Fri, 26 October 2007
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.
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.
Fri, 12 October 2007
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".
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.
Fri, 5 October 2007
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).
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".