Tue, 23 December 2008
Since early December, controversy has been strirring in newspapers and on Internet blogs about a recent marketing gimmick launched by Miami-based global fast-food giant Burger King (BK). The marketing ploy is called Whopper Virgins and is being waged via www.whoppervirgins.com as well as a series of television ads directing people to that site.
So what is all the controversy?
BK hired PR firm Crispin-Porter and Bogusky to take a film-crew and travel the globe. The purpose? To introduce BK's flagship Whopper hamburger to people in some of the world's most far-flung places. The film, which is posted on the Whopper Virgins web site, shows Inuit of Greenland, Transylvanian farmers of Romania, and the Hmong of Thailand as the subjects for the Whopper feeding experiment.
It was hoped that Americans would be fascinated to see the reactions of such 'foreign' people tasting this homogenous staple of American fast-food - the hamburger.
Deconstructing Dinner comments on these latest efforts by Burger King and presents a reworked version of their 7-minute film. We hope that our version tells a more revealing and accurate depiction of why Whopper Virgins has generated so much controversy.
Backyard Chickens IV (Farming in the City VI)
Since March 2008, The Farming in the City series has been incorporating a focus on urban backyard chickens.
Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city (and in this case animals), can provide a much needed dose of agriculture and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.
On this Part IV, we meet the producers of what is perhaps the first feature-length documentary film about the growing backyard chicken movement. Since its release in late 2008, Mad City Chickens has screened at a number of North American film festivals and will be available on DVD in early 2009.
Tashai Lovington & Robert Lugai - Producers, Mad City Chickens (Madison, WI) - Tashai & Robert collaborate to form Tarazod Films. When not producing films, Tashai is a Program Producer and NLE Editor for a Madison-area television station. Robert is the Education Director and Program Coordinator for a Madison-area television station.
Sun, 14 December 2008
Natural Pastures Cheese Company
The story of Natural Pastures is an inspiring one, as it's a story of how one farming family was able to preserve the heritage, social and environmental values of their dairy farm by diversifying and becoming a commercial cheesemaker. Natural Pastures sources their milk from a number of traditional farms on Vancouver Island, including one farm that raises water buffalo. While most of Natural Pastures cheeses are made with cow's milk, Natural Pastures is the only cheesemaker in Canada producing a variety of cheese that uses the milk of water buffalo. Host Jon Steinman visited the facility in October 2008.
Edgar J. Smith, President, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Dating back over 90 years, the Smith family's Beaver Meadow Farms eventually morphed into Natural Pastures Cheese Company. Today, the businesses uses only fresh milk produced on a number of select Vancouver Island farms, which practice sustainable farming and animal stewardship. The farms are classified as Heritage Dairy Farms.
Paul Sutter, Master Cheesemaker, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Born in 1972 in Sonenntal Switzerland where he spent much of his time on his grandfather's dairy farm. In 1991 he earned his certification as a Master Cheesemaker and in 1995 responded to a job posting in a Swiss newspaper and moved to Canada to become a cheesemaker. Paul joined Natural Pastures in 2002.
Dan Thran, Farmer, DKT Ranch, (Courtenay, BC) - Owned and operated by Dan and Maggie Thran, DKT is an 80 acre farm which was purchased by Dan's parents in 1927. His parents turned it into a dairy farm in the early 1940s and the farm was passed on to Dan in the early 1970s. Since then, the farm has primarily become a beef operation along with raising pasture-raised poultry, lamb and eggs.
Harry Burton, Farmer, Apple Luscious Organic Orchard, (Salt Spring Island, BC) - This young orchard on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia is situated on 5 acres of land. Located on a slightly south facing slope, the orchard was created from scratch on land logged in 1980, with the first apple trees planted in 1986. It consists of about 300 trees of mostly apples, but also plums, pears, cherries and Asian pears. Harry helps organize the Salt Spring Apple Festival.
Other VoicesStan Hagen, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Province of British Columbia, (Courtenay, BC)
Leslie Shann, Operations and Distribution Manager, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC)