Deconstructing Dinner
"Soil Matters CSA II / Marion Nestle"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/092707.htm

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 unforseen 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 EDT

"Packaged Foods Exposed IV - Unilever II"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/091307.htm

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 EDT

"Packaged Foods Exposed IV - Unilever I"

www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/090607.htm

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 EDT