Mon, 21 December 2009
This episode is truly in the spirit of "deconstructing" our food and features a talk delivered by Andrew Smith - a writer and lecturer on food and culinary history. His latest book is Eating History - 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine. The diet of the modern American wasn't always as corporate, conglomerated, and corn-rich as it is today. Smith demonstrates how, by revisiting this history, we can reclaim the independent, locally sustainable roots of American food.
Andrew was recorded speaking in November 2009 at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri.
Andrew Smith, author Eating History: 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (New York, NY) - Andrew teaches Culinary History at the New School in New York City. He's the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and he's the author or editor of 14 other books including The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture and Cookery, and Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America.
Sun, 6 December 2009
Deconstructing Dinner continues with our ongoing coverage on the controversial subject of GMOs - genetically modified organisms. As part of our past coverage we've spent time looking at how dialogue on GMOs makes its way through the Government of Canada, whether it be the regulatory process itself, or debates heard from Canada's House of Commons. On today's episode we listen in on December 2009 meetings of Canada's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. The Committee is made up of 12 Members of Parliament and invited a panel of experts on the subject of GMOs to share their thoughts and opinions on Canada's regulatory process for approving such foods and how the Canadian public currently perceives their presence in the food supply.
Michel Arnold, executive director, Option Consommateurs (Montreal, QC) - Option Consommateurs is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to promote and defend the basic rights of consumers and ensure that they are recognized and respected.
Randy Hoback, member of parliament, Conservative Party of Canada (Prince Albert, SK) - Randy is a Conservative MP representing the riding of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Randy purchased his family’s farm in 2000 and expanded it to 3300 acres. He also established a custom spraying and trucking business.
Gord Surgeoner, president, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (Guelph, ON) - Before joining OAFT, Gord was a professor in the Department of Environmental Biology, and then the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph until his retirement in January, 2004. Since 1999, Gord has been the President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, a non-profit organization consisting of members from farm associations, universities, industry and governments. The organization focuses on Ontario's participation in developing, promoting and adopting biotechnology.
Devlin Kuyek, advisor, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) (Montreal, QC) - CBAN promotes food sovereignty and democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and the livelihoods of people in Canada and around the world by facilitating, informing and organizing civil society action, researching, and providing information to government for policy development.
Terry Boehm, president, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Allan, SK) - The National Farmers Union is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in Canada. It is also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament (June 11, 1970). Terry farms in Allan, SK.
Peter Andrée, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) - Peter's research focuses on international and Canadian environmental politics as well as the political economy of agriculture and the food system. His first book, entitled Genetically-Modified Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment, was published by UBC Press in 2007.
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:25pm EDT
Wed, 2 December 2009
Mon, 30 November 2009
In October 2008, Deconstructing Dinner had the pleasure of spending time on Cortes Island, British Columbia with a group of young enthusiastic adults who had just spent 8 months learning the intricacies of growing food using organic and permaculture principles. Cortes Island is located in the Straight of Georgia and can be accessed by a series of ferries originating in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. For over 20 years Linnaea Farm has been offering an ecological garden programme that becomes the home to about a dozen students who learn from experienced growers before they too embark on their own paths of growing food and teaching others how to do the same.
On this episode we meet those students and instructors to learn more about this unique programme, its impacts on the students, and perhaps for us as listeners, can act as inspiration to develop similar programmes in our own communities.
David Buckner, garden programme instructor, Linnaea Farm (Cortes Island, BC) - The Linnaea Ecological Gardening Programme was founded by and is under the direction of David Buckner. David has more than 25 years experience in organic gardening and appropriate technology, including over 20 years on Cortes Island. He has studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the College of the Redwoods and the Farallones Institute in California and at Aprovecho Institute in Oregon. David is currently on sabbatical in Vietnam seeking inspiration and new opportunities to learn and share his skills.
Adam Schick, garden programme instructor, Linnaea Farm (Cortes Island, BC) - Theory and practical instruction is provided by Adam Schick. Adam has farmed and taught at Linnaea Farm for the last nine years and previously grew vegetables for market in the Pemberton area. A graduate of the Linnaea Ecological Gardening Programme, Adam shares his knowledge, skills and passion for locally-grown, organic produce with students in the garden and in the classroom.
2008 Linnaea Farm Garden Programme Students - Mighk, Daveed, Sara, Corry, Leah, Jonathan, Tessa, Meg, Brenden, Kim
Sat, 21 November 2009
In January 2009, the Agroinnovations Podcast featured Deconstructing Dinner. Agroinnovations touches many of the subjects covered on Deconstructing Dinner but further offers unique perspectives and subjects worth exploring.
The Agroinnovations Podcast is based in Albequerque, New Mexico and is hosted weekly by Frank Aragona. They have produced 70 episodes to date.
Today's episode features segments from Agroinnovations featuring well-known figures like Paul Stamets - a mycologist (aka mushroom specialist) from Olympia, Washington, the U.K's Rob Hopkins who has popularized the Transition Town Movement and Montana journalist and author Richard Manning, who possesses a keen interest in the history and future of the American prairie and agriculture.
Paul Stamets, mycologist, Fungi Perfecti (Olympia, WA) - Stamets is on the editorial board of The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, and is an advisor to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School. He runs Fungi Perfecti - a family-owned company specializing in using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve the health of the planet and its people. Paul is the author of Mycelium Running.
Rob Hopkins, co-founder, Transition Town Totnes (Totnes, UK) - Rob is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland as well as co-ordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission. He is author of 'Woodlands for West Cork!', 'Energy Descent Pathways' and most recently 'The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience'.
Richard Manning, author/journalist, Against the Grain: How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization (Missoula, MO) - Richard is an award-winning environmental author and journalist, with particular interest in the history and future of the American prairie, agriculture and poverty. He is the author of eight books, and his articles have been published in Harper's Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Audubon and The Bloomsbury Review. His 2007 release is titled Against the Grain: How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization.
Fri, 13 November 2009
We travel to the State of California where 50% of all fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in Canada and the United States are produced. Beyond fresh produce, California is also a major producer of dairy, olives and nuts, and the list of foods goes on.
But how secure is this reliance we all have on Californian food? Certainly for most Canadians and Americans, the distance food is travelling from California is almost laughable. But food miles aside, California has just endured its 3rd year of drought, leaving an already-fragile agricultural and seafood economy much more vulnerable.
We learn of the challenges facing California's water supply and how this is affecting food production and as we often do on Deconstructing Dinner, we spend considerable time deconstructing the media and how some of America's largest networks and newspapers like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are communicating a pretty misleading and innacurate message about this drought and its impacts on Californian farmers. Since President Obama took office, Fox News has taken on an aggressive campaign to do whatever it possibly can to undermine the current presidency. In some cases, Fox has become full-on activists... helping organize and advocate protests, rallies and campaigns that challenge the President and his decisions. But within this dramatic change of tone at Fox News has been the blatant politicizing of issues that in many cases has Fox grasping with such intensity, that many gaping holes in their logic have presented themselves for some overdue deconstructing.
While the California drought and it's impact on farmers is a multi-faceted and complex issue, Fox has chosen to instead blame the drought on the President and a "two-inch fish"!
Pete Lucero, Public Affairs Officer, Bureau of Reclamation (Sacramento, CA) - The Bureau of Reclamation is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The Bureau is in the 17 western states and the goal of reclamation is to provide water and power to those states. As for California, the Bureau operates 20 dams and resevoirs to help provide and deliver water for agriculture, urban use and maintaining natural habitat.
Doug Obegi, Staff Attorney, Western Water Project, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (San Francisco, CA) - After working as a policy analyst for a national environmental group for several years, Doug earned a law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. According to Doug, he has now landed his dream job, by working to help NRDC restore the Bay-Delta and protect its imperiled wildlife.
Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Institute for Fisheries Resources (San Francisco, CA) - Since 1992, Grader has served as Executive Director of the Institute for Fisheries Resources, an organization begun by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen�s Associations. Zeke works to assure sustainable fisheries, including measures to protect against overfishing, decreasing bycatch, rebuilding depleted fish stocks and protecting and restoring fish habitats. He has served as the president of the western region of the old National Federation of Fishermen and the West Coast Fisheries Development Foundation, and he currently serves on the board of directors of the Marine Fish Conservation Network.
Sean Hannity - Commentator, Hannity (Fox News) (New York, NY) - Sean Hannity is a popular commentator through his nationally syndicated radio show. His television program airs weeknights at 9pm on the Fox News Channel.
Ainsley Earhardt - Correspondent, Fox News (New York, NY) - Earhardt joined the Fox network in 2007 and provides live news cut-ins during the overnight hours. Prior to her current position, Earhardt served as a morning/noon anchor for CBS affiliate, KENS-5 in San Antonio, Texas.
Devin Nunes - United States Congressman, 21st Congressional District (Tulare, CA / Washington D.C.) - Rep. Devin Nunes is a Congressman from the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley of California. He is currently serving in his fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Jon Stewart - Comedian, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (New York, NY) - Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian. He is best known as the host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program airing on Comedy Central in the United States and on The Comedy Network in Canada.
Sun, 1 November 2009
Dan Barber - A Perfect Expression of Nature (Conscientious Cooks VI)
However we try to look at it, agriculture itself - as it's existed for 10,000 years, will always be a departure from aquiring our food as nature intended. By extension, agricultural and food production methods will always be debated on their merits of balancing natural systems with the social needs of human populations. But what if the line between social needs and natural systems disappeared and the two were to become one and the same? On this episode, we hear how such a scenario is playing itself out on a farm in Spain and which is producing a food most often associated with being one of the most controversial - foie gras. Telling the story is chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill restaurant in New York City. Dan was recorded in 2008 at the E.F. Schumacher Society lecture series held in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Backyard Chickens IX
On part IX of our ongoing Backyard Chickens series (a sub-series of Farming in the City, Bucky Buckaw lends his wisdom to backyard chickeners on the options available to decrease your reliance on processed chicken feed. Bucky also encourages President Barack Obama to help push Bucky's backyard chicken agenda by establishing a White House backyard chicken flock!
Dan Barber, executive chef / co-owner, Blue Hill (New York, NY) - Dan Barber began farming and cooking for family and friends at Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In May of 2000, Dan opened Blue Hill restaurant with family members David and Laureen Barber, and in 2002, Food and Wine Magazine named him one of the country's "Best New Chefs." Since then, he has addressed local food issues through op-eds in the New York Times and articles in Gourmet, Saveur and Food and Wine Magazine. Dan has been featured in the New Yorker, CBS Sunday Morning, House and Garden, and Martha Stewart Living; his writing has been incorporated into the annual "Best Food Writing" anthology for the past five years. Blue Hill's menu showcases local food and a wine list with producers who respect artisanal techniques. Ingredients come from nearby farms, including Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a forty-five minute drive from New York City.
Bucky Buckaw Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.
Mon, 26 October 2009
Sustainable Agriculture at Fleming College (Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools IV)
The Local Grain Revolution XI (Sailing Grain Year 2)
Matt Lowe, co-founder, Kootenay Grain CSA (Nelson, BC) - When not volunteering his time for the CSA, Matt Lowe is the Assistant Coordinator in the produce department at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative and a Climate Change Campaigner for The West Kootenay EcoSociety.
Helen Knibb, coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Lindsay, ON) - Helen grew up in rural England and worked on farms there. After arriving in Canada, Helen led the program in museum management and worked on curriculm development. Her passion for farming and rural life led her to purchase a farm and later conceive the Sustainable Agriculture program.
Tom Hutchinson, instructor, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Indian River, ON) - Tom has been teaching courses in sustainable agriculture at Trent University for over 20 years. He is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture program advisory committee. He breeds Cotswold sheep, heritage poultry and pigs and has done extensive work with heritage breeds and seeds. He is the director of Rare Breeds Canada.
Sue Chan, instructor, Sustainable Agriculture, Fleming College (Lakefield, ON) - Sue Chan has been developing the Sustainable Agriculture modules around the principles of sustainable agriculture (soils, soil amendments, composting, weed management). She is an apiarist and studied agriculture at McGill University.
Mon, 19 October 2009
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.
The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.
Today's broadcast features a lecture delivered by the president of the Foundation - Sally Fallon Morell. Sally was recorded in October 2008 by the E.F. Schumacher Society based in Massachusetts.
Sally Fallon Morell - president and treasurer, Weston A. Price Foundation (Washington D.C.) - Sally Fallon Morell is a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. She is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.
Sat, 10 October 2009
In October 2009, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the Halifax Farmers' Market. Founded in 1750, it is the oldest continuously running farmers' market in North America. The first market vendors were Acadian - the original European immigrants to the land.
In 1983, the vendors launched what is now a self financed cooperatively governed group of local producers, processors and artisans that has grown to over 200 vendors. The model is a unique one that ensures the market stays true to its roots as a food-focused venue.
With the rising demand for locally produced foods, the market has outgrown its current space and over the past 8 years has been working towards moving to a better location. That move is now expected to take place in June 2010.
Market management believes the new Seaport Market will be an ecological and cultural showpiece linking the Province's urban and rural economies in a seamless community focused on local food and sustainable principles. The market will be open six days a week at Pier 20, the busiest tourist entry point in the province, and it will be at the heart of the cultural, social and community centre that is emerging in the Halifax Seaport Development.
The building itself is expected to be the highest rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on the eastern side of North America.
Fred Kilcup - general manager, Halifax Farmers' Market (Halifax, NS) - The Halifax Farmer's Market has been operating since 1750, and is the oldest farmer's market in North America. With approximately 150 weekly vendors and up to 9,000 visitors on a busy day, it is a vibrant and bustling shopping environment.
Gordon Michael - executive director, Farmers' Market Investment Co-operative - (Halifax, NS) - The FMIC is seeking to raise $2.25 million from the people of Nova Scotia to help fund the new Seaport Market. The model is a unique example of how local food projects can receive funding from the public at large.
Richard Rand - farmer, Foxhill Cheese - (Port Williams, NS) - Fox Hill Farm, a sixth generation family farm nestled in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, is home to Fox Hill Cheese House. Specializing in aged and specialty cheddar, plain and herbed havarti and gouda, quark and quark dips, fresh curds, feta, Parmesran (a Parmesan style cheese), natural yogurt, and gelato.
Jude Major - farmer/pet baker, Katie's Farm - (Clam Harbour, NS) - A micro producer of Certified Organic Treats for pets. Katie's Farm is Canada's first Certified Organic bakery for pets. And it's the only operation to grow its own ingredients.
Jogi Mullner - baker (Nova Scotia) Jogi and his wife are immigrants from Germany and bake breads and blackforest squares in true German style.
Sass Minard - member, The Grainery Food Co-op - (Halifax, NS) - The Grainery Food Co-Operative is a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to making local and organic food affordable and available to Halifax communities.
Peter Darnell - owner, Indian Point Marine Farms - (Indian Point, NS) - Indian Point Marine Farms Ltd. has been growing mussels in the waters of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia since 1982. They are a small family-owned business.
Bill McKibben - author, Deep Economy - (Ripton, VT) - In March 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. It addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. Bill was interviewed in 2007 on Corporate Change Radio and a segment from that show is featured here.