Deconstructing Dinner
"Michael Ableman - Fields of Plenty"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/022207.htm

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 producedon-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 EDT

"Agri-Business Exposed II (Cargill Part II)"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/021507.htm

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 Expose, 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 Expose

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 EDT

"Agri-Business Exposed I (Cargill Part I)"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/020807.htm

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 Expose
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 Expose

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 succesfully disrupted Cargill's operations.

Direct download: DD020807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

"Farmers Speak Out"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/020107.htm

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 multimillion 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 EDT