earth Matters as they introduce their Food-to-Table program in local public schools. As a component of the countrywide One-Tonne Challenge, the program involved in-class presentations on how our food choices influence climate change, and saw students visit local grocery stores where food was discussed in-depth.

Guests

Colleen Matte and Su Donovaro - Earth Matters (Nelson, BC) - Colleen and Su were the coordinators of the One-Tonne Challenge Food-to-Table program. Earth Matters is a youth-driven environmental organization focusing on the development and implementation of innovative experiential education and community development programs.

Karl Machado - Teacher, L.V. Rogers Secondary School (Nelson, BC) - Karl teaches a unique environmental science class for Grade 12 students. His class particpated in the Food-to-Table program.

Marilyn Lawrence - Teacher, A.I. Collinson Elementary School (Nelson, BC) - Marilyn is the grade 4/5 teacher. Her class participated in the Food-to-Table program.

Sarah Miles and Amber Johnson - Students, L.V. Rogers Secondary School (Nelson, BC)

Grade 4/5 Students - A.I. Collinson Elementary School (Nelson, BC)

Direct download: DD021408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:41pm EST

Future of Food III
In November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner attended one of the first regional food security conferences ever held in Canada. With a population of less than 10,000 people, the City of Nelson, British Columbia, hosted over 250 people for the first evening of keynote speakers. With an equally impressive 170 in attendance on the second day of keynote speakers and workshops, the conference acts as an example for other Canadian communities wishing to begin organizing themselves to take greater control over the food available to them.

Deconstructing Dinner hopes the raw recordings, shows, and resources presented on the Conference Page will aid groups across the country looking to ensure the presence of a socially and environmentally responsible local food system that benefits local economies.

Part III
On Part III we listen in on segments from two of the four conference workshops: Technical Aspects of Farming and Community Development. This episode highlights the dialogue that such a conference can help inspire, and emphasizes the wealth of knowledge and talent that may be hidden in the recesses of North American communities.

Conscientious Cooks V
In September 2007, Host Jon Steinman travelled to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. During his time there, he sat down to a tasty meal at Weczeria - a small restaurant where chef Daniel Walker ensures ingredients are uniquely Saskatchewan. While some restaurants display their coveted awards, Walker instead adorns his walls with photographs of his suppliers.

Voices

Merv Sloss, Local Flavours Products and Services Co-operative (Creston, BC) - LFPSC is a food co-operative that looks to directly link producers, processors, distributors and retailers with consumers.

Herb Barbolet, Associate - Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Burnaby, BC) - The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable food systems.

Jeremy Lack, Farmer - Mad Dog Farm (Tarrys, BC)

Wayne Harris, Farmer - Mountain Valley Dairy (Lister, BC)

And more from workshop delegates, panelists and facilitators...

Guests

Dan Walker, Owner/Chef - Weczeria: Food & Wine (Saskatoon, SK) - The word "Weczeria" is an homage to Daniel and Nicole Walker's roots. Daniel is of Ukrainian ancestry and Nicole is of Polish ancestry; together they chose Weczeria, the Ukrainian word for "evening meal." Although the restaurant's cuisine is not Ukrainian, the couple's heritage influences their preference for local ingredients and their desire to feed people the way they were fed growing up, how good Ukrainians feed people: with heart and hospitality.

Direct download: DD020708.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EST

The Birth of a Farmers' Market

In October 2007, Host Jon Steinman paid a visit to the community of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. With a population of 80,000, it came as a surprise to discover that the city does not maintain a functioning farmers' market where food is the focus. Recognizing how the absence of one threatened the already vulnerable state of Vancouver Island agriculture, the Food Sustainability Sub-Committee of the Mid-Island Co-op organized a one-day Farmers' Showcase. The event acted as a trial farmers' market to determine the feasibility of such an event on a weekly basis.

With over 3,000 people swarming upon the farmers and producers, the success of the market was a clear sign of the healthy potential for an increase in local food production on Vancouver Island.

Guests

Dirk Becker, Farmer/Activist, Compassion Farms (Lantzville, BC) - Dirk farms organically on 2.5 acres. He uses farming as a means to inspire others to reconnect with the land of which we are a part. Dirk is a member of the Food Sustainability Sub-Committee of the Mid-Island Co-op. He hosts a weekly radio program on CHLY Nanaimo - Heart and Mind, Tuesday, 1-2pm.

Arata Tanaka, Baker, Flour, Water, Salt Breads (Mill Bay, BC) - In 2006, Arata was permitted to build a wood-fired brick oven on the property of Merridale Estate Cidery. He sells his bread at Vancouver Island markets.

Betty Benson, Farmer, Cedar Valley Poultry (Nanaimo, BC) - The Benson family has been supporting agriculture in the Nanaimo area since 1948. Betty now raises organic Chickens and Turkeys and recently launched an adopt-a-turkey program.

Bob Handel, Farmer, Happy Beef (Nanaimo, BC) - Maintaining a small herd of cattle, according to their customers, Bob and Gerry Handel sell some of the finest tasting beef on Vancouver Island.

Maureen Drew, Partner, Artisan Edibles Fine Food Company (Parksville, BC) - Artisan Edibles condiments and preserves blend the best flavours of Vancouver Island and the world. Their mission is to develop flavourful condiments using Vancouver Island's natural bounty.

Stan Reist, Co-Owner, Flying Dutchman (Nanaimo, BC) - Supplies bees, bee-keeping supplies and honey sales from the Mountains and Valleys of Vancouver Island.

Craig Evans, Landscape & Garden Coordinator, Providence Farm (Duncan, BC) - A working organic farm dedicated to restoring the spirit and skills of those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

Sharon Vansickle, Sharon's Kitchen Crafts (Nanaimo, BC) - Sharon produces a wide-range of condiments and preserves and offers canning workshops to area-residents.

Lorelai Andrew, Food Sustainability Sub-Committee, Mid-Island Co-op (Nanaimo, BC)

Direct download: DD013108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:53pm EST

The Colonization of the Canadian Farmer II: Canadian Media and Creating GE-Free Zones

This broadcast explores the english print media coverage in Canada throughout 2007 on the controversies surrounding genetically engineered foods. Why has Canada become such a willing host to GE foods whereas throughout most of the world, bans, moratoriums and watchful eyes keep genetically modified organisms off grocery store shelves? Host Jon Steinman looks to provide one answer by deconstructing some of the confusing language that the Canadian public is receiving from some of the most vocal and published proponents of GE foods. The Kootenay region of BC for one has become a hotbed of media debates on the topic as it's NDP Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko who represents the riding in Ottawa. Atamanenko is at the forefront of politically challenging the presence of genetically engineered foods in Canada.

The broadcast also launches a segment on the creation of regions free of genetically-engineered crops. In November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner recorded the first meeting of residents and politicians who began strategizing around the launch of a campaign to create a GE-Free Kootenays. This segment continues into next week's broadcast.

Voices

Marc Loiselle, Communications and Research Director - Saskatchewan Organic Directorate's OAPF (Vonda, SK) - Marc farms on a century old family farm. The Loiselle Organic Family Farm grows cereal, oilseed, pulse, clover and hay crops. They raise chickens, goats and cattle. Marc has worked with certified organic and biodynamic practices for 22 years. Marc is one of a few farmers in Canada growing Red Fife Wheat.

Mischa Popoff, isitorganic.ca (Osoyoos, BC) - Mischa was an organic inspector until 2003. In an interview with The Western Producer, Popoff questioned the integrity of the organic sector, following which, he had trouble finding work in the industry. Popoff was a nominee in the 2007 federal Conservative Party candidacy for the BC Southern Interior riding.

Alex Atamanenko, MP BC Southern Interior / NDP Agriculture Critic, "New Democratic Party of Canada" (Ottawa, ON / Castlegar, BC) - Elected the Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior in 2006. Alex is the critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Canadian Wheat Board. Atamanenko was born in New Westminster, and was educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) - CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations — pest control products and plant biotechnology — for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

and... Participants at the November 10, 2007 GE-Free Kootenays meeting held in Nelson, BC

Direct download: DD011008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:29am EST

The Colonization of the Canadian Farmer: Saskatchewan Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto/Bayer

If you were told, that organic farmers are giving up growing organic crops, would you be concerned? Organic standards prohibit the presence of genetically engineered organisms within a harvest, but since outcrossing between plants is unavoidable in nature, genetically engineered canola is so easily crossing with non-GE varieties being grown organically, that these crops are unable to be certified as organic.

Monsanto has long been at the forefront of controversy around genetically engineered plants, and most notably, when their hired hands began trespassing onto farmers properties, taking samples, and then accusing farmers of stealing their technologies. One farmer who has now become world-renowned for his defiance of such actions, was Percy Schmeiser, whose field of non-genetically engineered canola became the unwilling host to Monsanto's patented GE variety known as Roundup Ready Canola. It was this case, that eventually set the precedent that a company can indeed own the lifeforms (the plants) that inadvertently make their way onto a farmers field. But if a company maintains ownership of the seed and hence the plant, then should that company maintain responsibility for the damages that their property causes?

The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate has since 2002 been seeking compensation for the damages caused by the property owned by the American-based Monsanto and Germany's Bayer. A class action lawsuit was chosen, as the issues raised by the two plaintiffs are no different than those faced by any organic farmer operating in Canada. In May 2005, the lower court in Saskatchewan denied the group such class action status, and subsequent appeals were also denied in May 2007 and then again in December 2007 by the Supreme Court of Canada. This exhausted all legal avenues for such a case. But while the denial of acquiring such status is a blow to the farmers, it's far from being the end to their fight.

Guests

Sean Gardner, Vice President & General Manager - Monsanto Canada Inc. (Winnipeg, MB) - Monsanto's Canadian operations are part of the larger, global Monsanto company headquartered in St. Louis, MO. The company produces canola, corn and soybean seed products, and a range of herbicides most often found under the brand name - Roundup. Sean has been with the Canadian operation since 2005 and in his current position since August 2006. He previously worked as Monsanto's country lead for the Mediterranean area comprised of Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Sean joined Monsanto in 1998 when the company acquired PBI Cambridge. Prior to joining Monsanto, Sean worked at Unilever.

Arnold Taylor, President - Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) (Kenaston, SK) - Since 1991, SOD has acted as an umbrella organization for organic producers, certifiers and processors. They are the SK chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers. The organization maintains a membership of 600-700. Arnold operates Taylor Organic Farms with his son. The 3,000 acre farm has been certified organic since 1992. Arnold is the President of the Canadian Organic Growers and the Chair of the Organic Federation of Canada. He is also the chair of SOD's Organic Agriculture Protection Fund Committee.

Marc Loiselle, Communications and Research Director - Saskatchewan Organic Directorate's OAPF (Vonda, SK) - Marc farms on a century old family farm. The Loiselle Organic Family Farm grows cereal, oilseed, pulse, clover and hay crops. They raise chickens, goats and cattle. Marc has worked with certified organic and biodynamic practices for 22 years. Marc is one of a few farmers in Canada growing Red Fife Wheat.

Other Voices

Denise Dewar, ex Executive Vice-President Plant Biotechnology - CropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) - CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations — pest control products and plant biotechnology — for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings. Denise is now in the same position for CropLife International.

Mischa Popoff, isitorganic.ca (Osoyoos, BC) - Mischa was an organic inspector until 2003. In an interview with The Western Producer, Popoff questioned the integrity of the organic sector, following which, he had trouble finding work in the industry. Popoff was a nominee in the 2007 federal Conservative Party candidacy for the BC Southern Interior riding.

 

Direct download: DD010308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:23pm EST

Future of Food in the Kootenays Conference II: Rebuilding Local Food Systems

In November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner attended one of the first regional food security conferences ever held in Canada. With a population of less than 10,000 people, the City of Nelson, British Columbia, hosted over 250 people for the first evening of keynote speakers. With an equally impressive 170 in attendance on the second day of keynote speakers and workshops, the conference acts as an example for other Canadian communities wishing to begin organizing themselves to take greater control over the food available to them.

Deconstructing Dinner hopes the raw recordings, shows, and resources presented on the Conference Page will aid groups across the country looking to ensure a socially and environmentally responsible local food system that benefits local economies.

Part II
On Part II we hear from two more keynote speakers who address how the region can begin going about rebuilding its local food system.

Guests

Abra Brynne, Board President - Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Salmo, BC) - Abra is known in the region as a Foodshed Animator - inspiring and working with groups who are in the process of preserving or building a more sustainable local food system. She acts as the Secretary for the Kootenay Organic Growers Society, co-founder of the BC Food Systems Network and is working with the Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy of the BCFPA. Abra has lent her voice to Deconstructing Dinner on both the launch of our "Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food Series" and during our inaugural broadcast in January 2006.

Don Low, Agricultural Economist, Industry Competitiveness Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (Creston, BC) - Don is based at the Ministry's Creston office. Prior to his role as an Agricultural Economist, Don was the District Agrologist, a profession that has disappeared in many parts of the country, and those positions that do remain have changed significantly from their more traditional role of advising and supporting farmers on the operations of their farms. Don also operates a large cherry orchard - Quiet Valley Farms.
PPT Presentation

Marilyn James, Spokesperson, Sinixt Nation (Winlaw, BC) - The land on which Nelson resides is the traditional territory of the Sinixt Nation also known as the Arrow Lakes People. The Canadian government has officially declared the Sinixt extinct, yet, many descendants do still reside in the region, so much so, that right here at Kootenay Co-op Radio we host the weekly program Sinixt Radio hosted by Marilyn James herself. As with any discussion taking place in this country when the issue of land use and resources are the focal point, support and approval from the original inhabitants of the territory is of critical importance. Marilyn welcomed conference delegates.

Nadine Steele and Andre Piver, Organizers, Future of Food Conference Collaborative (Bealby Point, BC) - As members of the Nelson-Creston Green Party of BC, Nadine and Andre are two of a handful of organizers who helped bring the Future of Food in the Kootenays Conference into being.

Direct download: DD121307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

Future of Food in the Kootenays Conference I: Overcoming Denial

In November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner attended one of the first regional food security conferences ever held in Canada. With a population of less than 10,000 people, the City of Nelson, British Columbia, hosted over 250 people for the first evening of keynote speakers. With an equally impressive 170 in attendance on the second day of keynote speakers and workshops, the conference acts as an example for other Canadian communities wishing to begin organizing themselves to take greater control over the food available to them.

Deconstructing Dinner hopes the raw recordings, shows, and resources presented on the Conference Page of our site will aid groups across the country looking to ensure a socially and environmentally responsible local food system that benefits local economies.

Part I
On Part I we hear from two keynote speakers who spoke on the threats facing regional food systems with a focus on energy resources. We hear predictions as to how communities will need to redesign and redefine themselves in light of such threats. And we hear from the two elected officials representing the region both provincially and federally.

Guests

Justin Roller, Fuel Cell Engineer, Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council Canada (Vancouver, BC) - Justin's presentation was titled "Canada and the Coming Energy Transition". Justin introduced the conference by outlining the current balance between global energy supplies and demand. He is currently a Masters candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Richard Balfour, Architect / Director, Metro Vancouver Planning Commission (Vancouver, BC) - Richard is a Vancouver-based architect who also acts as a director with both the Metro Vancouver Planning Coalition and the New City Institute. He recently published the book "Strategic Sustainable Planning, A Civil Defense Manual for Cultural Survival". Richard recognizes the many threats facing our current way of life, and as part of his research accessed a report that the provincial government had withheld from releasing to the public. Through a freedom of information request, Richard was responsible for the release of the report titled, " BC's Food Self Reliance: Can BC farmers feed our growing population." The report was funded by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. The final conclusion of the report was that BC currently produces only 48% of the food consumed within the province.

Alex Atamanenko, MP BC Southern Interior / NDP Agriculture Critic, "New Democratic Party of Canada" (Ottawa, ON / Castlegar, BC) - Elected the Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior in 2006. Alex is the critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Canadian Wheat Board. Atamanenko was born in New Westminster, and was educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Victoria, BC / Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

Direct download: DD120607.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:41pm EST

Co-operatives - Alternatives to Industrial Food III

On this Part III of the "Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food" series, we look at the Islands Good Food Initiative and the Heritage Foodservice Co-operative. The co-operative is looking to reclaim greater control over the regional food system on Vancouver Island. Once producing 85% of the food consumed on the Island, Vancouver Island now only produces less than 10% of the food consumed! The Island represents an important window into the future of food security in North American communities.

This new co-operative will challenge the common supply chain model whereby farmers most often receive the short end of the stick, and replace it with what is known as a value chain. Within a value chain, every link is ensured a fair price of that final food dollar. The Heritage Foodservice Co-operative will look to connect farmers with labour, with processing and packing facilities, with transportation/distribution and with institutional food purchasers (restaurants, colleges, public facilities, etc.). Is this a model for other communities to adopt?

Guests

Sandra Mark and Frank Moreland, Edible Strategies Enterprises (Fanny Bay, BC) - A small consulting group working with partners to develop approaches to relocalize the food system. They offer a variety of services to enterprising non-profit organizations and co-operatives. Edible Strategies has been integral in the creation of the business plan for the Heritage Foodservice Co-operative.

Karin Lengger, General Manager - Vancouver Island, SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery) (Victoria, BC) - In business since 1998, SPUD is Canada's largest organic grocery home delivery service. The business serves over 6000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, Calgary and Seattle. SPUD is committed to protecting the environment by buying local, organic, minimally packaged, and eco-friendly products.

Bill Code, President, Island Farmers Alliance (Duncan, BC) - The IFA is an alliance of farmers on Vancouver Island and surrounding islands who work to ensure the sustainability and growth of Island agriculture by promoting local foods and farmers.

Graham Morry, Executive Director, Nanaimo Associaiton for Community Living (NACL) (Nanaimo, BC) - NACL supports and advocates for citizens with developmental disabilities and the people that care for them by promoting inclusion through various residential and community opportunities, activities, and services. They currently operate seven residences and a day program in the Nanaimo area. They also provide respite care and community respite by referral.

Marjorie Stewart, Chair, Nanaimo Foodshare (Nanaimo, BC) - Whether they're developing small-scale businesses, teaching a canning workshop, or distributing locally grown produce through the Good Food Box program, Foodshare helps people develop the skills they need to increase food security, build community, and be self-sufficient. Through programs, workshops, and community networks, their aim is to educate and empower by sharing not just food -- but also information, resources, workloads, and new opportunities.

James Street, President, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association (Courtenay, BC) - Founded in 1979 to represent chefs and cooks from Bowser to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, the Association is a branch of the Canadian Culinary Federation. Their goals are to promote culinary excellence, aid the growth and development of the industry, and provide a network for membership.

Direct download: DD112907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:57pm EST

Heritage Foods: Preserving Diversity I

The diversity in the varieties of crops being grown in Canada has dwindled significantly. Virtually all of the fruits, vegetables, grains, livestock and pretty much every ingredient found on grocery store shelves, is of a variety that has purely been bred for profit. At no time has the importance of maintaining diversity or flavour ever been a concern for the powerful industrial food system that has taken hold of the North American diet.

This series will explore what risks accompany the loss of such diversity while on the other hand, expose the many farmers and organizations preserving Canada's heritage varieties of food and protecting our food supply from the control of multinational interests.

Part I
On Part I, we resurrect Red Fife Wheat, perhaps the most important wheat variety to Canadians. Red Fife fed Canadians for 40 years, yet disappeared as more export-oriented varieties and hybrids took its place. But Red Fife is making a comeback, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn't like it. Is this a chance for the people of Canada to reclaim control over our cultural heritage and challenge the industrial food system? Sharon Rempel thinks so.

We also learn more about heirloom (heritage) vegetables. Growing heirlooms is an exciting way to try new and unusual tastes, shapes and colours. But more than that it is an effort to maintain the genetic diversity of our food crops. Many varieties have disappeared forever and there is interest in keeping these older varieties in circulation. Heirlooms, unlike some hybrids, are not grown for their ability to withstand shipping and chemicals or their uniform look at market. They are grown for taste.

Guests

Sharon Rempel - Agronomist, Grassroot Solutions, (Victoria, BC) - Sharon's expertise lies in organic production, seed conservation, 'on farm' wheat breeding and heritage crops. Sharon was the founder of "Seedy Saturdays" - community seed exchanges held each year across the country. Sharon is the Director of the Heritage Wheat Project. Her most recent project was Canada's first ever Bread and Wheat Festival, held in Victoria on October 27, 2007.

Linda Crago, Farmer, Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm (Wellandport, ON) - At Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm, Linda's specialty and passion is Heirloom vegetables. Linda offers a tremendous selection of heirloom tomato transplants (over 200 varieties), heirloom pepper and eggplant transplants and more. She operates a CSA program, supplies restaurants, and offers mail order across Canada. Linda grows more than 1000 varieties of veggies on an intensively planted piece of land, and does so organically.

Music

Phil Vernon - Musician, Æthm Music (Salt Spring Island, BC) - The broadcast marks the radio debut of "Red Fife Wheat" - a new song recorded just days before this broadcast first aired. The creator of the song is Phil Vernon, a musician based on Salt Spring Island, BC. Phil has lent his musical farming talents to the program on a number of previous occasions.

Direct download: DD112207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16pm EST

Paying the Costs of Not Paying Attention to Eating (Remastered)

On January 26, 2006, we aired our fourth episode. As the content of the broadcast remains an important set of ideas to carry through the many shocking and revealing stories covered on the program, we have chosen to redo the broadcast with a fresher sound. Using the same audio from the original interviews, Host Jon Steinman re-presents the show. This broadcasts looks to address how the attention we pay to the specific moment of eating, affects the attention we pay to what food we purchase and why? By reconnecting ourselves to the act of eating, can we reconnect ourselves to food itself?

Guests

Victoria Stanton - Artist, ESSEN, (Montreal, QC) - Montreal-based performance artist producing solo and collaborative creative work since 1992. Her project entitled ESSEN, takes a look at our relationship with eating by hosting meals where participants feed each other instead of themselves. These events help expose our relationship with food by disrupting the daily routine of feeding.

Carl Honoré, Author, In Praise of Slow (London, UK) - Author of "IN PRAISE OF SLOW - How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed" (Vintage Canada). Carl is a Canadian journalist based in London, England. He has written for The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, and the National Post.

Paul Rozin - Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia, PA). Earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He has been a member of the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania since 1963. Former editor of the journal Appetite. Research - Cultural Psychology. Acquisition of likes and dislikes for foods, nature and development of the magical belief in contagion, cultural evolution of disgust, ambivalence to animal foods, lay conception of risk of infection and toxic effects of foods, interaction of moral and health factors in concerns about risks, relation between people's desires to have desires and their actual desires (including the problem of internalization), acquisition of culture, nature of cuisine, cultural evolution. Research carried out in USA, France, Japan and India.

Direct download: DD111507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

Biofuel Boom: Greenwashing and Crimes Against Humanity (Part II)

A two-part series that will critically analyze what is being suggested as the worst public policy mistake in a generation. A prominent UN representative calls it a "crime against humanity", and this "crime" may shock even the most environmentally conscious of individuals, because it is in reference to biofuels, a technology that is in the early stages of an unprecedented boom around the world. The green image being painted by industry and world leaders is doing little to convince skeptics that using agricultural land to grow fuel is as environmentally friendly as it is reported to be. Compounding the environmental debate, biofuels are being referred to by some of the world's most influential international organizations as contributing to increases in global hunger at staggering rates. The money being thrown around the world and being invested into these biofuel technologies is incredible. In July 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised 1.5 billion dollars in incentives to get the Canadian biofuel industry up and running. British Petroleum has controversially invested half a billion dollars into biofuel research at the University of California at Berkeley.

The seriousness of this issue has prompted a careful approach to addressing this topic, and this two-part series has been designed to hopefully be the most critical 2-hours of radio produced to date on this rapid emergence of biofuels around the world.

Part II
On Part II, we examine the accusation that biofuels are a crime against humanity and how the biofuel boom will affect food prices around the world. We deconstruct the suggestion that biofuels will help Canadian farmers and rural communities, and we explore the controversy on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley where on February 1, 2007, a biofuel research deal worth half a billion dollars was announced between BP (British Petroleum) and the University.

Guests

Darrin Qualman - Director of Research, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Saskatoon, SK) - NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.

Eric Holt-Gimenez - Executive Director, Food First (Oakland, CA) - Also known as the Institute for Food and Development Policy, the purpose of Food First is to eliminate the injustices that cause hunger, a purpose they've been operating with for over 32 years. The institute was launched by Joseph Collins and Francis Moore Lappe. Lappe is most well known for her book published around that time - Diet for a Small Planet.

Robin Speer - Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (Toronto, ON) - Founded in 1994, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) mission is to promote the use of renewable fuels for transportation through consumer awareness and government liaison activities. The CRFA membership is comprised of representatives from all levels of the ethanol and biodiesel industry, including: grain and cellulose ethanol producers, biodiesel producers, fuel technology providers, and agricultural associations.

Other Voices

Len Penner - President, Cargill Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - One of Canada's largest agricultural merchandisers and processors with interests in meat, egg, malt and oilseed processing, livestock feed, salt manufacturing, as well as crop input products, grain handling and merchandizing. The company is a subsidiary of Cargill Limited based in the United States. In February 2007, Deconstructing Dinner ran a 2-part series on the operations of the company. Len was interviewed and recorded speaking by Host Jon Steinman in September 2007 at the CropLife Canada conference in Saskatoon.

Ignacio Chapela - Associate Professor, College of Natural Resources, University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) - Working in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, the Chapela Lab focuses its research on the Ecology of Transgenes and Fungal Ecology. Chapela became the centre of controversy in 2000 while examining the native maize population in Oaxaca. One of Chapela’s graduate students, David Quist, made a shocking discovery. Despite a ban imposed by the Mexican government upon genetically-engineered(GE) corn in the birth place of modern maize domestication, there was clear evidence of genetic contamination. Chapela has long been a vocal opponent of genetic modification, which will be one focus of the BP/Berkeley Biofuels research.

Miguel Altieri - Professor, College of Natural Resources, University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) - Working in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Miguel's research group uses the concepts of agroecology to obtain a deep understanding of the nature of agroecosystems and the principles by which they function. Throughout their research and writings they have aided in the emergence of agroecology as the discipline that provides the basic ecological principles for how to study, design, and manage sustainable agroecosystems that are both productive and natural resource conserving, and that are also culturally-sensitive, socially-just and economically viable.

Ali Tonak - PhD Student, College of Natural Resources, University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) - Ali is a student of Igancio Chapela and one of the organizers of the Stop BP-Berkeley Campaign. Ali was arrested on March 1, 2007 during a theatrical protest on the campus.

JoAnne Buth - President, Canola Council of Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - A national trade association representing producers, input suppliers, processors and marketers of canola and its products. JoAnne was interviewed and recorded speaking by Host Jon Steinman in September 2007 at the CropLife Canada conference in Saskatoon.

Jean Ziegler - Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, United Nations (Geneva, Switzerland) - In September 2000, Jean Ziegler was nominated by the UN Commission on Human Rights to be the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Ziegler is a senior Professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Sorbonne, Paris. At the University of Geneva, he established the Laboratory of sociology for the study of the societies of the Third World, and most of his work has focused on developing countries.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar - Governor, California (Sacramento, CA)

Robert Birgeneau - Chancellor, University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Robert Malone - Chairman and CEO, BP America (Houston, TX)

Direct download: DD110807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:12pm EST

Biofuel Boom: Greenwashing and Crimes Against Humanity (Part I)

A two-part series that will critically analyze what is being suggested as the worst public policy mistake in a generation. A prominent UN representative calls it a "crime against humanity", and this "crime" may shock even the most environmentally conscious of individuals, because it is in reference to biofuels, a technology that is in the early stages of an unprecedented boom around the world. The green image being painted by industry and world leaders is doing little to convince skeptics that using agricultural land to grow fuel is as environmentally friendly as it is reported to be. Compounding the environmental debate, biofuels are being referred to by some of the world's most influential international organizations as contributing to increases in global hunger at staggering rates. The money being thrown around the world and being invested into these biofuel technologies is incredible. In July 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised 1.5 billion dollars in incentives to get the Canadian biofuel industry up and running. British Petroleum has controversially invested half a billion dollars into biofuel research at the University of California at Berkeley.

The seriousness of this issue has prompted a careful approach to addressing this topic, and this two-part series has been designed to hopefully be the most critical 2-hours of radio produced to date on this rapid emergence of biofuels around the world.

Part I
On this Part I, we explore the key term being used by industry and government to promote the conversion of agricultural crops into fuel, and that term is "renewable". The word presents an image of green and clean fuel, so much so, that the main biofuel industry association here in Canada is not only called the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association but has secured the web site address greenfuels.org. Quite an eco-friendly image being painted by the industry. The Canadian government has even placed biofuel initiatives under their new "EcoAction" programs. But are Canadians being duped into thinking that biofuels are the answer to climate change?

Guests

Darrin Qualman - Director of Research, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Saskatoon, SK) - NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.

Eric Holt-Gimenez - Executive Director, Food First (Oakland, CA) - Also known as the Institute for Food and Development Policy, the purpose of Food First is to eliminate the injustices that cause hunger, a purpose they've been operating with for over 32 years. The institute was launched by Joseph Collins and Francis Moore Lappe. Lappe is most well known for her book published around that time - Diet for a Small Planet.

Robin Speer - Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (Toronto, ON) - Founded in 1994, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) mission is to promote the use of renewable fuels for transportation through consumer awareness and government liaison activities. The CRFA membership is comprised of representatives from all levels of the ethanol and biodiesel industry, including: grain and cellulose ethanol producers, biodiesel producers, fuel technology providers, and agricultural associations.

Other Voices

JoAnne Buth - President, Canola Council of Canada (Winnipeg, MB) - A national trade association representing producers, input suppliers, processors and marketers of canola and its products. JoAnne was interviewed and recorded speaking by Host Jon Steinman in September 2007 at the CropLife Canada conference in Saskatoon.

Jean Ziegler - Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, United Nations (Geneva, Switzerland) - In September 2000, Jean Ziegler was nominated by the UN Commission on Human Rights to be the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Ziegler is a senior Professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Sorbonne, Paris. At the University of Geneva, he established the Laboratory of sociology for the study of the societies of the Third World, and most of his work has focused on developing countries.

George W. Bush - President, United States of America (Washington, DC)

Stephen Harper - Prime Minister, Canada (Ottawa, ON)

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - President, Brazil (Brasilia, Brazil)

Direct download: DD110107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:20pm EST

2017 The Health Care Crisis - How the food system itself impacts health

Host Jon Steinman recently travelled to Vancouver Island to document two new and innovative projects being undertaken there. Both are looking to ensure the sustainability of local farming on an Island that sees 90% of its food being imported from the mainland.

On this broadcast, we listen in on segments from a presentation by British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture's Brent Warner. Brent was invited to speak at an event hosted by FoodLink Nanaimo.

How does the design of local food systems impact human health. As the economic health of local farmers also ensures the health of the population, today's broadcast is laying out some of the key concerns for British Columbians leading up to the year 2017. A document that has begun to reshape the province's focus on agriculture and food, is also one that has not received much media attention. According to a Treasury Board analysis, by 2017, the increasing pressure placed on the healthcare system will see the budget of the province of British Columbia needing to be solely devoted to funding of health care and education at a minimal rate… nothing else! This scenario is not much different across the country. While many groups argue that the predictions are false and ignore actual past trends, this study has nevertheless acted as a wake up call to all provinces and presents a strong argument among others, that real change needs to begin taking place within Canada's food system.

Speaker

Brent Warner - Industry Specialist, Agritourism/Direct Marketing, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Lands (Victoria, BC) - Brent is a horticulturalist who has worked with the Ministry since 1980. Brent is the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association. He authored "Marketing on the Edge" - a guide for farmers/producers to assist in diversification and marketing of their products directly to the public.

Direct download: DD102507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:28pm EST

The Eat Local Challenge

As has become an innovative way to experience the joy and difficulties of eating local food, many communities are challenging their people to eat more locally or better yet, entirely local for a specified period of time. In September 2007, the city of Vancouver proclaimed the month as eat local month, the city of Hamilton Ontario has launched an eat local project, and here in the city of Nelson, our own eat local challenge took place in the month of August. 150 Nelson-area residents pledged to commit to eating more locally, and many local businesses took it upon themselves to provide their customers with more local options.

On this broadcast we hear segments from a conversation facilitated with seven of those who pledged to take the challenge in Nelson. We hear how they managed such an undertaking, what they learned from the experience, and whether or not they gave up! We also listen in on a few short segments from a recent visit to Nelson by authors Alisa Smith and James Mackinnon of the bestselling title, "The 100-Mile Diet".

Guests/Speakers

Anne Marchildon, Becky Quirk, Nancy Roulston, Lorraine Carlstrom, Mackenzie Carlstrom, Tara Stark, Matt Lowe - Nelson Eat Local Challengers (Nelson, BC) - Community Food Matters is a collective of individuals, organizations, institutions, health authorities and businesses who are concerned with Nelson's food security. CFM launched the Eat Local Challenge during the month of August.

Alisa Smith - 100-Mile Diet Society (Vancouver, BC) - is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her articles have been printed in U.S. and Canadian publications from Reader's Digest to Utne. The books Liberalized (New Star, 2005) and Way Out There (Greystone, 2006) also feature her work. Smith has a Master's degree in history and has taught magazine writing. She has been a member of the Cypress Community Garden for five years, and hopes someday to successfully grow an eggplant.

James (J.B.) MacKinnon - 100-Mile Diet Society (Vancouver, BC) - is the author of Dead Man in Paradise (Douglas & McIntyre), which won the 2006 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. His work as a journalist has earned two national magazine awards, and he is a senior contributing editor to Explore Magazine. A past editor of Adbusters, MacKinnon speaks regularly on writing and the politics of consumerism. After a year on the 100-Mile Diet, he will never again eat store-bought sauerkraut.

Direct download: DD101107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm EST

Biotechnology Myths?

In September 2007, Host Jon Steinman travelled to Saskatoon to attend the 55th annual CropLife Canada Conference. CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations — pest control products and plant biotechnology — for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

The conference was titled "The Power of Partnerships - The New Bio-Economy: Accelerating Change/Achieving Prosperity". Attending the conference were executives and members of the most influential agricultural corporations in Canada, including among others; Agricore, Viterra, Cargill, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, E.I. du Pont, Nufarm, and Syngenta. A large contingent of bureaucrats from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada were in attendance, including two Conservative Members of Parliament (David Anderson, Carol Skelton).

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring a number of recordings and interviews compiled at the conference, and will bring on panels of guests to respond to the messages coming out of Canada's conventional agriculture sector.

On this broadcast, we listen in on segments from the Keynote Speaker Juan Enriquez. Juan's presentation was titled "As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces are Changing your Life, Work, Health & Wealth". Joining the program to comment and challenge remarks made during this presentation will be Terry Pugh (National Farmers Union), and Jeffrey Smith (Institute for Responsible Technology).

Guests

Juan Enriquez - Chairman/CEO, Biotechonomy (Boston, MA) - Author, businessman, and academic, is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences. Biotechonomy LLC is a life sciences research and investment firm. He was the Founding Director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, and author of "As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth".

Terry Pugh - Executive Secretary, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Saskatoon, SK) - The NFU works on the non-partisan development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the basic food-producing unit in Canada. To help realize this goal, the NFU and its members work to create, expand, and safeguard orderly marketing and supply-management systems. NFU members believe that individual farmers must work collectively to assert their interests in an agricultural industry increasingly dominated by multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Jeffrey Smith - Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology (Fairfield, IA) - The IRT was founded in 2003 by Jeffrey Smith to promote the responsible use of technology and stop GM foods and crops through both grassroots and national strategies. Jeffrey is the author of "Seeds of Deception", and the recently-released "Genetic Roulette - The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods".

Direct download: DD100407.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:51pm EST

Soil Matters CSA II / Marion Nestle

Soil Matters CSA
One of the greatest threats facing farmers today and hence facing our own food supply is the financial rewards found in the field of farming, rewards that are seemingly more often then not, in the negative digits. Many argue that food and agriculture should be removed from global trade regimes. One of the reasons for such an idea comes from a belief that farmers themselves should not have to bear the financial risks associated with such a volatile industry, and all people should equally share such risks as food is a need and not a desire. One alternative to the dominant food system is the model of Community Supported Agriculture, whereby a set number of people within a city or town become a member of a farm, and in doing so pay the farmers at the beginning of the season when farmers need the money most. Members who join are then guaranteed what is most often a weekly box of fresh produce. As many farmers know all too well how easily an entire crop can be lost due to weather, pests or unforeseen circumstances, members of a CSA share this risk with the farmer and on the other side can also share in the abundance. Just outside of Nelson, British Columbia, two intrepid farmers who only began farming a few years ago, have launched a CSA this year. Host Jon Steinman chose to become a member and document the process of creating a CSA and the potential for such a model to reconnect people with their food and provide farmers with a more secure source of income.

Part II
On September 8, Soil Matters hosted a members potluck and discussion. Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman facilitated the discussion where members shared their experiences of becoming part of a CSA. How has joining a farm changed eating patterns? How has working on the farm reshaped our connection to food? What changes should be made to the administration and functioning of the CSA for next year? Marion Nestle - "The Ethics of Food Marketing" Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, in the department that she chaired from 1988 through 2003. She also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology in NYU's College of Arts and Sciences and as a Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the politics of food with an emphasis on the role of food marketing as a determinant of dietary choice. She is the author of "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" (University of California Press, 2002) and "Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism" (University of California Press, 2003), and is co-editor of "Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Food and Nutrition" (McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2004). Her new book, "What to Eat," was published in May, 2006. In November 2006, Princeton University hosted a five-part conference exploring the broad and compelling issues and ethical dilemmas surrounding food production in the U.S. and the choices individuals make regarding the food they eat. Marion Nestle was invited to speak on "The Ethics of Food Marketing". We hear segments from her presentation.

Direct download: DD092707.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EST

Packaged Foods Exposed IV - Unilever II

The Packaged Foods Exposed series takes a look at the largest food manufacturers in the world. What products fall under their banners; how has their influence shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

This series places corporations in a critical light, hoping to provide a more balanced image to the advertising and PR campaigns launched by some of the most influential food corporations on the planet.

In this fourth episode of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, we take a look at one of the largest consumer products companies in the world - Unilever.

With such a significant influence on agriculture, food and health here in Canada and abroad, this focus on the company will be spread out over a two-part series.

Part II

On Part II of the Unilever series we will explore the historical and current health impacts of margarine, and how Unilever has responded to such health concerns. Unilever has both historically and recently had a heavy influence on life in the oceans. Such an influence extended up until their most recent impact on the depletion of cod stocks in the Baltic Sea - stocks that are on the brink of collapse. Unilever also controls roughly 25% of the Canadian ice cream market, and this broadcast will look into some similar tactics the company has used in the world of margarine that are quietly being applied to many of the company's ice cream products. The question is raised - are Unilever's ice creams really ice cream? We will learn of a misleading web site the company maintains that seemingly violates Canadian laws, and we will learn of a controversial ingredient entering into Unilever's ice cream products around the world, an ingredient that replicates the DNA found in a fish, and one that is created through genetic modification!

Guests

Oliver Knowles - Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace (London, UK) - The over-exploitation and mismanagement of fisheries has already led to some spectacular fisheries collapses. The cod fishery off Newfoundland, Canada collapsed in 1992, leading to the loss of some 40,000 jobs in the industry. The cod stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are now heading the same way and are close to complete collapse. Greenpeace has been at the forefront of addressing this serious concern.

Geoff Ross-Smith - Owner, Kootenay Kreamery (Nelson, BC) - Geoff began selling Unilever's Breyers ice cream at a stand in Ainsworth, BC until the quality of the product decline rapidly. Geoff chose to then launch a small independent ice cream company - now selling his products to 10 stores in the area.

Therese Beaulieu - Assistant Director, Communication and Policy, Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON) - A national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada’s 16,000 dairy farms. DFC strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and promote dairy products and their health benefits.

Joe Cummins - Professor Emeritus of Genetics, University of Western Ontario (London, ON) - Joe is one of the earliest critics of genetic engineering. He obtained BS Horticulture, Washington State University 1955 and PhD Cellular Biology, University of Wisconsin 1962. Taught genetics at Rutgers and the University of Washington, Seattle before joining the University of Western Ontario in 1972. Joe sits on the board of the UK-based Independent Science Panel and is involved with The Institute of Science in Society.

Direct download: DD091307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35pm EST

Packaged Foods Exposed IV - Unilever I

The Packaged Foods Exposed series takes a look at the largest food manufacturers in the world. What products fall under their banners; how has their influence shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

This series places corporations in a critical light, hoping to provide a more balanced image to the advertising and PR campaigns launched by some of the most influential food corporations on the planet.

In this fourth episode of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, we take a look at one of the largest consumer products companies in the world - Unilever.

With such a significant influence on agriculture, food and health here in Canada and around the world, this focus on the company will be spread out over a two-part series.

Part I

On Part I of the Unilever series, we explore one product that the company maintains considerable control over in Canada - margarine, in particular their Becel, Imperial, Blue Bonnet and I Can't Believe it's not Butter brands.

Margarine may very well, by the end of the year, spark the first ever interprovincial retaliatory trade war since the Agreement on Internal Trade was first signed by the provinces in 1994. How could a tub of margarine be so powerful you may ask? The province of Quebec is the last place in the world that maintains a margarine colouration ban, that is a ban that prohibits margarine to be coloured yellow like butter. Such a ban infuriates a company like Unilever who now must produce two different products, one for Quebec and one for the rest of Canada.

But margarine isn't new to conflict in Canada and the United States. In fact the history of margarine is probably one of the most fascinating windows into the evolution of our food system over the past 100 years...

"The evolution of this problem is closely related to historical shifts from agriculture to industrial order" - Richard Ball / Robert Lilly

"[Margarine is] another sign of the artificiality of modern life." - Mark Twain

With such significant statements, margarine does indeed seem like a product worth deconstructing given how accepted margarine has become as part of the Canadian diet.

Also on the broadcast will be an update on our complaint filed with Advertising Standards Canada following the April 12, 2007 broadcast on Kraft Foods.

Guests

Sean McPhee - President, Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada (VOIC) (Toronto, ON) - An industry group representing 75,000 oilseed growers across Canada, oilseed processors and suppliers of fats and oils to the food industry, and makers of oilseed-based food products, such as margarine, cooking oil, salad dressing, mayonnaise and dessert toppings. Members include the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, Archer Daniel Midland Agri-Industries Ltd., Bunge Canada, Canbra Foods, Cargill Limited, AarhusKarlshamn US and Canada, Loders Croklaan, Unilever Canada and Rich Products Corporation.

Therese Beaulieu - Assistant Director, Communication and Policy, Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON) - A national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada’s 16,000 dairy farms. DFC strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and promote dairy products and their health benefits.

Audio Clips

"Housewives Save With Margarine" - CBC News Roundup (1948) - Broadcast on December 14, 1948 shortly following the legalization of margarine in Canada. Host: Bill Reid. Reporters: Warren Baldwin, Dave Price. Interviewer: Bill Beatty. Guest: Erle Kitchen.

Direct download: DD090607.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:39pm EST

The End of Oil, The Start of Tasty Food

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a group acting as an energy policy advisor to 26 member countries. This is the most important body at the forefront of researching global energy supplies and predicting and suggesting how resources should be allocated. In July 2007, the IEA, for the first time ever, changed their tune from what had long been an ongoing state of optimism in terms of global supplies of oil. In a publication titled "Medium-Term Oil Market Report", the IEA addresses the possibility of Peak Oil, a state in which the global supplies reach their peak and then proceed to decline. Peak Oil has long been denied by major oil producers, so needless to say, such a report can be seen as monumental.

In light of this report, we are going to revisit with a voice last heard here on the program in October of 2006, and that is Julian Darley of the Sebastapol, California-based Post Carbon Institute. Julian recently visited Nelson following an invitation by The West Kootenay Eco Society. Julian spoke to an audience on the current global supplies of oil, and he shared a number of very innovative projects the Post Carbon Institute is working on including what he refers to as a Local Energy Garden. Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record his presentation.

Launching the broadcast we explore segments from two films dating from 1950 and 1960 respectively. These films were created to educate the public on the benefits of oil and how this non-renewable resource became the foundation for agriculture and food - a food system we now embrace today.

Speakers

Julian Darley, President, Post Carbon Institute (Sebastapol, CA) - Julian Darley is founder and director of Post Carbon Institute and Global Public Media. He is the author of High Noon for Natural Gas: the New Energy Crisis (2004). Julian has an MSc in Environment and Social Research from University of Surrey in the UK, an MA in Journalism and Communications from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Music & Russian. Julian recently moved from Vancouver, BC and now lives in Sebastopol, California, USA.

Audio

"Twenty-Four Hours of Progress" (1950), Oil Industry Information Committee (USA) - How the oil industry is central to the American Economy

"Miracles From Agriculture" (1960), U.S. Department of Agriculture - Presents the supermarkets of 1960 as the showplaces of agriculture; discusses methods of improvement in the growing, handling, processing, and shipping of food products.

Direct download: DD082307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:06pm EST

Organic Daycare / Conscientious Cooks IV

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

Organic Daycare
With many parents having difficulty even finding spaces for their children in local daycares or preschools, there are a number of parents out there who are also finding it difficult to seek out services that adhere to their values of healthy eating and their desire to see their children receive an education on food.

One of the major barriers preventing more mindful food choices is habit. There is certainly no denying that the older we get, the harder it is to break out of our routines, many of which, are becoming quite clearly unsustainable and detrimental to our planet and ourselves. Exposing children to more environmentally and socially responsible food at an early age is perhaps one of the most effective tools to promote positive change.

On this broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner we take a look at three innovative programs currently in operation across the country. One is a model for operating organic daycares by linking up with local farms. Another is daycare that incorporates organic gardening and food preparation. And yet another is a company serving up organic meals to daycares and schools throughout the city of Toronto.

These three speakers were recorded in Toronto at the April 2007 Growing Up Organic Conference hosted by Canadian Organic Growers.

Conscientious Cooks IV
Our Conscientious Cooks series exposes restaurants and chefs who are going above and beyond the more traditional methods of sourcing their food. The focus for this segment will be Vancouver's Pair Bistro, a small restaurant showcasing regional cuisine by utilizing regional ingredients. Host Jon Steinman sat down with owner Todd Hodgins and chef Shaughn Halls during a recent visit to the city.

Guests / Speakers

Nadine Bachand, Project Coordinator, Ecological Agriculture Program, Equiterre (Montreal, QC) - For over ten years, a profound concern for the protection of the environment has brought Nadine to work with various environmental organizations. She is particularly dedicated to working on issues related to the current food system. In the context of her Master's research in Environmental Sciences, Nadine focused on the use of pesticides in urban contexts. Nadine has been with Equiterre since March 2003 and is has been working to develop relationships between local organic farms and social institutions, including their Organic Daycare program.

Linda Bonnefoy, Alligator Pie Preschool (Whitehorse, YK) - Linda has a background in mental health counseling and curriculum development. She created and runs a mentorship program at Alligator Pie Preschool in the Yukon based on hands-on organic gardening. With the help of experts and farmers from the community and territory, children learn how vegetables are grown and the real value of food.

Kim Crosby, Office Manager, Real Food for Real Kids (Toronto, ON) - David Farnell and his wife, Lulu Cohen-Farnell, started Real Food For Real Kids hoping their son would have access to healthy food in day care. They founded a catering company that is now distributing organic all-natural meals to over 2,000 children in 46 day cares and two schools.

Todd Hodgins, Owner, Pair Bistro (Vancouver, BC) - Calling their offerings "Food with Terroire", Pair Bistro focuses on regional and seasonal foods. They call themselves "ethical food production, community and sustainability". Owners Janis and Todd Hodgins alongside Chef Shaughn Halls source the majority of their ingredients from the Granville Island Public Market and from farmers who show up at the restaurant's back door. Pair Bistro represents a model through which more environmentally and socially responsible food can find its way into Canadian restaurants.
also lending their voice... Shaughn Halls, Chef

Direct download: DD081607.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

Personal vs Corporate Responsibility

This broadcast will address the question of responsibility: Should it be you and I who feel personally responsible for finding it very difficult to eat a socially and environmentally responsible diet, or, on the other hand, should those who have created our dominant food system be responsible themselves - that is a food system which is incredibly taxing on the planet, on communities around the world and on our health.

In November 2006, Princeton University hosted the conference "Food, Ethics and the Environment", made up of some of the most well-known names in the world of food activism. A number of the speakers were critical of the dominant food system, and author Eric Schlosser raised the topic of personal versus corporate responsibility to address the damage this food system has had and continues to have on our health and the planet.

On the following day of the conference, an executive from McDonald's Corporation presented his company's approach to corporate responsibility, and this broadcast will further explore the issues raised by these two speakers.

Guests

Eric Schlosser, Author, "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal" (California) - Schlosser started his career as a journalist with the The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, Massachusetts. He quickly gained recognition for his investigative journalism at the magazine earning two awards within two years of joining; he won the National Magazine Award for reporting for this two part series "Reefer Madness" and "Marijuana and the Law", and he won the Sidney Hillman Foundation award for his article, "In the Strawberry Fields". Aside from the Atlantic Monthly, Schlosser's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The Nation and The New Yorker

Bob Langert, Vice-President Corporate Social Responsibility, McDonald's Corporation (Oak Brook, IL) - On January 19, Langert, posted the first entry on the company blog "Open for Discussion." Langert wrote, "The purpose of this blog" is "to open our doors to corporate social responsibility (CSR) at McDonald's - to share what we're doing and learn what you think." His second post highlights McDonald's long-standing "partnership with Conservation International."

Direct download: DD080907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:09pm EST

Slow is Beautiful

We're hammered, we're slammed, we're out of control. Happiness is on the decline in some of the most affluent countries in the world and North Americans are troubled by the destructiveness of a lifestyle devoted to money and status. Yet no-one seems to have a clue how to exit from the Fast Lane....

Published in 2006 by British Columbia's New Society Publishers, Slow is Beautiful analyzes the subtle consumer, political and corporate forces stamping the joy from our existence and provides a vision of a more fulfilling life through the rediscovery of caring community, unhurried leisure, and life affirming joie de vivre.

Host Jon Steinman was recently in Seattle, Washington, where author Cecile Andrews calls home. Jon sat down with Cecile at her home in the Phinney neighbourhood of the city. Food, as Cecile Andrews suggests, is a metaphor for life, in that our relationship to food is also suggestive of our relationship to living and how we connect with the world around us, whether it be plants, animals, people…. or ourselves. Cecile's book is similar to the way Deconstructing Dinner educates listeners about food, in that Slow is Beautiful deconstructs our consumer driven society in order to understand how we perceive happiness, what factors influence this perception, and how it affects our ability to feel alive.

Guests

Cecile Andrews, Author, "Slow is Beautiful, New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre" (Seattle, WA) - Is the author of The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life (HarperCollins 97). A former community college administrator, Cecile has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and affiliated scholar at Seattle University. She is founder of the Phinney Ecovillage in Seattle. Her work has been featured in the PBS video "Escape from Affluenza" and the TBS video "Consumed by Consumption", CBSNews "Eye on America", New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and various PBS and NPR programs. Cecile received her doctorate in Education at Stanford University and gives workshops and presentations; she has written a column for the Seattle Times; and she has co-hosted a local NPR program.

Direct download: DD080207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04pm EST

Fermenting Revolution / Soil Matters CSA I

Fermenting Revolution
How many people out there would love to hear that drinking beer could save the world. One might ask, to save the world from what, and author Christopher O'Brien would suggest from climate change, from pollution, from corporate control of our lives, from declining levels of happiness, from increasing levels of stress, from gender inequality, and from communities that have lost their sense of community. Fermenting Revolution" is the title of the book released just last year by British Columbia's New Society Publishers. As we often critically examine individual foods or agricultural commodities here on Deconstructing Dinner, beer is of course no different from any other food. It's principle ingredients consist of water, barley (or another grain), hops and yeast, all of which are extracted and produced in ways that can either respect or disrespect the earth. We learn of beer and its role in leading a revolution in small breweries around the world.

Soil Matters CSA I
One of the greatest threats facing farmers today and hence facing our own food supply is the financial rewards found in the field of farming, rewards that are seemingly more often then not, in the negative digits. Many argue that food and agriculture should be removed from global trade regimes. One of the reasons for such an idea comes from a belief that farmers themselves should not have to bear the financial risks associated with such a volatile industry, and all people should equally share such risks as food is a need and not a desire. One alternative to the dominant food system is the model of Community Supported Agriculture, whereby a set number of people within a city or town become a member of a farm, and in doing so pay the farmers at the beginning of the season when farmers need the money most. Members who join are then guaranteed what is most often a weekly box of fresh produce. As many farmers know all too well how easily an entire crop can be lost due to weather, pests or unforeseen circumstances, members of a CSA share this risk with the farmer and on the other side can also share in the abundance. Just outside of Nelson, British Columbia, two intrepid farmers who only began farming a few years ago, have launched a CSA this year. Host Jon Steinman chose to become a member and document the process of creating a CSA and the potential for such a model to reconnect people with their food and provide farmers with a more secure source of income.

This marks the first of a periodic series that will document the creation and evolution of a CSA.

Guests

Christopher O'Brien - Author, Fermenting Revolution (Washintgon D.C.) - When not writing books, Author Christopher O'Brien works at the Center for a New American Dream as Director of the Responsible Purchasing Network. There he helps institutions of all kinds, identify and purchase products that are more socially and environmentally responsible. Chris is also part-owner of the Seven Bridges Co-operative - which is an exclusive supplier of organic-only beer making supplies.

Craig Smith and Laura Sacks - Farmers, Soil Matters (Castlegar, BC) - Located between Nelson and Castlegar, British Columbia, Soil Matters is a certified organic farm. They maintain 7-8000 sq. feet of greenhouse space, and a few outdoor plots which between all of this space allows for growing between early spring and late fall. This year Soil Matters launched a Community Supported Agriculture program that currently maintains 17 member shares.

Direct download: DD071907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm EST

Best of Deconstructing Dinner Jan-May '07

From its inception in January 2006, Deconstructing Dinner has been accompanied by the recognizable theme music created by Nelson-area resident Adham Shaikh. Titled "Infusion", this piece is found on Adham's 2004 release "Fusion". In 2006, Fusion was nominated for a Juno award in the World Music category. On this broadcast, Producer Jon Steinman teamed up with Adham Shaikh to create a production that highlights all shows aired between January and May 2007. Upon compiling segments that capture the essence of these broadcasts, Jon passed the work off to Adham who then mastered a soundtrack of predominantly unreleased material. Adham Shaikh is a composer, producer and sound designer currently living near Nelson, BC. He has been producing music for the past 18 years and has released 4 solo albums, 2 collaborative full-length albums and numerous individual compositions over the course of his career. As a performer, Adham has played across Canada and internationally at festivals, film events and clubs - both solo and together with a wide variety of accompanying world musicians. Operating from his Sonicturtle Music Studio, he is currently at work on a number of multimedia projects while actively recording and composing his next albums. Acting as the Narrator for this broadcast is Kootenay Co-op Radio's K.Linda Kivi, co-host of the weekly program "The EcoCentric".

Direct download: DD071207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:34pm EST

Conscientious Cooks III

Conscientious Cooks is a periodic series that explores the foodservice industry and those who are making unique efforts to create more sustainable interactions between the field and the table.

On part three of this series, we visit with a unique concept that allows for a deconstructing of restaurants themselves. Whether it be cafes, diners, or five star restaurants, all are based on a very similar model that is rarely, if ever, examined critically. Maria Solakofski's Guerrilla Gourmet consists of upwards to 10 complete strangers coming together within her home, where she prepares 3-course meals or brunches and provides an educational experience that could certainly not be received at any other restaurant. Her passion for providing this is clear upon observing the source of her ingredients - her backyard garden and local farmers and producers she knows personally.

The intimate and human interactions integral to the Guerrilla Gourmet experience, helps suggest that the traditional restaurant experience does little to capture relationships with food and our surroundings. As one of her guests so succinctly put it, "the Guerrilla Gourmet helps disengage minds conditioned by patterns of passive consumption"

The first half of the broadcast takes listeners on a tour of Toronto's Dufferin Grove Farmers' Market - an organic-only market having operated year-round for close to 5 years. Solakofski sources most of her ingredients from Toronto-area markets, and host Jon Steinman visited with Maria both at the market and in her home to learn more about her unique approach to "eating out". Guerrilla Gourmet is 'slow food' at its best!

Guests

Maria Solakofski - Guerrilla Gourmet (Toronto, ON) - In addition to her role as a Shiatsu therapist, Maria has her hands in many food awareness projects in the urban metropolis of Toronto. As part of the Real Food for Real Kids program, Maria leads children on tours of Toronto-area farmers' markets, educating them on the origins of their food. Maria is also very involved in the Kensington Market community of the city where she hosts Guerrilla Gourmet - the feature of this broadcast.

Direct download: DD070507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15pm EST

Trade Agreements Over Dinner

The impact of trade agreements on food systems and agriculture is probably brought up on almost every broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner, but never have we tackled this topic head on. On this broadcast we look into how trade agreements affect the fruits on our trees, the animals in our fields and the food on our plates. We will focus on two agreements and a "partnership" that have either had devastating effects on our food, and/or will have further impacts in the near and distant future.

A short segment will also be featured covering the recently tabled Bill C-448, calling for a ban on Terminator Seed Technology.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
For years, we have been told that globalization and free trade are inevitable, and that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would bring jobs and prosperity to Canadians. But in the aftermath of the softwood lumber decision, even former supporters of free trade are arguing that NAFTA isn't working for Canada. Critics suggest it undermines democracy, strips Canada of control over our energy resources, threatens to put water up for sale, and endangers health care and other public services.

Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)
In March 2005, Paul Martin, George W. Bush and Vicente Fox met in Waco, Texas to ratify the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The SPP takes NAFTA's goal of continental economic integration much further by including security and foreign policy issues, and by speeding up the process of regulatory harmonization integral to the first Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Despite a lack of public awareness or input, all three North American governments are moving quickly toward a continental resource pact, North American security perimeter, and common agricultural and other polices related to our health and environment.

Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA)
On April 1, 2007, a new free trade pact (TILMA) came into effect between Alberta and B.C. Critics say it will have a devastating effect on local democracy, public health and the environment. While currently confined to Western Canada, provincial governments in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes have all shown an interest in signing on. TILMA was signed by the premiers of Alberta and B.C., without public consultation or legislative debate, in April 2006. The agreement allows corporations and individuals to sue provincial governments for any provincial or municipal government measure they feel "restricts or impairs" their investment (i.e. their profits). Under TILMA, critics suggest that even measures designed to protect the environment and public health are vulnerable to attack from corporate lawsuits.

Guests

Alex Atamanenko, MP BC Southern Interior / NDP Agriculture Critic, "New Democratic Party of Canada" (Ottawa, ON / Castlegar, BC) - Elected the Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior in 2006. Alex is the critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Canadian Wheat Board. Atamanenko was born in New Westminster, and was educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.
Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Victoria, BC / Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
Stuart Trew, Communications Administrator, "Council of Canadians" (Ottawa, ON) - Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada's largest citizens' organization, with members and chapters across the country. We work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.
Direct download: DD060707.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

Salmon Wars: The Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery

Perhaps nowhere within our food system is the source of our food so disconnected from our dinner plates than that food which originates from the sea. Only a fraction of the Canadian population lives by the ocean, and those who do, are only exposed to a glistening sheet of water stretching out to the horizon, oblivious of what lies beneath.

When Canadians think of food from our oceans, it is without doubt, our country's populations of wild salmon that pop into mind. On this broadcast we will learn of the management of Canada's wild salmon populations and the history of how such an important industry began heading in the same direction that eventually led to the collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery.

On the West Coast, few debates have been so passionate or long-running as the one over management of wild salmon stocks, yet few issues remain so confused in the public mind.

In his 2005 book "Salmon Wars", author Dennis Brown reviews the history of the West Coast salmon resource with such comprehensiveness and clarity that even those closest to the issue will find themselves viewing it with new understanding.

In 2005, Dennis was recorded speaking in Vancouver by the Necessary Voices Society.

Speakers

Dennis Brown, Author, "Salmon Wars: The Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery" (Burnaby, BC) - A member of a third generation fishing family, was born and raised in Vancouver. He was educated at the University of British Columbia. In 1980, he joined the staff of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union and worked as the union's Fraser Valley organizer, dealing primarily with the gillnet and troll fleets. In 1990 he was elected to the post of business agent of the UFAWU and three years later he became secretary-treasurer. In 1996 he was hired as Premier Glen Clark's special advisor on the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Direct download: DD053107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:03pm EST

HIV/AIDS, Big Pharma, and Food

This broadcast attempts to tie together some of the most pressing global issues and observe just how interconnected our food choices are to the world around us, and just how significant of an impact our food choices can have on the shape and future of this planet and its inhabitants.

The connections between the global pharmaceutical industry and global food may not be so apparent, but the most startling example is the push to begin growing genetically modified crops to provide ingredients to the pharmaceutical industry. But as such technology is not yet approved for commercial use, we travel to Africa, where the connection between Big Pharma and Food exists today. In brief, the connections appear as such; pharmaceutical companies profit off of an industrial food system that in turn contributes to poverty and food shortages, which in turn contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS, and then, the pharmaceutical companies profit from the drugs they produce to treat the virus.

Helping to make the connections, Deconstructing Dinner uses audio productions from InterWorld Radio (IWR), a part of the UK-based Panos Institute, an international media organization which produces news, features and analysis about the most critical global issues of today.

Featured Audio

"Malawi: Toxic Hunger" - Around one million people in Malawi live with HIV and AIDS. Many people who fall ill find it hard to farm, and struggle to get enough to eat. Antiretroviral drugs which help boost the immune system can help people regain their strength. But taking such potentially toxic treatment without food can be dangerous. Research by the UK's Overseas Development Institute argues food security is essential to break this vicious cycle. In Malawi, the charity Care International supports vulnerable households by running communal vegetable gardens. Hilary Mbobe visited Steria, who is living with HIV, in the village of Matapila. 01/02/2007

"The Food On Your Plate" - More and more countries are producing food they don't eat and eating food they don't produce but is this a good thing? Do the big supermarkets have too much power? Is the organic movement and local production and consumption a sensible way forward? 15/10/2003

"Ghana: Foreign Flavours" - Rice and chicken is a signature dish in Ghana and there's plenty of demand for the raw ingredients. But only if the price is right. Ghana's farmers find they can't compete with cheap cuts of meat from the European Union or subsidized rice from the US, and it's fueling hardship. Isaac Tetteh reports. 16/02/2006

"Zambia: Buying Your Way Out of Hunger" - Each year wealthy nations donate more than five million tonnes of food aid to poorer countries. But some aid professionals think giving food should be a last resort. They say many people facing food shortages would be better off with cash or vouchers to spend in local shops. Researchers who looked into a scheme in Zambia's western province in which aid workers gave out cash instead of food aid say the results are promising. Pamela Mnyantha reports. 01/02/2007

"Zambia: GM Under the Microscope" - Genetic modification or GM is one of the most hotly contested technologies of today. Embraced in the US and shunned in Europe it affects the food we eat, our environment and the livelihoods of farmers. Genetic modification involves altering the genes of plants and animals in an attempt to produce crops more efficiently. But questions over its safety and whether it is in fact superior to other farming methods have divided consumers and scientists.Zambia was catapulted into the heart of the controversy three years ago when it famously refused American food aid during a famine because it contained GM maize. The government still maintains its ban today - not least, some say, because it wants to hold onto its European market. But farmers in Zambia are divided about the issue. IWR reporter Pamela Mnyantha found out what's happening in Zambia now. 07/04/2005

Direct download: DD052407.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:56pm EST

Livestock: Updates and Issues

Since the inception of Deconstructing Dinner in January 2006, a growing number of broadcasts have explored livestock as a topic for discussion. This broadcast will revisit with a number of guests who have previously appeared on the program. These topics are in much need of an update, and the three programs to revisit on this broadcast are "Eggs" (Jan.12/06), "Bacon and Marshmallows: The Story Behind Pork" (Mar.23/06) and "Slaughterhouses on the Butcher Block?" (May.4/06).

Topics of discussion.......1. An update on the elimination of battery cage egg production in Canada. 2. An update on the elimination of sow gestation stalls within Canada's pork industry. 3. The battles waged between communities and intensive livestock operations (ILOs). 4. An update on the new British Columbia meat inspection regulations that threaten the future of the province's small-scale livestock industry.

Guests

Bruce Passmore - Farm Animal Welfare Project Coordinator, Vancouver Humane Society (Vancouver, BC) - Bruce first appeared on the program on January 12, 2006 and launched our broadcast titled "Eggs". The VHS coordinates the Chicken Out campaign - working towards the elimination of battery cages within Canada's egg industry.

Vicki Burns - Executive Director, Winnipeg Humane Society (Winnipeg, MB) - Vicki first appeared on the program on March 23, 2006 and launched our broadcast titled Bacon and Marshmallows: The Story Behind Pork. The society had been coordinating the Quit Stalling campaign to see the elimination of sow gestation stalls from Canada's pork industry. In February 2007, Canada's largest pork producer Maple Leaf Foods, announced that they will phase out the use of these stalls over the next 10 years.

Elaine Hughes - Stop the Hogs Coalition (Archerwill, SK) - Elaine appeared on the program on March 23, 2006 during our broadcast titled "Bacon and Marshmallows: The Story Behind Pork". At a meeting held in Archerwill on April 9, 2003, it was learned that North East Hogs/Big Sky Farms Inc. was proposing to establish a 5000-sow mega hog operation somewhere in the Tisdale/Archerwill area. The coalition is a group of concerned ratepayers of the Rural Municipalities of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake that are opposed to this proposal. We hear an update on this issue.

Cathy Holtslander - Beyond Factory Farming Coalition (Saskatoon, SK) - The BFF promotes livestock production for health and social justice. They promote livestock production that supports food sovereignty, ecological, human and animal health as well as local sustainability and community viability and informed citizen/consumer choice. They recently authored The Citizens' Guide to Confronting a Factory Farm.

Faye Street - General Manager, Kootenay Livestock Association, (Cranbrook, BC) - Faye first appeared on the program in May 2006 for our broadcast titled "Slaughterhouses on the Butcher Block?". The KLA is a registered society whose members are livestock producers in the East and West Kootenay region of BC. They promote the beef cattle industry in the Kootenays as a viable and valuable resource. The association has been working to respond to new provincial meat inspection regulations that threaten the future of the small-scale livestock industry. We hear an update on this issue.

Don Davidson - Project Manager, Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy, BC Food Processors Association (Vancouver, BC) - The BC Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy (MIES) was formed in 2004 to manage new provincial meat inspection regulations and the subsequent transition for processors across the province. It was developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in conjunction with industry and the BCFPA.

Direct download: DD051707.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:52pm EST

Farming in the City II

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years. For city dwellers growing food in backyards or even on window sills, this is essentially, farming in the city.

As practical and environmentally friendly as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

This broadcast marks the second of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world. Featured on the broadcast will be the launch of an on-line community of gardeners with the hope that every lawn in British Columbia will contain a food producing garden. We will learn of an innovative project that links up underutilized backyard garden space with those willing to urban farm it. When we think of urban agriculture, rarely do we think of growing mushrooms! The steps on how to go about becoming an urban mushroom grower will be shared on this broadcast.

Guests

Steve Pedersen - Coordinator, Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) (Victoria, BC) - PHABC works towards preserving and promoting the public's health through disease and injury prevention, health promotion, health protection and healthy public policy. Their recently launched Every Lawn A Garden project is hoping to see every household in BC have a food garden (a 'local' food supply) and for every community in BC to increase the capacity of its local food supply through a system of community and local gardens.

Michael Levenston - Executive Director, City Farmer (Vancouver, BC) - Since 1978, City Farmer has taught Vancouver residents how to grow food, compost, and take care of their gardens in an environmentally friendly manner. Referring to themselves as Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture, City Farmer maintains one of the most comprehensive on-line resources of urban agriculture information. A recent addition to their web site is an on-line tool titled Sharing Backyards, allowing city dwellers with unused garden space to link up with those looking for a space to garden.

Peter Mcallister - Woodlot Director / Mushroom Grower, Lofstedt Farm (Kaslo, BC) - In 1991 Peter obtained a 1500-acre Government Woodlot, situated in the Farm's watershed. It is now being ecologically logged with Percheron horses, and he also needs the help of qualified forestry trainees, in a separate enterprise from the farm. For the past 8 years Peter has explored the world of mushroom growing, and is now offering workshops on how to grow edible mushrooms at home.

Direct download: DD051007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:58pm EST

Coffee, The Earth, and the Future of Civilization

It's been a long time in the making here on Deconstructing Dinner to air a feature on coffee, the second most valuable traded commodity in the world, second only to petroleum.

And so if coffee is the most valuable agricultural commodity on the planet, then deconstructing coffee is possibly the closest we can come to deconstructing humanity itself.

Coffee is constantly scrutinized for its human and social impacts around the world, but rarely do we examine the environmental consequences of a Tim Horton's Double Double, a Starbucks Cappuccino, or even an Organic/Fair Trade Espresso.

This broadcast will examine how the removal of human labour from the coffee industry has led to poverty, hunger, environmental destruction and climate change.

Guests

Adam Tomasek - Priority Leader for Borneo-Sumatra, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (Washington, D.C.) - In January 2007, WWF released a report titled "Gone in an Instant". The report finds coffee lovers the world over are unknowingly drinking coffee illegally grown inside one of the world's most important national parks for tigers, elephants and rhinos -- Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Indonesia. Illegally grown coffee is mixed with legally grown coffee beans and sold to such companies as Kraft Foods and Nestle among other. This coffee is threatening the future survival of 3 animal species.

Daniel Fourwinds - Capulin Coffee (Nayarit, Mexico) - Capulin is a hand crafted, traditionally sun-dried, 100% jungle shade grown natural coffee. Capulin claims to provide the sweetest, least bitter and most stimulating 100% Arabica Tipica coffee available anywhere, and provides more money per pound directly to local villagers than any other coffee company on the planet. This coffee illustrates the destructive forces ALL water-processed (washed) coffees are having on people and the planet.

Benji Hansen - Clean Bean Cafe (Nelson, BC) - The Clean Bean Cafe exclusively sells Capulin Coffee. Located alongside the main highway running through the city, the coffee is sold out of the back of a trailer and is essentially a drive-thru coffee shop. But while Capulin Coffee presents a real opportunity for social and environmental change, Benji Hansen is encouraging yet another level of change by NOT offering ANY take-out cups. Instead, Hansen maintains a 'mug orphanage' whereby customers are free to take their ceramic mug with them! Hey fast food chains and coffee shops..........take some notes!

Direct download: DD050307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:07pm EST

Independent Canadian Radio Potluck

In January 2006, Deconstructing Dinner was launched to fill a gap not nearly satisfied by Canada's mainstream media. But the subject matter of Deconstructing Dinner is frequently covered by other independent radio stations across the country.

This broadcast will highlight four programs from campus and community radio stations that have explored how our food choices impact ourselves, our communities and the planet. In doing so, we hope to showcase the importance of independent media and the diversity of content that can be found within.

Featured Programs

"Redeye" - Vancouver Co-operative Radio CFRO, (Vancouver, BC) - Redeye is a 3-hour radio program broadcast live every Saturday morning on Vancouver Cooperative Radio, CFRO 102.7FM. It is produced by an independent media collective at the studios of Coop Radio in Vancouver's downtown Eastside. The show has been on the air for over 30 years, providing high-quality public affairs and arts programming to listeners looking for a progressive take on current events.

Clip
Jason Mark -
Farmer and author based in San Francisco California. Interviewed by Peter Royce. Urban farms in Havana supply all the fresh fruit and vegetables the city's residents need. Cuba made the transition to small-scale, local, organic production following the break-up of the Soviet Union. The crisis Cuba continues to respond to, is a glimpse into the very crisis that Canadians may very well face in the near or distant future. Aired: 04.14.07

"Alert!" - University of Manitoba CJUM - (Winnipeg, MB) - Broadcast every Friday at 11 AM on 101.5 UMFM in Winnipeg, Alert radio brings you all kinds of leading-edge information they think you want to hear. The show covers politics, economics, issues of social and environmental justice; features interviews, commentaries, profiles of people in the news; has features on music, media, the arts; as well as special shows dedicated to new ideas or significant events.

Clip
Mustafa Koc - Former Chair of
Food Secure Canada and Founding Coordinator of Ryerson University's Centre for Studies in Food Security (Toronto). Interviewed by Andre Clement. Health Canada's new Food Guide was recently released, Mustafa Koc speaks about the corporate influence on the creation of the guide. Aired: 03.02.07

"The Friday Morning After" - McGill University CKUT - (Montreal, QC) - CKUT 90.3 FM McGill Radio Inc. is a non-profit campus community radio station that provides alternative music, news and spoken word programming to the city of Montreal and surrounding areas. CKUT is made up of over 200 volunteers who work closely with a staff of coordinators. The Friday Morning After is a weekly public affairs program airing every Friday morning from 7-8am, and is produced by a collective of volunteers.

Clip
Alka Chandna - Senior Researcher,
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) - Norfolk, VA. Interviewed by Joe Broadhurst. This segment looks deeper into the massive Menu Foods pet food recall. While the mainstream media reports on only a few deaths as a result of the recall, thousands of pets are said to have died from the tainted food. Alka Chandna speaks about Menu Foods' past and an unregulated industry where everyone has blood on their hands. Did Menu Foods hold back the recall so two weeks of evidence could be thrown away by consumers? Aired: 03.30.07

"You Are What You Eat" - Queen's University CFRC - (Kingston, ON) - CFRC provides innovative and alternative radio programming that enriches and challenges the academic and cultural life of the University and Kingston community. Tune into You Are What You Eat when Sayyida Jaffer explores nutrition, culture and politics and how they relate to food.

Clip
On March 22, 2007, Queen's University's
Studies in National and International Development program hosted a panel of experts on the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). The event was titled "The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in Canada: Route to Mutual Development or Recipe for Migrant Exploitation?". with Ken Forth, Chairman of the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service (Lynden, ON). Stan Raper, United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) (Toronto, ON). Dr. Leigh Binford, Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico. Aired: 03.29.07

Direct download: DD042607.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34am EST

Co-operatives - Alternatives to Industrial Food II

Listen to a few broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner, and choosing food may suddenly become an intimidating adventure. It is of the utmost importance that we also bring our listeners examples of alternatives to the industrial food system that is spiraling out of the control of Canadians.

Enter the co-operative model of operating a business. Long an example in Canada of how people can assume control over our needs and resources, co-operatives as an alternative to the industrial food system will be the focus of this series. This is an exciting series, as we ourselves at Kootenay Co-op Radio are a co-operative too.

How does a co-operative differ from a traditional business? Most importantly, a co-operative is owned and democratically controlled by the people who use the services or by those working within the co-op. A co-op is operated for the benefit of members and members have a say in decisions affecting the co-op. In the case of food, such a premise directly challenges many of the pressing issues Deconstructing Dinner explores on a weekly basis.

On this Part II of the series, we look at how co-operatives can provide an alternative to agricultural land ownership and how farmers can receive a fair price by working together to market their product.

Guests

Rob Diether and Lorraine LeBourdais - Horse Lake Community Farm Co-operative (100-Mile House, BC) - An innovative plan to protect a unique piece of farmland in British Columbia is providing a model of how a community can take ownership of the land that feeds them, and guarantee access to locally grown food. Working with The Land Conservancy (TLC), a co-operative has been formed to purchase and preserve a 133-acre farm at the east end of Horse Lake. Joining the Co-op provides many benefits. These include community involvement in the farm's operation with preferred access to the farm's organic produce, educational and cultural activities and special programs and events on the property.

Cathleen and Brewster Kneen - The Ram's Horn (Ottawa, ON) - In October 2006, Deconstructing Dinner recorded Cathleen and Brewster speak at the Bridging Borders Towards Food Security Conference held in Vancouver, BC. Their workshop told the story of the Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-operative in Truro, Nova Scotia, which recently marked its 25th anniversary. Their workshop explored the factors that made Northumberlamb a voluntary supply management system, setting prices, controlling quality, negotiating delivery times and volumes with farmers, and supplying the major supermarkets in the province with local lamb year round. Cathleen and Brewster publish The Ram's Horn - a monthly journal of food systems analysis.

Audio Clips

Grassroots Groceries - Produced and hosted by Wajid Jenkins for Sprouts - a weekly news magazine of the Pacifica Foundation. Wajid hosts The Compost Pile at WORT Madison, Wisconsin. Grassroots Groceries looks at the past, present and future prospects for grassroots groceries in Madison, Wisconsin. With a globalized food system that favors centralized, large-volume brokers, small-scale grocers face huge obstacles. One of the original food cooperatives in the United States, the Mifflin Street Community Cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin was forced to close its doors on Friday December 8, 2006. Established in January 1969, Mifflin Coop played a pivotal role in the progressive movement for food justice in the Midwest and beyond. With roots in the radical politics of the movement against the Vietnam War, Mifflin has remained true to its original values and mission. It is a collectively managed, member-owned small-scale grocery. Mifflin was central in the formation and support of other cooperative businesses in the Midwest, loaning money, inspiring discussion and forging new paths. It struggled with debt, changing neighborhood demographics and runaway globalization of the food system. Now, after 38 years, it has closed it's doors, leaving a small but obvious hole in the local food scene in Madison.

Direct download: DD041907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm EST

Packaged Foods Exposed III - Kraft

The Packaged Foods Exposed series takes a look at the largest food manufacturers in the world. What products fall under their banners; how has their influence shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

This series places corporations in a critical light, hoping to provide a more balanced image to the advertising and PR campaigns launched by some of the most influential food corporations on the planet.

In this third episode of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, we take a look at the second largest food manufacturer in the world, and the largest in North America - Kraft Foods.

The first half of the broadcast will look at the company's previous ownership by tobacco giant Altria/Philip Morris, and fast track to today, because since March 30, 2007, Kraft is now an independent company. Many eaters around the world are still unaware that between 1988 and 2007, support for Kraft products was support for the tobacco industry.

Within the second half of the show, Kraft's marketing strategies will be placed under a critical light following our discovery of an advertisement that was rolling in lies. Other highly questionable marketing campaigns will also be explored.

Guests

Bryan Hirsch - Organizer, Corporate Accountability International (Boston, MA) - Formerly INFACT, Corporate Accountability International is a membership organization that protects people by waging campaigns that challenge irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around the world. For 30 years, Corporate Accountability International and our members have scored major victories that protect people's lives by forcing corporations like Nestlé, General Electric and Philip Morris/Altria to stop abusive practices. Kraft Foods has long been boycotted by the organization, but since its recent spin off from Philip Morris, the boycott has now been dropped.

Audio Clips

Making a Killing (2001) - Corporate Accountability International / AndersonGold Films - A powerful organizing tool in the fight for social justice and tobacco control. This documentary exposes Philip Morris/Altria’s deadliest abuses. It reveals the burning truth about how the tobacco giant uses its political power, size and promotional expertise to spread tobacco addiction internationally, leaving in its wake a trail of death and destruction.

Direct download: DD041207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:33pm EST

The End of Food - The Evolution of Nutrition and Human Health

Finding the adequate nutritional balance within our food is often of paramount importance. When looking at the history of the current food system serving Canadians, it becomes apparent that only for a short time have we been experimenting with such a modern approach to eating. Processed foods and industrial farming are seen as convenient innovations, but how has such a model affected the nutritional composition of our food?

Two speakers addressed this concern at the 2007 Growing Up Organic Conference held in Toronto on February 17th. The conference was organized by the Canadian Organic Growers. This broadcast will examine how, since the innovations coming out of World War II, the nutritional content of the Canadian food supply has plummeted.

Through the assistance of CKLN in Toronto and Heather Douglas, Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record the conference. This broadcast features the final session of the conference where panelists were posed the question, "Is Organic Worth the Price?".

Speakers

Thomas Pawlick, Author, The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply - And What We Can Do About It (Kingston, Ontario) - Pawlick's lecture was titled "Our Children's Food, Our Children's Survival". A veteran newspaper and magazine journalist with more than 30 years experience in Canada and abroad, Thomas has taught at both Canadian and foreign universities and colleges. The End of Food exposes the cause of the food crisis--an industrial system of food production geared not toward producing nourishing food, but maximum profit for corporations. Thomas is currently on leave from his position as Associate Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Regina. Following the book achieving best-seller status, the University cut his salary, cut his research funding, removed him from email lists, and removed all copies of his book from the shelves of the campus book store. Thomas Pawlick is currently restoring a small scale organic farm north of Kingston, Ontario with his son.

Ellen Desjardins, Public Health Nutritionist - Region of Waterloo Public Health (Kitchener, ON) - Ellen's presentation is titled "Eat up! It's good for you! - what the scientific literature says about the health benefits of organics". Ellen has worked in various programs throughout the province and at the federal level for the past 20 years. Ellen has co-authored numerous articles in the area of food security. She has also chaired work-groups and prepared position papers for the Ontario Public Health Association on food systems, public health concerns about food biotechnology, and mercury in fish. In 2005, Ellen was a founding member of the new national organization Food Secure Canada.

Audio Clip

"Food for Fighters" - Produced in 1943 by the United States Office of War Information, this short provides a glimpse into the origins of our current food system. The film was designed to promote the innovations that provided soldiers overseas with nutritionally adequate food. The audio version featured on this broadcast is available in its visual format from the Prelinger Archive at www.archive.org.

Direct download: DD040507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16pm EST

Co-operatives - Alternatives to Industrial Food

Listen to a few broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner, and choosing food may suddenly become an intimidating adventure. It is of the utmost importance that we also bring our listeners examples of alternatives to the industrial food system that is spiraling out of the control of Canadians.

Enter the co-operative model of operating a business. Long an example in Canada of how people can assume control over our needs and resources, co-operatives as an alternative to the industrial food system will be the focus of this series. This is an exciting series, as we ourselves at Kootenay Co-op Radio are a co-operative too.

How does a co-operative differ from a traditional business? Most importantly, a co-operative is owned and democratically controlled by the people who use the services or by those working within the co-op. A co-op is operated for the benefit of members and members have a say in decisions affecting the co-op. In the case of food, such a premise directly challenges many of the pressing issues Deconstructing Dinner explores on a weekly basis.

On this Part I of the series, we look at how co-operatives can provide an alternative to the retail and distribution sector of Canada's food system. The province of British Columbia has some of the most innovative cooperatives in the country, and the two co-operatives featured on today's broadcast are both located within the province: the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative in Nelson, and FoodRoots, a newly established distributors co-operative in Victoria.

Guests

Abra Brynne, Board President - Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Nelson, BC) - The Kootenay Co-op is a large, member-owned cooperative offering natural, organic foods and products in Nelson. Since its inception in 1975, the Co-op has taken a leading role in promoting natural, organic foods and products, sustainable living and supporting local, organic farms and businesses and fair trade organizations. With over 7,000 members, the store is a leading example in Canada of an alternative to the conventional model of food retailing. Abra has been a member of the store since 1991, was a staff member until 2000, and is now the President of the Board. 

Jocelyn Carver, Human Resources Director - Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Nelson, BC) - In March 2007, Jocelyn helped organize an event/meeting for the 55 staff members of the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative. The meeting explored food sovereignty and food security, and invited local farmers and suppliers to come and speak to the staff. Such a meeting would be unheard of within the conventional retail system, and Jocelyn was invited onto the show to share this experience.

Staff of the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative - Joy Farley, Anneke Rosch, Niels Petersen, Allana McConachy and Ben Morris

Lee Fuge and Susan Tychie, Co-Founders - FoodRoots (Victoria, BC) - Incorporated in October 2006 as a co-operative, FoodRoots has been formed to promote a local sustainable food system by creating the infrastructure link between the eaters/consumers and the growers and processors in the Victoria region. They promote sustainable food grown naturally as close to home as possible, and place a priority on Certified Organic. FoodRoots works hard to educate eaters/consumers about local agriculture and food security issues, and the co-operative challenges the conventional distribution systems controlling Canada's food system.

Direct download: DD032907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm EST

Is Organic Worth the Price?

Demand for organic food in Canada has been growing steadily at 25 percent a year. With new federal regulations passed in December and a new Canada Organic logo backing organic claims, the Canadian organics sector can expect this growth to continue. Canadians are becoming more health conscious and concerned about the safety of our food system. Consumers need to be aware of new information about our food, especially as it relates to our and our children's health. That's why scientists, children's health experts and the general public discussed what it means to grow up organic at the one day conference "Growing Up Organic" in Toronto on February 17th , 2007. The conference was hosted by Canadian Organic Growers.

The organic standard bans the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, additives, genetically modified organisms and irradiation. The result is food that has fewer toxic residues and a healthier ecosystem that will sustain food production over the long term. With the growing popularity of organics, people are asking many questions. Some of the more common questions include: Are organic foods really healthier? Should I be buying organics for my children? Are organics worth the higher price? The body of knowledge around organics continues to emerge, as scientists and nutritional experts conduct studies to answer these kinds of questions.

Speakers

Ann Clark, Associate Professor in Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Dr. Clark's research program encompasses pasture and grazing management and organic agriculture, as well as risk assessment of genetically modified crops. A native Californian, she studied at the University of California at Davis and at Iowa State University. Her academic career started at the University of Alberta, but she has been at Guelph since 1983. In a career spanning 26 years, she has authored 15 books or chapters in books, presented papers at more than 50 conferences and symposia, and published 25 refereed journal and 150 technical and extension articles. She currently teaches Crop Ecology, Crops in Land Reclamation, Managed Grasslands, and several courses in Organic Agriculture, and coordinates the new Major in Organic Agriculture.

Peter Macleod, Executive Director of Crop Protection Chemistry - CropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) - CropLife Canada is a trade association representing the developers, manufacturers and distributors of plant science innovations (pest control products and plant biotechnology) for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings. Peter MacLeod has spent his career in the field of scientific research and regulatory affairs. His research activity has mainly focused on the degradation of pesticides in soil and water but he has also managed environmental toxicology studies and food residue studies. Peter is an active participant on the Pesticide Management Advisory Committee to the Federal Minister of Health and has served on many panels on pesticides and risk management. Born in Yarmouth , Nova Scotia his fondness for Agriculture and Science led him to attend the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He graduated in 1987 with a B.Sc. (Agr.) Hon., Dalhousie University.

Ellen Desjardins, Public Health Nutritionist - Region of Waterloo Public Health (Waterloo, ON) - Ellen has worked in various programs throughout the province and at the federal level for the past 20 years. Ellen has co-authored numerous articles in the area of food security. She has also chaired work-groups and prepared position papers for the Ontario Public Health Association on food systems, public health concerns about food biotechnology, and mercury in fish. In 2005, Ellen was a founding member of the new national organization Food Secure Canada.

Wayne Roberts, Coordinator, Toronto Food Policy Council (Toronto, ON) - Wayne moderated the session of the conference titled Is Organic Worth the Price?. The Toronto Food Policy Council partners with business and community groups to develop policies and programs promoting food security. Our aim is a food system that fosters equitable food access, nutrition, community development and environmental health.

Direct download: DD032207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:06pm EST

Vandana Shiva - Rice, Genocide and the Patenting of Life

In 2001, well-known food activist Vandana Shiva spoke to an audience in Vancouver at an event sponsored by the Basmati Action Group. It was during that time that the company RiceTec, had recently attempted to patent basmati rice, a staple of Indian and Pakistani livelihoods and diets. The Basmati Action Group was formed to launch a North American-wide boycott on all products produced by the company.

Vandana's lecture addresses the patenting of life and the genetic modification of food. She speaks of the crisis in India that continues today, where over 40,000 farmers have taken their lives as a result of what she refers to as genocide by the multinational pesticide and seed companies.

The broadcast explores the new Green Revolution being pushed onto the African continent by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations. We explore the company Bayer, and their role in the recent contamination of the global supply of rice with an unapproved variety that had been genetically modified.

The segments of Vandana Shiva's lecture were recorded by the Vancouver-based Necessary Voices Society.

Speakers

Vandana Shiva, Founder - Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology / Navdanya (New Delhi, India) - Vandana has been involved in the protection of ecosystems, farmers, and food security for well over 2 decades. Shiva studied philosophy at the University of Guelph in the late 70's and moved on to complete her Ph.D in Quantum Theory Physics at the University of Western Ontario. Using her background in physics and her love of nature, she began questioning how science technology has impacted the environment In 2001 she founded a program called Navdanya, formed to provide education and training on subjects such as biodiversity, food, biopiracy, sustainable agriculture, water and globalization. She is the author of dozens of books.

Direct download: DD031507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:51pm EST

Deceivable Dairy II

Clean, white, wholesome milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream - very common ingredients within the diet of Canadians.

On part II of the Deceivable Dairy series, we look deeper into the dairy industry and explore the politics of production, trade and animal welfare.

The welfare of dairy cattle was explored during part I of the series, but the framework for regulating and monitoring the welfare of animals in this country may shock you.

Canada's dairy industry is one of three industries that operate under a supply management system. The system is one of the last remaining protections for Canadian farmers to the threats posed by cheap imports. We have seen how the heavily subsidized agricultural sectors in the United States and Europe have already threatened farmers here in Canada, and many are now worried that supply management is at risk of being undermined.

But supply management has its critics, and they're not just the big industrial processors. In an age where local production is essential to combat climate change, the current structure of supply management has created a barrier for farmers to produce milk for their own communities.

This broadcast will also take a look at some of the major dairy processors in Canada. As 70% of all Canadian dairy is processed by 3 companies, getting to know these companies is essential when getting to know your milk, cheese, butter and yogurt.

Guests

Shelagh MacDonald - Program Director, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) (Ottawa, ON) - The CFHS is the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs. They bring together those who work with, and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals. The CFHS plays a crucial role in farm animal welfare in Canada. The CFHS is a founding member of the newly-formed National Farm Animal Care Council.

Jan Slomp - Farmer / Alberta Coordinator, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Rimbey, AB) - Born and raised in the Netherlands, landed as immigrants in Canada with his wife Marian and three children in the spring of 1989. They bought a small dairy farm in Rimbey, central Alberta where their herd of 70-80 cattle are raised on grass. Jan is the Alberta coordinator of the NFU - a national organization that works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.

Direct download: DD030807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:21pm EST

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Food Sovereignty is the human right of all peoples and nations to grow food in ways that are culturally, ecologically and economically appropriate for them.

The idea of food sovereignty as it applies to Western cultures, is one best illustrated through the many recurring topics covered here on Deconstructing Dinner: control of resources, control of agricultural practices, control of production/distribution/retail, and the inability for Canadian communities to viably reclaim and create food systems that better serve the needs of the people within those communities.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty is a much different concept, and as broadcasts of Deconstructing Dinner often explore the food systems of the Western world, and how they impact health, environment and people, there is much to learn from the foodways of North America's indigenous people. The modern food system of today could not have been made possible without the destructive forces of colonialism, and its impact on the food supply of this continent's earliest inhabitants. This destruction continues today.

Through the eyes of indigenous food sovereignty, this broadcast will look to better understand the ways in which the modern food system has disengaged all peoples from our land.

Speakers

Nicole Manuel - Neskonlith Indian Reserve, Secwepemc Nation (Chase, BC) - Nicole spoke to an audience in October 2006 at the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nicole was at the forefront of the demonstrations that took place in 2001 on the land that is now Sun Peaks Resort north of Kamloops, British Columbia. The land was an important location upon which the Secwepemc Nation gathered and hunted their traditional foods.

Paul Smith - Oneida Nation/Heifer International, Indian Nations Program (Wisconsin) - Although their original homelands were in the area of New York, the Oneida Nation is scattered today in several parts of North America (Wisconsin, New York, and Canada). The Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin (a few miles north of Appleton and southwest of Green Bay) is where many members of the Oneida Nation reside. Paul spoke to an audience at the 2006 Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference in Vancouver.

Nancy Turner - Professor of Ethnobotany, School of Environmental Studies, Univeristy of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - While working on her thesis, Dr. Turner collaborated with Saanich First Nations elders to learn about the significance of plants to their culture. Her post-graduate work concentrated on plant classification systems among the Haida, Nuxalk (Bella Coola) and Stl`atl`imx (Lillooet) people. Her major research contributions have been in demonstrating the pivotal role of plant resources in past and contemporary aboriginal cultures and languages, as an integral component of traditional knowledge systems, and how traditional management of plant resources has shaped the landscapes and habitats of western Canada. Dr. Turner spoke to an audience in February 2007, as part of a lecture series titled "Acceptable Genes? Religion, Culture and the Genetically Modified (GM) Foods Debate" Her lecture was titled "Why Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Beliefs Matter in the Debate on GM Foods".

Direct download: DD030107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:04pm EST

Michael Ableman - Fields of Plenty

Michael Ableman is the founder and executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, a non profit organization based on one of the oldest and most diverse organic farms in southern California, where he farmed from 1981 to 2001. The farm has become an important community and education center and a national model for small scale and urban agriculture. Under Ableman's leadership the farm was saved from development and preserved under one of the earliest and most unique active agricultural conservation easements of its type in the country.

Michael lives in British Columbia on Salt Spring Island where he is developing a long-term master plan for Foxglove Farm. The farm will include mixed grain, livestock, and fruit and vegetable production. The 75 acres of forest will be managed using strict eco-forestry principles. Harvested trees will be milled and furniture products produced on-site.

His most recent book "Fields of Plenty" describes the growing community of farmers and food artisans, who are producing sustainable nourishment that is respectful to the land and rich in heritage, flavor and commitment.

Michael spoke to an audience in November, 2005. This event was produced by Necessary Voices Society and the Vancouver Public Library.

Direct download: DD022207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50pm EST

Agri-Business Exposed II (Cargill Part II)

Following in the foodsteps of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, the Agri-Business Exposed series will explore the major agricultural companies whose names are rarely heard by the eating public.

The ingredients entering into the staples of our diet rarely, if ever, originate from the company that produced the final product. Behind the Krafts, Nestles, Coca-Colas and Pizza Huts of the world, are the large corporations that deal with the most important person in the process; the farmer.

The Cargill Exposé
It is fitting to launch this series by exploring the most influential and powerful agri-business in the world; Cargill. As one of the largest private companies in the world, Cargill's $75.2 billion in sales employs 149,000 people in 63 countries. But the Minnesota-based company utilizes a strategy that situates much of their presence behind the scenes, and upon addressing the scope of this company's influence, their operations and products make their sales figures and employment statistics close to meaningless. Cargill sets the stage for agriculture and food around the world, and a better understanding of this company, is a better understanding of our dinners.

On this Part II of the Cargill Exposé, we tackle topics of child slave labour in the West African cocoa industry, we raise questions over how Cargill's High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has played a role in the global obesity and diabetes epidemics, and we discover how the company was able to arrive in Canada in 1989, and now assume 50% control of Canada's beef.

Guests for Part II of the 2-part Cargill Exposé

Cam Ostercamp, President, Beef Initiative Group Canada (B.I.G.) (Blackie, AB) - The organization was formed in 2004 to be a voice for primary producers of beef in Canada. As Cargill is the most influential company in the Canadian beef industry, Cam's experience as both a farmer and President of B.I.G., provides him with a comprehensive background on the influence exercised by the company.

Brian Campbell, Staff Attorney, International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) (Washington, D.C.) - ILRF is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. The organization is currently targeting the child labour practices in the West African cocoa industry that company's like Cargill are said to support. Brian Campbell began working with the ILRF as a law clerk in 2001 and was hired as a full time attorney upon graduation from law school in 2004.

Brewster Kneen, Author/Publisher, The Ram's Horn (Ottawa, ON) - Brewster was born in Ohio and studied economics and theology in the U.S. and the U.K. before moving to Toronto in 1965. There he produced public affairs programs for CBC Radio, and worked as a consultant to the churches on issues of social and economic justice. In 1971, with his wife Cathleen and their children Jamie and Rebecca, he moved to Nova Scotia, where they farmed until 1986, starting with a cow-calf operation and then developing a large commercial sheep farm. When he stopped farming, he developed a devoted interest to learn more about Cargill than perhaps anyone has ever attempted. The second edition of his book "Invisible Giant" (2002), provides the most current and comprehensive source for any eater interested in learning more about the origins of our food.

Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11pm EST

Agri-Business Exposed I (Cargill Part I)

Following in the foodsteps of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, the Agri-Business Exposed series will explore the major agricultural companies whose names are rarely heard by the eating public.

The ingredients entering into the staples of our diet rarely, if ever, originate from the company that produced the final product. Behind the Krafts, Nestles, Coca-Colas and Pizza Huts of the world, are the large corporations that deal with the most important person in the process; the farmer.

The Cargill Exposé
It is fitting to launch this series by exploring the most influential and powerful agri-business in the world; Cargill. As one of the largest private companies in the world, Cargill's $75.2 billion in sales employs 149,000 people in 63 countries. But the Minnesota-based company utilizes a strategy that situates much of their presence behind the scenes, and upon addressing the scope of this company's influence, their operations and products make their sales figures and employment statistics close to meaningless. Cargill sets the stage for agriculture and food around the world, and a better understanding of this company, is a better understanding of our dinners.

Guests for Part I of the 2-part Cargill Exposé

Brewster Kneen, Author/Publisher, The Ram's Horn (Ottawa, ON) - Brewster was born in Ohio and studied economics and theology in the U.S. and the U.K. before moving to Toronto in 1965. There he produced public affairs programs for CBC Radio, and worked as a consultant to the churches on issues of social and economic justice. In 1971, with his wife Cathleen and their children Jamie and Rebecca, he moved to Nova Scotia, where they farmed until 1986, starting with a cow-calf operation and then developing a large commercial sheep farm. When he stopped farming, he developed a devoted interest to learn more about Cargill than perhaps anyone has ever attempted. The second edition of his book "Invisible Giant" (2002), provides the most current and comprehensive source for any eater interested in learning more about the origins of our food.

John Sauven, Campaign Director, Greenpeace (London, UK) - Greenpeace has been very active in exposing the operations of Cargill in Brazil's Amazon. Their 2006 report titled "Eating Up The Amazon", illustrated the soya crisis through an analysis of both Cargill and the European operations of McDonald's. The report documents the path taken by soya from illegally cleared farms, to Cargill and its customers. With the hope of raising awareness about the company's activities abroad, Greenpeace has staged a number of protests that have successfully disrupted Cargill's operations.

Direct download: DD020807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50pm EST

Farmers Speak Out

Recorded in Vancouver during the October 2006 Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference, the plenary titled, "A Vision for Food Sovereignty: Farmers Speak Out" provided a critical opportunity for those working on community food security work to hear from farmers themselves.

Topics discussed: The effects of free trade agreements on farmers in Mexico, Canada and the US; Migrant workers' rights; The Canadian Wheat Board; The extraction of farmers' wealth by agricultural corporations.

The conference was hosted by the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and organized by the California-based Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada.

Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record the conference

Speakers

Dena Hoff - ex-Chair, Northern Plains Resource Council (Glendive, Montana) - Dena raises sheep, cattle, alfalfa, corn, and edible dry beans, among other crops, on their farm in Glendive, Montana since 1979. She is an active member of her rural community, serving on the Water Commission and the local food cooperative. She is also active with the National Family Farm Coalition.

Alberto Gomez - National Coordinator, UNORCA (Mexico) - UNORCA (National Union of Autonomous Regional Farmers' Organizations) is an autonomous, non-profit, and non-partisan network of Mexican campesino and indigenous farming organizations. They are a member of La Via Campesina - the International Peasant Movement. LVC coordinates peasant organizations of small and medium sized producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, America, and Europe. It is an autonomous, pluralistic movement, independent from all political, economic, or other denomination.

Carlos Marentes - Director, Border Agricultural Workers Project (El Paso, Texas) - The BAWP is an organizing effort initiated by Sin Fronteras Organizing Project as an attempt to help migrant farmworkers improve their wages and their working and living conditions. The majority of the border farmworkers work in the multi-million dollar chile industry of Southern New Mexico.

Karen Pedersen - ex-Womens' President, National Farmers' Union (Cut Knife, Saskatchewan) - Karen is a fifth-generation bee-keeper at Pedersen Apiaries. She spoke on behalf of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), an organization that works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.

Direct download: DD020107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49am EST

Deceivable Dairy I

Clean, white, wholesome milk, cream, cheeses, butter, yogurt and ice cream - very common ingredients within the diet of Canadians.

Dairy was recently the centre of attention throughout the Canadian media, following a raid on a farm in Ontario where raw milk was being produced and sold. As the sale of raw milk is prohibited throughout Canada, this exposure reintroduces the controversy surrounding the standard pasteurization of milk products.

Dairy products are a staple of the Canadian diet, but how much information are Canadians missing out on? As one of the most aggressive marketers within the agriculture/food industry, dairy receives a pretty positive image. But behind the production of milk are issues surrounding animal welfare, environmental impacts and consumer health.

As this topic is so unexplored by the media, this will mark the first of a 2-part series on Dairy production in Canada. Join us as we explore the surprisingly un-chartered territory of dairy: raw milk vs. pasteurized, grass-fed vs. grain-fed, environmental impacts of dairy systems, organic dairy, animal welfare, and how the veal industry is a byproduct of your stick of butter.

Guests

Sally Fallon - President and Treasurer, Weston A. Price Foundation (Washington D.C.) - A nonprofit charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non-industrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Foundation, and promotes the production and consumption of pasture-raised raw milk products. Sally is a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. She is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (NewTrends).

Dr. Alan Fredeen - Professor, Plant and Animal Science, Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Truro, NS) - Comprising NSAC's Department of Plant and Animal Sciences is the Atlantic Pasture Research Group. The APRG is an informal association of scientists in the Atlantic region with an interest in research on grazing animals and pastures. Among Dr. Fredeen's areas of interest, is the environmental comparisons of pasture-raised dairy versus the more conventional confined systems.

Ric Llewellyn - Jerseyland Organics (Grand Forks, BC) - A family owned and operated dairy. Ric & Vickie Llewellyn settled there in 1985 with their herd of pure bred Jersey cattle that now number 95(+) head. In 1994 Jerseyland Cheese began commercial production after completing its transition to "Certified Organic" status. Thus making Jerseyland B.C.'s & Western Canada's first "organic" dairy and Western Canada's first producer of organic cheeses and yogurts.

Direct download: DD012507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

Thought for Food - Alternatives Journal

In a recent issue of the highly-respected Alternatives Journal, the subject of food, filled the pages within. Titled "Thought for Food", the edition connected a new generation of food activists to a classic member of Canada's food heritage. It honours the People's Food Commission that, in the late 1970s, traveled across the country to hear the views of fellow citizens and then assembled the trend-setting report: The Land of Milk and Money.

On this broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner, we hear from 3 of the issue's authors and a subject-specific guest, for what will provide a potluck of topics and ideas to explore.

Guests

Darrin Qualman - Director of Research, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Saskatoon, SK) - "The Cupboard Is Bare" - Transnational interference grinds down world grain supplies. What you should know about grain prices. NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. Darrin is also the Water Issues Coordinator of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

Rachelle Sauvé - Freegan, Food Not Bombs (Peterborough, ON) - "Dumpster Dining" - Freegans consume waste food to protest consumer waste. While this article was authored by Ferne Edwards, Rachelle Sauvé is very much the subject matter herself. She eats as a vegan and does her best to defy the cycle of capitalist production and consumption by finding the majority of all things that she consumes from resources that are set to be waste or have been discarded as waste. Rachelle believes strongly "that in an economic system that exploits and subjugates the majority of people, those who need food, shelter, clothing, etc... have the right to and should reclaim the waste products of an over consumptive society to provide for their basic needs."

Marc Xuereb - Public Health Planner, Region of Waterloo Public Health (Kitchener, ON) - "And Miles to Go Before I Eat - Home-Grown Hurrah" - Marc recently authored the study, "Food Miles - Environmental Implications of Food Imports to Waterloo Region". The report documents the average distances travelled by imports of selected food items to Waterloo Region as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their transport.

Peter Andreé - Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) - "And Miles to Go Before I Eat - Local Limitations" - Peter's contribution to the "Thought for Food" issue, provided a critical response to Marc Xuereb's "Home Grown Hurrah". Peter identifies that supporting local, is not necessarily the most environmentally friendly choice. Specializing in Politics and the Environment, Peter's primary interest lies in food issues. He is the author of the forthcoming "Genetically Modified Diplomacy" (UBC Press). His academic research most recently took him to Australia's Monash University.

Direct download: DD011807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:24pm EST

100-Mile Diet / Local Food Strategies

When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically travelled at least 1,500 miles. On the first day of spring, 2005, Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon chose to confront this unsettling statistic with a simple experiment. For one year, they would buy or gather their food and drink from within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Since then, James and Alisa have gotten up-close-and-personal with issues ranging from the family-farm crisis to the environmental value of organic pears shipped across the globe. They've reconsidered vegetarianism and sunk their hands into community gardening.

Their 100-Mile Diet struck a deeper chord than anyone could have predicted. Within weeks, reprints of their blog at thetyee.ca had appeared on sites across the internet. Then came the media, from BBC Worldwide to Utne magazine. Dozens of individuals and grassroots groups have since launched their own 100-Mile Diet adventures.

In October 2006, Deconstructing Dinner recorded exclusive sessions of the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference held in Vancouver. The conference was organized by the California-based Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada. Both James and Alisa shared their thoughts about their 100-Mile experience to an audience of Food Security practitioners. This broadcast features their presentation.

Additional clips for this broadcast were compiled in September 2006 at the Sorrento Gathering of the BC Food Systems Network.

Speakers

Alisa Smith - 100-Mile Diet Society (Vancouver, BC) - is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her articles have been printed in U.S. and Canadian publications from Reader's Digest to Utne. The books Liberalized (New Star, 2005) and Way Out There (Greystone, 2006) also feature her work. Smith has a Master's degree in history and has taught magazine writing. She has been a member of the Cypress Community Garden for five years, and hopes someday to successfully grow an eggplant.

James (J.B.) MacKinnon - 100-Mile Diet Society (Vancouver, BC) - is the author of Dead Man in Paradise (Douglas & McIntyre), which won the 2006 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction. His work as a journalist has earned two national magazine awards, and he is a senior contributing editor to Explore Magazine. A past editor of Adbusters, MacKinnon speaks regularly on writing and the politics of consumerism. After a year on the 100-Mile Diet, he will never again eat store-bought sauerkraut.

Brent Warner - Industry Specialist, Agritourism/Direct Marketing, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Lands (Victoria, BC) - Brent is a horticulturalist who has worked with the Ministry since 1980. Brent is the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association. He authored "Marketing on the Edge" - a guide for farmers/producers to assist in diversification and marketing of their products directly to the public.

Heather Pritchard - Executive Director, FarmFolk/CityFolk (Vancouver, BC) - An organic farmer for 21 years and a member of the Glorious Organics Cooperative. Sits on the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the GVRD Agricultural Advisory Committee, Colony Parks Association and BC Food Systems Network. FFCF's mission is: farm and city working together to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. FFCF has recently engaged into a collaborative endeavour to create CFCA (Collective Farm Community Alliance); created to support the creation and sustaining of collectively owned farms.

Kathleen Gibson - Principal, GBH Consulting Group Ltd (Victoria, BC) - a food systems specialist and policy analyst. Kathleen also works as a Help Desk Coordinator for the Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy of the BCFPA (BC Food Processors Association). (Kathleen was unable to make this recorded session of the conference, and Brent Warner acted as the voice for her presentation!)

Direct download: DD011107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38pm EST

Best of Deconstructing Dinner Jun-Nov '06

Launching the second season of Deconstructing Dinner, this broadcast explores the highlights from all shows aired between June and November of 2006. Show segments have been orchestrated alongside a soundtrack courtesy of Six Degrees Records.

Direct download: DD010407.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm EST

Local Producer Spotlight I - Nelson

The first of a multi-part series that focuses on small-scale growers and food processors. The series will travel to communities throughout British Columbia and explore the intricacies of operating a small food-based business within a food system dominated by giants.

This first broadcast starts its journey in Nelson and interviews 4 local businesses that rely on local support to remain viable. While localized in content, the issues discussed are those encountered by ALL small-scale growers/producers throughout North America

Guests

Jeff Mock - Silverking Soya Foods (Nelson) - Nelson is fortunate to have its very own tofu shop! Owned by Jeff Mock since 1994, Silverking is located in the Old Brewery building, next to Oso Negro Coffee roastery. Jeff "provides wholesome tofu and soymilk at a reasonable price with the least environmental impact." He uses certified organic soybeans, pure, un-chlorinated water, and locally grown organic herbs. Jeff makes fresh, delicious tofu every week in a variety of flavours and textures.

George and Maurgo Wilson - Meadowbrook Farm and Kootenay Sprouts (Salmo) - Eight years of year-round growing in their 3000 square foot greenhouse. You can expect a fresh variety of greens throughout the year, including arugula, spicy greens, mesclun lettuce mix, spinach and spring basil. Kootenay Sprouts is housed in a separate building, and has recently been certified organic. The crop of alfalfa, clover, onion, broccoli, salad crunch and savory deli sprouts are grown fresh on a weekly basis, and are sold in bulk trays and in individual packs.

Silvio Lettrari - Kaslo Sourdough Bakery (Kaslo) - Baking thirteen different kinds of bread using ancient recipes and traditional and modern techniques. Silvio began selling his breads in 1994. He believes that the bread that swamps the modern market lacks the vital essence that is so necessary for our successful survival in the future. He believes this vital essence to be the bacterial culture (microorganisms), which can only be had in a truly traditional sourdough bread.

Amy Robillard - Little Miss Gelato (Nelson) - New producer of Italian-style gelatos, available in local retail outlets, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Direct download: DD030906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:21pm EST

Growing Hope

In the last 50 years, Canada's food system has come to be all about efficiency, quantity, and economy - not health, employment, environment, and self-reliance. The response of our communities to this threat, while admirable, is wholly unequal to its magnitude.

As a special food system issue of the Centre for Community Enterprise's (CCE's) quarterly Making Waves, Canada's community economic development publication invites readers to identify the real issues, the real opportunities, the real difficulties - and to start building a real food system.

The edition is titled Growing Hope, and will act as a resource to stimulate discussion on the National Practitioners Dialogue - a web board "discussion" designed to gather input from now until March 2007. This discussion will be melded into a draft agri-food policy document to be distributed for comment to web-board participants, Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) members and members of allied community networks across Canada. From this feedback, a polished draft will be debated at the CCEDNet conference in April 2007 in St. John's Newfoundland with other national stakeholders in attendance. The final version will be promoted by CCEDNet and partner organizations in the national dialogue process to take place in Canada in 2007 running up to new Agricultural Policy Framework legislation expected in 2008.

This project represents the future of sustainable agriculture and food policy in Canada.

Guests

Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark - Edible Strategies Enterprises Ltd. (ESEL) (Fanny Bay, BC) - ESEL is a consultancy specializing in the application of community economic development to issues of local food sustainability. Both Frank and Sandra appeared as guests on the inaugural broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner in January, 2006.

Herb Barbolet - Associate, Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Vancouver, BC) - The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. As Associate since 2003, Herb has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable food systems. He appears frequently on radio, in print, and on television. He remains an active food consultant.

Colleen Ross - Women's President, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Iroquois, Ontario) - Members of the NFU believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. Colleen farms near Iroquois, Ontario.

Michael Heasman - Founder/Editor, Food for Good (Winnipeg, Manitoba) - Michael Heasman is a researcher and communicator on food policy specializing in food and health, social responsibility, and corporate activity. He is the founder and editor of Food for Good, a business newsletter that tracks and promotes a critical understanding of corporate citizenship and sustainable food business. In addition to Food Wars, he is co-author of The Functional Foods Revolution: Healthy People, Healthy Profits? and Consumption in the Age of Affluence: the World of Food.

Direct download: DD110906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:42pm EST

Chemical Food II

An ongoing series on Deconstructing Dinner that looks at the chemicals in food. From pesticides to food additives, chemicals are both intentionally and unintentionally entering into food, and into our bodies.

In this second part of the Chemical Food Series, we attempt to better understand the chemical pesticides that are sprayed on the vast majority of the foods available to us. How are they regulated? Are safety standards adequate? What are the health risks of the pesticide residues found in our food?

One particular pesticide Sulfuryl Fluoride, has recently become a controversial issue since tolerance levels for the chemical have been raised. There is now said to be an increasing presence of fluoride in the environment and in our diet. Approximately 40% of Canadians live in cities with fluoridated water supplies, and in the United States; 67% of the population. The total exposure to fluoride is now steadily increasing, and we will look closely at fluoridated drinking water to introduce these risks posed by Sulfuryl Fluoride. While most British Columbians do not receive fluoridated drinking water, our industrial food system sees foods and beverages being shipped from cities that do.

One of the world's largest pesticide manufacturers is The Dow Chemical Company. We will put the spotlight on Dow, a company that has close ties to the issues covered on this broadcast.

Guests

Charles Benbrook - Chief Scientist, The Organic Center (Oregon) - The Organic Center foresees the conversion of agriculture to organic methods improving health for the earth and its inhabitants. They aim to generate credible, peer reviewed scientific information and communicate the verifiable benefits of organic farming and products to society. Dr. Charles Benbrook worked in Washington, D.C. on agricultural policy, science and regulatory issues from 1979 through 1997. He served for 1.5 years as the agricultural staff expert on the Council for Environmental Quality at the end of the Carter Administration. In early 1981, he was the Executive Director of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture with jurisdiction over pesticide regulation, research, trade and foreign agricultural issues. In 1984 Benbrook was recruited to the job of Executive Director, Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, a position he held for seven years.

Richard Wiles - Senior Vice-President, Environmental Working Group (EWG) (Washington D.C.) - EWG has been at the forefront of the debate on PCBs in farmed salmon, benzene in soft drinks and fluoride in city drinking water. Richard Wiles directs EWG's programs. He is a former senior staff officer at the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Agriculture, where he directed scientific studies, including two that resulted in landmark reports: Regulating Pesticides in Food: The Delaney Paradox and Alternative Agriculture. Wiles is a leading expert in environmental risks to children, and under his direction, EWG has become one of the most respected environmental research organizations in the country.

Additional Audio

Twenty Years Without Justice: The Bhopal Chemical Disaster, Sanford Lewis, Strategic Video Productions - The official 20th anniversary film of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

Direct download: DD110206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

Food for Fuel, Fuel for Food

On the date of this broadcast, the community of Nelson, British Columbia celebrates Fossil-Fuel-Free week. While efforts are made to eliminate motorized transportation and turn down the thermostat, to be truly fossil-fuel-free, there would need to be a cessation of eating!

Food relies predominantly on oil as raw material and energy in the manufacturing of fertilizers and pesticides. It is used as cheap and readily available energy for planting, irrigation, feeding and harvesting, processing, distribution and packaging. Fossil fuels are essential in the construction and the repair of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate this industry, including farm machinery, processing facilities, storage, ships, trucks and roads. Food processors rely on the just-in-time delivery of fresh or refrigerated food, food additives, including vitamins and minerals, emulsifiers, preservatives, and colouring agents. They rely on the production and delivery of boxes, metal cans, printed paper labels, plastic trays, cellophane for microwave/convenience foods, glass jars, plastic and metal lids with sealing compounds. There is of course the daily just-in-time shipment of food to grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools. And at the end of it all, we use fuel to drive to the grocery store and purchase that food! 

Julian Darley of the Vancouver-based Post Carbon Institute uses overwhelming data that forecasts a bleak future our reliance on fuel may lead us into. The energy crisis he points to is one that will force significant political, cultural, and social changes. The Institute suggests Global Relocalization, where communities take on a much greater role in sustaining local food systems, and ultimately, sustaining people.

Darley is the author of High Noon for Natural Gas: the New Energy Crisis (2004) and the forthcoming Relocalize Now! Getting Ready for Climate Change and the End of Cheap Oil (forthcoming in 2007) in collaboration with Celine Rich, Dave Room and Richard Heinberg.

Julian Darley spoke in Vancouver in February 2006, and the Vancouver-based Necessary Voices Society was on hand to record his presentation.

Direct download: DD102606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

The GMO Trilogy - Hidden Dangers in Kids Meals

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format.

Part 3 - Hidden Dangers in Kids Meals: Genetically Modifed Foods

Shocking research results, inadequate regulations and warnings from eminent scientists explain why GM foods are dangerous and should be removed from kids' meals. The dramatic story of how student behavior in a Wisconsin school was transformed with a healthy diet provides added motivation to make a change. It features Jeffrey Smith and more than a dozen scientists and experts.

"Hidden Dangers pierces the myth that our government is protecting our food supply"
- John Robbins, Diet for a New America

"It will change the way you look at food forever."
- Howard Lyman, Mad Cowboy

"The revelations in Hidden Dangers make our choice clear - take needless risks with genetically engineered food or just say no to this madness."
- Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet

"Watch this video and start educating yourself."
- Candace Pert, PhD, Molecules of Emotion

"Play this video for parents! It's powerful, moving, and will shake people awake to how crazy it is to feed genetically engineered foods to children. It will change what parents and schools buy, which will change what manufacturers use in their products."
- Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association

"When parents watch scientist after scientist describe the dangers of GM foods, I wouldn't want to be a stubborn food service director trying to stand in their way."
- Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism

Direct download: DD092806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:28am EST

Conscientious Cooks II

A periodic series that will explore the foodservice industry and those who are making unique efforts to create more sustainable interactions between the field and the table.

On part two of this series, we visit with two chefs who approach food preparation in very different ways, yet both retain a common bond that sees a respect for food that is often void in many restaurant environments.

Guests

Chantale Roy - Raw Food Chef, Instructor and Consultant, raw - Cuisine Plenitude (Nelson) - Raw food is one of many new diets being introduced to our North American culture. On the other hand, a raw food diet was the only diet prior to the advent of fire. In this sense, "raw foodists" see such a diet as being a more natural and healthful approach to eating. Through her work, Chantale Roy lives her passion for gourmet cuisine, optimum health and divine respect for humanity and the earth. She has practiced Permaculture and Community Supported Agriculture in Quebec. Chantale has studied at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California and has just recently arrived in BC where she operates a business offering prepared raw foods to those in the Nelson area. Chantale additionally offers educational classes that assist participants in making the transition to a raw food diet.

Daveq - Manager, Chef, Farmer, Preserved Seed Cafe and Mate Factor Teahouse (Nelson) - Not many restaurants source a portion of their food from their own farm! The Preserved Seed is a shining example of a restaurant looking to foster a more sustainable approach to sourcing and preparing food. Located in Nelson, the Preserved Seed is an extension of Mount Sentinel Farm - an "Intentional Community" located just outside of the city. The common North American definition of community is often distorted within a culture that encourages individual gains. While the Preserved Seed's approach to food is unique unto itself, the community that supports the restaurant is also one to look to when addressing how both food and community are integral to each other.

Direct download: DD091406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:02am EST

Bioneers II

Bioneers was conceived to conduct educational and economic development programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Their radio programs are heard in over 200 cities.

Series III, PART 10: PLANTS AND PEOPLE – WHO'S CULTIVATING WHOM? Award-winning journalist for the New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World, and The Omnivore's Dilemma, takes a fresh perspective on the co-evolution of people and plants.

Series I, PART 12: WISDOM AT THE END OF THE HOE – FARMING AS IF BIOLOGY MATTERED What is it like living at a plant's pace? Is the gardener growing the garden or is the garden transforming the gardener? John Jeavons, Starhawk, Cathrine Sneed, Bob Cannard and Penny Livingston point to the genuine solutions for farming in harmony with the Earth. They are restoring soils and restoring souls.

Direct download: DD090706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:10am EST

Bridging Borders Highlights

Between October 7-11, 2006, participants from across North America gathered together in Vancouver for the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference. Hosted by the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the conference was organized by the California-based Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada, a new Canadian organization.

Participants at the conference met to discuss strategies for improving access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, and explored opportunities to build sustainable food systems.

Hunger, childhood obesity, urban agriculture, and development on our limited prime agricultural land were just a few of the many issues raised during the conference. As the Vancouver Food Policy Council's Devorah Kahn indicated prior to the conference, "We are meeting to discuss how to work towards viable solutions at the policy and grassroots levels."

As food safety scares grip North Americans, working towards more localized food systems is perhaps more timely now than ever before. With our rapidly changing climate being a result, among others, of our industrialized food systems, climatic changes will also be greatly influencing where food can be grown and how. The subject matter of Bridging Borders Toward Food Security encompasses some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record hours upon hours of the conference, and over the next few months we will be featuring these exclusive recordings. This particular broadcast will provide a collage of the passion that individuals and organizations across the continent are showing for food.

Voices Heard...

Direct download: DD101906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03pm EST

Chemical Food I

A new ongoing series on Deconstructing Dinner that will look at the chemicals in food. From pesticides to food additives, chemicals are both intentionally and unintentionally entering into food, and into our bodies.

Recent studies have demonstrated how Canadians are chock full of toxic chemicals. The most startling findings have been that children, are more toxic than their parents. But while many of these chemicals found in our bodies come from environmental pollutants, both industrial and commercial, there are a number of chemicals being added to food. One of the most controversial chemical additives is Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). The sweetener has once again entered into the media radar since the published results of the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the sugar substitute. The results have indicated that Aspartame, is indeed, carcinogenic. But how have health authorities responded? Do these recent findings perhaps illustrate the power of corporations in influencing food, policy, and health?

Guests

Kathryn Knowles - Director of Resource Development, European Ramazzini Foundation (Italy) - The mission of the European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences "B. Ramazzini" is to prevent cancer by identifying its causes and studying new strategies for early diagnosis and intensive therapies. The Foundation is a non-profit, private institution with official governmental recognition. Located in Bentivoglio, in the province of Bologna, Italy, its facilities include a Cancer Research Center (CRC) with more than 10,000 square meters of laboratories and archives and an Epidemiological Research Center. The Foundation recently released their findings of the â??First Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats". The results were published in the March issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Sarah Winterton - Program Director, Environmental Defence (Toronto) - Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. They research. They educate. They go to court when they have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide. The organization released their Toxic Nation report in 2005. The study saw 11 adults from across Canada tested for 88 chemicals. Their most recent study released in 2006, titled Polluted Children, tested children, parents and grandparents from five Canadian families for 68 chemicals. Pollution in Canada is getting worse. While some countries step up to tackle toxic pollution, Canada straggles behind. Fortunately, the opportunity exists now to bring the regulation of toxic chemicals up to international standards.

Direct download: DD101206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm EST

The GMO Trilogy - Unnatural Selection

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format between June and September.

Part 2 - Unnatural Selection

Produced by Bertram Verhaag and Gabrielle Kroeber. This stunning European documentary made available for the first time in North America, reveals several harsh consequences of genetic engineering worldwide.

 

  • A failed GM cotton crop prompts farmer suicides in India.
  • Windborne GM canola contaminates organic and conventional farms in Canada. One farmer fights Monsanto in the Supreme Court.
  • A company seeks approval for giant GM salmon that may threaten the survival of the natural species.
  • GM pigs are born with ghastly mutations.
  • And experts reveal how inadequate testing and regulations put us at risk.

 

The film features... Vandana Shiva - Navdanya, New Delhi, India Andrew Kimbrell - Centre for Food Safety, (Washington, D.C.) Percy Schmeiser - Saskatchewan Farmer Marc Loiselle - Saskatchewan Farmer, Saskatchewan Organic Directorate Martin Pratchler - Saskatchewan Farmer Larry Bain - Nextcourse, Acme Chophouse (San Francisco) Joseph McGonigle - Aqua Bounty Technologies - (Boston/Newfoundland/PEI) Terje Traavik - Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology Richard D. Howard - Purdue University and others...

Music by Salt-Spring Island musician Phil Vernon will be featured on this broadcast, including an exclusive live recording prepared by Deconstructing Dinner correspondent Andrea Langlois.

 

Direct download: DD080306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:22pm EST

Reclaiming our Food

The BC Food Systems Network was formed to work with groups around the province to eliminate hunger and create sustainable food systems for all residents. The Network encourages initiatives to reclaim local ownership of community food systems and develop food self-reliance by sharing information, skills, and resources.

Between September 14-17, the Network gathered in Sorrento as has now been done for seven years. The theme of the conference was "Reclaiming Our Local Food Systems".

Deconstructing Dinner was invited to record the conference, and this broadcast marks the first of many more that will feature these recordings. Featured on this broadcast is the first panel of speakers who introduced the theme of the conference.

Speakers

Cathleen Kneen - Founder, BC Food Systems Network (Sorrento) - Passionate about food, justice and sustainable agriculture. With her husband Brewster, Cathleen publishes The Ram's Horn, a monthly newsletter of food system analysis (since 1980). Currently sits on the executive of Food Secure Canada.

Dawn Morrison - Community Development Facilitator, Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation (Chase)- Dawn most recently coordinated the first annual BC Interior Indigenous Food Sovereignty Conference held in Penticton. She promotes ecologically and culturally sustainable land use projects.

Brewster Kneen - Author/Publisher, The Ram's Horn (Sorrento) - Brewster's first involvement with food issues was in writing "The Economy of Sugar" in 1971, and then farming for 15 years. He has written other notable titles such as "From Land to Mouth" and "Farmageddon". His current focus is on genetic engineering of food, and privatization of the public domain. Along with his wife Cathleen, Brewster publishes The Ram's Horn, a monthly newsletter of food systems analysis.

Patrick Steiner - Farmer, Stellar Seeds (Sorrento) - Stellar Seeds provides certified organic seeds grown in British Columbia. They grow the majority of seeds at their own farm, and also sell seeds grown by other local organic farmers. They specialize in interesting and unique varieties, many of them heirlooms.

Direct download: DD092106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:37am EST

Packaged Foods Exposed II (Nestlé)

The second of an ongoing series that will take a look behind the world's largest packaged food and beverage producers. In the first episode, we took a look at global giant PepsiCo.

The Packaged Foods Exposed series places corporations in a critical light, hoping to provide a more balanced image to the advertising and PR campaigns launched by some of the most influential food corporations on the planet.

In this second episode of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, we take a look at the largest food manufacturer in the world - Nestlé. What products fall under their banner; how has their influence  shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

Guests

Karl Flecker - Education Coordinator / Director of the Water Program, Polaris Institute - Polaris is designed to enable citizen movements to re-skill and re-tool themselves to fight for democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization. Essentially, the Institute works with citizen movements in developing the kinds of strategies and tactics required to unmask and challenge the corporate power that is the driving force behind governments concerning public policy making on economic, social and environmental issues. Karl Flecker has worked with the institute for 5 years.

Direct download: DD072706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:09pm EST

Shocking Sugar

Sugar is close to becoming a cultural institution here in North America and is found in a countless number of foods that we consume daily. The media looks to sugar on a rather frequent basis to satisfy the "declining population health" segments of the nightly news. While these segments could arguably not be frequent enough, there is a whole side to sugar rarely touched on.

Like with many crops, fruits and vegetables, sugar production comes with hidden costs. Sugarcane represents the primary crop from which refined sugar originates, and its current methods of cultivation and production are taking a toll on the environment and on the human beings who are part of the process.

Join us as we look past the health concerns of our sugar-driven food system, and look to solutions and alternatives to a commodity that seems to present very little choice for the general public.

Guests

Dr. Jason Clay - Vice-President, Center for Conservation Innovation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Jason has spent more than 20 years working with human rights and environmental organizations. More recently, Jason has been engaged in detailed examinations of the social and environmental impacts of commodity production. Clay was founder and editor of the award-winning Cultural Survival Quarterly, the largest circulation anthropology and human rights publication in the world. Jason studied anthropology and Latin American studies at Harvard University, economics and geography at the London School of Economics, and anthropology and international agriculture at Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in 1979. Jason sits on the Board of Protected Harvest and is the author of "World Agriculture and the Environment".

Adony Melathopoulos - Research Technician, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada - Working out of the Beaverlodge Research Farm in Beaverlodge, Alberta, Adony studies ways to manage pests and diseases on Honey Bee farms. Adony graduated from Burnaby's Simon Fraser University and sits on the Communications committee for the Canadian Assocation of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA). Adony recently compiled an article for the Canadian Honey Council's web site titled "Honey as Canada's Sustainable and Ethical Sweetener."

Reykia Fick - Public Education & Outreach, TransFair Canada - TransFair Canada is a national non-profit certification and public education organization promoting Fair Trade Certified to improve the livelihood of developing world farmers and workers.

David Richard - Publisher, Vital Health Publishing - Vital Health publishes authors who can expose health-related problems accurately and with integrity, clarify the issues, and provide workable solutions. David first authored the book "Stevia Rebaudiana: Nature's Sweet Secret" in 1996. David was featured in a New York Times headline story on the food disparagement laws (June 1, 1999), and he also made national news in 1998 when his Stevia book was nearly burned by the FDA in the warehouse of one of his Texas distributors.

Direct download: DD072006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07pm EST

Farming in the City I

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, for city dwellers growing food in their own backyards or even on their window sill, they are essentially, farming in the city.

As practical and environmentally friendly as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

This broadcast marks the first of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world.

Guests

Wally Satzewich - Farmer, Wally's Urban Market Garden / SPIN Farming (Saskatoon) - Gail Vandersteen and Wally Satzewich are both long-time residents of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They operate an urban market garden. One unique feature of the market garden is that it is located within the confines of a city. Their produce is grown on a number of residential garden plots scattered throughout the city. This allows them to practice an eco-friendly form of agriculture, one that puts less pressure on rural habitats, and fosters self-reliance in an urban setting. This form of agriculture makes it more feasible to utilise organic household kitchen wastes because much of this material can be composted and used for growing crops. Gail and Wally are also the co-creators of SPIN Farming - a business that assists others wishing to adopt a similar business model based on small-plot intensive farming.

Beth Sobieszczyk - Program and Social Enterprise Coordinator, Fruit Tree Project, LifeCycles Project Society (Victoria) - The Victoria Fruit Tree Project of the LifeCycles Project Society sees volunteers and a couple a ladders turning backyard fruit trees into a valuable source of food for the community. The project harvests fruit from private trees that would otherwise go to waste. The fruit is then distributed among homeowners, volunteers, food banks and community organisations within Victoria.

Jac Smit - President and CEO, The Urban Agriculture Network (TUAN) (Washington D.C.) - This information and consulting organization was founded in 1992. It has visited over 30 countries in its advocacy. The urban agriculture book they wrote for the United Nations is the 2nd best selling book ever published by the UNDP. TUAN operates in all media. It is engaged frequently in workshops and conferences. Jac is a regular contributor to the Vancouver based City Farmer web site - an extensive Canadian resource for urban agriculture information.

Direct download: DD083106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:12am EST

Vegan Cattle Ranchers & Oprah

Howard Lyman (aka The Mad Cowboy) is a figure to pay attention to. If converting from a Montana cattle rancher to a strict vegan is not enough of a reason to raise an eyebrow, Lyman has since devoted his life to educating the public on the dangers of animal-based diets.

Lyman has been a fourth-generation family farmer in Montana for almost 40 years. Using personal experience, he denounces chemically based agricultural production methods, calling them unsustainable and ecologically disastrous. His experiences range from working in a large organic dairy to raising registered beef cattle to owning a large factory feedlot. He has farmed thousands of acres of grain and reproduced a herd of over one thousand commercial beef cows. Lyman has raised chickens, pigs, and turkeys, and grown crops such as wheat, barley, oats, corn, alfalfa, and grass.

Howard Lyman was farming at the time when it was either get big or get out. Educated on the modern industrial methods of agriculture, Lyman saw his organic soil go from a living, productive base to a sterile, chemically-saturated, mono-cultural ground.

In 1979, a tumor on his spinal cord caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Realizing that the farming methods he used were the problem, he decided to become a voice for the family farmer and the land. That led him to work for the Montana Farmers Union and from there to Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union.

Lyman has made many trips to British Columbia, and this broadcast will feature his speech given at the Taste of Health event hosted by EarthSave Canada in 2002. The recording is courtesy of the Necessary Voices Society.

"The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?" - Howard Lyman

Direct download: DD070606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:12pm EST

Best of Deconstructing Dinner, Jan-May '06

Host Jon Steinman chooses some of the most memorable interviews and segments from the 18 shows produced between January and May, 2006. Segments are played to a compilation of music from the Kootenay Co-op Radio musical library and Jon's own personal collection.

Direct download: DD052506.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22am EST

The GMO Trilogy - You're Eating What?

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format.

Part 1 - You're Eating What?

Jeffrey Smith, author of the world's bestselling book on GM foods, Seeds of Deception, describes how biotech companies rigged research, hid health dangers and pressured government regulators to approve food that even FDA scientists said was unsafe.

Direct download: DD062206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:43am EST

The Solidarity of Others is Our Own Defense - Defining Food Security and Food Sovereignty

What is Food Security and how is it defined globally? Food Security is often perceived as the ability of a community to respond to poverty by feeding the hungry. But Food Security is far more than just the number of food banks operating within a community. This perception has additionally fostered the belief that the remainder of the population is "food-secure".

This broadcast will look to define Food Security and Food Sovereignty. To do so, the causes of hunger will be discussed and how nations and communities respond; we will look at examples of citizen movements taking action to defend their right to food; and ultimately, we will attempt to connect the struggles and efforts of others to our North American relationship to food. Are those of us who readily have access to food really food-secure? Are the food struggles and solidarity of others a glimpse into where our own food system has gone wrong? Can we look to these struggles as an illustration of how we as North Americans have lost our connection to food?

Voices

Anuradha Mittal - Executive Director, The Oakland Institute. A native of India, Anuradha is an internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. She worked for ten years as the policy director and then the co-director at the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First). In 2004, she established The Oakland Institute - a policy think tank located in Oakland, California. This footage is courtesy of RadioActive at WERU Community Radio in Blue Hill/Bangor, Maine.

Refugio Gregorio - Mixteca Elder, Representative of the Indigenous Women's Cooperative - Margarita Magón (Oaxaca, Mexico). In 2002 protests succeeded in keeping a McDonald's out of the central square of Oaxaca. McDonald's was seen as a threat to the cultural heritage of the indigenous people in and around Oaxaca. Refugio participated in this protest and continues to found her resistance in the celebration of food and tradition.

Antonio Villanueva Feliciano - Zapotec Migrant Indigenous Leader, Youth Representative, Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca (CIPO-RFM) - CIPO-RFM is an organization representing 24 indigenous communities. They use non-violent resistance to exercise autonomy and direct action, and defend their human, territorial, economic, social, political and cultural rights, as communities and as individuals.

Emilie Smith - The Ecumenical Task Force for Justice in the Americas (Vancouver) - Emilie worked for 22 years in Mexico and Guatemala helping to improve conditions of indigenous people. She represents the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca (CIPO-RFM), and is currently supporting CIPO-RFM leader, Raul Gatica Bautista, who is now a refugee in exile in Vancouver. Emilie acted as the translator in the studio for Antonio Feliciano and Refugio Gregorio.

Charles Levkoe - SunRoot Farm (Nova Scotia). Charles was most recently the Urban Agriculture Coordinator at The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto. Charles received a Masters degree in Food Security and Popular Education from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He sits on the board of the American Community Gardening Association. As of July 2006, Charles is now part of SunRoot Farm - a community-supported agriculture co-operative in Kennetcook, Nova Scotia.

South Central Farmers (Los Angeles) - Since 1992, 14 acres of property located in the middle of Los Angeles has been used as a community garden or farm. The land has been divided into 360 plots and is believed to be one of the largest urban gardens in the country. On June 14, 2006, an eviction notice was carried out by hundreds of LA riot police.

Direct download: DD081006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:48am EST

The Food Revolution

Californian John Robbins is the author of the international bestseller "DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA - How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth". In 2001 he released " THE FOOD REVOLUTION - How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World". Before moving to his current home in California, John spent 10 years living on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Widely considered to be one of the world's leading experts on the dietary link with the environment and health, John's work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles and many of the nation's other major newspapers and magazines.

The only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented.

He is the founder and Board Chair Emeritus of EarthSave International, an organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world. John is also the active Board Chair of Youth For Environmental Sanity (YES!).

In June of 2002, John spoke at an event in Vancouver that was recorded by the Necessary Voices Society. This broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner features segments from this speech.

Direct download: DD051106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:14am EST

Packaged Foods Exposed I (PepsiCo)

The first of a periodic series that will take a look behind the world's largest packaged food and beverage producers. What products fall under their banner, and how has their influence shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

Part I - Pepsico
New York-based PepsiCo, is far more than just Coca-Cola's main competitor, and based on revenues, sits at about the 4th largest food and beverage producer in the world.

Guests

Richard Girard, Researcher, Polaris Institute - Polaris is designed to enable citizen movements to re-skill and re-tool themselves to fight for democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization. Essentially, the Institute works with citizen movements in developing the kinds of strategies and tactics required to unmask and challenge the corporate power that is the driving force behind governments concerning public policy making on economic, social and environmental issues.

Direct download: DD042706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:05am EST

GE-Free Canada

The genetic modification of our food is a new experiment that has only been underway in Canada since 1994. A campaign was launched in June of 2005 calling for a GE-Free Canada - a Canada free of genetically modified plants. The campaign was launched in Vancouver where a selection of speakers were invited to speak on the genetic modification of our food supply, and the methods through which GE-Free zones could be created. The event was recorded by the Vancouver-based Necessary Voices Society.

Speakers

Percy Schmeiser - Farmer - Saskatchewan-based farmer who was taken to court by agri-giant Monsanto after his fields of non-genetically modified canola were contaminated with a modified version from a neighbouring field. Monsanto claimed Schmeiser was unlawfully planting the company's patented products and subsequently took Schmeiser to court. Percy speaks of why we need a GE-Free Canada.

Arran Stephens - Founder and President, Nature's Path Foods - Richmond-based Nature's Path Foods produces a line of organic products and specializes in certified organic cereals. Arran Stephens is a published author. and sits on the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Colin Palmer - Chair, Powell River Regional District - Colin has also served as Mayor of Powell River and as a municipal Councillor. He and his wife Ann have lived in the area for 35 years. Colin owns and operates a local printing business. He speaks of the role municipal governments have in securing a GE-Free Canada. Powell River is one of the first Canadian communities to become a GE-Free zone.

Direct download: DD042006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:51am EST

Peak Oil & Food

Our food system has been built on a foundation of oil (gasoline, pesticides, fertilizers). As we reach the highest use of oil-dependent practices ever, we are also reaching a critical point in the availability of this finite resource. Peak Oil has been the term used to describe the point in time when extraction of oil from the earth reaches its highest point and then begins to decline. We won't be able to say with certainty when we have reached peak oil until after the fact. Many experts say we have already reached the peak.

How can the world's population be fed without the extensive use of fossil fuels in the production, processing and distribution of food? What changes can we make to implement food security at the local level, while promoting popular education, public health and community control?

Guests/Pre-Recorded Presentation

Wayne Roberts - Project Coordinator for the Toronto Food Policy Council, and regular contributor to Toronto's NOW Magazine. In a recent presentation hosted by the Vancouver Public Library and the Necessary Voices Society, Dr. Wayne Roberts helped tackle the question, "What will we eat when the oil runs out?" We hear clips from this presentation

Charles Levkoe - Urban Agriculture Coordinator The Stop Community Food Centre. The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto, strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. A fixture in Toronto for over 30 years, The Stop believes that food access and security are basic human rights. Charles received a Masters degree in Food Security and Popular Education from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Charles is also on the board of the American Community Gardening Association.

Direct download: DD031606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:37am EST

Grocery Store Alternatives

What alternatives exist to the standard grocery store excursion? Farmers' Markets are certainly one option, but how about food delivered right to your door! While many home grocery delivery services have failed miserably, the most successful operations seem to be those fostering more sustainable food systems. Let's explore some of these options.

Also to explore is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA); yet another form of sourcing fruits and vegetables from a location other than the inanimate grocery store shelves. The CSA movement sees customers sharing the costs and benefitis of farming by investing in the growing season of a local farm.

Guests

David Van Seters - Founder and CEO, SPUD (Small Potoates Urban Delivery Inc.) - In business since 1998, SPUD is Canada's largest organic grocery home delivery service. The business serves over 5000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, Calgary and Seattle. SPUD is committed to protecting the environment by buying local, organic, minimally packaged, and eco-friendly products. They build community by creating more direct connections between food producers and consumers; reduce traffic congestion and pollution by delivering groceries on a set route; and ensure their customers know where their food is coming from.

Mark Bomford - Program Coordinator, UBC Farm at the University of British Columbia - The UBC Farm is a 24- hectare teaching, research and community farm located on the UBC campus in Vancouver. As a new project launched in the summer of 2005, the UBC Farm now offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box program. The initiative acts as a working example of the benefits of sustainable food systems.

Velvet Kavanagh - Organic Goddess, Endless Harvest Organic Food Delivery - Launched in 1998 just outside Nelson, British Columbia, Endless Harvest is an example of a small-town organic grocery delivery service that looks to foster sustainability through its business practices. Endless Harvest was started to provide people with an easy, affordable way to eat organic and locally grown food; to help people make informed decisions about food; and to help local farmers reach new markets.

Direct download: DD062906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50am EST

Conscientious Cooks I

The first of a periodic series that will explore the foodservice industry and those who are making unique efforts to create more sustainable interactions between the field and the table.

Guests

Michael Allemeier - Winery Chef, Mission Hill Family Estate (Westbank, BC): Located in the fertile Okanagan Valley, Michael Allemeier has taken food service to a new level. On the other hand, it can be said that Allemeier has returned the operation of a restaurant back to the way they have more traditionally functioned. Before joining Mission Hill in 2003, Michael saw his time spent at Bishop's Restaurant in Vancouver, Wildflower Restaurant in Whistler, and Teatro in Calgary. He is most visually recognized as having been one of the hosts of the Food Network's "Cook Like a Chef" - an internationally syndicated television program.

Andrea Carlson - Chef de Cuisine, Raincity Grill (Vancouver, BC): In 1998 Carlson joined Vancouver's C Restaurant where she stayed for two years as Executive Sous Chef before embarking on a jaunt across Eastern Europe and Turkey. Upon returning Andrea created a bakery on Savoury Island and later spent a season at Sooke Harbour House in 2002. In May 2003, Andrea returned to C and assumed the position of Pastry Chef and is now back at Raincity Grill as Chef de Cuisine. Carlson maintains a commitment to all things seasonal; evident in her recent launch of the 100-mile Tasting Menu - inspired by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith's 100-Mile Diet. "100-miles" refers to the limit at which ingredients can be sourced: creating a truly local and seasonal menu.

Direct download: DD040606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22am EST

Bioneers I

Bioneers was conceived to conduct educational and economic development programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Their radio programs are heard in over 200 cities.

Series IV, PART 4: ORGANIC AND BEYOND – TOWARD THE DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION OF AGRICULTURE. The biology of farming is complex and requires attentiveness to nature’s own ways of doing things, characterized by interdependence of relationships. Author and attorney Andrew Kimbrell is leading the Organic and Beyond Movement—a food revolution that offers health and food security for future generations and rejects the destructive industrial food production model. Andrew is the Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Centre for Food Safety.

Series III, PART 6: SOIL AND SOUL – THE FUTURE OF FARMING. What are the hidden costs of agribusiness, with its chemical dependent mega farms? Poor nutrition and physical and mental illness, connected to poor nutrition, are on the rise in North America. Farmers Michael Ableman and Joel Salatin express the soul that is returning to farming the land. Michael Ableman is the founder and executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. Michael farms in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Joel Salatin is a fulltime farmer in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

Direct download: DD030206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:16pm EST

Is There a Table Reserved for BC Farms? - The Agricultural Land Reserve

Some of British Columbia's most productive agricultural land could turn into highways and parking lots in the coming years unless changes are made to the Province's Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), says a new report by the David Suzuki Foundation.

"B.C.'s farmland is facing death by a thousand cuts," says Ann Rowan, director of the sustainability program at the David Suzuki Foundation. "We need decisive leadership from the province to ensure our best farmland doesn't get paved over."

The report Forever Farmland shows how in recent years farmland that is nestled along the edge of towns and cities has fallen prey to regional development. Between 2001 and 2006, thousands of hectares from Courtenay to Invermere have been eliminated from the ALR and converted into subdivisions. The pressure to remove land from the ALR is greatest near the major population centres where the most productive farmland is predominantly located.

While supporting local farming may seem to be the first step in creating a sustainable food system, local farming can only be supported if there is adequate land on which to farm.

Guests

Ann Rowan - Director of Sustainability, David Suzuki Foundation - Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Given our rich natural assets and the strong environmental values, Canada should be a world leader in sustainability. However, in a recent study comparing the environmental performance of Canada to other developed countries, we finished 29th out of 30.

Erik Karlsen - Chair, Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Erik Karlsen is a professional land use planner with over 35 years experience in advisory through management level positions in federal, provincial, regional and local levels of government and private sector. Mr. Karlsen worked for the BC Provincial Government for 29 years leaving in April 2002. Since then he has been a consultant, a member of advisory committees and taught at Royal Roads University in the Masters of Environment and Management Program. Erik Karlsen has been awarded several awards of distinction for his contribution to sustainable development planning and management in BC and Canada.

Heather Stretch - Northbrook Farm / Saanich Organics - Located in Central Saanich, Heather has been growing fruits and vegetables at Northbrook for 6 years. Heather is a co-owner of Saanich Organics - a collection of small-scale farmers selling their produce through a home-delivery service and at local restaurants and grocery stores.

Robin Tunnicliffe - Feisty Field Organic Farm / Saanich Organics - Feisty Field grows a variety of fruits and vegetables near Prospect Lake within the city limits of Victoria. Robin is also a co-owner of Saanich Organics.

Direct download: DD060806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EST

Eggs

How are 98% of eggs in British Columbia produced, and what other methods compose the remaining 2%. We discuss the state of the egg industry in this province and investigate into the methods of education the industry utilizes to inform the consumer.

Guests

Bruce Passmore - Farm Animal Welfare Coordinator for the Vancouver Humane Society, Coordinator of the Chicken Out Campaign, a joint effort between the Humane Society and the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals.

Fred Reid - Olera Farm in Abbotsford. Member of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia, and you may recognize the name as a key opponent in the heated debates that took place in this province only a few years ago between organic egg producers and the BC Egg Marketing Board

Karl Hann - Biota Farm in Abbotsford, biodynamic farmer and egg producer. Green Party candidate in the Abbotsford riding during the 2004 federal election. Karl was born and raised in Romania and has been living and farming in Canada for 20 years.

Maria Castro - Quennell Lake Poultry, a small family farm in the community of Cedar on Vancouver Island. Steering Committee of the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition (a campaign of the Council of Canadians). A director of Rare Breeds Canada. Steering Committee of the Agriculture Caucus of the Canadian Environmental Network. Food Link Nanaimo.

Peter Whitlock - Operations Manager BC Egg Producers (BC Egg Marketing Board).

Direct download: DD011206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools I

How do food issues make their way into our public schools. As Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman recalls, "I remember graduating from high school not knowing the first thing about growing food and having very little idea how the food I consumed impacted the planet on which we live." With schools being the building blocks of our society and culture, how does our government-funded education system incorporate into curriculums the most important issue facing all humans - food.

Part I
Host Jon Steinman takes a ride with the Nelson-based group Earth Matters as they introduce their Food-to-Table program in local public schools. As a component of the country-wide One-Tonne Challenge, the program involved in-class presentations on how our food choices influence climate change, and even saw students visit local grocery stores where food was discussed in-depth.

Guests

Colleen Matte and Su Donovaro - Earth Matters - Colleen and Su were the coordinators of the One-Tonne Challenge Food-to-Table program. Earth Matters is a youth-driven environmental organization based in Nelson BC. They focus on developing and running innovative experiential education programs and community development programs.

Karl Machado - Teacher, L.V. Rogers Secondary School - Karl teaches a unique environmental science class for Grade 12 students. Karl has hosted the Food-to-Table program for two years in a row.

Marilyn Lawrence - Teacher, A.I. Collinson Elementary School - Marilyn is the grade 4/5 teacher. Her class participated in the Food-to-Table program.

Sarah Miles and Amber Johnson - Students, L.V. Rogers Secondary School

Grade 4/5 Students - A.I. Collinson Elementary School

Direct download: DD041306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:03pm EST

“Permaculture” or “permanent agriculture” was originally conceived almost 30 years ago by Australian ecologist Bill Mollison. Observing aboriginal culture and forest ecosystems, he conlcuded that we could deliberately design agriculturally productive ecosystems, echoing diversity, stability, and resillience of natural ecosystems.

Permaculture designs provide food, energy, and shelter for people and animal inhabitants while linking the needs and outputs of each element.

Permaculture is a holistic approach to land use, which works with nature’s rhythm and patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animal, water and soil management, and human needs into intricately connected and productive communities.

Guests

Gregoire Lamoureux – Kootenay Permaculture Institute/Spiral Farm – The Kootenay Permaculture Institute is located just outside of Winlaw in the Slocan Valley of British Columbia. Gregoire is a permaculture designer, consultant, and teacher. He has worked with permaculture systems for over 15 years and taught courses in many parts of Canada. He taught the permaculture design course as a Summer Session at the University of Manitoba in 2005. Gregoire is on the Board of Directors of the Slocan River Streamkeepers and has served on the Board of Seeds of Diversity Canada for seven years. He is a founding member of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. He has written for Natural Life Magazine. He has been a guest lecturer at the BC Organic Agriculture Conference, and the Guelph Organic Agriculture Conference.

Peter Bane – PublisherThe Permaculture Activist – North America’s leading (and the world’s oldest) permaculture periodical. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, since 1985 the publication has informed on permaculture design, edible landscaping, bioregionalism, cooperative action, aquaculture, natural building, earthworks, renewable energy and more.

Audio Clips

David Holmgren – “Permaculture Strategies in a World of Declining Fossil Fuels” – recorded on September 10, 2005 by the Necessary Voices Society. David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of “Permaculture One” in 1978. Since then he has written several more books, developed three properties using permaculture principles, conducted workshops and courses in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA, Israel, Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. He has consulted and supervised on urban and rural projects in Australia and New Zealand. Within the growing and international permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependant consumerism. At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. The Fryers Forest Eco-village, also in central Victoria, has been a major project in recent years, where he performed many roles including planner and project manager. As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

Direct download: DD060106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Agricultural Change and the Struggle to Keep Up

We take a rare glimpse into some of the issues facing British Columbia's small-scale farmers and producers. With the rapid pace at which agricultural and production methods have evolved, two distinct food-producing frameworks now exist: the small scale farmer/producer, and the commodity-based ones hooked into industrial methods of production.

How does the small operation survive in this world of giants? British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries' - Brent Warner, speaks to members of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society on how change affects them, and how they should best adapt to this change.

This is an opportunity to look behind the scenes into the very issues that face the people growing and producing our food.

Brent Warner - Industry Specialist - Agritourism/Direct Marketing - BRITISH COLUMBIA MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND FISHERIES. Brent is a horticulturalist who has worked with the Ministry since 1980. Brent is the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association. He authored "Marketing on the Edge" - a guide for farmers/producers to assist in diversification and marketing of their products directly to the public.

Brent spoke on 02/11/06 at a Nelson-based meeting of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. This broadcast contains audio recordings from his presentation.

Direct download: DD021606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

Norway, British Columbia

The BC salmon aquaculture industry has been one of the most criticized in the province. Nevertheless , the industry continues to expand and both the provincial and federal government continue to promote it. The opposition is led by The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) - a 9-member organization composed of First Nations groups, the fishing community and the conservation community. Key topics to discuss - The recent "Framework for Dialogue" that has been initiated between CAAR and Marine Harvest Canada - one of the three major players in the industry. A recent report was also released accusing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of using an ineffective system to measure the health effects of sea-lice on juvenile wild salmon.

Guests

Alexandra Morton - Raincoast Research. Co-author of Stain Upon the Sea - West Coast Salmon Farming. Originally from Conneticut, Alexandra moved to BC in 1980. After the arrival of salmon farms around her home in the Broughton Archipelago, her research focus shifted in the early 90s from killer whales to salmon.

Jay Ritchlin - Marine Campaign Strategist, David Suzuki Foundation - Vancouver. He has been involved in Environmental Science and Advocacy for 15 years.

Corey Peet - graduate student in Marine Ecology at the University of Victoria who is finishing up his research on the interactions between sea lice and young pink + chum salmon. He has recently joined the Raincoast Conservation Society as a science advisor for their Salmon Aquaculture campaign.

Catherine Stewart - Chairperson, Living Oceans Society - a non-profit research and public education organization that promotes the need for a healthy ocean and healthy communities on Canada's Pacific Coast. Catherine has been involved in the environmental movement for 20 years, and for 17 of those years Catherine has also been involved with Greenpeace Canada.

Clare Backman - Spokesperson, Marine Harvest Canada. Marine Harvest is the largest producer of farmed salmon in the world. The company is headquartered in both Norway and the Netherlands - a result from the recent merger between Stolt Sea Farms and Nutreco Holdings. The company has operations in 8 different countries around the world and their products can be found in over 70 countries. Marine Harvest's Canadian operation is headquartered in Campbell River, British Columbia.

Direct download: DD020206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:39am EST

Slaughterhouses on the Butcher Block?

In September 2004, the province of British Columbia enacted new meat inspection regulations that were set to come into effect by September 2006. That deadline has since been pushed to September 2007. Regulations will see all slaughterhouse operations fall under provincial and federal liceneses (about 5% of operations in BC are unlicensed). The province declares that these regulations will "strengthen public safety" and "provide new opporutnities for the marketing and sale of BC produced meat." Critics argue that the new Meat Inspection Regulations fail to address safety concerns such as Mad Cow (BSE) and Avian Flu, and threaten vital local agricultural economies and jobs.

Guests

Faye Street - General Manager, Kootenay Livestock Association, Cranbrook, BC - The KLA is a registered society whose members are livestock producers in the East and West Kootenay region of BC. They promote the beef cattle industry in the Kootenays as a viable and valuable resource. Faye also sits on the Regional Subcommittee for the Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy of the British Columbia Food Processors Association (BCFPA). Faye was also joined by Wayne McNamar - Project Coordinator for the Kootenay Livestock Association.

Dave Anderson - Legendary Meats, Slocan Park, BC - Serving a vast area throughout the Central Kootenay region of British Columbia, the slaughtering operation of Legendary Meats has now closed due to these new regulations.

Eric Boulton - Somerset Farm, Gabriola Island, BC - Operating their farm since 1948, Eric has operated one of the only facilities on Gabriola that slaughters animals for food. He awaits approval as to whether costly changes to his operation will grant him a license.

Richard Yntema - North Okanagan Game Meats, Enderby, BC - Richard's business specializes in raising specialty meats such as Deer (Venison), Wild Boar and Lamb. He is currently in the process of restructuring his operation to meet new regulations.

Michael McBane - National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition, Ottawa, ON - The Canadian Health Coalition is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting and expanding Canadaâ??s public health system for the benefit of all Canadians. The CHC was founded in 1979.

Direct download: DD050406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:39am EST

Paying the Costs of Not Paying Attention to Eating

(Broadcast January 26, 2006)

How does the attention we pay to the specific moment of eating affect the attention we pay to purchasing food? By reconnecting ourselves to the act of eating, can we reconnect ourselves to food itself?

Guests

Victoria Stanton - Montreal-based performance artist producing solo and collaborative creative work since 1992. Her current project entitled ESSEN, takes a look at our relationship with eating by hosting meals where participants feed each other instead of themselves. These events help expose our relationship with food by disrupting the daily routine of feeding. In collaboration with Ascent Magazine, Victoria will be hosting a January 28th performance at Radha Yoga & Eatery in Vancouver.

Carl Honore - author of "IN PRAISE OF SLOW - How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed" (Vintage Canada). Carl is a Canadian journalist based in London, England. He has written for The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, and the National Post.

Paul Rozin - Professor, Department of Psychology - University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He has been a member of the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania since 1963. Former editor of the journal Appetite. Research - Cultural Psychology. Acquisition of likes and dislikes for foods, nature and development of the magical belief in contagion, cultural evolution of disgust, ambivalence to animal foods, lay conception of risk of infection and toxic effects of foods, interaction of moral and health factors in concerns about risks, relation between people's desires to have desires and their actual desires (including the problem of internalization), acquisition of culture, nature of cuisine, cultural evolution. Research carried out in USA, France, Japan and India.

Direct download: DD012606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:47am EST

A Dinner Date With the Olympics

Take a closer look at the Olympic rings. Located in the yellow ring are the McDonald's arches, and in the red ring, a bottle of Coca-Cola. These companies represent two of the 11 Worldwide Olympic Partners who have forked out incredible sums of money to fund the games and market their products alongside.

After the announcement of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that British Columbia will be the healthiest jurisdiction to ever host the Olympic Games. Numerous initiatives have now been launched that encourage healthier living for all British Columbians. How does the influence of these two major Olympic sponsors affect the progress of these intiatives: initiatives that many argue have been designed to combat the unhealthy influence of these very companies.

Join us as we discuss how the products of McDonald's and Coca-Cola represent sport, nutrition and the active lifestlyes that the Olympics promote.

We will look into the effects of advertising on children, and how parents and teachers can help young Canadians better interpret the powerful messages that the Olympics emit.

Guests

Jennifer Gibson - Sport Dietitian - SportMedBC - a not-for-profit society, whose focal point is sport medicine and science within the provincial sport system. SportMedBC is committed to identifying, developing and promoting Best Practices in Sport Health, Sport Safety and Sport Training. We aim to coordinate access to a network of practitioners and to be the ultimate resources for all active British Columbians interested in sport activities.

Warren Nightingale - Education Content Developer - Media Awareness Network - is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996. Members of our team have backgrounds in education, journalism, mass communications, and cultural policy. Working out of offices in Ottawa and Montreal, they promote media and Internet education by producing online programs and resources, working in partnership with Canadian and international organizations, and speaking to audiences across Canada and around the world.

Direct download: DD022306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00pm EST

Sterile Seeds

(originally broadcast February 9, 2006)

Seeds are the foundation of our food supply and the building blocks of culture, community and well-being. Seeds also represent an industry of which 50% of global sales are controlled by 10 companies. The patenting and control of seeds is already a reality, but the push is now on to introduce Terminator technology - plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest. This technology will prevent farmers from saving their seeds for the following season and help protect the global seed industry. We will discuss the importance of seeds, Terminator technology, and the Canadian-based worldwide campaign "Ban Terminator".

Guests

Lucy Sharratt - coordinator of the Ottawa-based Ban Terminator international campaign, an initiative of the ETC Group. Lucy has been involved with the Polaris Institute and the Sierra Club of Canada.

Terry Boehm - Vice-President, National Farmers Union (NFU) - Saskatchewan. Terry is a canola farmer in Allan, Saskatchewan.

Devlin Kuyek - Montreal-based staff member of GRAIN - an international non-governmental organisation which promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity based on people's control over genetic resources and local knowledge. Coordinator of the Forum on the Patenting of Life (Canada), member of the Groupe de recherche: technosciences du vivant et soci�©t�© at the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Harry Collins - Vice-President of Technology Transfer, Delta & Pine Land Company - headquartered in Scott, Mississippi, has offices in eight states and facilities in several foreign countries. Holds three patents jointly with the United States Department of Agriculture. These were the first patents on Terminator. Delta & Pine Land is conducting greenhouse tests of Terminator; is the 11th largest seed company in the world; is the largest cotton seed company in the world and produces and sells conventional and GM soy and cotton seed.

Direct download: DD020906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24pm EST

Bacon and Marshmallows

Pork is literally being produced behind closed doors. For those of us living in cities, all that can be witnessed is that final product of vacuum-packed bacon or tightly-sealed marshmallows. For those living in the rural areas, the story is much different. Communities are faced with the odour that emanates from massive hog factories; they are subject to the tonnes of liquid manure that ends up in nearby lagoons and is sprayed on neighbouring fields; and many are concerned about the cleanliness of their water sources and air. A large percentage of antibiotics produced in this country end up in the bellies of farm animals; where do the antibiotics go, and what implications does this incredible use of drugs have on human and animal health? Much concern has also been raised as to the well-being of sows (breeder pigs) that spend almost their entire lives in stalls almost no larger than themselves.

Join Deconstructing Dinner as we take a closer look into industrial hog production and discover whether viable alternatives exist.

Guests

Shiv Chopra - was the Senior Veterinary Drug Evaluator in Health Canada's Therapeutic Products and Food Division. Chopra was fired in 2004 along with 2 other colleagues after serving 28 years with the department. Chopra had raised issues such as the safety of a bovine growth hormone proposed for use in dairy herds to boost milk production, the influence of corporations in government drug approvals, and the need to keep animal parts out of the feed supply to keep animals safe.

Vicki Burns - Executive Director, Winnipeg Humane Society - The WHS coordinates the Quit Stalling Campaign - designed to end the use of sow stalls in Canada by 2013. Sows are breeder pigs, which, in hog factories, are kept in metal stalls barely larger than themselves.

Elaine Hughes - Stop the Hogs Coalition - is a group of concerned ratepayers of the Regional Municipalities of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan, that are concerned about the environmental and social implications of the 'factory' production of hogs. Elaine is on the Steering Committee of the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition.

Barbara Schellenberg - Rafter 25 Ranch - Located on the ranch in Alexis Creek, BC is Pasture-to-Plate - raising pork, beef and lamb using biodynamic principles of farming. These principles ensure a mutual respect with the land, and the farm undertakes a number of conservation projects. Animals are allowed to practice instinctive practices with little restriction.

Direct download: DD032306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00pm EST