Deconstructing Dinner
"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


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, unchlorinated 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 EDT

"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 sustainbility. 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 foor 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 EDT

"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 manufactureres 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.


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 EDT

"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 fertilisers 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 EDT

"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 kidsâ?? 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.

â??Hidden Dangers pierces the myth that our government is protecting our food supply.â??
â??John Robbins, Diet for a New America

â??It will change the way you look at food forever.â??
â??Howard Lyman, Mad Cowboy

â??The revelations in Hidden Dangers make our choice clearâ?? take needless risks with genetically engineered food or just say no to this madness.â??
â??Frances Moore Lapp�©, Diet for a Small Planet

â??Watch this video and start educating yourself.â??
â??Candace Pert, PhD, Molecules of Emotion

"Play this video for parents! Itâ??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."
â??Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association

â??When parents watch scientist after scientist describe the dangers of GM foods, I wouldnâ??t want to be a stubborn food service director trying to stand in their way.â??
â??Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism

Direct download: DD092806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:28am EDT

"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.


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 EDT

"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 EDT

"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 EDT

"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 intentionaly 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 authoritites responded? Do these recent findings perhaps illustrate the power of corporations in influencing food, policy, and health?


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 - Programme 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 EDT

"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 EDT