Fri, 24 August 2007
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 Institue 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.
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.
"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.
Fri, 17 August 2007
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi
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 incorproates organic gardening and food preparation. And yet another is a company serving up organic meals to daycares and schools throughout the city of Toronto.
Conscientious Cooks IV
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 particularily 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.
Fri, 10 August 2007
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.
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."
Fri, 3 August 2007
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.
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.